This course in ecclesiology is aimed at transforming both you, as church leaders, and the church in the larger sense. There is no transformation of the world without, first, doing the hard work of reforming both self and church.

In his chapter on the church as sacrament, Dulles writes: "It [the Church] signifies the grace as relevantly given to [people] of every age, race, kind, and condition" (60). Yet again and again, the church fails at both the micro and macro levels to offer such grace. We, as leaders, are to be agents of change and transformation, recognizing that we can't transform the world if we won't first work to transform ourselves in response to God's grace. Simultaneously, we must work to reform the church in relation to pressing issues of justice that deny Christ's way of life abundant and love. As Dulles suggests, "Not only individual persons in the Church, but the Church itself, can be transformed into altruistic service toward the poor and oppressed" (91).  In other words, the both leaders and the church must be reformed in order to transform.

These are the basic premises that will guide our work throughout the course.