Category Archives: MASJCD

Let Father Pfleger stay at Saint Sabina

Walter's Perspective CBS Chicago Father Pfleger

Last night CBS Chicago aired a segment of Walter’s Perspective, with Walter Jacobson.  The segment addressed the recent consideration of Cardinal George and the Archdiocese of Chicago to remove Father Michael Pfleger from the Faith Community of Saint Sabina.

The move would go against the wishes of Father Pfleger, the wishes congregation itself, and, as Jacobson points out, the wishes of the the community Saint Sabina is a part of.  The wishes and vision of the community seem like an important perspective – one that is frequently ignored in a world of corporate driven paradigms for church leadership and hierarchy from outside and above.

Father Pfleger meets attendees at the 2011 Hallett Lecture

Fr. Pfleger meets attendees at the 2011 Hallett Lecture

As SCUPE has always had context driven theology at its core, this perspective of those in the context, is one we believe needs to be heard and taken into account.  Two night ago, before the Hallett Lecture at Loyola University, I walked across the street the the offices of the Archdiocesan offices and hand delivered two letters expressing this point from my personal perspective.  I hope that the Cardinal and church leadership will be open to the voice of the congregation, community, and the Spirit in their deliberation on the future of Father Pfleger and Saint Sabina.

Please consider lending your voice in support of Father Pfleger and Saint Sabina by writing to these two individuals:

Francis Cardinal George
Archdiocese of Chicago
835 North Rush Street
Chicago, IL 60611
312-534-8219 Office
312-534-6379 Fax
archbishop(at)archchicago.org

Priest’s Placement Board
Archdiocese of Chicago
835 North Rush Street
Chicago, IL 60611
312-534-5270 Office
312-534-5281 Fax
jdonovan(at)archchicago.org


Let’s Give It Another Go

The 2011 Hallett Lecture has been rescheduled for Wednesday, March 23.

Don’t miss out on Father Michael Pfleger and Robert McClory, author of “Radical Disciple: Father Pfleger, St. Sabina Church, and the Fight for Social Justice”:

Michael Pfleger Hallett LectureMichael Pfleger Hallett Lecture


Calling Everyday People

Toylee Green-Harris Peacemaking Insight

Toylee Green-Harris, recruiter extraordinaire for the Masters of Arts in Social Justice and Community Development, invites you to be one of the everyday people gathering at the 2011 Congress on Urban Ministry to help change the way individuals, our nation and our world think about violence.

Learn more about how your individual ministry as well as the larger church ministry and community can come together around some practical skills to transform the way we think about the epidemic of violence.


Should I attend the Congress if I’m not into Urban Ministry?

Susan Rans MASJCD

Susan Rans, director of the Master of Arts in Social Justice and Community Development program, encourages those who are interested in creating peace in neighborhoods, cities, and between nations (but perhaps not interested in urban ministry) to participate in the Congress and to be a part of the myriad of groups working for peace from diverse contexts and perspectives.

As apart of this continuing work towards peace, SCUPE is pleased to present the finalized workshop offerings for the 2011 Congress on Urban Ministry.


Faith and Racism in Chicago

Hallett Lecture Father Michael Pfleger and Robert McClory

February may still seem like quite a ways away but, remembering how quickly the holiday season flies by, we want to make sure that this great event got onto everyone’s calendar.  Especially if you are locating in the Chicagoland area, you will not want to miss this reflection upon the role of faith in combating racism.

The 2011 Stanley J. Hallett lecture will look at the life of Father Michael Pfleger through the eyes of award winning journalist Robert McClory and his new book “Radical Disciple”.  The title of the lecture is “Faith and Racism in Chicago: the Fight for Social Justice” and it will take place at Loyola University on February 3, 2011.  Both McClory and Father Pfleger will be present and offer perspectives on how the church community can change the face of the city.

Robert McClory and Father Michael PflegerAs we continue preparations for the 2011 Congress on Urban Ministry (of which Father Pfleger is Co-chair along with Rev. James A. Forbes) we here at SCUPE are pleased to see people of faith reexamining the church’s role in addressing major societal issues like racism.  For too long the church has ignored its calling to name, confront, and resist the evils that do not reside primarily in the individual but within systems, cultures, and institutions.  While the majority of the church has become highly attuned to addressing sin and salvation on an individual level we have relegated this calling to wrestle with Powers and Principalities to small groups at the fringes of the church who engage in an increasingly isolating struggle.

It is people such as this that the Congress on Urban Ministry has served.  The Congress is a crucial gathering for leaders, students, and churches who are responding to a call to serve the forgotten parts of the city, to speak Gospel with a spirit which we have stifled, and to dismantle persistent societal ills like racism, poverty, xenophobia, and violence.

Our 2011 theme, Peacemaking in a Culture of Violence,  reminds us that to be disciples of Jesus, the one whom we claim as the Prince of Peace, is to be actively engaged in the struggle for peace for all peoples.

We look forward to this Hallett lecture as it will certainly help us to wrestle with the meaning of this Christian vocation to peacemaking.

February 3, 2011 Hallett Lecture


Hope, Imagination and Prophetic Preaching

The Art of Prophetic Preaching in the Urban ContextHow can hope transform the lives of individuals and communities?

What does it mean to be prophetic?

Where is imagination essential in incarnating the gospel?

Paulo FreireIn the newest episode of the SCUPE Congress podcast we delve into the human spiritual need for hope and the role of imagination in conveying the Kingdom of God. We talk with SCUPE’s President Emeritus and Founding Director Dave Frenchak, on the bustling streets of Chicago, about fostering the rich tradition of prophetic preaching in our lives and in our current day and age.

Highlights include: a preached introduction by Yvonne Delk, excerpts of Dave and Otis Moss III teaching their preaching class, a look at the work of Brazilian educator and pedagogical theorist Paulo Freire, and a nice smattering of sirens and cars noises!

Also, learn about the various other opportunities SCUPE offers to those interested in urban ministry, seminary education, and a model of doing theology that goes beyond classical paradigms that focus solely on learning about theology.

Available here:SCUPE Podcast Library


MA in Social Justice and Community Development

Community Leader at Lake And PulaskiSCUPE’s newest degree program is designed for those aspiring to affect faith-based, social transformation in communities as well as to those committed to restoring economic equity, social justice, and ecological health, especially with regard to underserved, marginalized, or exploited populations.

The degree is the MASJCD, which stands for the Masters of Arts in Social Justice and Community Development.  This cross-denominational program engages students through a faith- and values-based perspective and provides:

  • an interdisciplinary foundation in justice theories and religious social teachings
  • a comprehensive, integrated curriculum, useful for various career paths in community development and social justice
  • practical tools in community organizing, social analysis and change, communication and non-violence, advocacy in public policy, working with volunteers, grant writing, and fundraising

The best way to learn about the possibilities of this degree in your life is to attend the upcoming open house hosted by our partner institution the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago.  Here are details on this opportunity:

Loyola SCUPE IPS Open House

You can read more about the connections between social justice and community development in a recent blog posting here by MASJCD program co-director Susan Rans.

Also, stayed tuned for an upcoming SCUPE podcast with the other co-director for the program: Mary Nelson of Bethel New Life.