Theological Education & Religious Outreach
On campus, the Poverty Initiative works closely with Union faculty and seminarians to design curriculum for day- and semester-long courses, seminarian Fellows training and immersion experiences. PI has sponsored over 20 one-day seminars and 10 semester-long courses (including “A Political Reading of the Bible”, “World Religions and Poverty”, “Preaching for Social Transformation”, and “Social Theories and Social Movements”) and 12 immersion courses.
Our immersion courses take students, faculty, religious leaders, and community leaders to the epicenters of US poverty to study and meet with local religious and communities leaders. Past immersions have traveled to places including the Mississippi Delta, the post-Katrina Gulf Coast, Appalachia, the Mid-Atlantic States, and our own New York City. Internationally, we have traveled to Haiti and Scotland for global immersions and PI leaders have participated in immersions to Central America, and other global hot spots of social movement building.
PI works closely with congregations, faith-based institutions and community organizations by offering biblical and religious analysis, training, and faith-based strategy development. This work engages those who are inspired by their faith to make social change, while also leveraging much-needed support from local faith communities to partner organizations. This is also fertile training ground for budding religious leaders.
PI organizes Preaching, Adult Education, and Bible Study programs at congregations throughout New York City and around the country. We also sponsor Lenten Bible Study series and organize other ways for faith communities to engage and address poverty, including Mission Trips, youth programs, conferences and events to bring the issue of poverty to the forefront. PI organizes worship services at religious congregations and among the community and religious leaders we convene through our programs.
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