Summer 2018

Wrestling with the Questions: The Bible, Midrash, and Inquiry Based Preaching – July 31 – August 3 (Honolulu, Hawai’i)

DavidVasquezLevy_Headshot Karla Suomala“Why?” asks the persistent two-year old, having discovered one of the most powerful words in the English language.  Contemporary pedagogy recognizes that helping students develop their own questions, can help deepen learning much more than providing well-rehearsed answers.  But the value of questions is not new.  From Abraham to Jesus, the biblical story turns on the questions.  “Am I my brother’s keeper?” “Who is my neighbor?” In studying texts, the ancient Rabbis developed the Jewish tradition of Midrash, which uses questions to help the faithful reader slow down and live more fully into the sacred story.  Drawing on the Scripture’s art of staying with the questions and the Jewish tradition of Midrash, we will explore an “inquiry based” approach to preaching.

About the Instructors

Rev. Dr. David Vásquez-Levy serves as President of Pacific School of Religion. A committed pastor, a nationally recognized immigration leader, and a sought after speaker, Vásquez-Levy leads at the intersection of faith, higher education, and social change. Vásquez-Levy regularly contributes a faith perspective to the national conversation on immigration and is the author of various publications that explore migration stories in sacred texts and in people’s lives.

He has lived in four countries and taught courses and led international study and service trips across the globe. Vásquez-Levy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Texas Lutheran University and a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry in Preaching degrees from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

Dr. Karla Suomala served as Professor of Religion at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.  Her recent publications include Moses and God in Dialogue: Exodus 32-34 in Postbiblical Literature, Studies in Biblical Literature, 61 (New York: Lang, 2004); “Understanding Jewish Devotion to the Land,” and “Healing the World and Mending the Soul: Understanding Tikkun Olam,” in Covenantal Conversations: Christians in Dialogue with Jews and Judaism, edited by Darrell Jodock (Fortress Press: Minneapolis, 2008).


Dates: July 31-August 3, 2018
Time: 2:30 – 5:00pm
Location: Hawaii Conference of the UCC Office, 1848 Nu’uanu Ave., Honolulu, HI 96817
Instructor: Vásquez-Levy and Suomala

Credits: 1.5 – 3 credits, 2 CEUs
Meets requirements for: DMin; M.Div (elective); MTS (elective)

How to Register

Registration for Summer Session opens May 7 at noon. Current students may register here; alumni/ae may register by emailing Lyndsey Reed at