By Laura Newby of Twin-Cities-based Underground Seminary
*NOTE: Underground Seminary is now accepting applications for their 3rd cohort starting Fall 2018.
Christian leadership requires radical revisioning in the twenty-first century. The patriarchal, white, Western, capitalist framework that has dominated the globe the last few hundred years has lost credibility. Whiteness was birthed in conquest and theft, and has led to a global neoliberal system where everything is a commodity to be devoured for profit. The earth cries out on the brink of eco-systemic collapse.
This is an age for prophets and healers. Yet we are heirs of a religious tradition that is deeply complicit in our apocalyptic moment. What does it mean to serve as Christian leaders when Christianity has been the primary ideological center of this destructive colonial worldview? Do we realize the extent to which our ideas about leadership continue to be shaped by the chimera of whiteness?
The need, as indigenous peoples have long recognized, is not more “progress,” but remembering and returning to the kinship that has been lost. Once the layers of imperial co-optation are peeled away, the indigenous and ancestral presence in the bible is able to guide us on this journey of decolonization. Through Underground Seminary, students will develop the ability to read history, the biblical witness, and their own story through a post-colonial lens. We will excavate the past and face the historical betrayals of communion with God’s good creation, while also uncovering the rich ancestral wisdom that lies beneath.
Our pedagogy for this journey of decolonization is classroom seminars in a small cohort of peers, participation in community housing, daily meals together, trips that integrate the learning, one-on-one mentoring, and occasional work projects. Join us for a seminary experience aimed to heal connection to your roots, liberate your spirit, and restore an experience of kinship with the whole of creation so that you can follow Jesus in his ministry as a prophet and healer.