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Course BS-01 - Stewardship and Culture

by Betsy Schwarzentraub

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Because transformative stewardship includes understanding of our culture, the Stewardship and Culture: Building Contagious Generosity course will explore how our culture influences faithful stewardship and generous giving. Students will be able to frame insightful critical questions about consumerism, embrace God’s vision of sufficiency, recognize the additional impact of technology on consumerism, and begin to create a Generosity Plan for their congregation. Topics include critiquing mainstream -culture assumptions about achievement and individualism, redefining themselves from consumers to stewards, shifting their focus from “the market of one” to hands-on community work, and strengthening a culture of generosity within their faith network.

The main objective of this course is to assist students s they engage and critique the culture in which they live, in their society and church. Class participants will:

  • Assess Western assumptions about achievement,
  • Examine consumerism to help shatter the myth of more,
  • Review the influence of marketing and technology, and
  • Strengthen a culture of generosity in their congregation.

As a result of this course, students will be able to speak more boldly on stewardship themes within culture, talk about the tension between following Jesus Christ and succumbing to the current consumer culture, and advocate a lifestyle that works with others to transform human systems to honor God.

Important dates for the course:

  • Official Class Opening Date: 01/02/2017
  • Late Registration Closes: 01/09/2017 at 6pm Central Time
  • First Class Live Conference Call: 01/09/2017 at 7pm Central Time
  • Second Class Live Conference Call: 01/21/2017 at Noon Central Time
  • Third Class Live Conference Call: 01/28/2017 at Noon Central Time
  • Fourth Class Live Conference Call: 02/04/2017 at Noon Central Time
  • Fifth Class Live Conference Call: 02/11/2017 at Noon Central Time

A New Special Low Price To Make The Lecture Accessible

We have made a special pricing of this non-credit version of this lecture order to make this course available to individual people or groups of clergy, lay leaders, and congregants of churches in small study groups. We have endeavored to make this course as RELEVANT and as ACCESSIBLE to as many people as possible. Our goal is foster a broad understanding of personal finance as a basis for creating the capacity for generosity. We offer this lecture to the Church and Her Servants with hopes that you can participate. Group discounts are also available for study groups of three or more.

The special low price of this course also allows people to try our online courses without significant investment in their on-going adult education.

An Ideal Lecture for Both Individuals and Small Groups

This course is designed for both individuals and small groups who wish to learn more about the wise management of person finance. The course makes an excellent small-group study or a church-wide study. The material is condensed enough to be taught in a half-day workshop format still allowing plenty of tie for group discussions. The price of the lecture is purposely low enough to allow each member of the group to purchase their own access to the course materials to study individually either before or after a group meeting.

Online Distance Learning

This a distance-learning course that can be completed online without the need for travel; either across town or to another city. The course can be taken from a home, office or even a coffee shop. All you need is a web browser and a broadband Internet connection. The course can be successfully used by people with only the most basic of computer skills.

Use any Device From Anywhere

Access this course from anywhere; at home, at the office or when out on the run. You can access our course videos 24x7 from anywhere you choose; you can in complete control. We fully support desktop devices as well as mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. The responsive design of all of our web pages and video players will automatically size our materials and rearrange page regions to fit best the particular device you choose to use. Included in this support is our Adaptive Streaming technology that will automatically and dynamically adjust our streaming speed to fit best your particular broadband connection. Go as slow as a 3G wireless connections or as fast as fiber-to-the-home connections allow. Rest assured that for any device or connection speed you elect to use, we will support it to the best possible quality the device allows.

Additional Information About This Lecture

In the sidebar on the right side of the page, there is additional information about this course. Please explore these pages for more information.

Course Instructor: Rev. Dr. Betsy Scharzentraub

Rev. Dr. Betsy Schwarzentraub is an author and consultant in Stewardship and Generosity, and the former Director of Stewardship for the United Methodist General Board of Discipleship and the California-Nevada United Methodist Foundation. She serves on the Resource Editorial Board for the Ecumenical Stewardship Center, and is the author of the 2012-2016 United Methodist Guidelines book, Stewardship: Nurturing Generous Living, as well as Afire With God: Becoming Spirited Stewards. A graduate of the University of Redlands, she received a Master of Divinity at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California, and a Doctor of Ministry at the San Francisco Theological School in San Anselmo, California.

Fifth In the Series "Steward Leaders Engaging God’s Mission"

Brought to you by Ecumenical Stewardship Center and TransformingTheChurch.org, Stewardship and Culture” is the fifth in a series titled "Steward Leaders Engaging God’s Mission," consisting of a total of six courses. Students enrolled in the series will learn principles and practices relating to stewardship and leadership through studying Scripture, exploring holistic perspectives, critiquing culture, developing healthy relationships, and achieving financial health.

About the Ecumenical Stewardship Center

As a Network for Growing Stewards, the Ecumenical Stewardship Center provides resources that encourage the development of generous giving and faithful stewardship as transformational spiritual practices for faith communities and their leaders. Twenty denominations and several stewardship-related organizations in the US and Canada are partners in ESC's mission and ministry. You can find them on the ESC website at www.stewardshipresources.org.

About TransformingTheChurch.org

TransformingTheChurch.org is a state-of-the-art online resource that provides high-quality distance education for churches and congregations; both clergy and laity. For additional information about TransformingTheChurch.org, see: https://www.transformingthechurch.org/who-we-are