Note from Instructor. This syllabus is under construction. Everything you need to begin the first week of the course, and numerous links to describe much of the course content, are available. If you find there are materials you need that are not accessible to you in this moment, please let me know.
Please listen to the following video to orient yourself to the early course materials and expectations:
Course Description and Objectives
1) General Participation: Deep learning is not about receiving information from expert sources; it is about students asking questions and seeking to understand from the materials and all participants. In this class, every participant is a teacher and a learner. I expect students will:
When you evaluate your own learning and accomplishments in this course (see Self Evaluation and Grading Procedures), you must consider each of these six elements in your initial and final evaluation documents.
Here are a few comments regarding important general requirements for the course.
2) Discussion Forums:
This course will rely heavily on online discussions. In an online course, this is where the class primarily takes place. It is a way to share ideas, ask questions, and deepen our understanding of course concepts. Generally, I will post numerous questions related to the week’s course materials. By no means are you expected to answer all of them. Respond to the ones that resonate, pique your interest, compel you or bother you the most. My expectation is that you will participate in all discussion threads as often and as well as you are able.
You will be judging yourself on how well you participate in the online Discussions through the establishment and implementation of your own Learning Agreement. That being said, here are some of my hopes and expectations for your online participation:
Every week, I request that you post your first, original response to the questions by Wednesday night at midnight MST. I encourage you to post earlier than that. Even if you are not ready to post your own original answers to the questions early in the week, I nonetheless encourage you to log in to the course website early on, read your classmates' ideas who have posted early, and respond to them.
Being present in an online format requires you to make your presence known. Making your presence known means signing into the course multiple times per week. While you will be evaluating your own participation in the course and discussions, as a general rubric I suggest signing in to the class at least three different times per week, posting original ideas and responding to others’ posts.
3) Reflections on Being a Mystic-Activist (there are three of these):
There are different length and content requirements for each of these critical reflections, which you should check under the assignments links for each one.
Each of these reflections relate, in part, to your own development and establishment of a mystic-activist practice, which is something only you will be able to judge.
While the three reflections are of a personal-reflective nature, all of them should be critical and substantive. All of them should make reference to course materials. Upload these reflections as documents in the appropriate critical reflection assignment link. If you are so inclined, I encourage you to use more than mere words to express your thoughts in a critical manner. In other words, you may use digital images, poetry, music and other means to engage the topics I assign. Whenever you have the inclination to deviate from what feels like the norm of the assignment, feel free to follow that inclination, check in with me, and know that creativity of all kinds is always welcomed by me.
4) Zoom Meetings (there are three of these)
This course will rely heavily on online discussions. In an online course, this is where the class primarily takes place. It is a way to share ideas, ask questions, and deepen our understanding of course concepts and the practices of mysticism and activism. Generally, I will post numerous questions related to the week’s course materials. By no means are you expected to answer all of them. Respond to the ones that resonate, pique your interest, compel you or bother you the most.
You are going to be grading yourself in this course. My expectation is that you will participate in all discussion threads as often and as well as you are able. Here are some of my hopes and expectations for your online participation:
Every week, I request that you post your first, original response to the questions by the end of Wednesday night at midnight. I encourage you to post earlier than that. Even if you are not ready to post your own original answers to the questions early in the week, I nonetheless encourage you to log in to the course website early on, read your classmates' ideas who have posted early, and respond to them.
Most of the student-student and student-teacher interaction takes place online in discussions. Being present in an online format requires you to make your presence known. Making your presence known means signing into the course multiple times per week. While you will be evaluating your own participation in the course and discussions, as a general rubric I suggest signing in to the class at least three different times per week, posting original ideas and responding to others’ posts at least four times.
Participation in discussions should be completed within the week assigned. Each week, the discussions will start on Monday and last through Sunday night. This allows us all to focus on the same issues at the same time. There will be some introductory questions to start us off each week, some natural areas during the week to respond to each other. Here are some suggestions regarding posting in the discussion boards:
We will have three different live video conference meetings by Zoom throughout the quarter: at the beginning of Week 2, the middle of Week 6 and the beginning of Week 9. The Zoom meeting will be 60 minutes long. Each time we meet by Zoom, there will be three choices of time slots. You are required to sign up for one of these slots. All times are Mountain Standard Time (MST). The content and necessary preparation for each hangout will be delineated on this page prior to the Zoom meeting.
DO YOU NEED TO LEARN HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN A ZOOM MEETING?
Please do not figure out how to participate in a Zoom meeting on the same day that you try to participate in one for the first time.
In general terms, all you need to have is the Zoom application on your computer or other device. I will send you a link in advance of the meeting and you click the link at the appointed time. I will share reminders and more detailed information on how the call works during the days before the first Zoom meeting.
If you have any questions, PLEASE CONTACT the Iliff helpdesk (email@example.com). The IT folks are more than willing to practice a Zoom meeting with you. They would also prefer not to have an emergency phone call from you five minutes before a hangout because you have not prepared yourself for this moment.
Zoom Meeting #1 - Beginning of Week 2 - See Sign-Up Here
Sign up for your chosen Zoom Meeting (Monday April 1 10:00a.m. MST or 6:00p.m. MST, Tuesday April 2 at Noon MST).
Content: In this first Zoom meeting, we will get to know one another and engage some of the ideas we have encountered in these first two weeks of the course. It will be best to prepare yourself for the meeting by thinking about the following: what are some of the ideas about mysticism and activism that I have learned the most from so far? What is a new insight I have already gained? What bothers me about what I have read so far? What am I struggling with in terms of understanding mysticism? What is a question I bring? It is sometimes useful to have course materials available for direct reference during the meeting.
Sign Up for your chosen Zoom Meeting (Wednesday, May 1 at 10:00AM MST OR 6:00PM MST, Thursday May 2 at Noon MST).
Content: For our topic, I want us to check in with each other about our latest thinking on the connection between mysticism AND activism. If you want to share what you are exploring in your upcoming Critical Reflection, that is also welcome.
Sign Up for your chosen Zoom (Monday May 20 at 10:00AM MST or 6:00PM MST, Tuesday May 21 Noon MST).
If you have not taken a course with me before and want to know why I use the method of learning agreements and self-evaluation for grading, you may want to watch this video (8:31) https://youtu.be/I5wJJ9NtL_s
LEARNING AGREEMENT: I will provide written feedback on assignments, but all students will evaluate their own work in the course and assign themselves a grade. By the end of the second week you should have a clearer picture of the expectations of this course. The learning agreement is an informal learning contract, a narrative description of your intentions for fulfilling all of the course requirements as they are delineated in the syllabus (see the course requirements page, and the actual written assignment links, for more detailed information on many of these items):
1) general, enthusiastic, prepared participation in the course, including doing the reading to the best of your ability;
2) weekly online discussions;
3) your own commitments, whatever they may be, to mystic and activist practice, or at least trying to understand what these things are, whether or not you practice any forms of mysticism or activism;
4) three personal, critical reflections on mystic and activist practice;
5) three Zoom meetings, please see the link on the home page.
By reading the syllabus and course assignments, you should be able to reflect upon what you will do. Describe how you will evaluate what you have done in each of these areas by the end of the course.
I also encourage you to include in your learning contract personal challenge goals around being a student (time management, more insightful participation in discussions) and reflecting upon what it means to be a mystic-activist in this historical moment, and in your life, if that is relevant. If you would like to state some kind of spiritual practices or disciplines you want to try to establish or deepen for yourself in relation to the development of mystical experience, then you are also welcome to do that as a matter of interest and accountability for yourself.
This document will essentially serve as a learning agreement between you and me, and with yourself. This learning contract can be as long or as short as you wish in order to communicate your intentions. You may not be completely sure of what you will do for all of your project/reflections, but you can indicate where you are leaning. At the end of this narrative, please tell me what grade you intend to achieve.
By the last day of the quarter, and making reference to this first learning agreement, evaluate in writing how you think did in achieving your stated objectives and goals throughout the quarter, and whether or not you achieved the grade you anticipated. At the end of this reflection, you must give yourself a final grade.
As the instructor, I am responsible for assigning final grades. In almost all cases, I will assign the grade you give yourself. However, if you wildly overrate or underrate your work, we will enter into negotiations about the final grade.
Communications Policy: I will log on to the classroom most days. The discussion forum is generally the best place to ask most questions. If there is a question about class requirements or other questions that do not fit into a weekly discussion, I encourage you to use the internal Canvas communication system. If you need to contact me on an individual basis, please email me directly and I will try to reply within 24 hours. If you would like to arrange to communicate by Skype, Google, Zoom, or phone, please email me directly to set up an appointment.
If you need technical support for anything related to your laptop or device, how CANVAS works, how to do live video conferencing, you should contact the IT helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Degree Learning Goals: Please take some time to look over the Professional Degree Learning Goals (MDiv, MASC, MAPSC) and the Academic Degree Learning Goals (MTS, MA).
Incompletes: If incompletes are allowed in this course, see the Master's Student Handbook for Policies and Procedures.
Pass/Fail: Masters students wishing to take the class pass/fail should discuss this with the instructor by the second class session.
Academic Integrity and Community Covenant: All students are expected to abide by Iliff’s statement on Academic Integrity, as published in the Masters Student Handbook, or the Joint PhD Statement on Academic Honesty, as published in the Joint PhD Student Handbook, as appropriate. All participants in this class are expected to be familiar with Iliff’s Community Covenant.
Core Values: As a community, Iliff strives to live by this set of Core Values.
Accommodations: Iliff engages in a collaborative effort with students with disabilities to reasonably accommodate student needs. Students are encouraged to contact their assigned advisor to initiate the process of requesting accommodations. The advising center can be contacted at email@example.com or by phone at 303-765-1146.
Writing Lab: Grammar and organization are important for all written assignments. Additional help is available from the Iliff Writing Lab, which is available for students of any level who need help beginning an assignment, organizing thoughts, or reviewing a final draft.
Inclusive Language: It is expected that all course participants will use inclusive language in speaking and writing, and will use terms that do not create barriers to classroom community.
Julie Todd, Ph.D.
John Wesley Iliff Senior Lecturer in Justice and Peace Studies
Dr. Julie Todd is a scholar-activist living in Lawrence, Massachusetts. She received her Ph.D. in 2012 from University of Denver-Iliff School of Theology Joint Program in Religious and Theological Studies. The title of her dissertation was “Evaluating Violence and (Non)violence: A Critical, Practical Theology of Social Change.” As John Wesley Iliff Senior Lecturer in Justice & Peace Studies, she teaches all of her courses in online and hybrid formats, and primarily teaches courses in the area of justice and peace. Her scholarship focuses on social change theory and praxis, violence and (non)violence, and matters of privilege, oppression and solidarity across axes of difference. She is a published essayist and poet on matters of justice-seeking and the spiritual life. As an activist, she works in her community to create transformative, grassroots spaces for social justice education and practice. She works locally and nationally to end the anti-LGBTQ policies and practices of the United Methodist Church through the group Love Prevails. She is also a trained herbalist and aromatherapist, working with other healers in Lawrence, MA on collective healing projects.
|Mar 25, 2019||Mon||Week One Reading, Listening & Viewing Materials||due by 07:00AM|
|Mar 26, 2019||Tue||Initial Essay on Being a Mystic Activist||due by 05:59AM|
|Mar 28, 2019||Thu||Week One Discussion of Materials||due by 05:59AM|
|Apr 01, 2019||Mon||Week Two Reading, Listening & Viewing Materials||due by 07:00AM|
|Apr 04, 2019||Thu||Week Two Discussion of Materials||due by 05:59AM|
|Apr 08, 2019||Mon||Week Three Reading, Listening & Viewing Materials||due by 07:00AM|
|Apr 11, 2019||Thu||Week Three Discussion of Materials||due by 05:59AM|
|Apr 11, 2019||Thu||Learning Agreement||due by 05:59AM|
|Apr 15, 2019||Mon||Week Four Reading, Listening & Viewing Materials||due by 07:00AM|
|Apr 18, 2019||Thu||Week Four Discussion of Materials||due by 05:59AM|
|Apr 22, 2019||Mon||Week Five Reading, Listening & Viewing Materials||due by 07:00AM|
|Apr 25, 2019||Thu||Week Five Discussion of Materials||due by 05:59AM|
|Apr 29, 2019||Mon||Week Six Reading, Listening & Viewing Materials||due by 07:00AM|
|May 02, 2019||Thu||Week Six Discussion of Materials||due by 05:59AM|
|May 05, 2019||Sun||Critical Reflection on Mystic-Activist Connections||due by 05:59AM|
|May 06, 2019||Mon||Week Seven Reading, Listening & Viewing Materials||due by 07:00AM|
|May 09, 2019||Thu||Week Seven Discussion of Materials||due by 05:59AM|
|May 13, 2019||Mon||Week Eight Reading, Listening & Viewing Materials||due by 07:00AM|
|May 16, 2019||Thu||Week Eight Discussion of Materials||due by 05:59AM|
|May 20, 2019||Mon||Week Nine Reading, Listening & Viewing Materials||due by 07:00AM|
|May 23, 2019||Thu||Week Nine Discussion of Materials||due by 05:59AM|
|May 27, 2019||Mon||Week Ten Reading, Listening & Viewing Materials||due by 07:00AM|
|May 30, 2019||Thu||Week Ten Discussion of Materials||due by 03:00AM|
|May 31, 2019||Fri||Final Self-Evaluation||due by 11:00PM|
|Jun 01, 2019||Sat||Final Reflection - Emphasizing the AND||due by 05:59AM|