Welcoming the "Other"


This course is a place where you can process some of the recent events that broke our hearts, by addressing broken relationships from issues such as social isolation, mental illness/depression, exclusion, victimization and racism. Seek to develop biblical responses in your reading of Scripture, your theology, ministry and your personal transformation. The welcome of the other is foundational in the identity and function of the people of God, and intimately connected with God’s presence, promise and blessing. How do we define welcome? Who do we identify as the other (and who are “we”?)? What practices can we cultivate to welcome the other? The framework of this course will draw on concepts connected with the invitation of radical hospitality combined with the movement towards incarnational actions of becoming the other, crossing boundaries, sojourning and tearing down walls. By sharing our life, experiences and research interests, we will together identify the other, expand and build on the definition and practices of welcome, and populate the category of the other along with input from a select variety of people in the field and on the front lines. During the in-class time, we will concentrate on pooling our resources and building the biblical and theological bases for the praxis of radical hospitality together with incarnational identity and action rooted in the nature of God.

This is a hybrid course in which we combine two in-class sessions with online components: we will use Avenue to Learn as well as other online technologies. We open the semester with an online WebEx session and we will close it with an online WebEx session.


  • Understand the biblical basis for welcoming the other for the individual, the church, society and global contexts
  • Extend your understanding of welcome and the other to larger contexts and new possibilities.


  • Research and develop a biblical topic/theme, passage or project that is relevant to your specialization and relates to the Church and/or current personal and communal practice.
  • Develop a life map on welcoming the other
  • Engage in welcoming the other in a local context and theologically reflect on that experience.


  • Awareness of your place, connection and circle of influence
  • Cultivated empathy for the other based on who you are & your past experience
  • Commitment to hospitality and an incarnational ministry consistent with your calling
  • Maturing habits of devotion & self-care that support the demanding nature of the discipline