The seminary’s educational program is organized into four distinct institutes:
The Melva W. Costen Institute of Worship, Preaching, and Sacred Arts
offers a collaborative environment where clergy, musicians, liturgists, and other leaders study
the theological framework of justice-oriented Christian worship. Students will learn to strengthen the worship experience using biblical, theological, historical, psychological, and socio-cultural tools. They will expand their liturgical, oratorical, and musical repertoires; learn planning strategies; and gain a deeper appreciation for the Sacraments. Programs of the Costen Institute are taught through the unique lens of the African American religious experience.
The JCSTS Leadership Institute
seeks to strengthen participants' personal and public leadership skills while equipping them to engage and enact community transformation. The curriculum utilizes case studies, field trips, peer-to-peer learning, assessments, and readings to build students' leadership capacity. Special attention is given to the analysis of formal and informal power dynamics; facilitation; staff development; effective communication; budget and finance; resource management; visioning;
ethics; and self-evaluation.
The Institute for Diaspora Studies
surveys the origins, history, teachings, and practices of African traditional religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Special consideration is given to the influence of African religious expression on Christianity and the major religions of today's world before colonization. The institute will help foster deeper understandings of the interrelatedness of major global religions and promote a theological framework for the cultivation of interfaith relationships.
The Amani (Peace) Institute
seeks to promote peace by contributing educational resources and networking capacity to communities of activists, environmentalists, social entrepreneurs, and other positive change agents.The institute gives special attention to the needs, problems, and movements of selected geographic areas. Study topics include mediation, conflict management, negotiation; fundraising; human health; creation care; and food and environmental justice. Students will participate in networking gatherings, immersion experiences, and international travel.