For Seminary Credit:


To Register:
Contact the person whose name is listed along with each class. They will provide instructions for applying.


"Mountain Stories: Re-storying Faith through Collective Narrative Practice"   

August 11-17, 2018

 Hosted by Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, IN, and sponsored by AMERC

Beginning in Richmond, KY and ending in New Market, TN

The course is a cultural immersion in eastern Kentucky and eastern Tennessee.  This course will focus on written and oral Appalachian stories as a basis for a narrative-based model of pastoral care through collective narrative practice that emphasizes care of individuals and communities.  Through reading and visits with storytellers, we will look at the lives of contemporary authors through narrative theology and interpret liberation theology in the Appalachian context.  Further, we will contextualize the narratives of our Hebrew matriarchs and patriarchs in conversation with indigenous mountain stories and liberative narrative practice.

Cost     $1200 tuition per student

Deadline for application: June 24, 2018; Deadline for payment: August 1, 2018.

Contact:  Dr. Suzanne Coyle

                 Christian Theological Seminary

                 1000 W. 42nd St.

                 Indianapolis, IN 46208

                 Phone: 317-931-2349



"I Love to Tell the Story": Appalachia on our Minds

 January 3-12, 2019

Hosted by Wake Forest University School of Divinity and sponsored by AMERC

This travel seminar explores Appalachia as home to a variety of religious subcultures that enjoy and endure an outsize role in the American imaginary.  Built around a 10-day immersion experience in western North Carolina, this course engages the intersection of Appalachia's lived religions and their representation across a variety of media. This travel seminar critically considers the stories we love to tell about the places we inhabit, imagine, and in which we worship and serve. An examination of the politics of place-making in relation to our understanding of self and others, this seminar considers Appalachia as a portal through which interlocking processes of regional and religious identity formation take place.

Begins and ends at High Pastures Retreat Center in Burnsville, North Carolina.

Professor: Dr. Meredith Doster

Cost: $1075.00 for students other than Wake Forest.

Cost includes accommodations, some meals, instruction, and in-course travel.  Does not include travel to and from the course meeting site or personal, incidental expenses.

Deadline for application: Nov. 15, 2018; Deadline for payment: Dec. 1, 2018.

For further information and to register, contact:

       Liam Hooper, MDIV

      Wake Forest University School of Divinity

      PO Box 7719

      Raleigh-Durham, NC 27109

      phone 336-758-5147


"Ancient Mountains and Deeply Rooted Lives"

January 3-18, 2019

Hosted by Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA, and sponsored by AMERC

The mountains of Appalachia are among the oldest of our planet.  Flowing through its valleys and hollows are streams of spiritual expression dating from its earliest indigenous inhabitants through generations of European settlers of diverse ethnicities and languages.  There is a regional distinctiveness here that is characterized by a sacred sense of place.  This seminar seeks to deepen one's experience and understanding of the Church and its mission through an immersion in the context of rural Appalachia.  This course will take students on a journey over Appalachian back roads as we explore traditions of faith deeply rooted and vividly lived in persons ranging from Cherokee grandfathers to coal miner's daughters.  We will encounter men and women of Spirit whose lives reflect the challenges and diversity of the region and whose words and actions echo those of pilgrims, prophets, and poets.  The course will offer opportunities for first-hand encounters with the land, stories, and people of Appalachia.

Beginning and ending at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA

Columbia Theological Seminary website:

Cost: $1,500
Deadline for application: Nov. 15, 2018; Deadline for payment: Dec. 1, 2018.
For further information and to register, contact:

Kimberly Clayton, Director of Contextual Education

Columbia Theological Seminary

701 Columbia Drive/POB 520

Decatur, GA 30031

Phone: 404-687-4518

Fax: 404-377-9696



"Native American Peoples and Place: Appalachia"       

May 19-May 31, 2019

Hosted by Drew University Theological School and sponsored by AMERC

This cross-cultural immersion course will enable participants to better understand the historic, educational, environmental, and economic realities that shape the people and places of the Appalachian region.  We will explore the history of Appalachia, in particular its original peoples and their relationships to land, family, and spirituality, as that history relates to present-day West Virginians.  We will address issues of cultural identity, concepts of community, and the economics and environment of West Virginia, the one state entirely within the region known as Appalachia. Evens and sites will include presentations by educators in Native American studies, interviews with UMC congregations involved in Acts of Reconciliation with Native Americans, and educators and artists engaged in traditional and emerging Appalachian art forms that reflect a knowledge and influence of the contributions of Native Americans to Appalachia.

The class will begin at Carlisle Boarding School/Museum in Pennsylvania.

The second stage will be in various areas of West Virginia.

For further information and/or to Register, Contact:

Dr. Heather Elkins

Drew Theological Seminary

36 Madison Ave.

Madison, NJ 07940



"Environment and Religion in Appalachia: Immersion Seminar"

This class has been cancelled and may be rescheduled. in 2019

Hosted by Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, PA and sponsored by AMERC

Northern Appalachia is home to deeply-rooted local cultures in a beautiful landscape. Conflicts defined by environmental and economic issues are fierce for both communities and churches. This seminar will give students an inside look and an opportunity to consider strategies for dealing with conflict in and around ministry. The environmental history of the landscape's use and abuse, the shape of human cultures, and the history of tightly held religious traditions will frame discussions with religious, environmental, and industrial leaders from the region.

Date: summer (plus online work before and after)

Beginning at Lutherlyn Arbor Village, Pennsylvania.

Cost: Contact Dr. Waldkoenig

For further information and to register, contact:

Dr. Gilson Waldkoenig
Lutheran Theological Semnary
61 Seminary Ridge
Gettysburg, PA 17320


Continuing Education

CEUs are available for continuing education. These courses may also be taken by seminarians as individual studies.

Walking Our Spiritual Path: Reflections on the Spirituality of the Cherokee People

TBA  March 2019

Cherokee, NC
Cost: $350/double room; $500/single room, $200 commuters

Hosted by
Catholic Committee of Appalachia and sponsored by AMERC
This continuing education event explores the history, customs, myths, and spiritual ways of the Cherokee people. From discussions and experiences participants reflect upon the spiritual beliefs and traditions of the Cherokee people. This seminar provides an opportunity to learn from the Cherokee and examine one’s own spiritual path.

For information or to register, contact:
Mary Herr
54 Crewes Waterfall Road

Cherokee, NC 28719

phone 828-497-9498


or Fr. John Rausch

phone 606-663-0823