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Andover Newton Catalogue and Courses of Instruction

PSYP 701/801J

The Healing Power of Joy, Celebration and a Play-Full Life , Summer 2014

Brita L Gill-Austern

Pastoral care has too long been dominated by a focus on the healing of individual suffering without sufficient attention being given to the power of joy, celebration and play as essential elements of health and wellbeing for individuals and communities.  Neuroscience research speaks of an evolved negativity bias hardwired in human beings which has profound implications for people’s search for meaning and happiness.  Learning how to cultivate a sense of joy, celebration and playfulness in our practice of pastoral care and leadership across the multiple spheres of ministry and in congregational life are essential to helping people lead a meaningful and happy life.  We will learn how to recognize the times and places where joy, celebration and play need to be called forth and how the healing power of positive emotions, gratitude and strengths can contribute to a flourishing life. The class will be grounded in one’s own personal experience, in the science of positive psychology, the discipline of appreciative inquiry, and in Inter-play as a method to unlock the wisdom of the body.  We will also include attention to relevant neuroscience research and theological and scriptural foundations.  We will explore the implications of what we learn for individuals and faith communities and the spiritual practices that can contribute to an expansive and play-full life.


Summer - Unit 1, June 2-6, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Key to Course Listings

Key Description
EL "EL" following a course description indicates an E-Learning course.
F "F" following a course number indicates a course offered during Fall semester.
S "S" following a course number indicates a course offered during Spring semester.
W "W" following a course number indicates a course offered during Winter Session in January.
J "J" following a course number indicates a course offered during June.
"Y" following a course number indicates a yearlong course. Students must register each semester for year-long courses.

This listing is subject to change. Continue to check the school's eb site,, for current information about course listings, times and dates. All courses, including Church and Ministry Department courses, are now offered for 3 credits. Only students following the pre-2001 M.Div. curriculum may elect to take courses for other than 3 credits. Unless otherwise noted, courses are generally limited to 55 students.

Levels of Instruction

Level Description
500 Language courses or introductory courses meeting departmental requirements for either the M.Div. or the M.A. degree.
600 Meet departmental requirements for the M.Div., unless otherwise indicated, or program requirements for the M.A.
700 For advanced M.Div. and M.A. students with either background in an area or prerequisites completed. These courses meet some departmental upper-level elective requirements for the M.Div.
800 Primarily for D.Min. and S.T.M. students, although a limited number of seniors with the appropriate background may enroll with the instructor's permission.


Dual-numbered courses-e.g., [HIST 725/825] - indicate courses that serve more than one level. Students should register for the level appropriate to their program needs.

Example: an M.Div. or M.A. student would register for HIST 725, but an S.T.M. or D.Min. student would register for HIST 825.