Prof. Efrain Agosto                                               - Virtual

This course is an introduction to the canonical writings of the Second Testament (New Testament) with particular attention to narrative and epistolary genres. Each document of the New Testament will be surveyed for its historical background, basic structure, and overall message. Some attention will be given to reading strategies for the various genres of the New Testament. Expected prerequisites: First Testament Introduction and Exegesis Practicum, unless special permission is granted.

Prof. Nancy Fields                                                  - Virtual

Our foundational course will consist of planned didactics, readings, sharing and devotionals that focus on theory, spiritual integration, and expanded models of pastoral care enabling you to gain exceptional insight into future possibilities for the field. This course will challenge you, inspire you and encourage you to evaluate your basic understandings about the field of pastoral care. If you enter the process with an open heart and an open mind you will make connections with each other, the conference, the discussions and the real world of human services.

Prof. Jason Wyman                                   - Virtual

This course is an overview of the field of Christian social ethics with some special attention paid to biomedical issues. This survey necessitates a brief examination of Christian doctrine, western religious and social thought. Our task is to discover how people, past and present, engage (d) in ethical reflection, moral reasoning, social critical analysis, and ethical action for the just resolution of social conflict. Of particular interest is an examination of the West's historic understandings of morality, ethical actions, institutions, culture, society, the "poor," the state, and how these other institutions affect modern life. Certain issues of personal morality will not be intentionally addressed in this course, such as the psychodynamic dimensions of "personal" decisionism, individualistic understandings of salvation, sanctification, truth telling, or loyalty to personal codes of morality; these equally important issues are presumed to be covered elsewhere in the curriculum. The readings are designed to challenge participants to rethink their understanding of moral community life, and to rethink the places and ways in which religious teachings, practices, and beliefs affect that life. Participants are encouraged to personally and actively engage in the painful business of ethical reflection and to commit themselves to an active life of moral struggle. In short, this course requires a bit of courage.

Prof. Jermaine Marshall                         - Virtual

This course introduces students to the history of Christianity in its global context from the dawn of the modern era in the 15th century through what many believe to be the end of the modern era in the 20th century. Attention is paid to the various social, political and cultural contexts in which churches have lived, as well as to the developments of theological ideas in diverse situations across the last five centuries. A significant amount of time in the course is devoted to the life and ministry of churches in North America in diverse cultural contexts. While successful completion of the required Introduction to Church History course is not a prerequisite for this course, it is advised.

Prof. Wanda Lundy                                               - Virtual

Come and join us on a virtual online journey into the Deep South, where we walk the freedom trails together and listen to the wisdom of the land and our ancestors. When Martin Luther King, Jr. graduated from Boston University he had opportunities all over the country, but he decided to return home to the South because of the "remarkable thing that was about to happen", namely the Civil Rights movement. Through identifying the tragic violence and oppression of racism, while also tapping into the sources of redemption, reconciliation, and empowerment, the Civil Rights movement demonstrates the deep problems and promise of Southern religion. This class is a journey into the paradoxes of Southern religion, from the racist violence of the K.K.K. to the prophetic action of African American women like Rosa Parks and Fannie Lou Hamer. It will include a week-long field trip to the Deep South, including visits to Atlanta, GA; Birmingham, Montgomery and Selma, Alabama; Tougaloo, Jackson, and Glendora, Mississippi; and Memphis, Tennessee. The question we will continuously wrestle with is, “What lessons can we learn from yesterday that will inform the work we must do together today that will lead to a better tomorrow?”

Prof. Nancy Fields                                                  - Virtual

Our Foundations of Ministry class is designed to introduce students to the NYTS curriculum and faculty as they deepen and expand their understanding of the nature and challenge of ministry and the mission of the church in an increasingly urban and global world. Attention will be given to develop analytical skills in relationship to the nature of ministry, basic tasks of ministry, and the nature and function of prophetic ministry. Focus will be on “imagining” a new vision of church and ministry for the 21st Century.

Prof. Michael Walrond                                    - Virtual

Course Description: Preaching is a theological endeavor. The preacher's theological framework and presuppositions empower, authorize and sustain the proclamation. In other words, preaching is informed by the preacher's own theology. The theological claims made in the preaching moment have the capacity to impact how hearers live and show up in community, society and the world at large. This course will examine the role of the preacher as theologian by examining the function of theologies and major theological claims that make preaching possible.

Prof. Insook Lee                                                          - Virtual

This course introduces students to the psychological aspects of trauma and trauma-related stress. Recent research shows that trauma is related to many other psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, somatic disorders, and dissociative disorders. The course explores the effects of stress and trauma on mental and physical health and includes interventions designed to decrease the negative effects of stress and trauma. More specifically, students will learn the history, etiology, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of trauma-related dysfunction and common comorbid conditions. Major treatment approaches to be covered include sensorimotor psychotherapy, neuroscience, internal family system, and some other modalities that treat dissociative aspects of trauma. 

Prof. Ronald Baard                                                 - Virtual

This course will introduce the emerging fields of human development and developmental psychology and their usefulness for pastoral care and counseling. Major theories of child, adolescent, adult, and older adult development will be studied in conversation with the arts of care and counseling. The case study method will be included to help students deepen the integration of newfound knowledge with their pastoral practice and enrich their capacity for theological reflection. WEDNESDAY COUR

Prof. Kathleen Turner                                          - Virtual

This course utilizes a critical pedagogical approach to explore the historical origins and evolution of the field of religious education, including the principal movements and individuals from biblical and apostolic periods to the present that have shaped approaches to Christian education. In addition, contemporary philosophies of religious education and their import for the teaching ministries of congregations are explored.

New York Theological Seminary

…a diverse and inclusive community of learning with a historic urban focus…

Online Course Syllabus 


Transformational Urban Leadership

in the Context of Millennials and the Emerging Church

Last Revision: January 10, 2021

(Master’s elective course; 4 credits)

 Spring 2021

(From January 26, 2021 to May 11, 2021; Tuesdays, 6 pm – 9:30 pm) 

All students are required to read and have a thorough understanding of the syllabus. Any questions or concerns need to be addressed with the professor(s). 


Instructor: Professor Humberto Alfaro

E-mail: halfaro@nyts.mail

Course site:

Office Hours via Zoom: Tuesdays from 3 pm to 5 pm or by appointment via email.  


In making church relevant to millennials, window dressing will not help. What is required is a thoroughgoing re-imagining of how leadership is experienced and communicated in fluidity and conceptualized in a hyper-pluralized synergistic world. While Millennials dislike being condensed to a list, there are some important questions that we will explore in this course: Why modern Christianity and ecclesiastical leadership does not speak to Millennials, who are concurrently functional atheists and potential spiritual mystics? Why are Millennials explorers and not dwellers? How can Millennials express doubts, real ones, to a church that pretends to have no doubts? Why do Millennials want to nurture community instead of the corporatization of religion? Why Millennials prioritize relationships instead of institutional contracts? Why do Millennials insist on authenticity? Why are Millennials mesmerized by beauty and idealism? What is the future of religion and leadership in America and what role will Millennials play in that? This course will promote love and respect for creator and creation and will provide resources, tools and strategies for transformational urban leadership, preparing students to engage in relevant, restorative, and revolutionary ministries in the context of millennials and the Emerging Church.


Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος…

                                                  ΚΑΤΑ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΝ 1:1


In the beginning was the Word…

                                    John 1:1 


New York Theological Seminary is a diverse and inclusive community of learning with a metropolitan focus. With Christ at its center, and with a curriculum informed by biblical witness and Christian thought and tradition, the Seminary prepares women and men for the practice of ministry in congregations, the city, and the world. Led by the Spirit, and in active partnership with churches, we seek to heed God's call for reconciliation, justice, evangelism, and transformation.

When student fulfills the requirements of this program, she or he will be able to: 

  • Demonstrate competence in biblical and theological reflection that is faithful to one’s own tradition, dynamic in its articulation, and relevant to contemporary intercultural and multi-faith contexts
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify, design, and put into practice diverse and inclusive models of ministry to achieve personal, ecclesial and social transformation and reconciliation
  • Demonstrate the ability to engage in critical reflection that fosters spiritual formation and renewal of individuals, faith-based communities, cities, and the world. 


This course seeks to fulfill the NYTS learning outcome(s) regarding the following: 

  • Demonstrate competence in biblical and theological reflection that is faithful to one’s own tradition, dynamic in its articulation, and relevant to contemporary intercultural and multi-faith contexts. 

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  • present orally and in writing the overview of the material content of urban leadership in the context of millennials and the emerging church;
  • explain the overall outline of the history of urban leadership in the context of millennials and the emerging church;
  • articulate major issues in the study of urban leadership in the context of millennials and the emerging church;
  • demonstrate how to implement and develop transformational urban leadership in the context of millennials and the emerging church. 

The expected outcome will be measured through the student’s level of participation as well as her or his performance in written and oral assignments and class activities. Details of the measures of assessment are indicated below in this syllabus and on Moodle.


1. The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha/Deuterocanonical Writings, Fifth Edition, New Revised Standard Version, 2018.

ISBN-13: 978-0190276072.

(You have to purchase the book). 

2. The Secular City: Secularization and Urbanization in Theological Perspective by Harvey Gallagher Cox.

(eBook held by Digital Theological Library). 

3. The Emerging Church, Millennials, and Religion, Volume 1, edited by Randal W. Reed and G. Michael Zbaraschuck.

(eBook held by Digital Theological Library). 

4. The Urban Church Imagined: Religion and the Authenticity in the City by Jessica M. Barron and Rhys H. Williams.

(eBook held by Digital Theological Library). 

5. Marketing to Millennials by Jeff Fromm and Christie Garton.

(eBook held by Digital Theological Library). 

6. Cultural Continuity and the Rise of the Millennials: Generational Trends in Politics, Religion, and Economic Values by Ethan Fosse. Ph.D. dissertation, 2014. Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

(Dissertation held by Digital Theological Library). 

7. The Bible and digital Millennials by David G. Ford, Joshua L. Mann, and Peter M. Phillips.

(eBook held by Digital Theological Library). 

8. And Then There Where Nones: An Examination of the Rising Rate of Religious Non-Affiliation Among Millennials by David Cox. Ph.D. dissertation, 2015. Georgetown University, Faculty of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

(Dissertation held by Digital Theological Library). 


1. Faithful attendance and participation are mandatory.

2. Online Forums.

  • Throughout the semester, at least twice a week (on Monday and another day of the week), you must come to Moodle and complete online forums posted for each week.
  • The course schedule includes study questions for Moodle online forums. Please be advised that an updated version may be shown on Moodle.
  • Concerning the basic expectations of the online forums, consult the rubrics posted on Moodle.
  • Pay attention to due dates and the 500 words limit posted for each online forum.
  • 25% of the final grade.

3. Write a seven-page Exercise in Imagination and Transformational Leadership in the Secular City.

  • Everyone in the class is to read the narrative of Jesus and the rich young man (also called Jesus and the rich ruler) recounted in the Gospel of Matthew 19:16–30, the Gospel of Mark 10:17–31 and the Gospel of Luke 18:18–30 in the New Testament. Write a letter to “the rich young man” or to Jesus of Nazareth or to the writer of the Gospels, challenging as much as possible his world-view and theological frame of reference from the perspective of Transformational Leadership in the Secular City.
  • The rubrics are below, in the syllabus.
  • No late paper will receive any credit.
  • Due date: March 30, 2021.
  • 20% of the final grade.

4. There will be various types of quizzes and other instruments of assessment throughout the term.

  • These will be administered online.
  • These quizzes and other activities are primarily based on the reading assignments as well as the plenary lectures delivered in the course. Occasionally, you may be asked to recall contents presented earlier in the semester.
  • There will be more than a dozen quizzes/activities in this course.
  • A late completion of a quiz/activity will earn no more than one half of the maximum points possible for any particular quiz/activity.
  • 25% of the final grade. 

5. Research Paper.

  • Write a 15-page Critically Interpretative Paper, interpreting Matthew 5, 6, and 7.
  • The paper should demonstrate a mastery of much of the hermeneutical and theological issues discussed in the course with an excellent grasp of their complexity and their development, including substantial theoretical content.
  • Also, the paper should highly relate its arguments to your own understanding of urban transformational leadership in the context of millennials and the Emerging Church.
  • The paper has to creatively reflects mastery of scholarly writing, organization, style, grammar, spelling, diction, punctuation, formatting, and inclusive language.
  • Concerning specific expectations, consult Moodle.
  • The rubrics are in the syllabus.
  • No late paper will receive any credit.
  • Due date: May 4, 2021.
  • 20% of the final grade. 

6. PowerPoint Presentation.

  • Create a PowerPoint Presentation with your assigned group (maximum of 20 slides).
  • The content of the PowerPoint Presentation will attempt to answer the following four questions: 1) How to present orally and in writing the overview of the material content of transformational urban leadership in the context of millennials and the emerging church? 2) How to explain the overall outline of the history of transformational urban leadership in the context of millennials and the emerging church? 3) How to articulate major issues in the study of transformational urban leadership in the context of millennials and the emerging church? 4) How to demonstrate and how to implement and develop transformational urban leadership in the context of millennials and the emerging church?
  • Due date: May 11, 2021.
  • 10% of the final grade. 

Come prepared for each class session. This course will require an informed class interaction and the timely completion of all assignments. You may assume about twenty hours of preparation for a four-credit hour class. Your personal schedule must allow you to keep up with the due dates for the readings and other assignments.

Prof. Gilbert R. Rendle                                         - Virtual

The institution (the congregation, hospital, prison, not-for-profit, etc.) is the primary tool used by leaders to effect the change they are called to address. Institutions are essential to the way we order our lives as individuals and to the way that we contribute to the common good. But, over time, established institutions also constrain their leaders and function more closely in line with institutional preferences rather than institutional purpose. The wise and relevant leader is clear about purpose, outcomes and translating faith-based aspirations into real-time local change. This course will explore the functional relationship between the leader and the institution. Organizational theory and constructs will be brought together with the theology and teachings of the church with the goal of empowering leadership to engage real change.

Prof. Roger Ball                                                           - Virtual

This course is designed to assist urban youth pastors and other youth ministry practitioners design a strategy and develop skills for effective pastoral care and counseling of urban youth within and beyond the church. Specific attention will be paid to the development of a culturally relevant praxis that responds sensitively to the range of psychological, social and spiritual difficulties experienced by urban youth populations.

Prof. Moses Biney                                                 - Virtual

The central purpose of this course is the study of congregations in their contexts. It will explore the ways congregations interact with social/urban structures. Specifically, the course will examine the challenges and creativity of New York City congregations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Through lectures, discussions, and ethnographic and media research, we will examine (a) some of the specific disruptions encountered by these congregations and their impact on mission and ministry (b) some of the creative ways through which congregations dealt with/managed the challenges associated these disruptions and (c) important lessons the pandemic provides for ministry in times of disaster. At another level, we will also study “how to study” congregations through their digital footprints and general online activities. Additionally, we will examine how social dynamics shape/inform/impact congregations.

Prof. Rafael Reyes                                                    - Virtual

Religious Diversity is an actual fact and can also be a problem. It is an actual fact because of what we experience in the complex reality of our world; it is a problem because of the interaction between religions, but more importantly, because of the interactions, and thus implications within religions. The discussion of the manyness of religions lead to questions of the validity of religious truth: is it inclusive or exclusive? Who holds the ultimate truth? But a more important question is involved: is religious diversity welcomed? If so, is it to be accepted as an aspect of reality, or as an ideal that we move towards? This class will investigate diverse ways of describing and discussing the plurality and unity of religions by viewing it through the Pluralist Imagination, which maintains the position of relativity and plurality of truths. We will also look at the paths of salvation/liberation, how the unity of religions can be conceptualized through a world theology.