Introductory Studies in Catholic Theology: This course introduces students to the methods and content of Christian theology, with particular emphasis on Catholic theological traditions. In addition to theological method, topics may include the scriptures, history of the church and/or theology, the nature of theological discourse, and examination of select topics or issues in theology.
Christian Changemakers: After an introduction to the principles of Catholic social teachings and their methodology, students learn about Christians who have created positive social change. Topics may include racial justice, environmental activism, economic justice, gender justice, peacemaking, and other areas of Christian social activism. Students engage in self-reflection about power and privilege as they reflect on their own vocations as changemakers.
War and Peace in the Catholic Tradition: An examination of the three dominant paradigms for thinking about war and peace in the Christian tradition: holy war, pacifism, and just war. We will consider how these frameworks are employed today in both religious and secular contexts as we apply these frameworks to the evaluation of particular conflicts/issues, which may include: the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, humanitarian interventions, the ‘war on terrorism,’ preemptive and preventive war, drones, weapons of mass destruction, and care for veterans. Throughout, students will build skills in ethical analysis and reflexivity.
Reproductive Justice and Catholic Theological Ethics: An exploration of reproductive justice as a theoretical and ethical framework. The course will consider areas of both common ground and conflict between a reproductive justice framework and Catholic theo-ethical principles and teachings.
Sexual Ethics in the Catholic Tradition: An examination of human sexuality from the perspectives of the Roman Catholic tradition, with explicit attention to feminist and revisionist contributions to contemporary questions in Catholic sexual ethics.
HIV & AIDS & Christian Ethics: An examination of the intersection of Christian theological ethics and the dilemma of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (hereafter, HIV/AIDS). Students will select a topic to explore in further detail in an individual research paper project.
Feminist Theology & Ethics: An exploration of contemporary feminist theologies and ethics from the Christian perspective to gain knowledge of feminist contributions and challenges to the whole of Christian traditions. Included is a survey of the historical emergence of feminist theologies, methods, major theological themes, and feminist Christian approaches to contemporary problems (from different contexts and multiple perspectives).
All of the above courses are regularly offered for undergraduate students at the University of San Diego. Courses I have taught for the Spring Hill College Summer Institute of Christian Spirituality include:
June 2017: The Examined Life: Spirituality and Everyday Practice: An examination of Christian spirituality attentive to contemporary realities. We will examine a variety of spiritual practices (pilgrimage, meditation, journaling, examen, rosary, walking, baking, and others) and think concretely about how to best practice the presence of God in everyday life. Attention will be paid to the way in which our spiritual lives grow and change in different life stages.
June 2021: Thea Bowman & M. Shawn Copeland: Black and Catholic, Faithful and Free: This course investigates white supremacy and Black Catholic resistance to it, with the goal of creating space for grief, recognition of bias, and fostering genuine-if-imperfect-solidarity in the ongoing struggle for racial justice. Primary conversation partners are Thea Bowman and M. Shawn Copeland, whose theologies celebrate what it means to be Black and Catholic, Faithful and Free.