Dr. Mark A. Hicks is the Angus MacLean Professor of Religious Education at Meadville Lombard Theological School and Director of the Fahs Collaborative Laboratory for Innovation in Faith Formation. He holds a doctorate degree in philosophy and education and a Master's degree in higher and adult education, both from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City.



Drawing on his experience as a classroom educator, musician, university administrator and advocate for social change, Dr. Hicks comes to Meadville Lombard having collaboratively designed a nationally-recognized professional development degree that transforms the teaching and learning lives of public school teachers and children (Initiatives in Educational Transformation, George Mason University).  His scholarship and teaching has been recognized by peers for “Teaching Excellence” as well as making “contributions that stand the test of time” to the field of transformative teaching and research.  His scholarship has appeared in journals such as The Journal of Transformative Education, Multicultural Perspectives, Educational Studies, and most recently, the first edition Handbook of Research on the Social Foundations of Education.

 



 

In 2011, he delivered the Fahs Lecture “Toward a Religious Education for People of Color” at the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly, challenging the Unitarian Universalists (and the field of religious education) to expand its conception of faith development to include the developmental needs of people targeted for social oppression (https://vimeo.com/29111898).

Since coming to Meadville Lombard in 2009, he has built upon the innovative genius and creative legacy of Angus MacLean and Sophia Fahs to wide acclaim among students and colleagues.   He builds on insights from human and faith development, experiential learning, critical pedagogy and theories of transformative learning, creating a body of courses that both nest students in philosophy and theory while modeling how to create similar experiences in religious and secular settings.As a curriculum developer, Dr. Hicks’ work creates “aesthetic spaces” wherein participants can break through what John Dewey called “the crust of conventionalism” in order to find new ways of thinking and being.  These ideas can be experienced in the UUA’s Tapestry of Faith curriculum, “Building the World We Dream About,” the Fahs Collaborative's ,Beloved Conversations:  Meditations on Race and Ethnicity” the UU Ministry for Earth’s ecojustice curriculum, “Our Place in the Web of Life” co-written with Pamela Sparr.   Dr. Hicks collaborated with Jenice L. View to develop the curriculum companion to the PBS documentary, Defying the Nazis:  The Sharp's War.  The interfaith curriculum, We Who Defy Hate, is being used by congrgations, college faith groups, and community organizations seeking to find common ground on social issues.


In October 2013, Dr. Hicks led the relaunching of the Fahs Collaborative Laboratory.  Since that time, The Collaborative has built a reputation for sparking innovation and fostering partnerships that breath fresh air into the lives of individuals and groups.


He is a JUUST Change Consultant for the UUA and former chair of the South-East Regional Committee on Candidacy.  He is a lay leader at All Souls Church, Unitarian in Washington, D.C., and, formerly, at The Riverside Church in New York City.

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Chicago, IL 60605 

Tel: 312-546-6478

Fax: 312-327-7068
 

ON MY PLATE...

MARK'S UPCOMING EVENTS 

CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT

 

 Creating Theology Together.  

Our newest curriculum is a learning exercise that invites individuals to not only identify their theological commitments, but to do so in the company of others who may or may not share your same beliefs.  Led by ministers and religious educators,  to inform & shape a public theology that grounds our faithful actions in the world.  Curriculum launch:  June 2019.

 

Gathering Our Selves: Faith Formation for the Melanin Majority. Based on the ourcome of my work over the last five years, it's clear to me that the human and faith development of people of color in  primarly White cultural context can cause psycho-spiritual distress among non-dominant cultural groups.   Gathering Ourselves reverses that trend and orients participants toward flourishing ways of thinking, feeling, and being.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LECTURES/CONFERENCES

UUA Commission on Instituional Change.  Walnut Creek, CA   Oct. 1-3

 

Race and Formation as a Family Matter.   Eno River, Durham, NC. Oct 19-21.

 

 

Keynote:  Tools for The Shift: Foundational Insights for Transformive Communities"  Mosiac Makers National Conference.  San Diego, CA.  Oct. 28-31.


Workshop: Gathering Our Selves Spiritual Direction for People of Color.   CENTER Institute for Excellence in Ministry.  Jan 22-26, 2818

 

 

 

 

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

 

 

Liberal Religious Educators Association, Fall Conference.  Houston, TX  Nov. 2-5

 

Multicultural Congregations as Faith Formation (with Rev. Kierstin Homblette Allen).  All Souls Church and The Church of the Restoration.   October 28-Nov 2.  Tulsa, Oklahoma

 

 



 

RESEARCH

 

 

 

 

Just published!   "Religious Education and the Traditions," in The Oxford Handbook on Religion and Higher Education (2018).  The article is a review of the history, trends and practices employed by religious workers in transmitting religiosity to its faithful. The chapter is also an excellent resource for teachers and those curious about exploring how faith formation “works” as well as the role specific teaching practices. The handbook features preeminent scholars from the fields of religion (some excellent scholarship on faith formation!) education, law, and political science to craft a comprehensive survey and assessment of the study of religion and education in the United States

 

 

 

 

BELOVED CONVERSATIONS RETREATS

ChicagoLand BC Retreat, Oak Park, IL (Unity Temple); Nov 16-17

 

Cedar Lane, Maryland; January 18-19

 

San Luis Obispo, CA; Feb 1-2

 

All Souls, Unitarian, Washington, DC Feb. 22-23

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 2013 was an extrordinary month for many reasons.  Stll hard to put it all into context but I was joined by 18 Unitarian Universalists from my home congregation to connect our African American identities back to Africa.   Titled, “Sankofa: Looking Back in Order to Move Forward,” pilgrimage to Ghana, site of the slave castles that were the point of departure for The Middle Passage.  A few insights from my journey are posted here.

SANKOFA
LOOKING BACK/MOVING FORWARD