Certificate in Process Thought & Practice - featured image - 1300x500

A Transformative and Holistic Educational Experience to Cultivate a More Just, Sustainable, and Fulfilling World

The certificate program is an occasion to learn of the great diversity of process philosophies and the wide variety of ways in which those ideas can be expressed in everyday life. It will begin with a general introduction to process thought and end with an opportunity to creatively and concretely express what participants have learned. In between students will have the opportunity to select from courses that introduce the philosophical foundations of process thought, Christian process theology, understanding religious traditions through the lens of process thought, and applying a process perspective to economics.

We hope that this will be the first of many such offerings in the future, and look forward to having you join us for this experiment in a creative adventure of ideas.

“There is only one subject matter for education, and that is Life in all its manifestations.”
–Alfred North Whitehead, Adventures of Ideas

September 2022 – May 2023

Program Requirements

number 1

Complete Three Courses

  1. Attend or view the recording of each class session.
  2. Complete required readings.
  3. Participate in discussion forum.
  4. Complete required assignment.
number 2

Complete a Synthesis & Springboard Project

Produce one of the following:

  1. Research paper
  2. Creative localization project
  3. Work of art

Note: It is possible to sign up for the individual courses that are part of the certificate program without enrolling in the program. See the frequently asked questions below for more details.

Courses

COURSE 1

INTRODUCTION TO PROCESS THOUGHT AND PRACTICE

This course offers an overview of the process outlook on life and way of living in the world. You will be introduced to the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead; four hopes (aspirational ideals) that shape the process movement around the world; twenty key ideas important to the process worldview; a process (Whitehead influenced) understanding of God; a process approach to spirituality; a process approach to science; and a process understanding of Ecological Civilization and Compassionate Communities.

Dates:
September 3 thru September 24, 2022
Times:
Saturdays, 9:00 – 10:30 AM Pacific

Instructor

Jay McDaniel - 2022

Jay McDaniel, PhD

Course Outline

Session 1: Four Hopes: Whole Persons, Whole Communities, Whole Planet, Holistic Thinking

Session 2: Ten Ideas (Process, Creativity, Interconnectedness, Intrinsic Value)

Session 3: Ten More Ideas (Beauty, Relational Power, Thinking and Feeling, Causal Efficacy, God)

Session 4: Ecological Civilization and Compassionate Community

COURSE 2: SELECT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING

2a: WHITEHEAD’S PROCESS PHILOSOPHY

While “process philosophy” is wider than the work of Alfred North Whitehead, the depth and dynamism of his thought principally inspire its modern expression. This five-part course introduces students and life-long learners to the central themes, contours, and ideas of Whitehead’s “philosophy of organism.”

Dates:
October 5 thru November 2, 2022
Times:
Wednesdays, 4:00 – 6:00 PM Pacific

Instructor

Andrew Davis

Andrew M. Davis, PhD

Course Outline

Session 1: Surveys the basic thematic and historical dimensions of “process philosophy” as a current of philosophical thinking with both ancient antecedents and creative modern expressions.

Session 2: Dives into Whitehead’s analysis of human experience, clarifies the fundamentals of his “philosophy of organism,” and considers some of the challenges, problems or questions that often emerge from his theory.

Session 3: Clarifies the fundamental place of possibility, novelty and value in Whitehead’s philosophy, particularly in relation to human experience as an expression of both biological and cosmological evolution.

Session 4: Explores Whitehead’s understanding of the philosophical function of God, including the roles of the “primordial” and “consequent” natures, as well as other associated philosophical principles.

Session 5: Concludes the course by considering Whitehead’s critiques of the theological tradition and the relevance and/or religious availability of “process panentheism” as a fruitful means of modeling the God-world relationship.

2b: CHRISTIAN PROCESS THEOLOGY

This course provides a basic introduction to key ideas in process thought, specifically as they are applicable to Christian theological categories. Although topics will include such doctrines as the nature of God, the person of Jesus, the Christological doctrines of incarnation and resurrection, theological anthropology, and the problem of evil, the approach will be less systematic and more constructive; that is, introducing students to, and encouraging their participation in, the ongoing process of reconstructing major doctrines, themes, and issues through the lens of process theology.

Dates:
November 12 thru December 17, 2022
Times:
Saturdays, 8:30 – 10:00 AM Pacific

Instructor

Jeanyne Slettom - crop

Jeanyne Slettom, PhD

Course Outline

Session 1: Cosmology - Process philosophy in theological context; Process metaphysics for poets

Session 2: Theology - Nature of God; Creation; Revelation

Session 3: Theology - Person of Jesus; Christ as creative transformation; Incarnation; Resurrection

Session 4: Anthropology - Sin/Evil, Life after death

Session 5: Anthropology - Spirituality/Sacramental Living; Worship and Ministry

COURSE 3: SELECT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING

3a: PROCESS THOUGHT & WORLD RELIGIONS

Over the course of six sessions, students will be introduced to several world religions (or ways of thinking and living) through a lens of process-relational thought. Each week will be devoted to a different tradition with several visiting teachers bringing their own expertise to the discussion.

Dates:
January 11 thru February 15, 2023
Times:
Wednesdays, 4:30 – 6:00 PM Pacific

Instructor

Sheri-Kling-Headshot-square

Sheri Kling, PhD

Course Outline

Session 1: Introduction to course and Christianity

Session 2: Judaism: Guest Lecturer: Rabbi Bradley Artson

Session 3: Islam: Guest Lecturer: Farhan Shah

Session 4: Hinduism: Guest Lecturer: Jeffery Long

Session 5: Buddhism: Guest Lecturer: Steve Odin

Session 6: Indigenous Ways: Chris Daniels

3b: PROCESS IN PRACTICE: A PROCESS-RELATIONAL VIEW OF ECONOMICS

Economics is one of the most important academic disciplines when it comes to structuring our daily lives. In this course we will consider how a process-relational worldview calls into question the basic assumption governing modern economic thought and consider alternative ways of structuring our economy.

Dates:
March 1 thru March 22, 2023
Times:
Wednesdays, 4:00 – 5:30 PM Pacific

Instructor

Marcus Ford

Marcus Ford, PhD

Course Outline

Session 1: Introductions: The importance of getting economic theory (and policy) right

Session 2: Neo-Liberal economics and Judeo-Christian values

Session 3: The Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness in economics and other academic disciplines

Session 4: Redirecting the economy toward community, the environment, and future generations

Synthesis & Springboard Project

The culminating experience of the certificate program provides an opportunity for participants to integrate and synthesize various aspects of the subject matters they studied within the program. This experience may take the form of an academic research paper, a creative localization project illustrating the application of process thought, or a work of art (including a performance) with substantial commentary.

Examples of possible projects include developing an introduction to process thought in a local setting, creating an open and relational arts festival, developing an urban garden, or setting up programs at a local library exploring the four hopes of the process movement. Participants can begin thinking about their capstone experiences early in the process and be in communication with the dean of the program (Terry Goddard) and other faculty members.

“The ultimate subject in education is Life in all it manifestations: human life but also the life of the plants and animals, the earth, and the wider universe. The whole of nature is alive.”
–Jay McDaniel, Open Horizons

Enrollment is limited to 25 students.
Don't miss out.

Price

$297*
  • Only $99 per course
  • Receive one-on-one advising from the program dean
  • Lifetime access to session recordings
  • Receive early notification of future courses
  • Watch live or follow your own schedule
  • Interact with class members via discussion forums
  • *A limited amount of financial aid is available if you are experiencing financial hardship. Please contact us if you need assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Got more questions? We've got answers. Contact Us.