RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY COURSES

2021 TERM 3 CLASSES BEGIN THE WEEK OF MONDAY 2 AUGUST 2021.

EarthDiverse currently offers three distinct series of courses about religious behaviour and diversity, with each series consisting of four or more Terms. Any of these courses can be taken independently of the others as there are no prerequisites. Students can join our Religious Diversity classes at any time throughout the year.

All courses are taught from an objective point of view. They are about religion and religious behavior, taught from an anthropological and historical point of view, and are designed for participants to get a greater understanding of the depth and scope of the diversity that exists within the world’s various faith and belief traditions.

PODCAST: Radio New Zealand interview with Dr Todd Nachowitz, Executive Director of EarthDiverse, and instructor for our courses on Religious Diversity:

<https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/spiritualoutlook>

Spiritual Outlook: Lisa Thompson interviews Dr Todd Nachowitz, Rohan Jaduram, Dr Pushpa Wood and Jocelyn Armstrong about the Interfaith movement in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Three Religious Diversity Series:

Each series is comprised of four or more independent Terms which explore related issues. We now currently offer a total of fourteen distinct Term courses on Religious Diversity on a rotational basis (plus three new courses coming in Term 3), as well as on-line distance-learning courses with live-streaming via Zoom or recorded video sessions to watch at your leisure so you can study at your own pace. Each Term course may be taken independently of the others and there are no prerequisites. Religious Diversity courses may therefore be joined at any time throughout the year.

DISTANCE-LEARNING OPTIONS: In addition to our in-person classes offered in Hamilton, ‘Distance Learning’ options for most of our courses, are available. Distance-learning options have been added for those living outside the Waikato or for those unable to attend our in-person classes in Hamilton. If you are a Distance-Learner you have the option of joining our regular live classroom sessions via Zoom at the regularly scheduled class time, or you can watch a video-recording of the Zoom classroom session at your leisure.

Religious Diversity Courses in Each Series:

EarthDiverse currently offers the following Religious Diversity courses in each series:

Discovering Religious Diversity series:

 

Contemporary Issues in Religion series:

 

Word Religions series:

 

Religion and Film series:

  • RD401: “Religion & Film I” (coming in 2021 Term 3)
  • RD402: “Religion & Film II” (coming in 2021 Term 4)

General Information:

For more detailed information on each series of courses (including meeting times and locations, and course fees and registration) click on the links above or select Courses ➞ Religious Diversity ➞  and then select the particular series of courses that you are interested in, from the menu above.

If the course you are interested is not currently being taught, rest assured that it will be again in the future as we continuously rotate the courses on offer. We also plan to add additional courses and locations in the future. Please contact us if you are interested in having us teach in your area or through your local group, association or organisation.

2021 TERM DATES & CLASS LOCATIONS:

  • Term 1: begins the week on Mon 15 Feb, and ends Fri 9 Apr 2021
  • Term 2: begins the week of Mon 10 May, and ends Fri 2 Jul 2021
  • Term 3: begins the week of Mon 2 Aug, and ends Fri 24 Sep 2021
  • Term 4: begins the week of Mon 18 Oct, and ends Fri 10 Dec 2021

Hamilton: Hamilton classes are held in the Conference Rooms at Artmakers, Norris Ward Park Arts Centre, 2 Seddon Road, Hamilton. The carpark entrance is off Seddon Road at the back of Norris Ward Park. The classroom is immediately to the left of the Waikato Society of Potters studio. There is plenty of free parking available in the carpark just outside the classroom.

Te Awamutu: In addition to Hamilton courses, our “Contemporary Belief & Practice: Selected Topics” courses (RD103 & RD104) in the Discovering Religious Diversity series are currently being taught in Te Awamutu. These classes are held at held at St John’s Anglican Church, 162 Arawata Street, Te Awamutu. Class sessions are held in the Meeting Room located behind the main church. The car park can be accessed around the corner on George Street. There is plenty of free parking available in the carpark just outside the classroom.

ON-LINE DISTANCE-LEARNING:

In addition to our in-person classes in Hamilton, all of our Religious Diversity courses (except Te Awamutu) offer distance learning options for those unable to attend classes in-person. Live-streamed Hamilton classes are available via free Zoom software for those living outside the Waikato. Live-streaming allows you to participate fully in your own learning, ask questions of the instructor and participate fully in the same way as if you were in the physical classroom.

Those unable to attend the scheduled date and time of the actual class sessions, or those who need to miss a class or two due to previous engagements or unexpected illness, can watch any or all of the live-recorded video sessions on their computers, laptops, tablets or mobile devices and study at their own pace and in their own time.

Detailed instructions on how to access our distance learning components will be sent after completing your registration. There are no additional fees for this service. However, distance learners will need access to a desktop or laptop computer with a good quality web-camera (tablet devices and mobile phones can also access our live-streamed classes), a built-in microphone (most modern laptops have built-in microphones) or a headset with a microphone. You will also need to download and install the free Zoom software on your computer or device. Those accessing the video recordings will be able to do so with a simple web browser on any device.

SOME NOTES ON OUR RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY COURSE OFFERINGS:

  • All classes are taught from an objective point of view. These are classes about religion and religious behavior, taught from an anthropological point of view, and are designed for participants to get a greater understanding of the depth and scope of the diversity that exists within the world’s various faith and belief traditions.
  • Detailed Syllabi are available at the start of each Term.
  • Any Term can be taken independently of the others, and there are no prerequisites for any of the Term courses.
  • All classes encourage questions and group discussion. There are no assignments, required readings, quizzes, tests or exams.
  • PDF copies of each class presentation are emailed to all participants the next day so that you are free to focus on class content rather than taking notes. You are most welcome to come, sit back, relax, take part in and enjoy the discussions!
  • Course fees include a short tea/coffee/snack break in the middle of each session.
  • There are no refunds for missed classes.
  • Guests of registered participants are welcome to attend a single class at no charge.
  • Certificates of Completion for any particular Term Course or Series are available for Professional Development purposes upon request at the end of each Term or Series.

TERM COST PER COURSE:

HAMILTON & DISTANCE-LEARNING COURSES (8-week Terms):

  • Waged: $125 per person per term (includes GST + online registration fee)
  • Unwaged/Student/Senior: $100 per person per term (includes GST + online registration fee)

 

TE AWAMUTU COURSES (4 sessions per Term):

  • Waged: $65 per person per term (includes GST + online registration fee)
  • Unwaged/Student/Senior: $55 per person per term (includes GST + online registration fee)

TO REGISTER:

From the dropdown menu underneath the ‘Courses’ section from the Menu Bar above chose ‘Religious Diversity’ . Then select the series of courses you are interested in (i.e. Discovering Religious Diversity, Contemporary Issues, or World Religions), or click on the links in this sentence. Then select the course you are interested in from its Series page, and click on the associated blue ‘Registerʻ button for the course (and location—Hamilton & on-line or Te Awamutu) you wish to enrol in. Then follow the on-page instructions to enter your details and payment information. A receipt will automatically be generated for you. You will later receive a reminder and course details from your instructor shortly before the course is set to begin.

20181214-Tauranga-class
Our Tauranga Religious Diversity class, 2019

SOME COMMENTS FROM PREVIOUS CLASS EVALUATIONS:

  • The lecturer taught with great care and sensitivity towards all religious and cultural beliefs. This course unpacks knowledge that is applicable to our social well-being. I enjoyed the paper and all the enthusiasm from the lecturer. Thank you!
  • This course was very interesting and stimulating. Dr Nachowitz has an effective teaching style, and his passion for the subject was evident in every lesson. I hope you continue to teach this so that others can have an opportunity to benefit from it like me. Thank you for a wonderful class. 
  • I suggest everyone should take the opportunity to do this course. It has given me a better understanding of the different religions and beliefs.
  • I loved everything about it. Every religion is very interesting.
  • Outstanding teacher with magnificent stories/experiences to share.
  • I especially loved all the things he brought in to show us. Explained in a way that was easy to understand.
  • The Discovering Religious Diversity series of classes was both fascinating and very instructive. Each week a highly informative and visually interesting powerpoint was used to present the various topics as they related to the major faith traditions. Todd’s anecdotes based on his years of academic research and teaching, as well as living in South Asia for over a decade, helped bring the information to life. The class consisted of people of all ages, including students, educators, ministers of religion and others simply interested in broadening their knowledge about faith traditions. —Ruth Cleaver (President, Auckland Inter-faith Council)
  • I really like Todd’s approach, to select topics for each evening and look at how each religion expresses that particular topic. As he has said this tends to draw out the similarities between the various religions rather than the differences. As a minister of Universal Worship, coming from a Sufi and interfaith perspective, I appreciate this approach very much. —Sirr Christoffersen (Auckland class participant)
  • A superb course for a deeper and exciting understanding into the rich spiritualities in different major religions of the world. Educational course contents and very helpful Sources and References for deeper understanding are given. An indispensable course for interfaith dialogue geared towards a more comprehensive religious approach for world peace. Doctor Todd is a friendly teacher and an effective tour guide into the course. It was once believed that true Biblical Prophets feel the world with the passion of God. That’s how Dr Todd guides us into the subject matter of the Course. —Rev Danny Ioka (Auckland)
  • Todd is a well prepared teacher. Thorough in his knowledge and has rich personal experience of major world religions to draw from. Very enjoyable so much that I will enrol for another term. —Philomena Clare (Auckland)
  • This course is a gem, more people need to know about it. —Hamilton 2017 course participant
  • Todd’s course was like a family gathering. That was one of the reasons it was such fun. Thank you. —Hugh Oliver (Hamilton 2018 Term 3 & Term 4 course participant)
  • This class has been the highlight of my week. Thank you for your gifts of making theology interesting and facilitating us to make connections between the traditions we have been introduced to. —John Aston (Auckland 2018 Terms 1-4 course participant)
  • Thank you for a great year of learning. I loved the sessions and will spread the word to others. —Mariette Poortman (Hamilton 2018 Terms 1-4 course participant)
  • Great year, great lessons, great edification! —Bhadra Dasi (Tauranga 2018 Terms 1-4 course participant)
  • This course expanded my knowledge base and the interaction invited me into more understanding and appreciation of otherness – only to discover (yet again) that ‘yes, there is much diversity’ and ‘yes, we share so much in common’ (Discovering Religious Diversity class participant, Jan 2019)
  • We took a journey every Thursday without leaving the room, with everyone contributing. Todd drew us all in. (Discovering Religious Diversity Hamilton class participant, Jan 2019)
  • Todd is an excellent tutor, who can teach by personal experience and easily explain subjects (Discovering Religious Diversity class participant, Jan 2019)
  • Todd’s one of very few people who you’d go to hear no matter what subject he talked about. I’d go to hear him talk about paint drying (Hein Laaper, Discovering Religious Diversity class participant, Jan 2019)