Intercultural Studies and Ministry
C 3000 World Christianity in Intercultural and Interreligious Perspective
In this course students will be introduced to Christianity as the truly global phenomenon it has always been. Students will explore how historical and cultural context shapes religious experience, in general, and how it shapes ways of being Christian, in particular. Special attention will be given to diversity within the Catholic tradition, the diversity of other Christian confessions (i.e., ecumenism), and the ways in which Christian communities have developed and continue to evolve in interaction with communities of other faiths.
SC 4002 The Spiritual Writings of Sr. Thea Bowman and Howard Thurman
This course is an introduction to the spiritual writings of African American theologians and scholars - Sr. Thea Bowman and theologian Dr. Howard Thurman. The class will focus on their writings on the spiritual life, community and justice and through prayer, lecture, small group discussion, multimedia presentations and other various methods, offer the student resources for understanding the impact of Sr. Thea and Howard Thurman on the spiritual life of contemporary Christians.
C 4003 Abraham’s Children: Jews, Christians, and Muslims
Open to participants from any faith or philosophical background, “Abraham’s Children” is designed to introduce some of the basic elements of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faith traditions through the lens and dynamic of interreligious relations and understanding. Those who complete the course will have had the experience of studying Judaism, Christianity, and Islam from the perspectives of history and theology and also in an experiential setting with faculty and colleagues of all three faiths. Students will also have the opportunity for encountering aspects of these living faith communities in the “field” of the Greater Chicago Area.
C 4008 Buddhist-Christian Dialogue
In a time of great global challenges-- wars, economic exploitation and environmental degradation--it has become imperative that religious traditions learn to work together to create a peaceful world. This course looks at a variety of ways in which Christians and Buddhists have learned from one another. It culminates in an exploration of two complementary types of moral agents: the prophet and the bodhisattva.
C4014 Islam, Muslims, & Islamophobia: a Catholic Response
This is a six-week crash course in the epidemic of Islamophobia in contemporary U.S. American society. Its aim is: to assess the extent of the problem, including statistics regarding anti-Muslim hate crimes and an analysis of the so-called “Islamophobia industry”; to explore and deconstruct negative and harmful anti-Muslim stereotypes, particularly as key elements of dominant mainstream media, “alt-right” media, and social media narratives; and to articulate a ‘Catholic response’ based on Catholic social teaching, theology of interreligious dialogue, and the longstanding praxis of Catholic-Muslim dialogue in the U.S. in which Catholic Theological Union has played a significant role.
DC 4100 Trinity and Mission: The God of Jesus Christ
This course is an invitation for students to journey into a deeper understanding of God the Trinity whom Christians witness through their lives. It offers a critical and constructive theological reflection on the mystery of the Triune God–a plenitude of self-giving love–in ways that are relevant to the concrete realities of our present world. The course is informed by the perspectives of the practice of ministry, theological method, the history of doctrine, and contextual-intercultural perspectives.
MPC 4103 Pastoral Ministry in U.S. Hispanic/Latino@ Contexts (3 credits)
Demographics indicate that Latin@s currently constitute the largest and fastest growing population in the U.S. Catholic church. This course privileges Latin@ theological scholarship and explores the histories, experiences, and diversity of these communities and the implications for pastoral ministry. *MAPS students may use this course to fulfill Level 1 requirement.
**Required Level 1 course for MA-HTM.
SC 4110 Black Spirituality
Black spirituality engages the mind, heart and spirit in a dynamic union with the transcendent and immanent God, as experienced in the heart of community. It is rooted in the history and experience of African peoples in the United States as well as in the Caribbean, and Latin America. Using various resources and methods (prayers, slave narratives, autobiographies, and more) this course will engage students in a critical examination of the roots, development and characteristics of the spirituality of African peoples (primarily in the United States).
SMPC 4132/5132/– Black Spirituality as a Source for Ministry
Black spirituality engages the mind, heart and spirit in a dynamic union with the transcendent and immanent God, as experienced in the heart of community. It is rooted in the history and experience of African American peoples in the United States. Using various resources and methods (Prayers, preaching, song, spiritual autobiographies, biographies, slave narratives, spiritual interviews and film), this course will engage students in a critical examination of the roots, development and characteristics of the spirituality of African Americans, as well as a participative experience of Black spirituality as found in the religious expression of the community and ministries.
SC 4190 Guadalupe and Marian Spirituality
This Course considers how our Lady of Guadalupe fits into and breaks out of traditional Marian Spirituality within Christianity. Particular attention will be given to the themes of historical development, inculturation, evangelization and social justice. The course will be a conducted in a combination of lecture, group discussion and student led Marian celebrations.
DC 4200 Christology and Culture
An investigation of the meaning of the person and work of Jesus Christ for Christian faith today. Special emphasis given to emerging christologies in the World Church, constructing christologies today, and the final consummation of all things in Christ.
DSC 4200/DSC5200 Sources and Methods in Latin@ Theologies
The integral relationship between the lived daily experiences of Latino/a communities and the theological reflections that emerge from within these contexts is articulated as teología y pastoral en conjunto. This seminar explores sources and methods developed by Latin@ theologians and biblical scholars in their constructing of theological perspectives that recognize this intrinsic connection between theology and ministry.
DC 4210 Revelation and Liberation
The seminar will explore how selected theologians from non-Western cultures are proponents of a theology of revelation based on our experience of God's intervention in human history.
CH 4301 Constants in Context: A Mission Theology for Today
Weaving together a systematic theology with mission at its core and a global history of the world Christian movement, this course traces the patterns by which theological constants are shaped in changing contexts in developing relevant mission theologies.
CW4301 Initiation and Contextualization
After studying the general characteristics of Christian initiation and other types of initiation as cultural-religious phenomena in a variety of historical contexts, this seminar focuses on theological, cultural, liturgical and pastoral issues in the holistic process of contextualizing initiation in particular Christian contexts.
MPC 4308 Pastoral Care in an African-American Context (3 credits)
Explores the psychological and cultural elements that contributed to the formation of an African-American identity. The goal is a better understanding of the African-American experience and a greater sensitivity to the strength and needs of this cultural tradition. Students develop a better understanding/ability to minister in the African-American community.
C 4309 Mission Integration
Integrating seminar for those returning from cross-cultural and/or overseas training placements (OTP) of mission/ministry. This course provides a process for deeper understanding of the experience through theological reflection and integration of the past, present, and future.
DC 4311 Introduction to Asian Theologies
As Christianity becomes post-western, the church in Asia will have an increasingly significant role in the church of the future. This course is an introduction to the theology emerging from the Asian church. It begins by looking at the context of Asia and then explores how theology addresses the realities of the many poor, many religions, and many cultures of Asia.
C 4320 Introduction to Islam
This introduction to the faith tradition of nearly one-fifth of humanity includes: the life of Muhammad (s.); Qur’an and hadith; the five “pillars” of Muslim praxis; Islamic law and theology; Sunni/Shi`ite sectarianism; mysticism; and contemporary Muslim renewal and reform movements.
C 4325 Introduction to Judaism
Designed to introduce the most important aspects of Jewish practice and belief, particularly stresses questions and problems relevant to contemporary Jews, while setting them within a historical context. Considers issues in the relationship between Judaism and Christianity, including the dialogue that has developed in recent decades.
C 4330 Interreligious Dialogue
Participants investigate forms of dialogue with other religions developed in Catholic Christianity since Vatican II. Attention is given to the dialogue of religious experience and a comparative theology arising from the practice of dialogue. Field trips and various media formats are employed.
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.
C 4700 Praxis for Intercultural Transformation
This course is designed to afford students in-depth experience-based preparation for intercultural mission and ministry. The course focuses on the necessity of developing and maintaining a commitment to on-going personal transformation from all forms of ethnocentrism and prejudice as an indispensible element of such preparation. The three principal components of the course are: preparation and orientation for an intensive field experience; an actual field experience; and post-experience integration. The field component has two options: 1) a traveling seminar to the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Reservations in South Dakota, led by our Lakota (Sioux) teachers; or 2) a selection of intercultural and/or interreligious experiences in the Greater Chicago Area developed in consultation between the student and the instructors.
C 5004 The Church and Indigenous Peoples
Offered as a study trip to the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, this course includes a series of lectures and community visits to give participants an overview of the relation between the Church and the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, through the experience of different Mayan Christian communities in that region. Organized in collaboration with several organizations in that local church, a main focus of the course is to help participants understand the past and present struggle of the Indigenous peoples for justice, peace and dignity in the church and society. A special attention will be given to studying the emerging processes of intercultural theology and pastoral ministry in this context.
C 5006 Community Organizing: Interreligious Perspective & Practice
This course has two basic aims. The first is to give students an opportunity for interreligious theological analysis of pressing issues of social justice, particularly surrounding race and the problem of “whiteness” in the history of U.S. American society. The second is to provide training in the practice known as faith-based “community organizing.” Accompanied by a white Catholic and an African American Muslim instructor, students will explore the deep social justice themes in the life of the Prophet Muhammad (s.) and Jesus of Nazareth, as well as place into conversation the work of prominent African American Christian and African American Muslim liberation theologians. They will also undertake training in community organizing in the tradition of Saul Alinsky and Ed Chambers as adapted by the Inner City Muslim Action Network of Chicago’s Southside.
C 5008Community Organizing: Project Practicum Students will also have the option of a taking an additional 1.5 credit hour practicum course designed to give students an opportunity to conduct a proposed community organizing project.
CS 5010 Spirituality, Ministry, and Survivors of Human Rights Abuse
The prevalence of torture, human rights abuses and violence in our world challenges the missionary/minister to understand the personal and societal effects of trauma and to develop a spirituality of accompaniment with survivors in their healing and reconciliation. Not open to audit.
C 5020 Christianity in the Middle East
The course examines key historical and cultural developments of Christianity in what is today known as the Middle East since the late modern period. Students are introduced to the history of the relation between Eastern Christians communities and the West, particularly during the colonial period. A main focus of the second part of the course is on the current situation of the Christian communities and on the emerging theological and cultural debates concerning their identity and future mission.
CS 5020 Spirituality, Discipleship, and Mission Today
This course explores discipleship in the New Testament, seeking its applications amid changing lives and in a changing world. First, we are called, then sent; the initiative and the agenda are not our own. Ponder the implications and applications
C 5030 Theologies of Peace in Intercultural Perspective
Constructing local, contextual theologies of peacemaking is necessary for developing relevant pastoral responses to complex conflicts and experiences of violence—economic, cultural, military, political, religious, ethnic, ecological, etc. Realizing that the ministry of peacemaking is often an ecumenical, intercultural, and interreligious task, building on case studies from different parts of the world this seminar will help students develop theological imagination and pastoral methods for promoting praxes of peacemaking as an integral part of the mission and ministry of local churches.
CS 5030 The Spirituality of Lakota-Christian Dialogue
In dialogue with Native Americans (Lakota) who practice traditional spirituality and/or Christian faith, this course examines a spirituality of justice and interfaith mission/ministry. Includes a week-long field trip on Rosebud and Pine Ridge Lakota Reservations in South Dakota.
SC 5040 Islamic Mysticism and Spirituality
An exploration of the Muslim traditions of piety, devotion, and spiritual purification known as “Sufism.” Topics include: early Muslim asceticism; love mysticism; sobriety and ecstasy; the stages and states of the spiritual journey; Sufi prayer and praxis; and classical Sufi poetry.
C 5041 Contemporary Islamic Renewal and Reform Movements
A thoughtful perspective on what is popularly called Islamic “fundamentalism.” This course examines the phenomenon as a response to the effects of western modernity and modernism. It also explores the spectrum of such movements ranging from progressive to extremist.
MPC 5101 Pastoral Ministry in U.S. Asian and Pacific Island Contexts (3 credits)
Asian and Pacific Island populations are a growing presence within the U.S. Catholic church. This course explores the histories, experiences, and diversity of these communities and the implications for pastoral ministry.
MPC 5103 Pastoral Ministry in U.S. Hispanic/Latin@ Contexts (3 credits)
Demographics indicate that Latin@s currently constitute the largest and fastest growing population in the U.S. Catholic church. This course privileges Latin@ theological scholarship and explores the histories, experiences, and diversity of these communities, and the implications for pastoral ministry.
SC 5190 Santa María de Guadalupe y Tepeyac y Chicago**
This course reviews the history of Guadalupe and other American Marian events in light of their socio-implications on Christian spirituality. It will consider both Latin American, US American and Latina/o devotion to María as mother of God and sister in the lucha (struggle for justice).
WC 5202 Liturgical Inculturation
This seminar explores the inculturation of the church's worship in both historical and contemporary perspective with emphasis on current methodological and theological issues raised by the engagement of the church with contemporary cultures promoted by Vatican II. (3 credits)
WC 5205 Liturgy in a Multicultural Community
This seminar explores the complex situation of liturgical celebration in communities comprising people of diverse languages and cultural backgrounds. It takes up the dynamics of intercultural engagement; assumptions, principles, and critiques relating to multiculturalism; importance of popular religiosity; and contemporary models for liturgy that embrace the plurality of cultures in a respectful, inclusive way. (3 credits)
CD 5210 – Theology of Interreligious Dialogue
Takes as starting point the Second Vatican Council's declaration Nostra Aetate to examine the Church's relations with other religions. Begins with a historical perspective and then looks at the theologies and forms of interreligious dialogue today. Discussing examples of actual praxes of dialogue from different parts around the world will be integral to the course.
WSC 5301 Prayer Patterns in the Abrahamic Traditions
This seminar course will examine the development of (non-eucharistic) liturgical prayer patterns in the Abrahamic traditions from ancient Temple and Synagogue prayer patterns into the 21st century. This historical-contextual approach will provide a framework for inquiring to what extent there can be said to be implied spiritualities in the form, structure and performance of these prayer patterns, and how such might shed light on the evolving prayer practices of these traditions today. Historical work will be complemented by shared theological reflection on the patterns we examine. (3 credits)
DC 5310 Interreligious Dialogue in Asia
Explores the theory and praxis of interreligious dialogue, including the influence of personal, social, and extra-religious factors. Taking into account the contextual realities, the texts of Christian scriptures and teachings are investigated to discern the church's theology of religions.
DC 5311 Readings in Asian Theology
This is a reading course on the writings of key Christian theologians-- especially on how they address the issues arising from the context and realities of Asia. Among the major themes examined from an Asian perspective are post-colonialism, contextualization, hermeneutics, theological methods, inculturation, integral liberation, and interreligious dialogue.
CH 5322 The History of Muslim-Christian Relations
An investigation of Christian-Muslim relations from the early seventh century CE to the present. Specific contexts of focus include but are not limited to: the early Muslim conquests, the Crusades and the fall of Constantinople, the Bosnian genocide, twentieth-century Algeria, contemporary West Africa, contemporary Southeast Asia, contemporary Palestine, and the rise of Islamophobia in contemporary Europe and the U.S.
DC 6000 Theological Anthropology in Intercultural Perspective
A doctoral seminar in emerging issues in theological anthropology in the World Church today, as well as new challenges to the Christian understanding of the human being. Emphasis is placed on the different contexts in which these issues and challenges are encountered.
CD 6001 Inculturation: Theory and Methods
A seminar intended for doctoral and M.A. students exploring the development of contextual or intercultural theologies in the World Church, with special attention to the theory underlying this development and the methods employed. It serves also as a methods course for D.Min. students concentrating in intercultural ministries.Much misunderstood, inculturation will be carefully explicated, theoretically and practically. Study methods by which Christianity and a culture may actually encounter each other. The outcome (with the Spirit and local people) is a new reality: the People of God Transformed.
DC 6001 History of Religions and Comparative Theology
This course is an advanced seminar designed to introduce students to the development and content of two major research traditions which continue to have tremendous influence on the study of religious pluralism, and especially the nature and substance of interreligious dialogue. In the first part of the course, students will explore the foundations of the “history of religions” as an effort to explain and understand “religion” from a perspective independent of any theological framework or faith commitment. In the second part of the course, students will turn to and exploration of “comparative theology” as a methodology of placing specific elements of one’s own faith tradition into deep dialogue with analogous elements in another faith tradition.