2019-2020 Courses

Health Ethics

Fall 2019, online, asynchronous.

Health and medicine lie at the intersection of our religion/spirituality, values, and bodies. This course provides a foundation in bioethics and the complexities of health, illness and health care. Students develop the ability to apply ethical theory and bio-political knowledge to key ethical issues, such as end-of-life decision-making, patient-provider relationships, genetic/reproductive technologies, the care of vulnerable populations, organ donation, and crisis medicine. The course includes a significant “laboratory” component, in which students develop and lead discussion of key concepts and cases in order to provide valuable arguments and cultivate pastoral leadership. the course requires weekly consistent on-line community building and peer-to-peer accountability practices, which enhance the learning and engagement for all. Relates to SKSM Threshold 5 and MFC Competency 2 and 4. [Students are expected to have taken an introductory course in ethics, have significant undergraduate philosophy or ethics experience or some equivalent educational experiences in a related field. Final acceptance to the course will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Students should contact the instructor to discuss their interests and experiences. 25 max enrollment]

Writing for Religious Leaders

Fall 2019, online, asynchronous with weekly writing chats.

Whether working for justice, serving communities, or guiding organizations, religious leaders should be able to write well and often for a variety of audiences. Theological school is a perfect place for thinking about how we put our ideas and interpretations into words. Writing as religious leaders requires thoughtful articulation of our own ideas as well as the ability to clearly explain multiple perspectives on a variety of critical issues. This is an online course geared toward students who wish to improve their critical thinking skills and writing habits for graduate-level academic work and religious leadership. It is recommended for students early in their degree program, but open to all. Students will engage texts from a range of substantive topics and explore various writings assignments, which are common in their education at the GTU. Each week includes reading activities to build comprehension and reconstruction skills, synchronous writing “chats”, peer-editing sessions, and student-led themed discussions. Students will be familiarized with the GTU library resources early in the semester and use of electronic library resources will be a consistent component of assignments. Upon registering and in preparation for the start of the term, students will be asked to read and write a brief essay on an assigned topic. Prerequisites: none, Relates to Threshold 3. Online, asynchronous with synchronous online chat meetings.

Evidence-Based Spiritual Care

Spring 2020, online, asynchronous.

From the “Bedside to the Lab Bench”. Is ministry an art or a science? How do we explain our goals and outcomes as spiritual caregivers? What happens when our duties to serve human need face the challenges of the biomedical system? What do emerging technologies mean for how we understand oppression and the care of communities? Scientific literature recognizes that religion/spirituality is an integral dimension of well-being and makes a difference in the lives of individuals and communities. However, the measurement of religion/spirituality continues to invite public and scientific debate and meanwhile, scientific advancements raise questions about theology and justice. This course provides a foundation in the growing fields of spiritual care research and the biopolitics of science meeting religion. Students will learn to understand the evidence, develop the experiments and investigate the ethical and social implications of their ministry and caring practice. The course includes a significant “laboratory” component, in which students take their spiritual caregiving from the bedside to the lab bench to: test new interventions in spiritual care; create measurement tools to understand their practice of ministry and leadership; and respond to the effects of new scientific technologies on marginalized communities. Online, asynchronous, with possible synchronous meetings. Low residency. Relates to Threshold 5, MFC Competencies 2 and 7. [A pastoral care/counseling course or prior CPE preferred; 30 max enrollment]

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