Course Descriptions

Spring 2019 Course Descriptions

Select a course title below to view the description and syllabus.

  • Christology

    Course Number:       THST 6031

    Course Title:             Christology

    Term:                         Fall 2019; M 4:30-7:00

    Instructor:                 Thomas P. Rausch, S.J.

    Office:                        University Hall 3852:  tel 310-338-2931

     

    COURSE DESCRIPTION: 

     

    An historical and systematic investigation of the Christian understanding of Jesus Christ and his significance.  Topics include the historical Jesus, the development of the Christology of the New Testament and the early councils in the context of contemporary christological issues.  Special emphases will include recovering the historical Jesus, soteriology, and Christology in the context of religious pluralism.

     

    COURSE FORMAT: 

     

    The course will be a seminar.  It will involve lectures by the instructor, classroom analysis and discussion of the assigned readings, and a class presentation by each student of his or her research.  Each student's contribution to the seminar process through participation in the seminar and his or her seminar presentation will be an important factor in determining the final grade.  There will be a midterm exam and a research paper.

     

    STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

     

    1. Know the major themes, methods, and authorities in Christology
    2. Appreciate the development of the Church’s Christology
    1. Facility in speaking and writing about the these themes
    2. Special attention to the historical Jesus and contemporary soteriology
    1. Familiarity with representative theologians and Christological models

     

    REQUIRED TEXTS:

     

    Haight, Roger, The Future of Christology

    Johnson, Elizabeth.  Consider Jesus: Waves of Renewal in Christology

    Rausch, Thomas P.  Who Is Jesus? An Introduction to Christology

    Some articles will be posted on Bright space or email

     

    COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS:

     

    The course will be a seminar, requiring attendance and intelligent participation. Readings should be completed before class.  Each student's contribution to the seminar process will be an important factor in determining the final grade.  Therefore, regular attendance and quality participation is important.  There will be a midterm and research paper, a critical study 12-15 pages in length, well documented with footnotes and bibliography, with both analysis and critical evaluation, using appropriate theological sources, of some issue in Christology to be determined in consultation with the professor.

     

     

  • Foundations of Pastoral Theology

    COURSE INFORMATION COMING SOON!

    COURSE TITLE:  Foundations of Pastoral Theology

     

    COURSE NUMBER/SECTION: THST 6070.1

     

    TIMES/DAYS:  W 4:30-7:00

     

    INSTRUCTOR:  Allan Deck

     

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    REQUIRED TEXTS

     

     

    COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS

  • Graduate Pro-seminar

    COURSE TITLE: Graduate Proseminar

     

    COURSE NUMBER/SECTION:   THST 6090.02

     

    TIMES/DAYS: Monday 4:30 to 7:00 p.m.

     

    INSTRUCTOR: Michael P. Horan, Ph.D.

     

    COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS

     

    Christian theology is disciplined reasoning, thinking, analysis, shown through reading, writing and speaking, that pursues the questions raised by human beings as a result of their experienced faith in the Christian narrative, community and vision.  Studying theology is neither catechesis (lifelong and life-wide formation in Christian faith) nor apologetics (defending Christian faith and its “rightness”). Doing theology means joining an ongoing historical dialogue, occasionally an argument, that Christians call tradition.  In doing so, theologians analyze how and why diverse Christians from the past and present have expressed their faith as they have, but also continuing to seek adequate ways to do so today.  This course will also explore some of the foundations of religious studies, that is, the discipline that considers religious traditions irrespective of one’s personal faith commitments. The Pro-seminar course prepares students for further graduate study in Theological Studies by introducing some of the vocabulary, background knowledge, methodologies, and skills necessary for such study, including theological reading, research, and writing.  The seminar includes input and exercises that will expose students to the basic subfields of theology (including biblical studies, historical theology, ethics, systematic or constructive theology, spirituality, pastoral theology, liturgy, and comparative theology).  Students will explore methodological questions and procedures appropriate to each. 

     

    STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

     

    Students who successfully complete this course will be able to…

     

    • Say what Christian theology is and demonstrate the foundational mechanics of theological study at the graduate level (critical reading and writing, attention to context, research and citation);
    • Understand theological arguments, offering analysis and critique, learning to make their own theological arguments;
    • Define and use the disciplinary vocabulary of Christian theology and religious studies;
    • Recognize and interpret how theological ideas, practices, and methodologies occur in response to the questions and challenges of different historical eras and different cultures. 
    • Responsibly read the primary sources of theological study, including historical and theological texts as well as other “reports” from daily Christian life (e.g., liturgical practice, popular religion, and art), learning to honor the original context for these sources but also to connect them to contemporary theological questions, practices, and commitments;
    • Understand and make critical use of theological methodologies from different sub-disciplines of Christian theology.

     

    PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND

    A willingness to pursue the questions and methods proper to theology, even when that pursuit feels new, uncomfortable, or even threatening to one’s preconceived ideas about theology, tradition, faith.

     

    REQUIRED TEXTS: To be determined

  • Graduate Pro-seminar

     

    Title:  Graduate Pro-seminar

    Course Number: THST 6090-01

    Section Times/Days: Tuesday 4:30-7 pm, University Hall 3211

    Instructor:  Dr. Brett C. Hoover

     

    Course Description: Christian theology is disciplined reasoning through the questions raised by human beings as a result of their relationship with God in Jesus Christ. Studying theology is neither catechesis (formation in Christian faith) nor apologetics (defending Christian faith). It means joining an ongoing historical dialogue (occasionally an argument) that Christians call tradition, analyzing and critiquing how and why diverse Christians from the past and present have expressed their relationship to God as they have, but also continuing to seek adequate ways to do so today. This course will also explore some of the foundations of religious studies, that is, the discipline that considers religious traditions irrespective of one’s personal faith commitments.  In short, the proseminar course prepares students for further graduate study in Theological Studies.  It introduces some of the vocabulary, background knowledge, methodologies, and skills necessary for such study, including theological reading, research, and writing. The seminar includes input and exercises that will expose students to the basic subfields of theology (including biblical studies, historical theology, ethics, systematic or constructive theology, pastoral theology, liturgy, spirituality, and comparative theology).  Students will explore methodological questions and procedures appropriate to each. 

     

    Student Learning Outcomes:

    Students will be able to…

    • Say what Christian theology is and demonstrate the foundational mechanics of theological study at the graduate level (critical reading and writing, attention to context, research and citation);
    • Understand theological arguments, offering analysis and critique, learning to make their own theological arguments;
    • Define and use the disciplinary vocabulary of Christian theology and religious studies;
    • Recognize and interpret how theological ideas, practices, and methodologies occur in response to the questions and challenges of different historical eras and different cultures. 
    • Responsibly read the primary sources of theological study, including historical texts as well as other “reports” from daily Christian life (e.g., liturgical practice, popular religion, and art), learning to honor the original context for these sources but also to connect them to contemporary theological questions, practices, and commitments;
    • Understand and make critical use of vocabulary and central ideas from different sub-disciplines of Christian theology.

     

    Pre-requisites:  None

     

    Required Texts:

    • Gonzalez, Justo L.Essential Theological Terms.  Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox, 2005.
    • Johnson, Elizabeth A. Creation and the Cross: The Mercy of God for a Planet in Peril. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2018.
    • Rausch, Thomas. I Believe in God: A Reflection on The Apostles Creed.  Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2008.
    • Yaghjian, Lucretia B. Writing Theology Well: A Rhetoric for Theological and Biblical Writers(New York: Continuum, 2006). 

     

    Course Work: Expectations for this class include argument summary papers, glossary contributions, reading response blog, oral presentations in class, midterm and final examinations. 

  • Psychological Foundations of Pastoral Ministry

    COURSE TITLE: Psychological Foundations of Pastoral Ministry

    COURSE NUMBER/SECTION:   THST 6053

    TIMES/DAYS: Monday 7:15-9:45 PM

    INSTRUCTOR: Fr. Jim Clarke Ph.D.

    CORE AREA: N/A

    FLAGGED: N/A

     

    COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS

     

     This course explores the psychological aspects of pastoral ministry, and in particular, the ministry of spiritual direction as a helping relationship.  The focus in this course is the cultivation of the communication skills needed to be an effective pastoral minister and spiritual director. Principal topics to be covered: pastoral counseling, basic listening skills, formation in various pastoral settings, the importance of self-knowledge and personal awareness on the part of ministers, the nature of empathic understanding and its relationship to psychological and spiritual growth.

     

    STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

     

     Develop skills of active listening, empathic understanding, and facilitative intervention in the helping relationship through structured classroom experiences

     Deepening of self-knowledge by reflecting on their personal traits, attitudes, and characteristics that relate to their effectiveness as spiritual directors and pastoral ministers

     Demonstrate their understanding of the difference between spiritual direction, pastoral counseling and psychotherapy by describing the process of spiritual direction

     

    PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND

     

     For those concentrating in Spiritual Direction in the Master’s in Pastoral Theology, THST 6053, The Theory and Practice of Spiritual Direction, is a prerequisite for this course.

     

    REQUIRED TEXTS

     

    A Course Reader (to be purchased on the first day of class)

    Urgings of the Heart: Toward a Spirituality of Integration, Noreen Cannon and Wilkie Au (Paulist Press, 1995)

    Transforming Our Painful Emotions, Evelyn and James Whitehead, (Orbis Books 2010)

    How to be an Adult: A Handbook on Psychological and Spiritual Integration, David Richo (Paulist Press, 19910)

    Care of Mind, Care of Spirit: Psychiatric Dimensions of Spiritual Direction, Gerald May, M.D. (Harper and Row, 1982)

     

    COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS

     

     Class attendance and active class participation

     Read the required reading and turn in a weekly reflection paper (1-2 pgs.)

     Keep a weekly journal of reflections on listening sessions (to be explained in class)

     Write a final 10 page integrative paper

     Give a short class presentation based on your integrative paper

  • Spiritual Formation for Pastoral Ministry

    Title:  Spiritual Formation for Pastoral Ministry

    Course Number: THST 6074-01

    Section Times/Days: Tuesdays, 7:15-9:45 pm, University Hall 3111

    Instructor:  Dr. Brett C. Hoover

     

    Description: This course focuses on understanding and cultivating spiritual practices to maintain an integrated spirituality capable of balancing self-possession and self-transcendence, contemplation and action, innovation and fidelity to tradition, self-care and the care of others in the context of pastoral ministry. The course explores spiritual practice, belief, and belonging in a variety of Christian spiritual traditions. The course will include theoretical and experiential learning, including group prayer experiences as well as critical group reflection on spiritual dilemmas and challenges that arise in the context ministry.  Students are asked to meet with a spiritual advisor or director for the duration of the course.

     

    Student learning outcomes: Students will be able to …

    • Define and describe what spiritual practice is in the context of the Christian tradition;
    • Describe and critically consider the spiritual practices and ideas raised by different Christian spiritual traditions, placing those traditions into dialogue with at least one non-Christian tradition;
    • Make sense of their life history and contemporary life and ministry experiences in light of Christian spiritual traditions;
    • Engage in Ignatian and other forms of Christian discernment, with attention to the history of grace and sin in their own lives;
    • Formulate their own approach to spiritual practice, considering their own context and life state, and evaluating that approach in dialogue with Christian spiritual traditions.

     

    Pre-requisites:  None.

     

    Textbooks:

    • Wilkie Au and Noreen Cannon, The Discerning Heart: Exploring the Christian Path(Mahwah, New Jersey:Paulist Press, 2006).
    • Diana Butler Bass, Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening(New York: HarperOne, 2012).

     

    Work expectations:

    Expectations for this class include journal entries, a scaffolded spirituality portfolio including critical analysis of a spiritual practice, research on a particular tradition of Christian spirituality in dialogue with a non-Christian tradition, and autobiographical reflection in the light of Christian spiritual traditions.  All students must be engaged in spiritual advising or direction.

  • Spiritual Formation for Pastoral Ministry

    Title:  Spiritual Formation for Pastoral Ministry

    Course Number: THST 6074-02

    Section Times/Days: Monday 7:30-10 pm, Off Campus Site

    Instructor:  Dr. Rachel A. Fox

     

    Description: This course focuses paths of spiritual formation in the Christian tradition, exploring perspectives from a variety of Christian spiritualities. It will examine theory and practice through both historical and contemporary lenses. It will explore spiritual formation as a balance of cultivating the pursuit of the Divine, pursuit of self knowledge and care, as well as the pursuit of community and care of others. The course will include theoretical and experiential learning, including group prayer experiences as well as critical group reflection on spiritual dilemmas and challenges that arise in the context ministry. Students are asked to meet with a spiritual advisor or director for the duration of the course.

     

    Student learning outcomes: Students will be able to …

    • identify and define a variety formative paths with in the Christian spiritual tradition.
    • Student will be able to describe a path of formation in terms of theory and practice.
    • Student will be able to describe and critically consider, spiritual practices and theories raised by different formative paths with in the Christian tradition and discuss at least one of these in dialogue with at least one non-Christian tradition;
    • Make sense of their life history and contemporary life and ministry experiences in light of Christian spiritual traditions;
    • Engage in Ignatian and other forms of Christian discernment, with attention to the history of grace and sin in their own lives;
    • Formulate their own approach to spiritual practice, considering their own context and life state, and evaluating that approach in dialogue with Christian formative paths.

     

    Pre-requisites:  None.

     

    Textbooks:

       Text books will be listed in the syllabus.

    Work expectations:

    Expectations for this class include research and written assignments, a scaffolded spirituality portfolio including critical analysis of a spiritual practice, research on a particular tradition of Christian spirituality in dialogue with a non-Christian tradition, and autobiographical reflection in the light of Christian spiritual traditions. All students must be engaged in spiritual advising or direction.

  • Comprehensive Exam Seminar

    COURSE INFORMATION COMING SOON!

    COURSE TITLE:  Comprehensive Exam Seminar  

     

    COURSE NUMBER/SECTION: THST 6092.01

     

    TIMES/DAYS:  R 4:30-7:00pm

     

    INSTRUCTOR:  Matthew Petrusek

     

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  • Comparative Mysticism

    COURSE INFORMATION COMING SOON!

    COURSE TITLE:  Comparative Mysticism  

     

    COURSE NUMBER/SECTION: THST 6082.01

     

    TIMES/DAYS:  M 4:30-7:00pm

     

    INSTRUCTOR:  Nirinjan Khalsa

     

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  • Pastoral Synthesis Seminar

    COURSE INFORMATION COMING SOON!

    COURSE TITLE:  Pastoral Synthesis Seminar  

     

    COURSE NUMBER/SECTION: THST 6091.01

     

    TIMES/DAYS:  R 4:30-7:00pm

     

    INSTRUCTOR:  Brett Hoover

     

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  • Foundations of Philosophical Ethics

    COURSE INFORMATION COMING!

    COURSE TITLE:  SS: Foundations of Philosophical Ethics  

     

    COURSE NUMBER/SECTION: THST 6998.01

     

    TIMES/DAYS:  M 7:15-9:45pm

     

    INSTRUCTOR:  Roberto Dell’Oro

     

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  • Ethics and Disability

    COURSE TITLE:  SS: Ethics and Disability   

     

    COURSE NUMBER/SECTION: THST 6998.02

     

    TIMES/DAYS:  W 7:15-9:45pm

     

    INSTRUCTOR:  TBA

     

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  • Introduction to Bioethics

    COURSE TITLE:  SS: Introduction to Bioethics   

     

    COURSE NUMBER/SECTION: THST 6998.03

     

    TIMES/DAYS:  R 7:15-9:45pm

     

    INSTRUCTOR:  Thomas Cunningham

     

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