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The Conversation Assignment

By Kristen
Posted on

I had the conversation.

I am a professor of pastoral care at a progressive Christian seminary in the midwest. One of the courses I teach is Death, Dying and Grief. After reading a story about the Conversation Project in the New York Times, I created a three-part class assignment.

Using the Starter Kit found on your webpage, the students had to sit with someone to have their own Conversation, blog about it (so that they could engage each other as they reflected on The Conversation) and then have the Conversation with someone in the congregations they are serving. They then had to write a paper about the exercise. All 20 students completed the assignment and then took it upon themselves to do more. (This rarely happens!) Most called family members to have the Conversation, several preached about it and encouraged members of the congregation to have The Conversation, two students engaged groups of people from their congregations in the Conversation and one student made the Starter Kit available to every member of their congregation at the end of a service.

A pastor in the community heard about the exercise and created an educational opportunity for their congregation. At our seminary (and beyond), the Conversation project has helped our students engage in generative and caring conversations. Thank you for this resource.

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