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Ethical Studies

Any 4000 level “E” course fulfills the Ethics concentration  requirement.

E 3000 Introduction to Moral Theology

An introduction to the basic themes of the Christian moral life, including its personal, social, and cosmic dimensions. Attention is given to sources, authorities, and methods used in Roman Catholic theological ethics as well as concepts fundamental to the discipline such as freedom and moral agency, moral norms, and moral reasoning.

EMP 4001 Management and Leadership for Ministry

This course explores the responsibility of those called to ministry to provide effective administrative and managerial leadership whether they serve in increasingly complex parishes, religious congregations, diocesan offices, or other Church related organizations. The course gives particular attention to the theological and ethical foundations of pastoral leadership as well as management theory and practice, communications and marketing skills, and fundamental principles of human resource management. It also examines best practices in compliance and organizational ethics with emphasis on mission integration and ongoing professional development of staff.   Fulfills the required MP4310a-f Leadership Skills Workshops.

ES 4002 Ethics, Spirituality, and Global Climate Change

Human-forced global climate change is a reality that Christians cannot ignore. While engaging the scientific, economic, and political realities that show the urgency of climate change issues, the deeper spiritual and moral resources available in the Christian and Roman Catholic traditions explore are explored. Students are assisted in finding ways to integrate their spirituality and ethical practice and to engage in concrete actions that seek resolutions to the many issues global climate change presents to our world.

E 4003 Social Analysis for Pastoral Praxis

The course teaches and utilizes the pastoral spiral steps of experience, social analysis, faith reflection and action. Input, methods and practical ways are offered for parishes, schools, churches and other faith based social service groups to consider the social issues of the day within a faith context. The course examines how we might look at issues such as environmental concerns, immigration, and trafficking of women and children, among others. Practical aims of the course are to give each participant the skills needed to engage various issues and to bring this method to the classroom, the parish and the community. The process is theological and practical and can be used in various faith communities.

E 4004 Catholic Moral Teaching and Public Policy Debates

This course will examine Catholic moral teachings' contributions to a range of public policy debates on issues such as health care, labor, poverty reduction, human rights, sustainable development, biomedical research, and governance. A global perspective will be taken in examining selected topics. Responses and reports of various bishops' conferences and Catholic and Christian organizations that focus on these issues will be considered.

E 4008Applied Ethics: Medical and Sexual Ethics for Ministry

This course will examine the ethical principles and methods of the Catholic moral tradition as they are applied in medical and sexual ethics. Consideration will be given to topics such as: beginning of life issues in light of both the Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs) issued by the USCCB  and teachings on responsible parenthood; end of life issues in light of ERDs; issues in sexuality and sexual ethics to which those in pastoral ministry are often called to respond. Prerequisite: E-3xxx Introduction to Moral Theology.

E 4007 Introduction to Catholic Social Teaching

This course introduces students to the fundamental dimensions of Catholic social ethics.  The four dimensions of Divine Revelation, Magisterial Teaching, theoretical considerations from the social sciences, and the wisdom gleaned from the ministerial experience of the community of faith are the sources introduced here. This course builds upon the wider considerations of Catholic moral theology as it pertains to the social dimensions of the human person and her /his life of faith in the social, political, economic, and ecological world.  Students are introduced to the corpus of the major social encyclicals that guide committed Christian ministry with peoples struggling for justice and yearning for reconciliation in an ecologically threatened and violent world.

E 4200 Ethics of Power and Racial Justice

“Racist ideologies and behavior are long-standing: they are rooted in the reality of sin . . .”     (The Church and Racism, #2). Globally, most experts on racial justice see the Catholic Church primarily among those who “Preach but don’t practice.” In light of this, it is morally imperative for all future ministers to obtain sufficient moral knowledge about the sin of racism and equip themselves with adequate strategies for the task of working for racial justice. This course addresses racial justice using the methods of theology, ethics, and the social sciences. Periodically this course is also offered as a 5000 level seminar for advanced research MA and D. Min. degree students.

DE 4205/5205 Women in Theology and Ethics

Inspired by the outstanding women who have presented the prestigious St. Mary’s College Madeleva Lectures, and women contributing to the excellent volumes produced from conferences of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church, this course features women theologians and ethicists from across the globe.  While classes will provide an overview the variety of key contributions from these women, opportunities will be provided for students to have direct contact with one of a select group of theologians (in person or through IT) and sustain a dialogue with her as the student studies her work. Students will present a final project or research paper in which the work of the theologian / ethicist with whom they engaged.

EH 4210 Catholic Social Thought: Movements, Models, & Martyrs

The faith filled contributions of Catholics from a variety of fields of endeavor (beyond theological disciplines) have shaped key principles of Catholic social thought, teachings and action. Such are the influences of the likes of Albert de Munn, Rene de La Tour du Pin, Women of the Plaza de Mayo, Aurora Donoso, religious sisters in Iran – and more.  Their faith-filled action, strategy building, and personal witness has brought to the Church more effective and persuasive means for living the values of the Reign of God in the world and across time.

E 4315 Medical Ethics

This course will examine the general ethical principles and methods that concern the medical profession and the Ethical and Religious Directives issued by the US Catholic Bishops Conference. Consideration will be given to topics such as beginning of life and end of life issues, experimentation with human subjects, genetic engineering, access to health care, and patient autonomy. Prerequisite: E 4000 Introduction to Moral Theology. 

E 4344 Global Economic Justice and Christian Faith

This course will examine the impact of globalization on economic life in light of Christian faith and the call for justice. Consideration will be given to the ethical dimensions of economic activity, to understandings of justice, particularly as expressed in the Catholic social tradition, and to proposals for addressing inequities.

E 4345 Spirituality, Liturgy, and the Quest for Justice

This course looks at ways on integrating spirituality and liturgy with the church's commitment to the justice in the world. It will examine how classical forms of spiritual development such as the Ignatian Exercises as well as more recent forms of liberationist, ecological and feminist spiritualities can aid the quest for justice. Key figures such as Thomas Merton will also be highlighted. 

E 4400 Care for the Earth: Ethics and the Environment

This course is a basic introduction to environmental ethics. The focus is on the need for Christians to respect the environment and the behaviors that need to follow from that reverence. Various environmenta1 ethics methods are explored. Christian and Jewish sources, especially the Franciscan tradition and Catholic magisterial statements are plumbed.

DEC 4400 Hope & Solidarity in Global Cinema (Online)

What if cinema can kindle our theological imagination so that we are able to clarify a vision of human hope and solidarity within the contradictions of the world? The course represents an interdisciplinary dialogue between systematic theology and cinema studies. Noteworthy examples of global cinema that spotlight the interweaving issues of culture, class, race, gender, and ecology, are brought into an open-minded but reasoned conversation with a range of theological perspectives that explore the theme of human experience.

E 4405 Sexual Ethics for the Christian

This course investigates the Catholic moral tradition, current magisterial teaching, and other elements that form a contemporary Catholic/Christian vision of sexuality and sexual ethics. Attention is given to issues to which those in pastoral ministry are often called to respond. Prerequisite: E 4000 Introduction to Moral Theology.

E 4406 Current Catholic Social Thought: Just War or Just Policing?

How can the Church understand and actuate its mediatory role between God’s offer of peace in Christ in a world fraught with systemic violence (social, cultural, economic, political, and ecological) and that frequently brings nations and peoples to the brink of war?  This course first uses an historical approach to examine critical junctures in the development of biblical and Catholic social teachings, as well as classical Catholic social thought concerning war and peacemaking.  Special attention is given to the on-going ethical development of Just War theories including contemporary proposals concerning “post war justice” and “Just Policing” In the second part of the course students will be assisted in examining a situation of violence or warfare in their context of origin, and to develop their own theological, ethical, and pastoral appropriation of God’s offer of peace in a violent world.

E 4407 Bible and Ethics for Pastoral Ministry

This inter-disciplinary course will explore the many dimensions of the relationship between the Bible and Ethics in the Catholic tradition. It will examine the integration of Scripture and Tradition as a basis for ethical reflection, moral imagination, and pastoral ministry. Topics such as justice, violence, reconciliation, and love will be addressed.

E 5002 Women, Poverty, and Global Justice

In light of Catholic Social Teaching and the call for global justice, this course will examine the issue of poverty by focusing on the causes of poverty among women, who make up half the world's population but represent 70% of the world's poor. Consideration will also be given to strategies developed to alleviate poverty, especially poverty among women.

E 5100 Holocaust and Genocide: Ethical Reflections

An examination of major ethical issues arising within the Nazi Holocaust. Topics include anti-Semitism the loss of personal morality, God and ethical decision-making, the importance of ritual in shaping ethical behavior, ethics and unjust structures, and human rights. Ethical issues in modern genocides, such as Rwanda, Bosnia, and Cambodia, are also considered. 

E 5107 Catholic Environmental Ethics: Sources, Norms, and Issues

Catholic theological ethics has always considered care for the Earth as moral imperative. This seminar explores the Catholic doctrinal and moral grounding for dealing with the complex and often perplexing issues that constitute today's environmental crisis. Key theological and ethical sources and norms are explored using case studies. Students focus their learning on an actual case project in which they demonstrate ways of achieving conversion from our abusive relationships with the Earth, to moral, sustainable and reverential ways of living.

DE 5200 Methods in Theology and Ethics

In this course, students will become acquainted with the principal methodologies that have been used in recent Roman Catholic theology: in systematic theology, and in theological ethics. Students will be able to compare the strengths and limits of the different methodologies and become more proficient in the critical reading of theological texts.

E 5201 Mutuality: Definition and Probative Value

Underlying all talk of power are assumptions that have ruled with unsuspected hegemony.  Many of these assumptions were full of mischief that alienated men/women, humans/nature, affect/ reason, personal/social, sacred/secular, and the like.  Mutuality is a corrective normative category which delimits the role of the moral agent, the use of power, and what is included in moral deciding.  This course will explore what is understood by mutuality and seeks to discover the difference in the process and end of ethical deciding when mutuality is utilized as a formal norm within a Christian ethical framework.  The work of Harrison, Heyward, Johnson, Ruether, Cahill, and Farley receives special attention.

E 5204 Love and Justice

Various ethical systems have developed around the central theme of love or of justice or their interaction. Differences in the understanding of these concepts constitute different approaches to morality. This seminar analyzes, compares, and critically assesses the ways in which these themes function in Christian ethics and theology.

E 5208 Conscience: Historical and Contemporary Views

This course will explore the concept of conscience. It will examine historical accounts of conscience and the way in which understandings of conscience have developed in the Catholic moral tradition. The relationship of conscience to mature moral development and virtuous character formation will also be considered.