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Graduate Courses ♦ Undergraduate Courses

Graduate Program

Core Theological Courses

Taken by all students in the Master of Pastoral Studies and Master of Religious Education programs

LIM 703 Introduction to Practical Theology

This initial course in ministry education introduces students to a process of pastoral praxis, through a method of keeping theological reflection in constant dialogue with action. Students explore the interplay of the Christian tradition and the dynamics of living out that tradition through the sociocultural, personal, and institutional contexts of their ministries. The method of theological reflection is based upon the work of the Rev. Bernard Lonergan, S.J., and David Tracy.

LIM 704 Spirituality, Morality, and Ethics

Traditional Catholic ethics are examined in the light of Vatican II. Students study the nature of the human person and the meaning of freedom and sin. They also explore the role of Scripture, reason and the natural law, norms, conscience, and Church authority in making moral decisions. Throughout the course, Christian living is placed in the context of personal spirituality and the call to discipleship. Sexual ethics and Catholic social teaching are discussed at length in the course.

LIM 711 The Jewish Roots of Christian Faith (Old Testament)

This course introduces students to the literature, history, and theology of ancient Israel as embodied in the ancient Hebrew scriptures commonly known as the Old Testament. It examines the major themes of Exodus, promise-fulfillment, and covenant in Israel’s history from the time of the patriarchs to the period of late Second Temple Judaism, which was the context of Jesus’ life and teachings. In particular those texts, events, and beliefs of ancient Israel which form an indispensable background for understanding the New Testament are highlighted.

LIM 712 Christian Origins (New Testament)

This course introduces students to the literature, history, and theology of the early Christian scriptures commonly known as the New Testament. It examines the historical context of Jesus’ teachings, his parables and preaching of the reign of God, and the theology of Paul and the Gospels. Particular attention is given to the experience of faith that was engendered by Jesus among his first disciples and the lived faith of the earliest Christians.

LIM 714 Grace, Christ, and Spirit

This course introduces students to the rich Christian tradition of theological reflection and teaching on the person of Jesus Christ, the Trinity, and grace, as well as the role of the Holy Spirit in Christian life. In the context of this tradition, students are invited to a deeper understanding of the meaning of salvation in their lives and in their ministry. Contemporary theologies of Christ and salvation are also explored, using Karl Rahner’s writings as an example of a modern theology of grace.

Prerequisite: LIM-G703 must be completed prior to taking this course.

LIM 722 Church, Sacraments, and Liturgy

This course presents the experience and theology of church, sacraments, and liturgy as they have unfolded throughout Christian history. A major part of the course is dedicated to a deeper understanding of the meaning of sacramentality and the theology of the individual sacraments in the Catholic tradition. Special emphasis is given to Vatican II and post-conciliar developments in the church’s self-understanding and in the theology and practice of ministry, sacraments, and liturgy.

Additional Focus Area and Elective Courses

LIM 746 Catholic Social Teaching

This course introduces learners to the subject of Catholic Social Teaching (CST) and its key principles and shows learners ways in which CST can be used to inform their their ministry.

LIM 800 Topics in Religious Education

This course explores specific issues and concerns in religious education. Topics may include history of faith sharing, experiential education, development of educational theory, educational programming, art of teaching, developing a community of educators, and religious education in

LIM 809 Internal Life of Small Christian Communities

A true Christian community is both gathered (faith’s internal life) and sent (faith’s public life). This course examines the internal life of small Christian communities: their leadership, communications, worship, and decision making. It includes historical and theological perspectives of the functioning of Christian communities inside their own boundaries.

LIM 810 Public Life of Small Christian Communities

The course focuses on how small Christian communities can together engage in ministry and social justice. The course includes historical and theological perspectives on the relationship between Christian communities and their surrounding cultures and society.

LIM 812 New Testament Topics

This course explores specific books and themes in the New Testament literature. The focus may vary from the Pauline writings to the Gospel of John, from an inquiry into the teachings of the historical Jesus to the vision of the Church in the Pauline mission.

LIM 813 The Universe As Divine Manifestation

This course engages students in a process of discernment, interpretation, and response to the natural world as revelatory, as a primary mediation and distinctive focus of divine presence and activity. Our exploration begins with searching out this revelation in the cosmological order through scientific insights into the structure and functioning of the universe. From this macrophase perspective, the course shifts to the more proximate witness to the divine as this finds expression in and through the planet Earth. Out of this experience and insight we will articulate the meaning of this revelation for ourselves and for people of faith in our times.

LIM 814 The Emergent Universe: Our Sacred Story

This course asks participants to immerse themselves in contemporary discoveries and understandings of the emergent universe and to reflect on its spiritual dimensions and significance. As we become familiar with this new story, this sacred story, we will also attend to the data which describes the urgency of the ecological issue with an eye to discerning its implications for the physical, psychic, and spiritual dimensions of our lives.

LIM 819 The Theology and Spirituality of Work

Oriented to those students who understand their ministry as primarily taking place outside of parish or other explicit ecclesial communities, this course investigates work and profession from the standpoints of vocation and community. Vocation is considered as a transformation of toil into creative work, and profession is viewed as an expression of the way one professes commitment to a particular community. Creativity, redemption, and collaboration are explored in light of workplace systems and the difference that Christians can make in the world.

LIM 820 Ministry in the Marketplace

This course helps students discern practical approaches to working toward mutually respectful, caring, and just communities in diverse and pluralistic work and community settings. The course will explore how images of collective life rooted in the biblical image of the reign of God can be translated into contemporary societies and community life with respect for persons of varying backgrounds and tradition.

LIM 826 Digital Media and Ministry

This course explores the question of communicating faith online. Using the social communication tradition of the Roman Catholic Church as well as current ecumenical scholarship, this course offers critical theory for engaging in social communication for ministry, as well as exploring the practical, pastoral implications of this for our digital culture and context.

LIM 827 Spirituality for Ministers

This course discusses the theological foundation of Christian life and explores how ministry is rooted in and gives expression to the minister’s relationship with God. Students are invited to reflect on prayer, discernment, and spiritual growth in the context of finding God in the midst of ministry.

LIM 828 The History of Christian Spirituality

This course is an introduction to the variety of experiences and expressions of Christian spirituality from the roots of the Hebrew Scriptures to contemporary spiritual writing. The course focuses on monasticism, mysticism, and modern apostolic spirituality as a way of exploring the recurring questions and challenges that shape the human search for God.

LIM 837 Foundations of Religious Education

An exploration of the contextual roots of the field that includes the Christian theological tradition, family, church, and socio-cultural influences and responses, as well as creation itself. Through this model of contextual reflection, participants will trace the evolution of the theory and practice of religious education in its Christian expression with special attention to its contemporary Roman Catholic character and responsibilities in ecclesial and academic settings.

LIM 838 Curriculum Development

This course enables participants to distinguish three models of teaching and learning that are practiced in various educational contexts and to consider their strengths and weaknesses as well as their value, relevance, and appropriateness in the practice of religious education in church and school. Special attention will be given to contemporary guidelines, curricula, and concerns in Catholic religious education.

LIM 839 Religious Education across the Curriculum

This course envisions a school in which religious education is set at the center of the academic curriculum. Within such a school, religious education would obviously take the traditional form of a discrete subject that is concerned with passing on to students the distinctive teachings of the Catholic faith. This explicit focus of necessity remains but a part of the whole curriculum. What is needed and taken up in the course is a more comprehensive and integrated understanding and practice of religious education in which the religious educator partners with teachers to illumine the presence and activity of God, of the sacred, that ultimately and intimately pervades every subject and discipline as well as to affirm and support these teachers’ more implicit practice of religious education.

LIM 841 Religion, Crime, Justice

This course explores crime and justice issues through the perspective of religion.

LIM 844 Parish Life and Ministry

The aim of this course is to help participants reflect on today’s experience of the parish in its many shapes and forms. Pastoral practice and canon law are used during the course as reference points for discussion of the pastoral and canonical issues raised by the student and the course content.

LIM 845 Contemporary Issue in Pastoral Ministry

This course examines a number of challenges facing parishes and pastoral leaders in a variety of ministry settings. Topics include issues related to evangelization, collaborative ministry, parish mergers and transitions, and the spirituality of lay ecclesial ministers, among others. Course participants also examine in more depth the needs and models of ministry related to a particular population (for example, ministry to homebound elderly) in their faith community.

LIM 846 Catechetical Leadership

This course begins with the theological and doctrinal foundations of the catechetical ministry, as rooted in evangelization, and as a particular ministry to foster conversion to Jesus Christ. From this foundation, the course moves on to explore a variety of pastoral issues that shape our ministries of catechesis: working with children, youth, adults; the role of the community in the task of catechesis; the relationship between liturgy and catechesis; and finally the formation of and resources available for catechetical leaders.

LIM 849 Intro to Pastoral Care/Coun

This course is a religious and social psychological introduction to the basic stance of pastoral care and counseling. It explores how pastoral counseling is like and not like secular counseling practice and articulates the unique characteristics of forms of counseling calling themselves pastoral.

LIM 856 Topics in Christian Spirituality

This course explores particular classical spiritualities such as St. Ignatius’ spiritual exercises or the spiritual vision of Meister Eckhart, or more generic themes such as prayer and contemporary spiritual discipline.

LIM 861 Pastoral Leadership and Organization

This course explores the meaning of pastoral leadership in light of the current research in organizational development and ecclesiology. Current literature is surveyed in light of the mission of the church and the ecclesial vision of participants. Special emphasis is placed upon participative strategic planning processes and organizational development. Participants will analyze an organizational system for its strengths and weaknesses and propose interventions that would strengthen its organizational functioning.

Prerequisite: LIM-G703 must be completed prior to taking this course.

LIM 870 Foundations of Youth and Young Adult Ministry

The course examines the broad foundations of youth (ages 12-18) and young adult (ages 18-39) ministry and pastoral juvenil Hispana (ages 18-35). Students will investigate models for comprehensive ministry that incorporate developmentally and culturally appropriate programming to strengthen families' roles in young people's lives. The course covers methods to accompany young people, integrate them into the life of the church, and reach key community members to promote healthy formation. Additionally, students will explore best practices to connect young people with their faith, the church community, peers, and the wider community contexts impacting them and their families. Overall, the course equips students with comprehensive foundations for ministering to youth, young adults, and pastoral juvenil Hispana.

LIM 874 Special Topics in Ministry

Students in this course will focus on particular topics critical to their concerns in ministry. Such topics as ministry to the sick and dying, ministry to the aged, and ministry in minority communities will be explored in any given semester.

LIM 876 Youth and Young Adults: Spirituality and Methods of Faith Development

In this course, students first examine in depth the phenomenon and characteristics of youth, young adult, and los jóvenes spirituality. They then examine typical stages of religious development during adolescence through the emerging adult years. Finally, students direct their attention to a study of a variety of methodologies to enhance and encourage the faith development of youth, young adults, and los jóvenes and explore ways to help them grow in religious knowledge and religious expression.

LIM 885 Religious Communication

This course explores how a variety of communication media can benefit ministers in their particular settings. Both theory and practice of contemporary communication media, especially the use of television, are explored with hands-on experience.

LIM 886 Pastoral and Educational Praxis

In this capstone course, students employ the method of practical theology to reflect on concerns related to their ministerial and educational praxis. Careful analyses that include the social and cultural circumstances surrounding their identified praxis will be undertaken, as well as an appreciative and critical retrieval of the voice of the faith tradition. Based on that reflection, possible educational and ministerial interventions that meet criteria of pragmatic feasibility and religious faithfulness will be imagined and articulated verbally and in writing for evaluation and feedback.

Prerequisite: LIM-G703 must be completed prior to taking this course.


Undergraduate Program

Taken by students in the online Bachelor of Ministry and Theology program

RELM 300 Introduction to Ministry

Taking a broad view of ministry, this course introduces the study and practice of Christian ministry, grounded in Scripture and the historical tradition and focused on the contemporary challenges and opportunities.

RELM 330 Church and Sacraments

This course examines the contemporary understanding of Church and sacraments and explores their implications for ministry and the life of faith today.

RELM 334 Ethics for Ministers

This course examines ethical conduct in ministry through an emphasis on Catholic ethics, personal spiritual formation, and formation of conscience that is foundational to one’s ethical life. Through a study of the biblical foundations of Christian ethics and ethical systems and their application, students will develop practical skills to address ethical issues and dilemmas they encounter in ministry. Through the development of a personal code of ethics, students will identify principles to guide their conduct in their lives and ministry. Through reflection on virtue ethics, students will practice ongoing spiritual formation that enriches and informs an ethical practice of ministry.

RELM 338 Introduction to the Bible for Ministry

This course introduces students to the Bible in light of the best in contemporary biblical scholarship. It focuses on the Bible not as a museum piece but as the living Word of God that reveals, challenges, and comforts and that serves as a crucial resource for ministry.

RELM 370 Christ and the Christian Tradition

Fundamental theology in a post-conciliar church: focus on revelation, faith, grace and Christology; a brief review of the historical tradition as a background for creation-centered, liberationist theology today.

RELM 400 Religious Education in Theory and Practice

Foundational questions of religious education are investigated with particular focus given to the relationship between theory and practice.

RELM 411 Biblical Apocalyptic, Prophecy & Wisdom

This course examines the biblical genres of prophecy, wisdom, and apocalyptic; their intersections; and their implications for today. This course presumes some background on the Bible.

RELM 430 Leadership in Ministry

This course offers a foundation for each student’s development of leadership skills used in the practice of ministry. It considers the qualities, practices, and responsibilities of effective leaders, with special attention paid to biblical-theological and theoretical theories of leadership, teamwork, communication, conflict, decision making, and the character, responsibilities, and spiritual life of the leader. It will assist students with becoming more reflective, theologically-based practitioners of ministry.

RELM 496 Senior Seminar

The purpose of this course is for students to demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes of the Bachelor in Ministry and Theology by completing a 20-30 page paper following the theological reflection process introduced in RELM 300 Introduction to Ministry.