This course focuses on practical and theological foundations for engaging authentically and meaningfully with communities where life experiences, identities, and/or demographic characteristics reveal a social divide that can preclude others (and ourselves) from recognizing their full humanity. Readings and other course content integrate literature from social science, practical theology, and personal narratives of experience. The course begins with personal and theoretical reflections on privilege, power and difference and then considers approaches to authentic community engagement. Pastoral care in this framework honors the full humanity and unique experiences of individuals while simultaneously recognizing the social challenges of stigma, oppression, privilege and unconscious bias which can affect the quality and effectiveness of the helping relationship. Participants will engage with readings, mini-lectures, case studies and ethnographic narratives and discuss methods and approaches for collaborative, partnered ministry when engaging with marginalized communities. Individual reflections and participation in a group book project are essential components of this course.
Instructor: The Rev. Dr. Sarah Kye Price is a blended vocational priest and professor living and serving in Richmond, Virginia. She is a 2018 graduate of the low residency MDiv program at CDSP and a career social worker (BSW 1992, SUNY College at Buffalo; MSW 1993, Syracuse University; PhD 2005, Washington University in St. Louis). Sarah currently serves as Professor in the School of Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University and Local Formation Director for the St. Phoebe School for Deacons, preparing vocational deacons to serve in the Dioceses of Virginia and Southwestern Virginia. She loves music, poetry, parenting, prayer beads, and pastoring at the margins of the world where God is always present.