Spring 2024 Course Descriptions

This seminar explores what it means to think and live faithfully in our world by engaging in an in-depth study of an important issue. Each class will engage with the richness and complexity of its subject by considering diverse viewpoints and multiple academic disciplines and exploring their interconnections. Each class will also be challenged with some of the best Christian thinking about the issue. The class will maintain an atmosphere of open inquiry and discovery, and provide occasion for each student to reflect on God’s call on his/her life. Prerequisite: senior standing, or junior standing and completion of all other general education requirements.

Monday and Wednesday, 2:00-3:15 p.m.
Instructor: Dr. T.C. Ham
This course explores the topics of friendship and romance at the intersection of sociology, philosophy, theology, psychology, history, and biblical studies. For most college students, friendships and dating relationships represent two of the most important interpersonal relationships. Yet, the Church and the academy offer little in the way of helping us to think deeply about these relationships. Through the exploration of these important human relationships, the course aims to deepen our thinking with an eye toward living out our faith in the world.
Tuesday and Thursday, 2:30-3:45 p.m.
Instructor: Dr. Jay Case
This course is an examination of film in the US between 1945 and the present, thematically linked to the concept of “the American Dream.” Through those films this class gives students the critical equipment for encountering artistic materials and sustaining critical dialogue. Students will also better understand the ways that historical context shapes conceptions of the American Dream and ways that conceptions of the American Dream have driven thematic content in film. As an organizing framework for the course, the class will explore the concept of the American Dream through the primary theme of the Material Ideal, as well as secondary themes of individualism, civic responsibility, family, friendship, security, race, gender and faith. Through this process, students should become more thoughtful and mature people of faith. 
Wednesday, 6:00-8:30 p.m.
Instructor: Cherie Parsons
This is a course on loss and grief; but it also a course about joy, truth seeking, and vulnerability. Whether we want or expect to be, we are tossed into the vastness of vulnerability and loss of time and time again in our lifetimes. We will explore what it means to be vulnerable and the profound power that can come from it. How do we help others and ourselves embrace vulnerability and accept the role loss plays in our lives so that we might live wholeheartedly and faithfully? How do we continue to live and love, despite the pain and sorrow of loss? These are the questions central to the course – and to our lives.