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Position Description

Damascus Project Instructor – New Testament
Course Dates: February 1 through March 31, 2022
Compensation: $4000

The Damascus Project is a collaboration of the Minnesota and Wisconsin Conferences of the United Church of Christ providing non-accredited, theological learning for lay people and clergy through our online learning platform. We exist to nurture vitality within the body of Christ by transforming the people of God through theological study and equipping them for effective leadership within congregations and communities.
In a rapidly changing world that needs well-equipped rural leadership, lay leaders who feel empowered, and access to safe spaces in which to form new communities and explore questions, we are a community of lifelong learners committed to walking together and participating in transformative conversations in the life of faith and leadership. We learn together so that we are better equipped to love each other, nurture the body of Christ and transform the world.
To fulfill our mission, we are seeking a New Testament Scholar to provide an introductory level course to adult learners of diverse backgrounds, including Members in Discernment who are choosing an alternative pathway to ministry authorization within the United Church of Christ. A successful candidate will hold a Master’s Degree or higher in the study of the New Testament. Experience in teaching online courses is preferred. The Damascus Project is based in the Central Time Zone but candidates may be located anywhere as long as they can be available for scheduled meetings.
For consideration, send a letter of interest, your current resume, and contact information for two references to Rev. Dr. Tisha Brown at tisha@the-damascus-project.org. Review of applications will begin immediately.

Responsibilities include:

● Develop an 8-week online course focused on the Gospels and the Epistles. The course will be offered through our online learning platform. The course should include the following:

○ No more than 3 goals/outcomes or learning objectives that can be assessed at the end of the course
○ Commitment to working with the Damascus Project Co-Directors to assess learning and competency of Members in Discernment who take the course.
○ Weekly reading assignments designed for adult learners of diverse backgrounds (scripture and commentary – see book note below – can also bring in articles, videos, podcasts etc.)

■ Assign a required, introductory, survey college-level text
■ Expose learners to a broad array of scholars and thinkers from diverse backgrounds
■ At least 20-30 pages of required reading per week
■ Instructors are encouraged to also include videos, podcasts, and other media to engage different learning styles (no more than ~60 minutes of material per week)
■ Additional optional readings or other assignments for those interested in exploring further, that will also be required for Members in Discernment/Candidates for ministry

○ Asynchronous action & reflection prompts for in-network conversation––6 total, one per week

■ Engage with learner posts throughout the course

○ Two synchronous Zoom discussion sessions with participants (February 24 & March 24, 2022, 6:00–8:00 pm CST)
○ Additional instruction for Members-In-Discernment:

■ Additional readings or other content to supplement assigned text
■ Weekly discussion prompt(s) related to additional material for MiDs only
■ Two 60-minute Zoom sessions with MiDs only (one per month) Dates to be determined

● Work with Damascus Project Co-Directors to collaboratively lead the course based on your design. Asynchronous content will be shared through a course on our online learning platform, The Damascus Project Network. Synchronous course content will take place via Zoom.
● Work with Damascus Project Co-Directors to collaboratively assess learning for Members in Discernment

Additional Responsibilities include:

● Provide a 2-3 minute self-introduction video
● Provide all course materials to Damascus Project by November 1, 2021

Qualifications Desired:

● Master’s or PhD level degree or course work in New Testament studies that reflects the progressive spiritual and theological values of the United Church of Christ
● Familiarity with developing online courses with blended asynchronous and synchronous delivery methods or the willingness to learn
● Commitment to using best practices in adult learning
● Commitment to the development of a learning community
● Commitment to lifelong learning in the life of faith
● Time to commit to learners throughout the duration of the course
● Willingness to meet deadlines and to be flexible and adaptable
● Hopefulness about the future of the church
● Affection for the ministry of the laity
● Openness to the movement of the Spirit