This course will introduce students to the study of Christian Ethics by focusing on four traditional Christian principles used in the process of Christian moral deliberation (Scripture, tradition, experience, and reason) and applying said principles to specific moral problems/issues such as human rights, human sexuality, social concerns, politics, economics, and biomedicine. After a careful perusal of prominent ethical theories and theorists from a historical perspective, we will explore how moral judgments are made and how religious views influence these judgments. The course will explore prominent Christian schools of thought as well as different churches (Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant).
Fulfillment: This course fulfills a requirement for the M.A. degree in Christian Ministry.
PSLO 1: Students will apply philosophical, theological, and religious studies models of intellectual inquiry that arise from and are in dialogue with the African American experience. (Application of appropriate models to scholarly inquiry)
PSLO 2: Students will produce rigorous scholarship that advances theological and philosophical knowledge with an emphasis on social justice. (Analysis of texts and/or experiences to permit assessment and formulation of new ideas.)
PSLO 3: Students will elaborate the ways in which the African American experience informs responses to fundamental human questions and contemporary ethical issues. (Comparison of ideas and evaluation of outcomes)
PSLO 4: Students will explore leadership practices within communities of faith and society at large in light of philosophical, sociological, biblical, and historical concepts with an emphasis on theologies of liberation and ecumenicity. (Observation and application of knowledge to recognize trends and predict outcomes)
PSLO 5: Students will articulate ways in which various religious philosophies have affected societies historically and are influencing global events today. (Comparison of ideas and evaluation of outcomes)
Course Student Learning Objectives (CSLOs)
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of the vocabulary of the discipline by identifying or correctly defining key concepts and key terms in written examinations with scores of 70% or better. (PSLO 1, 2; ISLO 3, 4)
2. Explain how rational arguments are developed in support of, or against, a particular viewpoint and be able to construct their own premises and conclusions for oral and written presentation. (PSLO 1, 2)
3. Apply key course concepts by describing real world situations in philosophical terms, or by articulating the relevance of such events using central course concepts orally, assessed as “acceptable” on a rubric, or in writing on examinations with scores of 70% or better. (PSLO 3, 5)
4. Given a writing assignment, all students will use basic word-processing software to prepare and submit a paper or project. (PSLO 2)
5. Differentiate and compare a variety of contrasting philosophical and/or religious viewpoints and apply them to real-life moral challenges in order to identify their contributions to the improvement and/or detriment of the human condition in oral or written presentation as measured as “acceptable” on a rubric. (PSLO 5)
This course is organized into weekly modules under the Coursework tab. Each module corresponds to a week given on the syllabus. The syllabus lists the readings for that week, as well as all assignments that are due during that week. In the online module, you can expect to find:
1) a reading assignment and supplemental materials, 2) a Discussion Board assignment related to the reading and supplemental materials, 3) a quiz on the reading assignment and supplemental material, and 4) directions for weekly reflections and journals. I will post announcements about those assignments under the Announcements tab, and they will appear listed under the Course Overview tab.
Methods of Instruction
This course consists of a variety of classroom methods including lecture, discussion, small group activities, oral presentations, audio-visual presentations, etc. This allows a diversity of learners the ability to successfully complete the course and to discover their own connection with the material. Furthermore, each of these methods results in a sharing of ideas and an exposure to a diversity of beliefs. This course is structured around reading assignments prepared ahead of class time as indicated on the topical outline (see below.) Students will be expected to participate in class and to contribute positively to class discussions; preparation is essential for full participation. Students will be expected to take lecture notes and look up words they do not know. The ability to recall the readings and contents of previous lectures in order to refer to them accurately in discussions is one of the most reliable indications of learning. Students should expect to learn from one another as well as from the instructor. Class discussion is the most frequent method by which ideas are exchanged, but there will also be small-group activities and oral student presentations. See section on “assessments” below for relative weights of activities.
A tentative list of class dates, readings, and assignment dates for the present semester allows students to plan study time in advance and to keep up with assignments in the event of absences. These dates and assignments may change during the semester and it is the students’ responsibility to note and follow changes once these are announced. This topical outline appears at the end of this document.
Religion and Ethics Weekly (Reference Material)
BBC Religion and Ethics (Collection)
Ethics and Public Policy (Online Course)
Philosophy of Western Religions: An Open Educational Resource (Open (Access) Textbook)
Dilemmas in Bio-Medical Ethics: Playing God or Doing Good? (Online Course)
Video Clips for Online Viewing (Collection)
Contemplative Dimensions of Human Experience (Presentation)
The Practices of Happiness : Political Economy, Religion and Wellbeing (Open (Access) Textbook)
Religion and Political Violence (Presentation)
Introduction to Reproductive Justice and Intersectionality (Reference Material)