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Spirituality Studies

The Spirituality area requirement is fulfilled by S4000 or S5000 courses taught only by the Spirituality Professors of the Spirituality and Pastoral Ministry Department. Only courses with a ** will fulfill the MDiv area requirement in Spirituality.

S 4001 Spiritual Companioning for Ministry**
This course provides foundational understanding and experience of being with others within a spiritual companioning context. It focuses on the art and ministry of spiritual companioning and the practical applications in diverse ministerial settings. Issues such as listening skills, reverence of individual differences, and discernment are explored. The course design includes input, discussion, and practicum.

S 4003 Spirituality and Justice**
This course proposes an alternative to individualistic understandings of spirituality by examining the theological relationship between Christian spirituality and justice. Two distinct yet fundamentally related questions are considered: (1) what is meant by an authentic Christian spirituality? and (2) what is meant by justice in the context of transforming society and history? In order to unpack these questions, primary sources including, but not limited to, biblical texts, magisterial documents, and key figures in the development of spirituality are critically engaged.

S4004  Reclaiming Our Spiritual Traditions 
 How can spiritual traditions that have been handed on to us from a very different era, locale, and culture flourish with vitality and relevance? This course will look at how spiritual traditions are formed and re-formed as they are passed down through many generations of participants.  The class will study examples of methods of reappropriation including historical research, text study, spiritual biography, narrative inquiry, and theological analysis.  Each student will engage in a project of reclaiming some aspect of a spiritual tradition with which they identify.

DS4010: “Theology and Spirituality of Religious Priesthood”
This course examines the historical and theological origins, development, and spirituality of the ministerial priesthood in consecrated religious life within the context of the common priesthood of all believers and the nature of ministry in the church. It gives special attention to the teachings of Vatican II, post-conciliar theologies of the priesthood, and the identity of the religious presbyter. Furthermore, this course focuses on the spirituality of religious priesthood as expressed in universal church documents and as understood according to the charisms of the particular religious orders, congregations, societies of apostolic life or secular institutes represented in the given semester.

S 4010 Spirituality, Ministry and Survivors of Human Rights Abuses
A seminar combining theory and praxis with Chicago agencies and groups working with refugees/ survivors of torture and human rights abuses. What is our pastoral responsibility in accompanying survivors on their journey to healing and reconciliation? What are the possibilities and limitations of this ministry (personally and collectively)? What is a spirituality of accompaniment? What is a spirituality of reconciliation? What is beyond reconciliation? How does this process inform and challenge our theology, mission and ministry? How do we attend to our own healing process? How do we deal with the oppressor/wrongdoer/perpetrator? These are the questions and concerns that our class-community will address during this semester. Admission by consent of instructor.

S 4020 Introduction to the Christian Spiritual Life
In this course students will be introduced to the context, participants, content, process and aspiration of Christian spirituality. These will be considered in both their traditional and contemporary expressions.  The course will familiarize students with Christian Traditions like the Three-Fold Way, asceticism, prayer, charity, and justice.  Students will be encouraged to consider how their own spiritual life is progressing.

S 4100 The Spiritual Life: A Latino/a Perspective**
This is not a course on Hispanic spirituality, rather this course looks at the whole of Christian Spirituality from a Latino/a perspective and highlighting the contributions made by Hispanics like Isidro de Sevilla, Ignacio de Loyola, Pedro de Alcantara, Teresa de Avila and others to Christian Spirituality.

WS 4100 Liturgy, Prayer, and Contemplation: Ecclesial Spirituality
This course helps students integrate and communicate an understanding of individual and communal prayer as formation for and the result of apostolic action. The course includes: reading, discussion, lecture, and practical exercises.

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).

S 4120: Latin@ Liberation Spiritualities**
"Liberation Spiritualities emerging from U.S. Latin@ contexts are a more recent and evolving synthesis within Christian Spirituality. This course proposes an exploration of the Christian spiritual tradition in the light of the Latin@ experience. The first part of the course considers themes and issues involved in the creation and description of a Latin@ Spirituality of Liberation. The second part of the course examines how Latin@ theologians have expressed this liberating spirituality for Christian life through their proposals for Christology, worship, evangelization, and social justice."

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.

S 4200 Spirituality of Religious Priesthood**
This course considers the theology and spirituality of Catholic Priesthood within a Religious community. Students will study various Church documents on priestly formation/ministry and focus their study on the spirituality of priesthood as expressed in the documents of a particular Religious Community. The course is geared primarily for Religious who are seeking ordination but can be very helpful to lay ministers who collaborate with Religious Priests.

S 4310 Spiritual Classics of the Early Church**
Study of selections from the most influential spiritual writings of the second to sixth centuries: Ignatius of Antioch, Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, Athanasius, Desert Fathers and Mothers, Benedict, Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, and others.

S 4311 Spirituality of Lay Vocation and Ministry**
This course addresses the concept of vocation and ministry as it impacts all who identify themselves as disciples of Jesus Christ, with special emphasis on the role of the laity in the Roman Catholic Church. Explore the history of the laity in the church and develop both a theology and spirituality of lay ministry based on contemporary scholarship and the lived experience of lay ministers in a variety of settings.

S 4312 Theology and Practice of Prayer**
The course is an introduction to traditional and contemporary methods of Christian prayer and its stages of development. The process entails learning from some of the great teachers of prayer within the Christian tradition, as well as drawing insights from the contribution of other religious traditions. Provides the theological grounding necessary to evaluate and critique prayer practices, and interweaves theory and praxis.

S 4313 Perspectives on Psychological and Spiritual Transformation and Maturity**
This course looks at several of the major perspectives or models of human maturity. What are the psychological and spiritual ingredients that contribute to the development of mature adults? How do psychology and spirituality contribute to the development of mature Christians? A lecture-seminar format is used.

S 4314 Religious Life in Context**
Explore the understanding of religious life in various historical and cultural contexts. Topics include 1) the various forms of religious life and the historical situations that gave rise to them, 2) the understanding of the vows and how these are expressed differently in different social-cultural contexts, and 3) religious life in the world and church today.

SH4340 “History and Spirituality of the Franciscan Movement”**
This course provides a survey of the historical development, theological contributions, and spirituality arising from the movement begun by Francis and Clare of Assisi in the thirteenth century and carried on by the generations that followed them. Special attention is given to the central themes of creation, evangelical poverty, the human person, Christology, and prayer, among others. We will examine the historical contributions to Christian spirituality made by members of all three orders of the Franciscan family as well as the manifold way the tradition continues in our own time. 

BS 4520 Biblical Foundations of Spirituality
The faith of ancient Israel and of the early Christian communities is explored in order to establish the grounding for a contemporary biblical spirituality. Attention is given to biblical images for God, the various modes of prayer and worship, and the ethical demands for justice and peace in the biblical world and in our own.

SH 5001 Christian History and Spirituality through Art and Architecture in Italy**
A handful of significant cities have been the backdrop for many of the important events and people that have shaped our Christian faith. This interdisciplinary course studies significant moments, movements and figures pertaining to our history and spirituality. This two-week course takes place in the Italian cities of Rome, Assisi, and Florence. Students learn on site about the role of art and architecture in promoting the Christian faith. (Taught every two years)

WS 5001 Liturgical Foundations for Spirituality
Readings and seminar presentations on the structures, prayer forms, rhythms, and theology of liturgy to uncover liturgical foundations for christian spirituality.  The seminar will conducted in a reading, presentation, and discussion style.

S 5004 French Spirituality and Its Worldwide Impact**
The French spirituality of the 17th century has profoundly influenced the theory and practice of religious life, priesthood, and Catholic lay life down to the present day. This course studies major figures of that period as well as later developments, especially those impacting on the worldwide missions.

S 5005 Evangelizing the Baptized**
Pope Paul VI reminds us that “The Church is an evangelizer, but she begins by being evangelized herself” (EN 15). This course considers the spirituality of “Evangelization in the Modern World” and other documents of evangelization. It also gives students a hands on approach to giving personal witness and preaching of the kerygma in retreats, days of recollection and parish missions. Students will be expected to preach in a public forum (usually a parish mission/day of recollection) as part of this course.

S 5006 Spirituality and Leadership**
A blended course (online and onsite) that will focus on the relationship between leadership and spirituality from a primarily Christian perspective. The course will be attentive to the various ways spirituality shapes one’s understanding of leadership, the importance of context to one's development as a leader and leadership styles, as well as the intersections between spirituality and leadership.

S 5008 History of Christian Spirituality Seminar**
This seminar course will do an exploration of key movements and figures in the history and development of Christian spirituality over the course of 2000 years. Given the interdisciplinary nature of spirituality, this course will focus on the importance of history as a source for the study of Christian spirituality. MA and DMin students will be required to do a historical study of a particular spiritual figure and/or movement to be shared with their classmates.

S 5009 Biology of Spirit**
This course will explore contemporary perspectives on such issues as: neuroscience and religious experience, differences and convergences between spiritual and scientific ways of knowing, human spiritual participation in ecospheres, theological and scientific views on the relations among body, mind, and spirit, etc.

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.

S 5010 God Images in the Writings of Theologians of Color**
This course will place in conversation the images of God, in postcolonial, liberation and classical theorists with those presented in writers of color including members from Latin@, Black and Asian American communities. Attention will be given to how these God images influence the Christian spiritual life.

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.

SC 5020 Hispanic Spirituality: History and Religiosity**
Provides a general introduction to the foundations, beliefs, and challenges of Hispanic/Latino spirituality. The course covers topics like: Mesoamerican and medieval Spanish religiosity; what Latinos believe about God, Mary, humanity, evil, etc.; and finally, the challenge of evangelizing popular religiosity and of enhancing Latino interest in the Word of God, justice, and liberation.

CS 5030 The Spirituality of Lakota-Christian Dialogue
In dialogue with Lakota Native Americans 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.

S 5101 Foundations and Methods for the Study of Spirituality
This seminar course is designed specifically for students who are concentrating in Christian Spirituality as a theological discipline at the M.A. or D.Min level. It will define spirituality as a field of study, explore the relationship between spiritual praxis and research in spirituality, survey research methods, evaluate the notion of a “spiritual classic,” and examine issues in the historical/theological study of spirituality. It will teach students the crucial work of appropriating spiritual classics for contemporary audiences.

S 5105 Discernment: Classical Traditions, Contemporary Dilemmas**
This course is an exploration of historical Christian insights into discernment, in view of developing a discerning approach to issues arising today.

S 5110 Spiritual Formation Seminar**
Christian spiritual formation is a journey in which our spirit is formed, and transformed by the Spirit of Jesus Christ for the glory of God. This course considers traditional and contemporary models and issues of Christian spiritual growth which can take place at home, in the parish, in ecclesial movements, in religious life, in studies, or in secular places and situations.

S 5112 Spirituality and Health**
This course will provide students with an understanding of the relationship of spirituality, faith and health from a cultural perspective. Students will learn to appreciate and understand the relationship between one's spirituality and faith and wellness/health. This course will focus on recent studies and scholarship on such themes as prayer and healing, power of story, addictions and 12 step programs, care of the person, environment and stress, illness, end of life and aging.

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).

DS 5200 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.

DS 5205 The Theology and Spirituality of Karl Rahner to be offered this Fall by James Bacik
This course will investigate the theology of Karl Rahner with the goal of revealing the rich and meaningful spirituality that is present and implied in it.

S 5212 Advanced Seminar in Spiritual Direction**
A seminar for those with experience practicing spiritual direction, the course involves reading and reflection of major theoretical perspectives on spiritual direction in the light of participants’ ministry experiences.

WS 5301 Patterns of Christian Prayer
This seminar examines the historical development of non-eucharistic liturgical prayer from early Christian prayer patterns through the reforms of Vatican II. This historical-comparative approach provides the context for inquiring to what extent there is an implied spirituality in the form, structure, and performance of such prayer; and how this might be beneficial to contemporary prayer practice.

S 5310 Spirituality for the New Millennium**
This seminar delineates the main lines of a spirituality which holds promise for the twenty-first century as it emerges from the stories and the writings of the leading mediating figures of the twentieth century.