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About Course - BS-01 - Stewardship and Culture

by Betsy Schwarzentraub

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 as 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.

There are four video sessions in this course. Students are expected to watch each video and post comments and respond to the questions posed for each session. In addition, class participants are encouraged to read Swimming Upstream: Reflections on consumerism and culture by Christine Roush.

There will be one conference call scheduled with the instructor during the week before the course begins, one midway through the class, and one on the final Saturday of the course.