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Becoming a Public Theologian


Available to lifelong learners and degree students, this course explores how pastors and theologians are expanding their missions and ministries beyond congregational communities to serve the common good. Led by author, activist and public theologian Dr. Brian McLaren, the course covers how pastors and theologians:

  • Connect the resources of the Gospel, the Bible and Christian tradition with the issues driving public conversation in communities ranging from local neighborhoods to the world at large.
  • Engage the public in key issues that serve the common good, focusing on issues ranging from workers’ rights to global warming, from race relations to economic inequality.
  • Utilize practices ranging from blogging, publishing, social action, civil disobedience, community organizing, ethical spectacle, interfaith collaboration, political involvement, economic activism, media appearances and other forms of public engagement to apply theological resources to public issues.

Discuss these topics and more with Brian McLaren in the classroom, while running on the beach with Doug Pagitt, during morning yoga sessions with Shelley Pagitt, or during evening gatherings with your fellow learners!



This course is offered as part of the OPEN MDIV pathway.

There are three ways for taking this course:

  • Lifelong Learner, non-degree, not for credit*:  $510 ($170 per credit hour)
  • Lifelong Learner, non-degree, for credit*:  $1,005 (half-price tuition, $335 per credit hour). Students can earn credit for completing the class but they are not a CTS degree or certification student.
  • Degree Students, regular tuition*: (scholarships, grants and student financial aid apply, register through the CTS Registrar)

*All students are responsible for arranging and paying for their travel, lodging, and food. Recommended lodgings include Airbnb and VRBO.


Monday, January 23, 2017 – Friday, January 27, 2017

Eight half-day sessions comprise the course. Monday’s session is 1:00 – 4:30 and Friday’s session is 8:30 to noon


Be part of the Becoming A Public Theologian class with Brian McLaren via Facebook Live. Your $99 registration will allow you to watch the presentations live and interact with others through the comments sections. You will also have access to recordings of the presentations at a later date. 

Some sessions will involve student presentations and interaction. Some of these may not be available via the live feed if the student chooses to not broadcast. 

The schedule of each session will be post at the start of the session so you can decide the best time to tune in during the presentation block. 

Presentations will take place during the following sessions - video feed will be in segments under 60 minutes. So, each session will have multiple videos to make recorded video watching easier. 

All times listed are Eastern Time Zone

Monday, January 23: 1-4:30pm

Tuesday: 8:30AM-noon & 6:30-9:30PM  

Wednesday 1-4:30PM & 6:30-9:30PM 

Thursday 8:30AM-noon & 1-4:30PM

Friday 8:30AM - noon