Fall 2014 Course Descriptions


COURSE TITLE:  Foundations of New Testament Theology


SECTION TIMES/DAYS: T 7:15-9:45 pm 

INSTRUCTOR: David A. Sánchez 

COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS: The course is designed to introduce students to 1) the historical-critical analysis of the New Testament as an entrée to a more textured understanding of the political, historical, social, cultural, and theological/pastoral dimensions of the text(s); and 2) the role social-location plays in both the historical and contemporary interpretation of texts (history of interpretation). As a result, students will consider their individual (private) and community’s (public) engagement of the New Testament (texts reading texts) in the processing and actualization of biblical interpretations (“scripturalization”).

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES: Through their exposure and immersion into both text and textures of Bible and biblical interpretation, students should gain a more complex understanding of the basic contours of the New Testament; begin to assess how culture, race, gender, sexual-orientation, class, and ethnicity impact theological reflection; and the social implications and/or ramifications for constructed interpretive practices. This course is designed to empower students to conduct critical research and write intelligently and persuasively on both Bible and biblical interpretation as socially—conditioned and –located readers. Finally, this course is designed to prompt students to evaluate the role biblical interpretation(s) play in promoting an acute sensitivity to living (i.e. interpreting) responsibly in a culturally diverse world thereby promoting justice and service of faith.



Raymond E. Brown. An Introduction to the New Testament

Harold W. Attridge and the Society of Biblical Literature, eds. The Harper-Collins Study Bible

Janice Capel Anderson and Stephen D. Moore, Mark and Method: New Approaches in Biblical Studies

V.P Furnish. The Moral Teachings of Saint Paul: Selected Issues.


  • Preparation of all assigned readings
  • Informed and respectful contributions to class discussions
  • Consistent class attendance and promptness
  • Completion of a midterm, final exam, and final paper 







COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS: How do leaders take the initiative to form (or enhance the formation of) a genuine adult faith community?  What practices have been effective to promote adult spiritual development in churches, among school faculties and ministry teams, and within small Christian communities?  What wisdom can theoretical constructs of faith development provide for the creative fostering of genuine adult faith?  Through readings, seminar discussion, professor’s and guests’ lectures, these questions are explored.  Students will design a pastoral plan for enhancing adult spiritual development in their particular setting.


Students who complete this course will:

  • Identify and explore best practices for promoting adult faith in parishes, among school faculties and with peers in various adult communities.
  • Analyze selected theories of faith formation that can ground and provide perspectives on these practices.
  • Observe and analyze approaches to formation present in one’s parish or pastoral setting, and
  • Write an analysis of the present practices and anticipated plans for one’s pastoral setting in light of the approaches to formation treated in the course.

PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND: An interest in lay or ordained leaders’ roles in forming an adult, mature, spiritually awake community.


Regan, Jane E.  Towards an Adult Church.  Chicago: Loyola Press, 2002. ISBN 0-8294-1806-7

Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us  (USCCB Pastoral Plan on Adult Faith Formation) Washington, DC.  United States Catholic Conference of Bishops.

Many other readings will be announced on syllabus and available through LMU Blackboard.


  • Attendance, demonstrated preparation and active participation in seminar discussions at all levels – both group and large discussion  (35%)
  • SAR Papers – 3 papers, each paper is two pages in length, described in the syllabus (30%)
  • Final project paper and presentation (35%)
  • Journal with weekly reflections on praxis (see syllabus for details)



COURSE TITLE: Comparative Mysticism 

COURSE NUMBER: THST 682  /  YGST 682          

SECTION TIMES/DAYS:Mondays 4:30 to 7:00 

INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Key Chapple  

COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS: In this class we will explore the inner or mystical life as articulated in the life and practice of various religious traditions.  We will begin with a study of a modern classic: The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James, the pre-eminent American philosopher and psychologist as well as the key ideas of Carl Jung.  We will then examine the Jewish and Islamic mystical traditions, as well as key writers in the emerging field of contemplative Christian ecology.  Yoga and mysticism will be examined through the writings of 20th century philosopher Sri Aurobindo.  

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES: Students will be familiar with the psychological approaches to religious experience as found in William James and Carl Jung.  Students will learn the principles and practices of mystical theology from the Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Yoga traditions.  They will be versant with primary figures. They will also be able to write about and discuss this topic.
PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND: Graduate status in Theological Studies or Yoga Studies.  


William James, Varieties of Religious Experience

Joseph Campbell, ed., The Portable Jung

David Cooper, God is a Verb: Kabbalah and the Practice of Mystical Judaism 

Anne Marie Schimmel, Mystical Dimensions of Islam

Douglas Christie, The Blue Sapphire of the Mind

Thomas Berry, Evening Thoughts

Debashish Banerji, Seven Quartets of Becoming: A Transformative Yoga Psychology Based on the Diaries of Sri Aurobindo 

COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS: Students will be required to complete two projects.  The first will be a response paper and presentation based on a portion of one of the books listed above.  This will provide students with an opportunity to explore an area of their choosing, whether the psychological substrate or Christian, Jewish, Islamic, or Yogic approaches to the spiritual life .  The second project will be a research project and presentation pertaining to mysticism and/or spirituality, particularly in its relationship to one or more specific theological traditions.  Suggested topics might include the life and work of various individual mystics (Rumi, Kabir, Lalla, Hildegard of Bingen, George Fox, Al-Junayd, Patanjali, etc.) or a study of the general philosophical and theological issues that surround the study of mysticism, drawing from literature by contemporary writers such as Nasr, Katz, Stace, Underhill, and others.



COURSE TITLE: Ignatian Spirituality and Discernment


SECTION TIMES/DAYS: Section 1, M 7:15-9:45

INSTRUCTOR: Fr. Jim Clarke



COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS: This course will seek to further the student's understanding of Ignatian spirituality by (1) a study of The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, (2) a study of commentary on the text, and (3) learning from the actual experience of the group during the semester.  With regard to (3), the hypothesis entertained by the instructor is that some of the dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises can be experienced in a group when it engages in a critical and prayerful approach to them.


  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the structure and dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the Ignatius wisdom regarding discernment and the ability to apply it to their own lives.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of Ignatius forms of prayer. 


  • Attendance and Active Participation: 
    • All students are expected to attend all classes and to “work the issues” in both small-group and large-group settings.
  • Outside of class each week:
    • An hour of Praxis (Follow the suggestions at the end of each chapter of Inner compass assigned for the week).
    • A 1-page description/reflection of what you experienced during that hour. Cf. Annotations #2 and #6 of the Spiritual Exercises and Ignatius’ Autobiography re:  his conversion experience at Loyola while convalescing.
    • Reading the assigned readings.
  • In class:  Sharing the description of your experience with others during the first hour of class.
    • A 5-page final integrative paper (cf. guideline sheet)
    • 20 min. class presentation of your integrative paper
    • Take-home final exam.           
    • Grading:  50% classroom “work” (including the 1-page descriptions of your praxis experience) and class presentation, 50% final exam and final integrative paper.                        


Au, Wilkie and Noreen Cannon Au  The Discerning Heart:  Exploring the Christian Path (Mahwah, New Jersey:  Paulist Press, 2006). ISBN 0-8091-4372-0(pbk.) 

Barry, William A. S.J.  Finding God in All Things: A Companion to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius (Notre Dame, Indiana: Ave Maria Press, 1991). ISBN 0-87793-460-6 (pbk.)

Fleming, David, S.J. Draw Me Into Your Friendship: A Literal Translation & A Contemporary Reading of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius (St. Louis, Missouri:  The Institute of Jesuit Sources, (1996). ISBN 1-880810-20-4 (pkb.)

Silf, Margaret Inner Compass: An Invitation to Ignatian Spirituality (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1999). ISBN 0-8294-1366-9

Traub, George W.  An Ignatian Spirituality Reader (Chicago: Loyola Press, 2008). ISBN-10 0-8294-2723-6 



COURSE TITLE: Graduate Theology Pro-Seminar                                              


SECTION TIMES/DAYS:  EVENINGS                                              

INSTRUCTOR: Daniel L. Smith-Christopher

COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS: This graduate course introduces students to the basic concepts, themes, and methods of Christian theology. We will analyze the concepts and themes of God, Jesus Christ, Trinity, creation, anthropology, sin, free will, justification, atonement, ecclesiology, and hermeneutics through the engagement with Scriptural sources as well as ancient, medieval, and contemporary theological lenses.


The purpose of this course is to help students:

  • gain knowledge of basic concepts and themes of Christian (Catholic and Protestant) theology.
  • understand some of the major methodological debates pertaining to different theological approaches,
  • To value the importance of substantive theological debates (historical and contemporary) regarding the interpretations of Christian teaching.
  • To learn research skills and to improve critical reading and writing abilities, particularly with respect to the articulation of theological and normative arguments.

PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND: The Pro-Seminar is intended as a “first course” for MA Theology and Pastoral Theology students.


McGrath, Alister E., Christian Theology: An Introduction. Wiley-Blackwell (5th Ed), 2011

Rausch, Thomas, I Believe in God: A Reflection on The Apostles Creed, Liturgical Press, 2008.

Other readings will be distributed to the class as handouts.


  • Mid-Term to Evaluate Progress
  • The 15-20 page research paper. Possibilities include:
    • Compare two or three different Theologians in terms of their content and method, appeals to different theological sources, etc.
    • Compare two or three different Biblical theologians in their use and interpretation of either the same passage, or the same theological issue using and citing scripture.
    • Present a classic theological issue as defined by McGrath, and reflect on other theologians’ views as well as reflect on their pastoral implications.
    • Present a theological issue comparing and contrasting three different AGES in Theological development and history (e.g. Patristics, Reformation, Contemporary).


COURSE TITLE: Comprehensive Exam Seminar


SECTION TIMES/DAYS: Wednesday, 4:30 – 7:00 pm

INSTRUCTOR: Fredericks

EMAIL: james.Fredericks@lmu.edu

COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS: This is the required comprehensive exam seminar for all MA in Theology students enrolled in the 42-unit program. While drawing on previous course work, the seminar also requires participants to study additional sources that will help them integrate their theological education and provide a foundation for their research projects. The comprehensive exams will be administered as a part of the course requirements. Students are required to take two exams and produce a proposal for a Master’s thesis. The first exam covers general themes in systematic theology. The second exam is based on bibliography reflecting a specific interest of the student. This exam is administered by a faculty member who has agreed to serve in this capacity with the consent of the course instructor. The research proposal is supervised by the faculty member who will eventually serve as the student’s thesis-director. This faculty member must be approved by the course instructor.


  • General familiarity with the work of major Christian thinkers
  • Ability to articulate and evaluate major theological themes
  • Ability to construct theological arguments
  • Ability to integrate theological ideas 

PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND: Must be in final year of Theological Studies track.

REQUIRED TEXTS (tentative):

Fiorenza and Galvin, Systematic Theology: Roman Catholic Perspectives [Fortress, 2011] ISBN-10: 0800662911

Elizabeth Johnson, Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God (Bloomsbury Academic, 2011) [this is available as an e-book through Hannon Library

Jurgen Moltmann, The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology (Fortress Press, 1993), ISBN-10: 0800628225

Richard Gaillardetz,  Ecclesiology for a Global Church: A People Called and Sent (Orbis, 2008); ISBN-10: 1570757690

David Powers: The Sacraments: the Language of God’s self-giving, (Crossroad, 1998) ISBN-10: 0824517989


  • FIRST EXAM (25%): The first exam tests the student in general themes in systematic theology.
  • SECOND EXAM (25%): The second exam tests the student in an area of theological concern of specific interest to the student.
  • RESEARCH PROPOSAL (25%): The proposal for a research project, presumably, will be the topic of the MA thesis which the student will write in the spring semester. 



COURSE TITLE: Seminar on Latino Pastoral Theology and Ministry


SECTION TIMES/DAYS: M 4:30-7:00 pm, UHall 1403

PROFESSOR: Allan Figueroa Deck, SJ, PH.D., STD

COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS: This is a seminar course based on the Symposium on Hispanic Catholic Ministry hosted by Loyola Marymount University in June 2014. The Symposium brought together a select group of scholars and pastoral agents from throughout the United States to study, discuss and propose new directions for the pastoral care of Latinos. Each student will be asked to select one of eight Symposium topics, read the pertinent literature, and do theological reflection on either the Symposium topic/experience itself or other pertinent experiences in Hispanic ministry.

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES: Students will develop an overview/framework for discussing issues of pastoral care and ministry with U.S. Latino/as. The student will be grounded in methods for theological reflection and pastoral ministry.  The student will develop expertise in teaching and theological method by selecting a particular area of research pertinent to one of eight Symposium themes, producing a select annotated bibliography, completing a final theological reflection paper on that theme, and successfully presenting the findings to the seminar.

PREREQUISITE RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND: This course is for Theology and Pastoral Theology Majors in the Theological Studies Graduate Program. Some of the students will have participated in the June 2014 Symposium on Hispanic Catholic Ministry. Others who may enroll will be asked to select a field experience in a pertinent area of Hispanic ministry for further research and reflection.


Matovina, Timothy. Latino Catholicism, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012.  

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, A New Beginning: Hispanic/Latino Ministry-Past, Present, Future, Washington, DC: USCCB Publications, 2012.                                                        

Wolfteich, Claire, ed., Invitation to Practical Theology, Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2014.  

Select papers presented at the 2014 Symposium on Catholic Hispanic Ministry.            

COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS:                                                                                                        

  • Do required readings.                                                                                                                       
  • Develop annotated bibliography of at least 15 items on chosen topic.                                                                                        
  • Participation in June 2014 Symposium or selection of a field experience.                                      
  • Participation in seminar process with 2 presentations on research progress and one final presentation. 
  • Final 20 page Theological Reflection/Research Paper.                                                                                                           



COURSE TITLE: Introduction To Bioethics



INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Roberto Dell’Oro

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Bioethics represents a complex intellectual phenomenon in the canon of newly emerging disciplines.  Although an established academic field, it stills struggles to find a formal and coherent methodology for the analysis of ethical problems triggered by advances in medicine and the life sciences.  The course introduces students to the historical, theoretical, and thematic dimensions of bioethics.  More specifically, the course looks at historical contribution of theologians and philosophers to bioethics; it addresses the theoretical challenges of bioethics as an interdisciplinary field, with an emphasis on dominant theories in bioethics; and, finally, it touches upon the main topics of bioethics, including medical experimentation, assisted reproductive technologies, genetics, transplantation, assisted suicide and euthanasia. 


  • Understand the basic problems, methods, and approaches to the field of bioethics.
  • Familiarize with the main ethical theories of bioethics and identify the philosophical components of the public discussion on bioethical issues.
  • Engage in the critical analysis of bioethical questions and articulate their theoretical and practical dimension
  • Appreciate the importance of ethical dialogue across different philosophical traditions



Albert R. Jonsen, The Birth of Bioethics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998)

Jessica Pierce and George Randels, Contemporary Bioethics: A Reader with Cases (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010)

Tom L. Beauchamp and James F. Childress, Principles of Biomedical Ethics, 7th edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013)

COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS: This graduate course is a combination of lectures and student participation. Students are invited to come to class having done all the readings assigned for the day.  Additional assignments include 2 essays and a research paper. 



COURSE TITLE: Foundations Of Philosophical Ethics



INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Roberto Dell’Oro

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The course introduces students in bioethics to the theories and problems of moral philosophy, comprising both a historical and a systematic component.  Main versions of ethics will be studied, including natural law and virtue ethics, deontological and consequentialist theories.  Students will understand the function and importance of ethical frameworks for the articulation of bioethical problems. Although the course’s interest is ultimately on the bioethical implications of foundational approaches to ethics, the focus will be theoretical in scope.  Classical texts from Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Hume, Kant, Mill, and others will be studied.


  • Familiarize with the main ethical theories of bioethics and identify the philosophical components of the public discussion on bioethical issues.
  • Engage in the critical analysis of bioethical questions and articulate their theoretical and practical dimension.
  • Appreciate the importance of ethical dialogue across different philosophical traditions



Tom L. Beauchamp, Philosophical Ethics: An Introduction to Moral Philosophy, 3rd edition (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2001)

Additional texts from classical philosophers will be studied

COURSE WORK/EXPECTATIONS: This graduate course is a combination of lectures and student participation. Students are invited to come to class having done all the readings assigned for the day.  Additional assignments include 2 essays and a research paper.



COURSE TITLE: U.S. Latino/a Theology


SECTION TIMES/DAYS: Orange Satellite Campus/ T 4:30-7:00

PROFESSOR: Cecilia González-Andrieu, Ph.D.

COURSE DESCRIPTION/PRINCIPAL TOPICS: This course examines the diverse origins and theological expressions of Latino/a/Hispanic Christian communities in the U.S. with a special emphasis on the Catholic Tradition.  The course provides an overview of some of the unique contributions to Christian Theology arising out of Latino/a communities of faith such as Teología en Conjunto, Cotidianidad, Mestizaje, accompaniment and aesthetics.  The course also critically engages some of the challenges and opportunities presented to the church by the many communities grouped under the term “Latino/Hispanic” by examining demographic studies, pastoral letters, the work of special commissions on Hispanic Ministry and other “pulse-taking” strategies.


  • The student will analyze and interpret primary historical texts to carefully contextualize the origins and endurance of U.S. Latino/a communities.
  • The student will critically examine a range of theological concepts arising out of Latino/a religious practices and experiences and assess their contribution to Christian Theology.
  • The student will analyze and judge pertinent contemporary studies and data dealing with the community’s demographics and the Church’s response.
  • The student will formulate and articulate strategies to meet the challenge posed to the church by the needs and gifts of the community through their own particular area of interest (pastoral ministry, ecumenism, ethics, liturgical practices, religious education, etc.)

PREREQUISITES/RECOMMENDED BACKGROUND: This course is for Theology and Pastoral Theology Majors in the Theological Studies Graduate Program. 


González, Justo L. Mañana: Christian Theology from a Hispanic Perspective. Nashville : Abingdon Press, 1990. ISBN-13: 978-0687230679.

Matovina, Timothy, Latino Catholicism: Transformation in America’s Largest Church.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011. ISBN: 978-0691139791.

Boyle, Gregory, Tatoos on the Heart, Free Press, 2011 ISBN: 978-1439153154

Elizondo, Virgil, The Future is Mestizo: Life Where Cultures Meet, University Press of Colorado, 2000. ISBN: 978-087-815768.

Selected articles, current demographic studies, and other materials will be supplied in electronic Course Reader on MYLMU Connect.


  • Engagement with all course readings evidenced in active participation in class discussions. 
  • Regular class attendance. 
  • “Faith meets culture in the city” project.
  • Engaged learning with a Latino/a community of faith or organization serving this community.
  • On-going peer review processes in the seminar and midterm project
  • One critical response paper on a reading,  and  either a Final Research Paper or Pastoral Project Plan.