The Fellowship Institute of Theology & New York Theological Seminary give voice & power to the experiences of Urban LGBTQI People of Color and Allies for
Religious Leadership Justice & Transformation Social Activism Entrepreneurial Ministry
with the Certificate Program in Radical Inclusion Studies!
CPRI is an affordable, graduate level, 2-year program, with up to 24 transferable credits to the NYTS Master of Arts and Master of Divinity.
CPRI is primarily online and only $370 per course! Not ready to commit to the whole program? Enroll in any SINGLE course and give it a try!
Tuition & Fees
The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries Born of City of Refuge United Church of Christ, Refuge Ministries and the Yvette A. Flunder Foundation, The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries (TFAM) is a coalition of Christian churches and ministries which recognize the need for networking, accountability, fellowship and resource facilitation. Its overriding purpose is to support religious leaders and laity in moving towards a theology of radical inclusivity which, by its very nature, requires an equally radical social ministry, reaching to the furthest margins of society to serve all in need without prejudice or discrimination.
TFAM is multi-denominational and trans-national, representing churches and faith-based organizations from the USA, Canada, Africa, Asia and Mexico. The primary TFAM membership is African/African American, and/or LGBTQI/same-gender-loving. TFAM’s key concern is that every member of every affiliated organization be provided with the necessary tools to mature the individual’s call and the vision of inclusivity as understood by each member.
Espousing that the issue of culturally-competent theological education is a justice issue, TFAM meets the demands of a vibrant and emerging population of religious professionals by preparing them for ministries in their communities of origin or within the context of the communities they are called to serve. While mainline denominations continue to see a decline in the number of persons pursuing theological education and church attendance, TFAM is seeing the opposite, particularly as LGBTQ/same-gender-loving individuals within African and African-American communities and beyond claim their voices. Seminarians of color making the tremendous investment of pursuing graduate-level theological education deserve one that honors the contextual nuances and rich traditions of their religious experience as well as the challenges of doing ministry in emerging contexts.
New York Theological Seminary New York Theological Seminary (NYTS) is a diverse and inclusive community of learning grounded in biblical witness and Christian tradition, with a historic urban focus. The Seminary prepares women and men for faith-based ministries in the city and throughout the world.
NYTS is diverse and inclusive; it is evangelical, ecumenical, and increasingly multifaith
NYTS is a rigorously intellectual community of learning with a commitment to academic excellence
Grounded in the biblical witness, NYTS continues the heritage of Biblical Seminary in New York
Led by the Spirit in response to the call of Jesus Christ, NYTS is faithful to the Christian tradition as it grows to serve the broader religious world
NYTS educates leaders whose ministries are relevant to the life and work of the global urban world.
Accredited by the Association for Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, NYTS the Seminary offers both degree and non-degree programs of learning for ministry. As a graduate school of theological education, NYTS prepares women and men for professional ministry, to serve in both the church and in society in a global context, engaging students and institutions on six continents.
,Upon successful completion of 30 credit hours (representing 360 contact hours of learning), NYTS will award candidates a Certificate in Radical Inclusion Studies. CPRI is a non-accredited program. NYTS will recognize the Certificate of Radical Inclusion Studies for up to 18 credits of advanced standing toward the accredited Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree and Master of Arts (MA) degrees at the Seminary.
Introduction to Theology (3 credit hrs, required) Jesus and the disciples traversed their known worlds and fomented a revolution in thought and behavior. Constantine codified a new state religion. in the meantime Asia, Africa and the Western Hemisphere had their own ways of talking about God. In this course the student will chart various historical developments in Christian theology, or “discourse about God,” to its current nexus, the gospel of radical inclusion. (12 weeks)
Introduction to Church History (3 credit hrs, required) This basic course in the History of Christianity is focused on Christianity in times of rapid social, economic, and/or political change, from the 2nd century to the present. (options: 6 weeks; 12 weeks)
Biblical Exegesis (3 credit hrs, required) Students will encounter and practice multiple methods of analyzing and interpreting the Bible. This course will survey Historical-Critical, Literary, Tradition-Based, Scientific and Contextual methodologies and selected sub- genres. (options: 2-week intensive; 12 weeks full semester)
First Testament (3 credit hrs, required) This course is an overview of the literature, history and theology of the First Testament (“Old Testament,” Hebrew Bible), with emphasis on Ancient Near East historical and cultural settings. Students will employ various exegetical methodologies to the study, including source, literary, redaction, tradition and canonical criticism, and applies their results to modern formations of worship, theology, teaching, and spiritual growth. (12 weeks)
Second Testament (3 credit hrs, required) This course uses traditional exegetical tools to analyze the Second (“New”) Testament and goes beyond, exploring the text through emerging hermeneutical lenses: womanist, liberationist, political, LGBTQ and incarnational, to name a few. Recommended prerequisites: Exegesis and/or First Testament. (12 weeks)
Gender Studies (1-3 credit hrs) Gender Studies courses examine intersections of gender identity and gender representation, and contemporary religious, social and political life.
Justice & Transformation (1-3 credit hrs) Justice & Transformation courses examine concerns and topical interests in the integration of faith with activism. Courses address social movements from community to national and global levels, community organizing, public ministry, advocacy and policy formation through the experiential lens of marginalized populations.
Capstone (3 credit hrs) The Certificate Program in Radical Inclusion Studies aims to excite students’ imaginations about justice and transformation, and be a launching pad to their next achievements. The Capstone project connects the entire CPRI educational experience. It synthesizes the learnings from all preceding courses, readings, encounters, discussions and assignments, and culminates in an original thought project, vision project, action plan, or personal statement of purpose developed by each student. With supports built in, such as reading, writing and research workshops, the Capstone will challenge and increase the clarity of each student’s thinking and writing skills, in preparation for career ministry and/or continued education. (12 weeks)
Electives (subject to change)
African American Music Survey (3 credit hrs)
Sexuality & Race (3 credit hrs)
Prophetic Public Witness Workshops & Seminars (1-3 credit hrs)
The Fellowship Institute of Theology provides a space wherein the starting point for theological reflection embraces the transnational experiences of urban LGBTQI people of color and their allies.
FIT is linked in a continuum of preparation for prophetic leadership through
Radical Inclusion 101, a 6-week theological primer offered to City of Refuge UCC/TFAM members introducing students to biblical scholarship, history, language and principles for liberated reading
Refuge Institute, practical leadership training that promotes compliance with principles of Safe Church with courses in Mandated Reporting, Child Abuse Awareness & Prevention, Ministerial Boundaries, Church Risk Management and Clergy Self-Care.
Refuge Student Ministries, a networking and peer support cohort group of COR/TFAM seminarians in the Bay Area
Project Access, which offers mentoring, remediation and support for those in discernment or enrolled in theological education. For those graduates who have entered into religious service, PA offers platforms for networking, launch of ministry and opportunities for prophetic public witness
the Certificate Program in Radical Inclusion Studies, offered by close collaboration between FIT and NYTS. All teaching and learning is conducted at the professional graduate level, utilizing both online and in-person intensive formats. Intensive sessions are held in California and New York, as well as in other locations. Upon successful completion of 30 credit hours (representing 360 contact hours of learning), NYTS will award candidates a Certificate in Radical Inclusion Studies.
CPRI is a non-accredited program. NYTS will recognize the Certificate of Radical Inclusion Studies for up to 24 credits of advanced standing toward the accredited Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree and Master of Arts (MA) degrees at the Seminary.
In development - please check back soon
Tuition is $370 for each 12-week course; $175 for each 6-week course; $175 for each 1- week intensive
UPDATE 9/14/2016 - Thanks to the generosity of a single donor we were able to offer assistance to twelve students. The Scholarship Fund is temporarily depleted, but watch this page for an opportunity to "pay it forward!" Thank you for your support of FIT and the CPRI!
UPDATE 9/11/2016 - For a limited time only, students who enroll in one or more CPRI courses will receive $100 off the cost of tuition for each course. Blessings on the donor who made the FIT Scholarship Fund a reality!