Teleconference Connects Students at Howard, North Park

Post a Comment » Written on November 20th, 2009     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (November 20, 2009) – Students from North Park and Howard universities recently participated via teleconference in a class on church healthcare ministries.

North Park professor Mary Chase-Ziolek, who has guided the school’s pioneering work connecting issues of faith and healthcare, led the class. “The teleconference provided a unique occasion to expand the classroom for both schools,” she said.

Howard professor Dr. R. Frank Gillum invited Chase-Ziolek to speak to his class, “Plagues, Prayers, Prophecy and Providence: Religion and the Health of African Americans.” The class is using her book, Health, Healing and Wholeness: Engaging Congregations in Ministries of Health. Ziolek will speak on how congregations can develop their own ministries of health.

During a discussion period, students in Chase-Ziolek’s online course, “Engaging Congregations in Ministries of Health,” emailed her questions that she then asked of the students at Howard, which is located in Washington D.C. In the same way, Howard students emailed questions for the North Park students to consider.

“It was fun to hear from these seven students in African American churches that range in size from 40 to 8,000 members,” said Chase-Ziolek, who also is director of North Park’s Center for Faith and Health. “The churches represented by the students ranged in age from 45 to 206, and each had a distinctive approach to promoting health.”

She added that other educational institutions are beginning to put more emphasis on the connection between faith and health. Howard’s School of Divinity invited Gillum, an epidemiologist who previously worked for the Centers for Disease Control, to start its faith and health program.

Local congregations also are increasingly developing ministries of health, inspired in part by Chase-Ziolek’s work. In addition to the Howard teleconference, she recently co-led a workshop at Faith Covenant Church in Farmington Hills, Michigan. The other co-leader was Bob Hoey, pastor of Messiah Covenant Church, which has attracted national attention for its support of the community health clinic.

Nearly three dozen people from four Covenant churches participated in the workshop. The conference was partially funded through a “Practicing Our Faith” grant North Park Theological Seminary received from the Valparaiso Project’s initiative, “Honoring the Body: Spreading the Word.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post

Leave a Reply

Report This Blog