Theology, Action, and Understanding (TAU) Institute Cohesive, virtual activities via social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter), course management system (Blackboard), and a proctored chat room on OU web site. Blended (synchronous & asynchronous) discussions, projects tied to texts, virtual classroom combined with social media; applications through explicit reflections on service learning experiences; continued self-assessment through journaling; protégé-mentor relationships integrated with consortium content.
Elves & Angels; started as holiday 'community outreach' in Franklin Co. Ks; through donations and community events. We have expanded to areas across the US
Poetry of Prayer: Local facilitators launch ongoing workshop series for participants to read and create written prayers and devotionals. Reflection, discussion and writing.
Paisano's Club : A University wide organization-sponsored by staff and run by students-which educates, supports and embraces the many Latino cultures in the OU community.
Focusing on informing the general public about Latino culture, backgrounds, and traditions. As well as forming a supportive environment for the Latino community by providing the necessary help needed in day to day life as well as in professional settings.
• Informing other of the Latino perspective
• Provide supportive learning environment
• Getting familiar with Hispanic cultures, backgrounds, and
• Sharing an interest in Latino culture
• Promoting unity in the Latino community
o Reaching this goal through social, academic, and political
• Preparing individuals for real world situations
o Knowing your rights as a US citizen/non-US citizen
o Interview prep
o Job opportunities
o Service Projects (preferably International)
Hope for the Holidays: Participants gather holiday foods, make pies (learning cooking, dietary needs), and bring meals, homemade cards, and devotionals to needy families, care-givers or nursing homes. Hands-on service learning, testing theologies through existential struggles and socio-religious dynamics.
Exemplars; Role Models of Faith: The Winter Center (TAU Partner) supervises local and centralized interviews and gathers background checks on community and church volunteers, who serve as mentors and role models, reflecting their faith in their actions. Exemplars encourage spiritual growth and discipline, mentor youth in their faith journeys, and coach them on vocational and avocational goals. Mentoring
Call for Community Prayer: To “broker prayer connection, virtual and tangible, in hard times, good times and just because,” local ministers and churches conduct half-hour mini-sessions during two community prayer events. Youth design and distribute prayer and intention cards and launch a Facebook page. Hands-on service learning, testing theologies through existential struggles and socio-religious dynamics.
Evangelism Lab: Training on web-based and video components helps youth recognize the wide opportunities and subtleties of evangelism. Session begins with a video series, to post online, with the theme “Strong Women, Strong Faith.” Participants identify and interview women (e.g., authors, pastors, students and community members) who embody their faith. A Facebook page is also built. Workshop in technology applications.
OUT (OU Theatre) Club
Passport to Significance; Education, interaction & virtual connections inspired by contemporary struggles for Christian meaning & faith-in-action in the midst of social intolerance.
Multigenerational Teaming: Advisory members join the teams, assisting with aspects of the practicums. Team diversity spans age, gender and culture differences; youth and advisors mutually lead and participate on projects. Networked mentoring
You are Loved: In thisservice project, local cohorts work with agencies to plan, produce and distribute Easter baskets of goodies (e.g., cookies, candies, home-made cocoa mix, bath salts, handmade cards with scriptures). Options include battered women’s and homeless shelters, the frail and elderly and care-givers for the homebound. Service learning, hands-on activities, testing theologies through existential struggles and socio-religious dynamics.
Personal Board of Directors: Program goals are to tackle personal life-barriers, increase social awareness and expand cultural learnings. Cohort members will work on goal calendars and develop life-plans and strategies to stay balanced in anticipation for integration to leadership roles in their home communities. Each will be assigned a personal board of directors (4 total members, quarterly or adhoc) for advice and counsel. Networked mentoring.
Interactive Bible on Twitter: Tweeting about Old Testament passages that conjoin all Abrahamic faiths; promotes digestion of scripture (compressing ideas into Twitter’s genre); deepens connections as scripture unfolds. Writing process, dialogue, testing theologies through existential struggles and socio-religious dynamics.
Witness: To explore social and spiritual contexts of Gospel preaching, youth create and preach 15-minute sermons, receiving feedback from peers, staff, pastors. Participants may opt to attend nationwide Preaching Festivals the following fall. Writing, performance, revision.
Adventures in TAU: Held on the residential campus in Ottawa, KS, this week-long conference involves all TAU participants from all three regions; it includes:
Involvement in OU’s annual Adventures in Faith conference, which welcomes the community and gathers guest speakers, alumni, faculty, staff, and university students for a series of events.
Missional Training: This sleep-over at OU’s lake lodge includes worship ‘staging’ and activities. Hands-on learning (e.g., basic building and repair, first aid, camping skills) and testimony from missionaries, camp leaders; practicum format puts skills to immediate use.
Launch of Support #4: Certifications and Practicum: Participants will contribute to selecting training and certification offerings (e.g., First Aid) and prioritizing individuals/projects chosen. Context- driven decision-making (needs and resources analysis), role shift (protégés to program advisors).
Podcast Production: Participants interview one another on themes of “Vibrant Faith” and “What Would Jesus Do?” Development of interview skills and public personae.
Local day/evening trips: Places of worship, cultural heritage centers. Exposure to cultures.
(ELECTIVE) Soulful Noise. Participants set scripture, original songs and prayers to music, craft new hymn arrangements, perform, and record for public posting. Musical composition and performance.
(ELECTIVE) pLayworks: Theatrical Ministry. Participants explore script writing, lighting, dramaturgy, acting, video recording and broadcast. Writing and performance.
(ELECTIVE) Witness: Participants who plan to attend preaching festivals refine their witness work. Writing process, performance practice, exchange of ideas.