Faculty-Hosted Breakout Sessions: “Deconstructing the Day’s Themes”

20th Annual Day of Common Learning

Time: 3:30–4:30 p.m.


“Theology as Autobiography”

Two powerful threads in Dr. Coleman's work are that personal experience is a primary s‚Äčource of theology and that salvation is achieved through whole communities. As the SPU community seeks a way forward, this session will provide a space for a discussion of how our personal experiences inform our theology and what salvation achieved through a whole community might look like at SPU.

Phillip Baker, Assistant Professor of Psychology
Jenny Lee Vaydich, Associate Professor of Psychology

Weter 202


“Cultivating Emotional Resilience Through Building Community”

Inspired by Elena Aguilar’s Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators, this session will focus on ways to build community by discussing the foundations of healthy communication. Facilitators will share resources developed by Aguilar and will begin with participants self-assessing levels of resilience and how community can strengthen or hinder this. From there, we’ll proceed based on participant interests.

Cher Edwards, Professor of Counselor Education and Doctoral Programs
Robin Henrikson, Associate Professor of Education
Emily Huff, Director of Field Placements, School of Education

Demaray 355


“Womanist Theology and the Future of SPU”

We will discuss the unique contribution that womanist artists, activists, and theologians — such as Christena Cleveland, Dolores Williams, Emilie Townes, Wil Gafney, Brenda Salter McNeil, Mavis Staples, Toni Morrison, Lisa Sharon Harper, Renita Weems, Octavia Butler, Beyoncé, and Monica Coleman — make for reimagining Christian community and resisting systemic oppression.

Katherine Douglass, Associate Professor of Educational Ministry and Practical Theology

Demaray 356


“How to Talk About Cultural Shifts Without Making Enemies of Your Friends and Family”

Many of us want to speak constructively into national and global conversations regarding health, politics, climate, and other issues, but find it difficult when we are so divided in our opinions and perspectives that we can’t seem to hear any but our own. We will lay out guidelines for keeping conversations and relationships going even when views are diametrically opposed. Then participants will have a chance to try out these guidelines.

Ruth Ediger, Associate Professor of Political Science
Christopher Hanson, Assistant Professor of Music; Director of Music Education and Orchestral Activities
Krystle Jalalian-ChurskyAssistant Professor of Special Education; Director of Undergraduate Teacher Education

Demaray 358


“To Be Continued: Imagining Ourselves Into SPU’s Unfolding Story ”

Jeffrey Overstreet reflects briefly on three decades of SPU experience as a story of incremental transformation both personal and communal. Then we turn our attention to a few visions of transformed communities in meaningful movies, and imagine out loud together how our own participation at SPU might play a part in a larger story of learning, love, and transformation.

Jeffrey Overstreet, Assistant Professor of English and Writing; Writer-in-Residence
Demaray 150


“How Do We Build Community in a Time of Isolation?”

For 18 months, we have been quarantined, endured Zoom instruction, worshiped online, and even now are still wearing masks. We have had increased political polarization, rampant homelessness, and a heightened awareness of racial and cultural injustices and the inevitability of climate change. These are problems that cannot be addressed without community. Let’s talk about it. How can we reconnect? How can we work beyond our differences?

William Purcell, Professor of Communication; Chair of Communication and Journalism

Demaray 353