Every freshman will take the First Year Seminar (CORE 101) the fall semester of their freshman year. The First Year Seminar is composed of 2/3 shared content and 1/3 specialized content unique to the faculty member and course section. The first 2/3 of every First Year Seminar features shared readings and focus on the theme of "What is the Good Life" and other enduring questions. See Core 101 Sections for descriptions of the last 4 weeks of the semester and the instructor's 1/3 specialized content.

CORE 3XX. Advanced Integrative Seminar. Students should take the Advanced Integrative Seminar after the First Year Seminar and before the Core Curriculum Capstone Experience, ideally during their sophomore or junior year. This course will foster advanced skills in the Christian liberal arts and the integration of faith and learning through an intensive focus on a complex topic requiring both interdisciplinary and integrative perspectives. The Advanced Integrative Seminar must be a course outside of a student's major(s). It will challenge students to read, discuss, and write with rigor and increased maturity as they draw upon the resources of the Christian faith to address the content and questions of their seminar's topic. These courses may meet the requirements of one or two of the categories in the Thematic Core. Resources will be available for faculty interested in team teaching this course. Prerequisite: CORE 101 First Year Seminar: Enduring Questions

Neuroscience and Christian Spiritual Formation    

Regularly, newspapers and media outlets report on advances in neuroscience that propose to explain our personhood via biological networks in our brains, thereby reducing human persons to the neural hardware in self-contained system, or as Richard Dawkins might say, “nothing but DNA replicators.” As we examine, in this First Year Seminar, the question of “What is the Good Life?” how are we to respond to the research that reports we are nothing but our biology? And, most importantly, how does this inform our spiritual formation and our understanding of being the Imago Dei? Students will leave this section of the course with an appreciation for how science and faith interact within a Christian worldview and able to connect neuroscience findings with their own spiritual formation.

What is Justice?    

What is justice? What does it mean for a society to be just? And how should we respond to injustice? This section of the First Year Seminar will take up such questions as we consider what it means to live “the good life” with and for others. Beginning with Isaiah’s exhortation to “seek justice,” we will explore different ways that writers and artists have understood the concept, and we will consider case studies from South Africa and the United States that illustrate what (in)justice looks like in practice. Guides on our journey together will include Plato, Augustine, Shakespeare, Weil, King, Tutu, Krog, and many others.

Cosmology and the Good Life    

Students will explore the question “How is cosmology connected to the good life?” in this section. Historical, theological, scientific, philosophy of social science and cultural criticism readings will be used to explore how all cosmologies are either explicitly or implicitly intertwined with a conception of the good life. Students will start by investigating traditional Chinese, Japanese and Hindu cosmologies and the form of the good life these cosmologies presuppose. Next, they will look at how astronomers learn about the cosmos and learn about contemporary scientific cosmology. Students will then be in a position to explore what vision of the good life is intertwined with contemporary scientific cosmology in American society. Finally, drawing on the entire semester students will explore whether there is an alternative to the contemporary American/scientific cosmology default conception of the good life.

Living with More Rhythm    

The good life is filled with rhythm. We find rhythm in human artistic expression (music, film, dance), in persuasive communication (public voice, relationship coordination) and life balance (spiritual disciplines). If we lack rhythm, then we probably are lacking some of the joy and fulfillment available to us through our personal expressions, our relationships, or our faith in Christ. To explore rhythm, we will enjoy reading about, and experiencing, “rhythm and blues” music, film editing, persuasive strategy, and various spiritual disciplines.

Good Life & Communication    

The word "communication" comes from the Latin root communis, or common. It represents a very old discipline that dates from ancient speakers and philosophers to the new technologies and innovators that are changing our world. Communication shapes our lives by developing a common or shared understanding of who we are, what we believe, and what is our place in this world. It studies relationships and messages across interpersonal, small group, organizational, and public contexts. It first teaches us how our perceptions of self and others formulate identity. It teaches us how to develop and sustain relationships with others as we build common understanding through encoding and decoding symbolic behavior (verbal, nonverbal, and visual) that creates meaning. It teaches us what is appropriate (i.e., the rules of interaction management) as well as what is effective (i.e., how to achieve our relational goals). This understanding builds community between people, bridging the differences between individuals and cultures as we listen to their voices. Ultimately, communication leads us to empower the voices of others and in the process, learn how to sustain and share the Good Life.

How Can We Respectfully Disagree?

This section will examine the relationship between civility and democracy, an important theme in politically divisive times. In particular, we will explore the questions: "How do we treat each other well in political communities?" and "How can we engage in politics with civility and respect?" To help us wrestle with these questions, the focused readings in this seminar will examine the nature and purpose of political communities and discuss specific research findings in moral psychology, sociology of race, and political communication that affect how, when, and where people engage in politics. We will use the lens of virtues and vices to identify sinful patterns to avoid and to point us toward God-honoring ways to debate political questions and seek human flourishing.

Creativity & the Good Life    

What does it mean to be a creative human being? Students will reflect on how being made in the Image of God imbues us with creative capacities, allowing us to participate in the process of making all sorts of things, immaterial and material. In a real sense, what we choose to create will direct our energies toward the kind of life that we will live. Some of the corollary concerns that this seminar will examine are as follows. Is creativity a gift given only to some and not to others? Does it need to be cultivated, and if so, how? Are there risks involved in exercising creative potential? In what ways is our potential as humans tethered to our embracing of creative capacities? What is a biblical foundation for creative expression? This seminar will provide both a conceptual and practical opportunity for students to define and clarify personal creativity.

Who Am I?  

The perennial question, "Who Am I?" will be approached from an identity development perspective. This draws on research and writing from fields like developmental psychology, family systems theory, theology, and community art to understand identity development. A major value in answering this question will be to consider development in context. Thus, how the individual interacts with various outside factors must be considered. The course will include readings and discussion on race, gender, culture, family dynamics, and membership in community.

How Do We Help the Poor?    

"How best can we do good for the poor?" From a Christian point of view, we are more like God and also more truly human when we give rather than receive (Acts 20:35), when we are generous (2 Cor. 9:7), and when we consider others before ourselves (Phil. 2:3). Showing love and fulfilling our duties to others are essential aspects of the Good Life. As Jesus said, we will always have the poor with us (Mark 14:7; Matt. 26:11), and it is fundamental to Jesus' mission to bring good news to the poor (e.g. Matt. 11:5; 19:21; Luke 4:8; 14:13; 18:22; 19:8). Therefore, one way to practice the Good Life is to care for the poor. Yet, while this important value is simple at its core, it is also complex to put into practice. We must start with love for God and neighbor and a spirit of grateful obedience to God. Yet, to answer the question, "How best can we do good for the poor?" (cf. Mark 14:7), we must consider many issues related to people's individual needs and how societies function on multiple levels, informed by Scripture and also by all of the humanities and social sciences that give insight into the human condition.

Relationship to Creation    

What is our real place in and relationship to His Creation? Beyond core assignments, the distinctive theme for this section comes through supplemental readings of diverse types to give focus on the Lord’s great creative genius in this earthly home. What is it that thrills our hearts in the presence of mountains, beaches, forests, deserts, streams, oceans, and among the grand variety of living things? What can Scripture with its theological history, the testimony of scientific exploration, and the constant interaction of humanity with all Creation mean to us and our lifestyles? What is the current state of God’s good Creation in relationship to the industry and aspirations of His image bearers? Join us if you love the wonders of the outdoors, and especially if life and earth science are realms that stimulate your imagination. Science can be very sterile or intimidating if considered without application to our practical and aesthetic sensitivities. Living on this planet without a proper appreciation for how it functions in God’s design is unwise. The seminar will bring together many aspects of living and study to help us realize what the Creator considers the “good life”.

Shalom & Community    

Our course will study human flourishing in the context of community. It asks, “How have men and women defined the good life in different times and places?,” “In what ways is human flourishing influenced by and centered in community?" and “How can we flourish given the challenges and realities of our differences?” As philosopher Nicholas Wolterstorff explains, one way to understand human flourishing is through the concept of shalom or “peace.” Shalom is a powerful concept of harmony woven throughout scripture. Its understanding of human flourishing is rooted in right relationships. Shalom encompasses an individual’s “dwelling at peace” with God, others, self, and creation (Wolterstorff, Until Justice and Peace Embrace, 69-70). Yet, identity and belonging are complex, often contested, concepts. Geography, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic resources, and race intersect in ways that draw us together and divide us from one another.  In this class, we will work together to understand how people in the past and present have understood and pursued the good life together in community.

Do Cultural Differences Matter for the Good Life?    

How do we understand and develop “The Good Life” depends on who we consider ourselves to be, including how we think about, experience, and learn about culture. The questions of identity, difference, and community are at the heart of how we develop a sense of who we are and where we fit into a good life. In this section of the First Year Seminar, we will engage in a critical, but positive, understanding of the ways we think about “The Good Life,” and draw these ideas from scripture and tradition, as a cultural process. In particular, we will be thinking about the nature of social and cultural difference: how we understand it; what difference it makes; how differences may challenge or shape our understanding of the Good Life. For us as much as anyone who has ever lived, our communities shape with us our ideas and practices that allow us to make such formulations. Our guides in this process will include anthropologists and sociologists, historians and novelists, as well as the voices of ordinary people from diverse cultural contexts.

Sexuality & Identity    

Increasingly, sexuality is considered the “master dimension” that defines and establishes the foundation or core of human identity. Confusing messages abound in our culture about our sexual identities. Embedded in this cultural shift are disjointed and under examined understandings of the nature of sexuality. Our focus question will be “How do our sexuality and relationality shape human identity and personhood, and hence shape our experience of the good life?” In answering this question, we will address two important focal topics: First, we will attempt to step back and ask how we can we begin to understand sexuality and relationality from a Christian perspective, and, on that basis, understand the proper role of sexuality in shaping and conditioning human identity and affecting our understanding of the good life. Second, we will look at interdisciplinary perspectives in understanding sexuality, with a primary focus on the social and natural sciences, to explore how these perspectives enhance and challenge a Christian perspective on these topics, and how a Christian perspective might shape our understanding of social and natural scientific perspectives on these topics.

Christian Community    

This seminar introduces students to the Christian Liberal arts by engaging in enduring questions in a theologically informed way. Essential biblical and theological content will ground the investigation of enduring questions, the liberal arts, vocation, and character formation. The seminar will begin by investigating the perennial liberal arts question, “What is the good life?” This seminar will then engage the particular enduring question, “How can Christian community exhibit the character of Christ?” We will examine the narrative character of the Christian community, the competing narratives of Church and the world, and end with the practical aspects of Church and social engagement. This examination will be grounded in the biblical affirmation that Christians are called to exhibit the character of Christ and a biblical and theological account of Jesus’s life and ministry. We will consider seriously the reality that human beings are formed by the narratives we encounter and in which we enter. By entering the narrative of God in Jesus, students will explore how the Christian Church differs in both practice and telos from the dominant secular paradigms. In doing so, we will address the narrative character of communities, the Incarnation, moral authority of Scripture, the moral limits of a secular polity, virtue ethics, and the Church and social polity.

Living in God’s Creation    

Humans are unique in creation. We are like the rest of creation in that we are created beings. At the same time we are different from the rest of creation in that we have the image of God as part of our nature. This position places both privileges and responsibilities on humankind regarding the environment in which we live. Sin produces disordered relationships between people and God, between people and each other, and between people and the rest of creation. Cultural, political, economic, and interpersonal problems resulting from human’s fallen nature are all played out within the context of our physical environment. The environment is influenced by these problems and at the same time shapes the problems. From Genesis to Revelation God provides guidance on how humans should live in the environment. Our ability to live well in creation hinges upon our understanding our Biblically mandated roles relative to the environment as well as considering the practical reasons for caring for creation. This First Year Seminar will use the lens of a Biblically and theologically informed view of the natural and human influenced environment to expand our consideration of “the good life”.

Justice, Mercy & Good Life    

The question, "What is the Good Life?," is organized around Micah 6:8, "He has told you what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God." This seminar will ask: How are acts of justice, compassion, and humility an essential part of our journey of faith, i.e., the Good Life? It is my goal for the course to cultivate in students the ability to think and actively engage in the seeking of justice and compassion while serving God's Kingdom with humility. Students will explore readings from various disciplines as they relate to justice seeking, shalom, and ethics, e.g., political scientists, theologians, philosophers and psychologists. Students will also explore their own developmental stories of family and community as influential in their ability to act in just, compassionate, and humble ways. Delving deeper into the Micah 6:8 call requires students to grow intellectually (with regard to understanding issues of justice and injustice), emotionally (as we explore compassion rather than sentimentalizing the poor), and spiritually (humility as formed by the Holy Spirit). Students will explore how advocacy for justice is both a spiritual discipline and a vocational vision.

What is Love?    

This seminar will take up the particular enduring question, “What is love?” We will examine various forms of love, including: romantic love, familial love, friendship, love of neighbor, God’s love for us and our love for God. This examination will be grounded in the biblical affirmation that “God is Love” and a biblical and theological account of God’s love for humanity. This perennial question “What is Love?” will complement the theme of the First Year Seminar “What is the good life?” by encouraging students to consider how love directed outside of oneself toward a friend, a spouse, a child, a neighbor, and God is essential to the “good life” – a life in which a person, by God’s grace and call, is turned away from sinful self-preoccupation and will flourish in living a life of love for others. The main text unique to this seminar will be C.S. Lewis’s classic book, The Four Loves.

Can War Be Just?    

The perennial question organizing this FYS will be "Can war be just?" This question asks students to press to the very center of what it means to live well, both as individuals and together within political communities since every political community claims the right (and not just the power) to use lethal violence in defense of its interests and (ostensibly) its citizens. We will ask what it could mean for war to be just and whether we as Christians can ever be just warriors or if we should abjure "the sword."

The Suburban Good Life    

In the United States, the answer to the question “what is the good life?” is often related to images and experiences of suburban single-family homes as well as happy suburban families. This seminar will address the ways – including social forces, historical events, and political actions - in which this suburban answer developed in the United States. Additionally, we will consider how Christians might respond to the good life being placed in a particular geographic setting that critics argue promotes private space, individualism, homogeneity, and consumerism.

What is an Image?    

In the Old Testament, images are a matter of life and death, erecting a primary obstacle between ourselves and God (Exodus 20:4). At the same time, we are commanded to make images (Exodus 25:18), and we ourselves are made in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:27). Does this constitute a static possession or a dynamic destiny (I Cor. 15:49)? What might our status as images mean for the pursuit of the good life, and for the pursuit of Christ who is also described as an image, the “image (eikon) of the invisible God” (Col 1:15).

Where Do We Come From?    

Our question leads us to explore the influence of past events in the history of the cosmos, Earth and life that led to our life-affirming plant home and enabled human flourishing. While this is primarily an overview of scientific discovery (astronomy, geology, and biology), each event begs questions of how is God involved in these events and how are they related to accounts of creation in our Scriptures. This will require us to dig into a comprehensive doctrine of creation, continuing work we begin in the first (shared material) part of the seminar. Readings provide us with historical perspectives on the engagement of science and theology, from our continued reading of Augustine to examining the ideas of modern theologians, scientists, and philosophers of science.

Accounting for Nature's Beauty

As Fyodor Dostoevsky once remarked, “Beauty will save the world.” What could he have meant by this enigmatic claim? This seminar speaks to such perennial questions as: “What is beauty?”, “What does beauty tell us about reality?” and “What, if anything, is it there for?” Recognizing the role that beauty plays in the good life, we’ll explore its centrality in the arts, its surprising role in the sciences, its relationship with truth and goodness in philosophy, its revelatory role in theology, and beauty as a means of grace in our day-to-day life. This venture will involve reading texts about beauty but also beautiful texts; in this seminar, you will encounter beauty. It provides, we’ll discover, a window onto a reality that is as transforming as it is unmistakable. Beauty holds the power to transform the individual and the potential to remake the church as a compelling alternative to a culture that has sold out to the power of politics, finance, and celebrity. Ultimately, the beauty that will save the world is the (shocking) beauty of the cross; day-to-day, it is the beauty of a life of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Who is God?    

“Who Is God?” is a foundational question for human existence, for only when we rightly know God can we rightly know ourselves and God’s creation. Scripture reveals many names for God, but in the New Testament, “Father” takes pride of place. This class explores the Old and New Testaments as well as church history and theology to understand what Christians mean when we call God “Father.” We then explore familial dimensions of the story of salvation: God’s partnering with a mother, Mary, to bring his Son, and Christians’ identity as sons and daughters of God. This FYS invites you to grasp in a deeper way the character of God who is our Father.

How Does the Biological World Declare the Glory of God ?   

This class explores some attributes of God (power, wisdom, love) by focusing on His created biological world. The perennial question, "How does the biological world declare the glory of God?" primarily will be answered four ways: 1. It reveals His power; 2. It reveals His wisdom; 3. It reveals His love; and 4. It includes humans made in His image. The biological world will be explored through readings and assignments in the natural sciences, arts, and humanities and time spent out in God's creation. This FYS invites you to explore In a deeper way attributes of God declared in his created world.

Good Life in the Media Age. Can The Good Life Be Virtualized?    

In this interdisciplinary First Year Seminar, students will be introduced to a wide variety of classical, Christian, and liberal arts authors and perspectives. Additionally, students will be introduced to a new interdisciplinary social science calling itself Media Ecology, which studies the effects of media and technologies on the human biological, social, and cultural environment. Using this new tool of social science will offer students fresh perspectives and interpretations on some of the enduring questions that humanity has been asking itself for centuries.

What Is Matter?    

What is matter? More specifically, how does our understanding of matter (i.e. the material “stuff” of the physical world) shape our vision of the Good Life and contribute to its pursuit? As chemists we will focus particularly on how our mastery of atomic and molecular theory, and the ways we are able to manipulate matter, have enabled a reshaping of our modern ideals of the Good Life. Human beings have always wrapped their understanding of the natural world into their bigger visions of life, so towards the end of this course we focus on how our view of the material world affects our understanding of the Good Life. Our readings will brings us the voices of scientists and scholars from across the liberal arts as they consider the difference chemistry and its products have made in shaping our lives today.

Studying the Physical Universe 

Students in this section will investigate the question “why is understanding the physical universe essential to the good life?” Readings will introduce students to questions and perspectives that examine the relationship between the physical universe and the good life, including investigating what areas of the human experience science can and cannot address. Next, students will read and discuss differences between observation and experimentation and how these practices shape the experience of being human and pursuing a good life. Finally, the last week of the course will guide students through forming an integrated, holistic perspective of the good life that gives adequate and relevance place for the physical universe.

Spiritual Disciplines    

When thinking about the good life, people today are inclined to first think about what possessions are needed in order to have such a life. We have been trained to think that we are what we have or what we consume. However, we get a much different answer from the ancient world. To paraphrase Aristotle, "We are what we repeatedly do." The good life, then, is more determined by our habits than by what we possess. The Christian tradition acknowledges this emphasis on habit and habit formation and also emphasizes the importance of the heart: "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it" (Proverbs 4:23). The selected theme builds on the overall topic of the good life and Christian discipleship. Specifically, we will survey “How do Christian spiritual practices contribute to the good life?" We will explore how Christians have understood the development of virtues and the disciplines that promote them as vital to the good and full life. Accordingly, students will be introduced to several classic Christian spiritual disciplines that promote habits for flourishing.

What is an Individual?    

Who are you? What does it mean to be you rather than someone else? How does the encounter with Christ help us to become truly who we are? Questions such as these will orient our approach to this course’s enduring question—“What does it mean to be an individual?” Together we will reflect on how our beliefs, assumptions, and narratives concerning individuality influence our understanding of “the good life.” Readings will consider how theologians, poets, novelists, philosophers, and artists have thought about individuality in relation to the shaping power of culture, the benefits of community, and the responsible exercise of freedom, especially as these issues have influenced our understanding of living for Christ both at home and across the globe.

The Value of Creativity    

What is creativity? This course will consider the nature of creativity by exploring the following questions through readings, discussions, writing assignments, experiential learning, and related projects. How does the current interest in creativity compare with past views of creativity? Do beliefs about creativity influence one’s creativity? How have educational experiences impaired or invigorated creativity? How do various disciplines view creativity, & what can be learned from this? How do our spiritual practices affirm or challenge our notion of creativity? How do our views of creativity influence our role in our various communities? How does our view and definition of vocation invite or ignore cultivating various forms of creativity in our lives?

Modern American Families    

“What is the ideal modern American family?” This course explores how American families have changed over time and how those changes have influenced our understanding of “the good life.” When and why did American men and women shift from courtship to dating? What have been the changes to men and women’s roles in home and society? How and why did the ideal American childhood move from a useful childhood to a more protected childhood free from work? How did the rise of the middle class and mass media contribute to increasingly controversial debates about gender roles, reproduction, parenting, dating, feminism, and sexuality? We will consider how the politicized public debate about gender and family was at the heart of the 20th-century culture wars while also shaping our own current assumptions about love, family, dating, sex, marriage, and more. As students learn the history of these debates, they will be prompted to grapple with their experiences and expectations related to the family and the good life.

Character Formation and the Good Life    

How can we live robust, flourishing, happy lives? Ancient Greeks philosophers and Christian faithful agree that cultivating virtues and avoiding vices is essential for happiness. Virtues are acquired habits of excellence in areas of human life that are important and challenging, such as gaining wisdom and understanding, dispensing justice, loving your neighbor, and contributing to the good society. Virtues such as practical wisdom, humility, generosity, compassion, self-control, and love help us to achieve these important goods. Insofar as virtues are taking up permanent residence in us, we are being conformed to Christ-likeness. Christians are also called to avoid or conquer vicious traits, such as pride, anger, greed, that diminish us as persons and are counterproductive to our flourishing. Indeed, your character, who you are in your innermost being, is a unique blend of good and bad character traits. The process of sanctification whereby we are transformed into new creatures in Christ, requires that we cultivate virtues. Indeed, the apostle Peter says, “make every effort to add to your faith virtue” (II Pet. 1:5). Why? So that we may be conformed to the divine image. This class will explore the nature of virtues and vices: how to cultivate the former and avoid the latter.

Soul, Mind or Brain?    

There are a variety of ways of exploring this question, as a neuroscientist, the instructor will be framing it within the history and development of brain science. Our understanding of what it means to be a human being has been profoundly impacted by research on the brain over the last two centuries. The primary thesis for the section is that there has been a movement in the culture from 'I have a soul', to 'I have a mind', to 'I am a brain.' Included are readings on how our knowledge of brain abnormalities/pathologies (i.e. Alzheimer's Dementia, tumors, etc.) contributes to our understanding of what it means to have value as a human being, and what it means to flourish. In the last 30 years, however, advances in brain imaging technologies have enabled us to look inside the "black box' of the mind and have challenged the way we think about what it means to be human and if human flourishing can be reduced to a matter of neurological eudaimonia.

Diversities in Good Life - Is the Good Life Culturally Specific?    

Is the good life culturally specific? Taking the questions and themes from Weeks 1-6 as a springboard, this course will consider whether specific cultures, traditions, and historical contexts help shape ideas of the good life in different communities. Students will discuss texts grounded in American, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese experiences to explore possible, culturally and historically specific differences in grapples with the good life as well as similarities across time and space.

How Should We Face Death?    

Any answer given to the question, "What is the good life?" will be linked to the question of how we face the end of that life. After all, it makes sense that a good life will lead to a good death. So how should we face death? What kind of spiritual, emotional, and physical preparations should we make for death? What is the proper Christian approach to death, given its relationship to sin (Genesis 2:17, 3:19)? How does the fact that death has been defeated by Jesus Christ change our approach to death (1. Cor. 15:53-57)? And what does the reality of death teach us about the meaning of life?

How Do We Love "the Other"?    

The concepts of “the Other,” “otherness,” “othering” have taken root in diverse academic disciplines including sociology, nursing science, psychology, literary criticism, and transcultural studies.  The Bible provides us with crucial accounts of Christ demonstrating the love of the Other, the sick, the outcast, the profane, and the foreign. While our love of Christ compels us toward the love of the Other, the capacity to empathize (even though it seems innate) is a trained skill. This seminar is based on a premise that the use of the imagination is a spiritual discipline for learning to love the Other in different contexts. Through readings, discussions and projects, students will take on the challenge of seeing the world from the viewpoint of the Other, those who are distanced from them racially, geographically, culturally, linguistically, gender-wise, etc. Without the training of one’s imagination for the sake of love, “Good Life” is simply not possible.

How Should We Live in Time?    

Faced with too many good options, students often wonder what metrics to apply for choosing temporal activities or managing the anxiety of the choice. And the stakes of the choices--the good life itself--are high. In this seminar, students will reflect on ideas and theories about time and human experience of time from theology, physics, music, philosophy, literature, psychology, and history. We will reflect on the phenomenon of time and how we experience it, not merely seeking the ideal planner or the productivity manager, but the God who, as Karl Barth famously wrote, in Christ "has time for us.”

Why Do We Suffer?

To answer the question of "What is the good life" we must also wrestle with the reality of suffering and ask in what ways suffering contributes to a good life. Struggling with why we suffer will also raise further questions, especially in a Christian context. Some of the questions that will be addressed in the final weeks of the semester are: (a) What is evil and what is the origin of evil? (b) Why might God allow suffering? (c) How does suffering fit into (and why is it central to) the Christian story? and (d) How should we respond to our own and others' suffering?

What is a Thriving City?

Students will consider what it means and takes for human communities, and especially cities, to thrive. They will examine various notions of the common good, explore the ways in which it is pursued and achieved or neglected and undermined, and integrate relevant resources from Scripture and the Christian tradition in critiquing and constructing a vision of thriving cities. This question complements the FYS's theme question of "What is the Good Life?" by revising the social and community dimensions of that question, by expanding on those dimensions to explore the conditions for and endowments required for living the good life together, and by giving concrete expression to the discourses, institutions, and practices that advance or hinder the pursuit of the good life in community.

How Do We Live Well in Community?

This perennial question that students will pursue at the end of this FYS will be anchored by Marilynne Robinson's novel "Home", which will be placed within the context of scripture, theology, and works from other disciplinary perspectives as students explore various challenges within community, particularly the loneliness of singleness and the dangers of racism.

How Do Power and Tragedy Shape the Good Life?

An exploration of how expressions of Power - be they individual, cultural, political, or divine - and experiences of tragedy shape and challenge the Christian pursuit of the Good Life.

Where is the Good Life? Places Matters

The perennial questions for this course are: "Where is the good life?" and, “How do I live well there?”  These questions ground the FYS theme of “What is the good life” in a particular place, Wheaton, IL.  Together, we will attend to place, exploring the relationships between people, institutions and creation that have created Wheaton (and, to some extent, Chicago). Students will begin to develop a thick understanding of this place, enabling them to seek the good of the places - the people, creation, the built environment, the relationships between those - to which God calls them after Wheaton.

Chivalry and the Good Life

What is the relationship of chivalry to the good life? How have the medieval ideals of chivalry (honor, loyalty, bravery, courtesy, romantic love, obedience to authority, protecting the weak, et al.) influenced or been reinterpreted as the ethics of the good life in a postmodern, post-Christian society? This portion of the First Year Seminar seeks to answer these questions by first, exploring the origins of courtly values in literature adapted from Old French textual predecessors for Middle High German audiences in the literary romances written by Swabian medieval poet Hartmann von Aue, and, secondly, by comparing those ideals to the questions of what it means to live a good life. Students will read the texts by Hartmann von Aue in English translation as well as articles from secondary literature on specific aspects of these works.

Happily Ever After? Good and Evil Lives in the Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm

Over two centuries after Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm first published their collection of fairy tales, images and tropes from those tales remain omnipresent, from the fictional "Storybrooke" to the very real Cinderella's Castle at Disney World, and from "Tangled" to "Into the Woods." "Happily ever after" is not a mere cliché, but instead a powerful phrase that summons images of glass slippers, poisoned apples, and big, bad wolves. More importantly, it also completes the sentence that begins "And they lived...," serving as the capstone of stories about the lost who are found, the lowly who are raised up, the poor who become rich. In this FYS section, we'll explore how both familiar and lesser known fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm define "happily ever after" in relation to the good life. In reflecting on the enduring cultural, moral and spiritual resonance of these products of German Romanticism, we'll discuss the tales themselves, theoretical studies and essays on the fairy tale genre, and selected adaptations in popular media.

Freedom and the Good Life

Freedom is, quite obviously, a central feature of American life, and democratic life more generally. But the question of what it means to live as a free person has long occupied theologians, philosophers, and a wide range of other thinkers as well. This seminar will prod students into thinking more carefully about what it is we mean when we talk about “freedom” and the degree to which freedom matters for our lives as Christians and members of a distinct political community.

Emotions and the Good Life

Humans are created to be whole beings who experience a variety of emotions as they interact with the world around them. How does our understanding of emotions contribute to our understanding of well-being, including spiritual well-being, and vice versa? In this course, we will explore both psychological and theological understandings of emotions in human experience, including theories of emotion, the development of emotion and its regulation, the ways in which we understand emotional functioning to be healthy or maladaptive, and emotions in the Bible and in Christian thought. Through the exploration of these topics, we will seek together to better understand how our emotions can enable us to richly engage with our environments and with God and help us live "the good life."

How Do Our Memories Shape Our Understanding of the Good Life?

This course will examine how memory and autonoetic consciousness relate to human experience. We will discuss how our memories, and the way we think about our memories, contribute to our perception of the good life.

How Do We Think Well in Ways that Contribute to the Good Life in Christ?

We rarely spend time thinking about thinking, yet our thought patterns powerfully influence our perception of reality, often contributing to or detracting from human flourishing. This insight raises a central question, which we will tackle in this seminar: How do we think well in ways that contribute to the good life in Christ? To address this broader question, we will wrestle with four more specific questions: How does our mind process information, how do we think well in the midst of polarized perspectives and constant distractions, how do we think well despite the cognitive biases we all face, and how do we think well in light of the gospel message? To tackle these questions, we will look at interdisciplinary research and writings from cognitive, moral, and political psychology, philosophy, and theology.

What is the Role of Christian Fasting in Whole Person Spirituality, and How Does that Shape Our Understanding of the Good Life?

When believers think about fasting, the tendency is to view it as a difficult ancient practice that should be avoided or practiced only in painful moments. It turns out, however, that in addition to its spiritual benefits, over seventy years of biomedical studies suggest that fasting is good for the whole person. From anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, to memory and mood improvements, scientific literature documents potential health benefits of fasting. The good life isn’t always about possessions and acquisitions, after all, Jesus cautioned that “life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15). Sometimes, as in the case of fasting, the good life is enhanced by Christian practices that teach restraint and self-discipline in order to consecrate oneself to God.  Accordingly, selected theme will not only highlight health benefits of fasting, but will introduce students to the broader place of Christian fasting in whole person Christianity.

How Does Memory Relate to the Good Life?

Students will consider the ways in which individuals recall and retell their personal stories, and the ways in which they understand themselves as part of a community with a collective identity built on a version of shared memory. Students will be challenged to consider how the past is represented in the required texts, especially Confessions and Silence. Then during the final weeks of the class, we will turn to contemporary Spain as a case study. Students will explore the perpetual controversies surrounding cultural memory of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and Franco dictatorship (1939-1975) as depicted in a few literary and film examples, and how portrayal of the past continues to impact Spaniards' understanding of their identity. Students will draw connections to their own personal, cultural, and spiritual memory and identity, and articulate how the "Good Life" can be built on a proper view of the past.

What Does it Mean to Convert?

The philosophical tradition has a long standing interest in the problem of conversion. Why do people convert? What happens to a person when conversion occurs? Is there any continuity between the person who exists pre- and post-conversion? This set of questions complements the FYS's more general interest in "the good life" by raising the issue of how we come to value what we value. After visiting a range of classical and modern responses, the course ends with two works by philosopher-theologian Søren Kierkegaard: "Philosophical Fragments" and "Fear and Trembling." In these texts we receive both a powerful theological challenge to the traditional narrative of conversion and a model for how we should relate to our values in light of the fact that they are - in some strong sense - a product of grace.

Why Do We Write and Read Stories?

This enduring question will provide an entrée for students into considering the role that the arts (particularly literature) play in their moral, intellectual, and spiritual development. Through works ranging from Aristotle's "Poetics" to Dorothy Sayers' "The Mind of the Maker," students will be asked to consider why human beings have been created to be mimetic creatures, and to ponder what we get out of our continual exposure to fictional representations of our lives here.

What is the Christian Imagination?

How may we imagine the good life Christianly? How is the imagination shaped by scripture and by theological resources? How does the Christian imagination interact with our ability to seek the good life as disciples of Jesus Christ? Answers to these questions will require students to draw on interdisciplinary, liberal arts sources. In the seminar, we will seek a biblically-shaped, theologically faithful imagination which will inspire students to seek the good life.

What Does it Mean to Become an Adult?

What does it mean to become an adult? Do people want to become adults? This course looks at the transition to adulthood and the various ways in which both scholars and the media have defined the adult “good life.” We will look at the changing nature of adulthood in contemporary western societies and the nature of spiritual and identity development in light of these changes. We will also discuss some of the key spiritual formation perspectives and practices that can foster the “good life” during the adult transition. As Christians on the cusp of adulthood, what does it mean to “grow up” in a way that is faithful to our calling to love God and neighbor? This First Year Seminar will address that question as we see to discern the meaning and purpose of Christian adulthood.

What is Reality?

This seminar will help students examine how to discern between appearance and reality in both the natural and the spiritual realms. The good life is difficult to attain if one cannot distinguish between true and the false – or between reality and illusion. IN a world that increasingly demands our allegiance to principles and issues that appear to be good but are not always so, we must develop the spiritual discernment needed to determine what is true or false, what is good or bad, and what honors or dishonors the Lord. As we consider the relevance of appearance versus reality to the good life, we will reflect on Biblical, literary, and philosophical responses to our perennial question, ultimately allowing Scripture to guide us.

How Do We Face Suffering?

Every human life is touched by suffering of various kinds: physical, mental, emotional, relational, and more. How one perseveres in the face of the suffering one experiences will have a longstanding effect on the direction and quality of one's life. The good life must, therefore, include the ability both to endure suffering and sustain faith in the midst of suffering.

How Can Classical Texts Help Us Lead Good Lives in the Modern World?

Can critically engaging with books that have been recognized as monuments of the Western tradition since antiquity help us to live better lives? This course tests the premise through reading selections from Homer, Sophocles, and Ovid, along with the Bible. Four topics are discussed: fate and responsibility; when ethical demands conflict; facing mortality; hospitality.

Baptizing the Liberal Arts

What is Christian Education? Augustine writes in the De Ordine that “learning in the Liberal Arts, moderate and to the point, produces vital, long-suffering, and refined lovers of truth, who desire ardently, pursue constantly, and, at last, lay hold lovingly of...the good life.” Such is the essential promise of the Christian Liberal Arts. Yet that approach has come under fire from many quarters, for many reasons. This course will explore the Christian Liberal Arts tradition and its discontents with reference to Scriptural models of teaching, theological arguments about education, and challenges to the tradition issued by modern culture.

How does the Good Life Relate to Joy?

Although pursuing the “good life” may lead to a range of emotionally laden experiences, one hopes that the good life in some measure fosters joy. But what is joy? How does it relate to our circumstances, choices, practices, character, commitments, vocation, etc.? What kind of responsibility do we have for our joy(lessness)? Can joy be commanded of us—and if so, on what grounds? What if we find we can’t rejoice? Can joy “go wrong”? How does joy fit into the Christian life in particular? How does our experience of joy relate to our understanding of God as Creator and Redeemer? Is joy relevant to discerning our vocations? If so, how so? How might joy and the factors that foster it help us navigate areas of difference, conflict, and suffering in our individual and communal lives? Through readings and viewings reflecting diverse social locations and a range of disciplines across several media, we will seek to begin to address these questions in conversation with the FYS's larger focus on the good life.

Patience and the Good Life

In a world of rapid acceleration, patience is scarce. In fact, impatience is often celebrated - constant change and the quest for immediate gratification have become the norm. This seminar will explore how the cultivation of patience contributes to the good life and genuine flourishing in an impatient world. Impatience is frequently an indication of pride, self-centeredness, a desire for power and control, and is often a demonstration of fear. It routinely leads to dissatisfaction and discontentment, even despair. Patience is related to humility, selflessness, a commitment to service, and is a mark of trust. Patience contributes to a sense of personal well-being. This seminar will examine how patience is related to other Christian virtues, such as mercy, love, and hope. This account of Christian patience will be grounded in an affirmation of God's patience, which is a demonstration of God's love, compassion, and mercy.

Spiritual Disciplines and Embodied Spirituality

One can address the topic of the good life in terms of abstract categories but when life is being lived, we need paths upon which to obtain the virtues indicative of this "good life". In this course we will explore how the fathers and mothers of the historic church practiced the good life through the formalized spiritual disciplines of St Benedict and we will practice some of these disciplines as a class.  Of course, there are no practices that can, of their own power, help make one virtuous; it is only God working through practices that practices become useful for virtue.

Core Studies Courses

See CORE 101 sections for descriptions of the last 4 weeks of the semester and the instructor's 1/3 specialized content. CORE 101 is a prerequisite to any CORE 300 AIS course.

CORE 101. First Year Seminar: Enduring Questions. (4 Credits)

This course introduces students to practices of integrative thinking by engaging challenging, theologically significant enduring questions in a seminar-style course organized around a theme tied to the faculty member's specialty. The course will have three interrelated components: foundations for addressing the value and purpose of liberal arts education, focused study of the abiding liberal arts question "What is the good life?," and exploration of a related perennial question chosen by the instructor. All components of each seminar will emphasize integrative intellectual practice and model the integration of faith and learning in the liberal arts context. Please note these descriptions are for the last 4 weeks of the course and do not describe the focus for 2/3 of the semester and the first 12 weeks of the course.

General Education: SHAR

CORE 301. AIS: Human Trafficking: Causes, Consequences and Responses. (4 Credits)

This course examines the causes and consequences of human trafficking from diverse disciplinary perspectives, including political science, economics, history, theology and psychology. The course covers the definitions and historical development of sex and labor trafficking and critically reflects on diverse efforts to reduce trafficking in human beings, including Christian responses to slavery over time.

General Education: SHAR

CORE 302. AIS: Political Science Fiction. (4 Credits)

This course takes up important works of science fiction to engage on important themes in moral and political theory and the interrelation of philosophical reflection, imaginative literature, and theological commitment.

Tags: LE

General Education: SHAR

CORE 303. AIS: Making the Modern Middle East. (4 Credits)

This course introduces the modern Middle East drawing upon a variety of disciplinary perspectives including history, post-colonial theory, and religious studies. The historical and geographical scope of the course will be from the final decades of the Ottoman Empire to the formation of modern Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel. Special attention will be given to the cultural impact of imperialism and contemporary political and social trends in the region. Other course themes include European and American involvement in the Middle East, the growth of Islamic reform movements and Arab nationalism, Zionism, competing visions of womanhood in Islam and Judaism, religious fundamentalism (Christian, Islamic, and Jewish), and the history leading up to the Arab Spring. Our goal will be to understand how we as Christians can respectfully engage the Middle East in cultural encounters, whether through foreign policy, cultural productions, travel, humanitarian work, academics, missions, and so much more. (cannot satisfy HP secondary tag in transition gen ed).

Tags: GP, HP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 304. AIS: Christian Environmental Stewardship. (4 Credits)

Students will examine the biblical mandate for creation care and develop a personal response to the call for stewardship of land and creature. This course will provide students with a basic understanding of ecosystem biology and provide the framework for which students can understand the need for resources and the impact of resource extraction on human health, while providing a biblical and theological lens for developing an appropriate response.

Tags: SIP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 305. AIS: Spiritual Formation in Young Adulthood. (4 Credits)

Explores the development of faith during the years of emerging adulthood (18-29), focusing on the connections between Christian spiritual formation and the psychological and sociological dimensions of this life stage. Emphasizes the formation of faith within the context of emerging adult identity, worldview, vocation, morality, sexuality, and church participation.

Tags: SI

General Education: SHAR

CORE 306. AIS: Drugs, Society, and Religion. (4 Credits)

This course examines the psychological effects and neurobiological mechanisms of action of psychoactive drugs. Drugs are used in the treatment of psychopathological disorders, recreational substances of abuse, and in some cultures for religious rituals. This course is designed to provide undergraduate students interested in the mechanisms of action of drugs on the brain, how they are understood in different societies, and how they have historically been used for recreational and religious purposes.

Tags: SIP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 307. AIS: Cosmology. (4 Credits)

Cosmology refers to the scientific study of the large scale properties and history of the physical universe as a whole. Utilizing the methods of science, it seeks to understand the origin, evolution and ultimate fate of the universe. Cosmology also refers to philosophical inquiry into the history and general structure of the universe, especially with respect to questions of origin, fundamental elements, causality, laws and agency. Drawing upon these disciplines, this course aims toward formulating a fully informed, deeply integrated understanding of the world in which we live, move, and have our being.

Tags: PI, SIP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 308. AIS: Engaging Arts in the City. (4 Credits)

A multi-arts experience and analysis course in Chicago (or other city) comprised of a series of site visits to art events/performances/organizations chosen for their embodied, authentic responses to life. Site visits may include professional or educational productions that have musical, theatrical, dance, visual arts, or any kind of collaborative arts focus. Through seminar presentations, discussions, and final projects, students will learn how to decode what inspires an artwork's creation, and how to listen and respond to cultural and art modality otherness. Prerequisite: Department approval, admission to Wheaton in Chicago.

Tags: VPA

General Education: SHAR

CORE 311. AIS: The Good in the Great Plagues. (4 Credits)

An interdisciplinary consideration of major infectious disease epidemics throughout history. This course is a survey and analysis of the impact of epidemic diseases and their potential beneficial outcomes. The diseases discussed will include leprosy, several pandemics of plague, tuberculosis and AIDS, among others. The biological basis for the diseases will be presented along with the historical and social context for each. An emphasis will be placed on the intersection of scientific and theological perspectives on the impact that major infectious diseases have had.

Tags: SIP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 312. AIS: Native Chicago: American Indians in the Midwest. (4 Credits)

This course examines Native American communities from diverse disciplinary perspectives including anthropology, history, and theology. Students will study the culture, social structures, and history of indigenous peoples in the Great Lakes Region from the development of human societies in North America to the twentieth century. Topics include: Early Indigenous Communities, Cross-Cultural Contact with Diverse Ethnic and Racial Communities, Native Responses to Christianity, Conflict and Collaboration in Colonial America, Indian Removal and Resistance, and Contemporary Issues such as Treaty Rights, Gaming, Cultural Preservation, and Education.

Tags: DUS, SI

General Education: SHAR

CORE 313. AIS: Sport, Faith, and Social Change. (4 Credits)

Sport and athletes have often been agents of social change, at times challenging norms and assumptions concerning identity, personhood, gender, race, and sexuality. In this class, we will examine how sport and moments in sport history has served as a public stage to perform dramas of social change leading to larger movement activities that impacted culture. Students will apply theories and explore research of mediated sports events to understand their impact and gain perspectives on how sports may be exploited to enact social change. This class will examine sport in three dimensions: as an artifact of our society and mediated history; as an arena where social, cultural, and political issues are contested; and as a vehicle for spiritual reflection and growth. We will examine how we can encounter the Holy in the midst of sports and its impact on developing a critical assessment of one's values.

Tags: DUS, SI

General Education: SHAR

CORE 314. AIS: Economy & Society. (4 Credits)

Economic sociology has sought to understand the beliefs, norms and institutions that shape and drive the global economy. Markets, organizations, and individual economic actors cannot be understood outside of their social and cultural context. In interacting with texts primarily by sociologists and economists, in addition to historians, anthropologists, and political scientists, this class aims to use a broader social scientific approach to understand the relationship between economy and society, and the ways in which social networks, norms and institutions matter in economic transactions.

Tags: SI

General Education: SHAR

CORE 315. AIS: Social Network Analysis. (4 Credits)

This advanced integrative seminar is designed to give students the basic tools to ascertain if particular missionaries, based on their primary documents, were engaged in a "holistic" Gospel or one that conflated non-spiritual enterprises. Basic Greek tools, historical methodologies, and social network analysis (NodeXL) will be utilized in this course.

Tags: SI

General Education: SHAR

CORE 316. AIS: Sport Psychology. (4 Credits)

A survey of the theory, research, and applications of psychology pertaining to sports. This course will prepare students to: 1) discuss and understand the psychological factors that influence involvement and performance in sports, 2) apply psychological research and theories to one's own sports involvement as a participant (e.g. teacher, coach, athlete, etc.). The course will examine psychological variables that can hinder or enhance athletic performance, which may include attention, arousal, motivation, relationships, mental imagery, gender and diversity issues, eating disorders, and substance abuse. Prerequisite: PSYC 101 recommended.

Tags: SI

General Education: SHAR

CORE 317. AIS: Media Revolutions from Gutenberg to Google. (4 Credits)

From Gutenberg to Google, communication technologies have changed how people work, live, think, interact, and collaborate. They have bound humans together in unprecedented ways, opening up new individual possibilities but also unleashing disruptive collective energies. Together we will explore how "new media" - from the first printed books of the fifteenth century to the networked computing devices of the twenty-first century - have shaped the modern world. This is an interdisciplinary course. We will learn about theories and methods different disciplines use to study the media and will develop critical tools for understanding our own ongoing digital and information revolution.

Tags: HP, SI

General Education: SHAR

CORE 318. AIS: Faith, Reason, and Politics in Islam. (4 Credits)

This course examines the development of Islamic political philosophy from its origins under Muhammed in the seventh century through to its central role in modern day politics throughout the world.

Tags: GP, PI

General Education: SHAR

CORE 319. AIS: Tragedy and Philosophy. (4 Credits)

This course is an exercise in using philosophy to study literature, and literature philosophy. We take several works of classical and modern tragedy that are pivotal in their respective literary and thought worlds, and place them in conversation with both one another and certain key philosophical treatments of the genre. Our goal is both to better understand the essence of tragedy, and the way in which its core themes illuminate our sense of what it means to live a good human life. Key figures in the course include: Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, Shakespeare, Schelling, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Camus, Arthur Miller, Martha Nussbaum, and Bernard Williams.

Tags: LE, PI

General Education: SHAR

CORE 321. AIS: 'Holla If Ya Hear Me': Engaging Hip-Hop Culture. (4 Credits)

On August 11, 1973, a Jamaican-American named Clive Campbell hosted a house party at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx with little more than a couple of turntables and amplifiers. Music and cultural historians often regard Campbell's party as the founding event for what has come to be known as hip-hop. Almost fifty years later, hip-hop thrives as one of the most popular, yet controversial, forms of cultural expression in contemporary society with footholds in music, fashion, art, business, activism, and politics around the globe. From an interdisciplinary perspective, this course will examine the origins, themes, and social impact of rap music as an outgrowth of hip-hop culture. This course will prepare students to critically engage and evaluate popular forms of cultural expression with academic rigor and biblical principles.


General Education: SHAR

CORE 322. AIS: What is Money Good For? A Comparative Global Investigation. (4 Credits)

What is money good for? Why do some people have so much and others so little? Can a person deserve prosperity? How should we spend our money? How do our purchases shape who we are? Why should we give, and how? If you wrestle with these questions, you are not alone. People across the world find ways to answer these questions, and their diverse answers are likely to surprise, confound, convict, and also inspire us. In this course we consider a wide spectrum of responses to moral questions about money from the United States and around the world. We read works by Christians, anthropologists, and other theorists in order to craft more nuanced Christian responses to these questions. Along the way, we gain perspectives on cultural diversity and the causes of economic inequalities both within the United States and around the world.

Tags: DUS, GP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 323. AIS: Humanitarian Disasters and Recovery. (4 Credits)

Exploration of scientific and social understanding of humanitarian disasters including the causes of natural and human-caused disasters, approaches to prediction and mitigation, impacts on communities and societies, approaches to recovery and care, resilience, theological implications and the role of faith-based responders.

Tags: SI, SIP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 324. AIS: Black Bodies in Literature and Theology. (4 Credits)

Literature and theology are disciplines uniquely equipped to help us learn about and respond to the viscerality of race and racism in the United States. They help us engage the difficult stories of embodied people--people created in the image of God and redeemed by a savior who made the particulars of the visceral body his own. Through reading and discussion of contemporary African American literature and theology, we will acknowledge and lament sin against black bodies and look for healing and redemption. This seminar will help students consider the ways their own embodied experience is implicated in the conversation about race and racism in the United States as well as to receive and respond to the experiences of others in the community of the love of the Trinity.

Tags: DUS, LE

General Education: SHAR

CORE 325. AIS: Nature, Environment, and Society. (4 Credits)

An interdisciplinary exploration of contemporary environmental issues and problems. The understanding of the natural world will support the analysis of the role of society in creating, perpetuating and addressing these challenges. The role of personal and cultural responsibility for stewarding the natural environment will be emphasized. Field and classroom investigations will focus on the Black Hills context. Additional course fee required: $50.

Tags: DUS, SIP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 326. AIS: Classics of Christian Devotion. (4 Credits)

This course examines the human longing for a relationship with God. Competing with this deep desire is the complexity of external and internal barriers. The best of Christian writers have recognized that this yearning for God must integrate both the interpretative and affective dimensions of awareness. Built on the foundation of differing methods of interpretation, this course is structured around the literary genres of narrative, visionary discourse, hymns, prayers, sermons, letters, autobiography, aphorisms and novels that both inform and transform the cultivation of intimacy with God. These classic texts are from both the Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions. Since many contemporary Evangelicals are unfamiliar with their own spiritual heritage, this course compares and contrasts Evangelical spiritual texts with pre-eighteenth-century Roman Catholic and Protestant literature.

Tags: LE

General Education: SHAR

CORE 327. AIS: Propaganda and Image in Everyday Life. (4 Credits)

Propaganda techniques have saturated everyday life. By studying primary sources from ancient and modern authors, and applying the lessons of 20th century propaganda campaigns to today's public persuasion, students will critically engage distinctions between propaganda and ethical communication, between truth and image, and between the artificial and the real.

Tags: PI

General Education: SHAR

CORE 328. AIS: Mary, Mother of God. (4 Credits)

This course is a tour through millenia of Christian perspectives on the Virgin Mary. Anchored in exegesis of Scripture, students evaluate church tradition as expressed through apocryphal, theological and devotional texts, with a special emphasis on visual art. Together we ask which aspects of the Marian tradition can be affirmed or celebrated, and which aspects should be criticized or rejected. Student projects examine historical theology, visual art and feminist concerns with an eye toward how the Marian tradition can enrich the contemporary church. Students are strongly encouraged to have taken BITH 213 (New Testament Literature and Interpretation) before enrolling in this class.

Tags: HP, VPAV

General Education: SHAR

CORE 329. AIS: Neurobiology and Spiritual Formation. (4 Credits)

Engages students in considering the nexus between the anatomy and physiology of the brain and the spiritual formation of human persons from a Christian worldview. Students will be required to examine how each of these disciplines informs the other, to learn a variety of epistemologies from different disciplines and apply them to this area, to intelligently critique research and applications, and to integrate neurobiological research with spiritual practices and formation of human persons. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

Tags: SIP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 332. AIS: Women Writing Theology. (4 Credits)

This course explores works of literary and theological merit by women investigating ideas about God, the self, and society. Drawing on writings of women from different eras, cultures, and backgrounds, the course encourages students to dialogue with fiction and non-fiction writings, including novels, poetry, life writings, and systematic theologies, by women to understand better how women have communicated theological ideas through a wide range of literary and theological forms.

Tags: LE

General Education: SHAR

CORE 333. AIS: Country Behind the Curtain: Public Institutions & Private Life in the German Democratic Rep. (4 Credits)

During its 40-year history, the German Democratic Republic (GDR), aka East Germany, was divided from its western counterpart by ideologies, alliances and institutions - and, after 1961, by a fortified border that came to symbolize the Cold War. Through interaction with post-1989 oral histories, prose and poetry from East German authors, and pre- and post-unification films, students in this AIS will explore the fundamental paradoxes between public institutions and private life in the GDR, wrestling with the central irony that private convictions and aspirations became a key factor in its dissolution.

Tags: HP, LE

General Education: SHAR

CORE 334. AIS: Race, Theology, and Place in Chicago. (4 Credits)

A theological investigation into Christianity and racial segregation in Chicago. This course explores the importance of geographical location for racial reconciliation, developing a vision for church unity rooted in place.

Tags: DUS

General Education: SHAR

CORE 335. AIS: The Holocaust and Contemporary Jewish Experience. (4 Credits)

Written and oral analysis of depictions of the Holocaust in various national literary and cinematic media and of contemporary Jewish authors in German-speaking countries; exploration of issues facing contemporary Jews in German-speaking Europe. Includes research paper.

Tags: GP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 336. AIS: Energy for the Future. (4 Credits)

An examination of the science, history, and social impacts of energy generation and use in the U.S. and global contexts; Christian perspectives on personal and societal decision-making regarding future energy generation and use.

Tags: SIP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 337. AIS: Justice, Law and Society. (4 Credits)

This course investigates traditions of thought on the nature of justice and law, especially in the western tradition. It introduces students to general theories of jurisprudence and explores histories of legal traditions that are rooted in the ancient worlds (e.g. Near East, Greece, and Israel) and how they have influenced and differ from modern American contexts.

Tags: HP, PI

General Education: SHAR

CORE 338. AIS: The Physics of Sound. (4 Credits)

Basic concepts of sound and acoustics, including the following: vibrations, waves, instrument design, fundamentals and overtones, musical scales, harmony, noise, physical and physiological production, detection of sound waves, acoustical properties of materials and enclosures. Discussion and investigation of sound in the human context of psychology, physiology, neuroscience, and aesthetics, as well as how some areas of investigation of sound, such as human perception, are yet to be fully understood. Additional course fee required: $60.

Tags: SP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 339. AIS: Remembering Africa's Oral Past. (4 Credits)

This course equips students to both appreciate and analyze how intergenerational communities on the African continent have preserved knowledge of their pasts through sophisticated and emotive musical traditions. The course's focus on musical and other oral sources empowers students to access the historical knowledge of communities which chose to invest their intellectual energy in song and poetry rather than written text, while also equipping students to appreciate how beautiful and intellectually complex music and poetry flowed from the particular historical experiences of composers and performers in Africa.

Tags: HP, VPAM

General Education: SHAR

CORE 341. AIS: Can Stress Promote Flourishing? The Effects of Stress on Brain and Behavior. (4 Credits)

The overall goal of this course is to help students understand how stress can promote flourishing. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the basics of brain function and how the brain manages the response to stressors, how stressors affect several aspects of behavior, and how to protect the brain from the negative effects of stressors. In addition, two underlying themes will emerge throughout the course, including a discussion on the nature of persons and the concept of both control and agency for the proper understanding of stress.

Tags: SIP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 342. AIS: Dante's Commedia as Poetry, Philosophy, and Theology. (4 Credits)

This course examines Dante's Commedia as an "encyclopedic" poem, a term that the Dante scholar Giuseppe Mazzotta has used to characterize the poem's educational ambitions. This is a poem with a deep intellectual program; it takes on many of the great philosophical and theological questions of its own time, and ours, too. What is the nature of the soul? What is just punishment? What is the highest good? Yet it does this not within the context of a philosophical treatise but an imaginative journey through the regions of the afterlife, taken by the poet himself. Our aim in this course is to analyze the poem in all of its overlapping dimensions - as a great poem of ideas, as a spiritual evaluation and testimony (a confession?), as a travelogue that doubles as a series of philosophical dialogues, as a mosaic of unforgettable images.

Tags: LE, PI

General Education: SHAR

CORE 343. AIS: Creation Care: Values and Virtues. (4 Credits)

An interdisciplinary consideration of scientific and theological thinking in the context of worldviews toward environmental issues and our relation to creation. The course will address historical and contemporary environmental issues in conjunction with values held in human-creation relationships historically and socially. Values held in Christian and non-Christian views and practices regarding the created world will be examined in light of the virtues that influence our awareness and responsive actions. Christian values and virtues in the context of Christian character will be considered relative to creation care. These considerations will cultivate academic and spiritual maturity by considering one's relationship to our Creator and creation. The course will also address theological underpinnings as they relate to the intersection of Christian faith and how one lives their life in light of a call to care for God's creation. BIOL 241 recommended. Prerequisite: CORE 101.

Tags: SIP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 344. AIS: Gender and Global Health. (4 Credits)

An interdisciplinary approach to using a gender lens to understand the global patterns of health and disease. While focusing on gendered inequalities, students in this course will describe and analyze how ecology, social class, and race interact with gender and impact the global burden of disease. Students will also consider how our Christian call to love our neighbor impacts our response to the disparities seen in the global burden of disease.

Tags: GP, SIP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 345. AIS: Water, the Essential Resource. (4 Credits)

An overview of our most important natural resource - water. Topics include occurrence, chemistry, physiological requirement for water, effects upon past and present civilizations, surface and groundwater flow, global water supply, water pollution, water exploration and extraction. Field trip fee.

Tags: SIP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 346. AIS: Diversity in American Theater. (4 Credits)

This course invites students to engage with questions regarding diversity in the United States through the lens of theater. By exploring various ways that American playwrights have grappled with diversity and by placing these plays within complex theological, historical, and literary contexts, students will be encouraged to reflect not only on patterns of injustice and inequality that they see represented but also on the unique power that drama has to help its audience to experience the world from someone else's perspective.


General Education: SHAR

CORE 347. AIS: Technotexts. (4 Credits)

This course examines the relationship between texts and the media--oral, written, and digital--through which they are conveyed. The course begins by considering the relationship between word and voice, our material being practices of oral storytelling and spoken word poetic performance. The second and longest unit of the semester examines the literary possibilities opened up by different forms of "the book" - including the illuminated manuscript, the printed book in the West, and the Torah scroll. The final unit examines how verbal artists are engaging with the digital technologies. Throughout the semester, participants will not only be consumers of media; they will also be makers: each unit will involve a "making" exercise in which we practice one of the techniques that we have been studying, including oral performance, letterpress printing, and digital storytelling.

Tags: LE, VPAV

General Education: SHAR

CORE 348. AIS: Wheaton College as an Institution. (4 Credits)

This course examines Wheaton College as an institution and an organization. This includes examining how the college developed over time and its organizational structure and logic. We will consider how social forces from American society, including religious movements and race, class, and gender, as well as internal decisions affected the College. The final project involves analysis of primary and secondary sources in the Special Collections, Buswell Library.

Tags: DUS, HP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 349. AIS: Babies: Prenatal Development, Birth, and the Newborn. (4 Credits)

In this course, we will draw from biological and psychological research to engage in an in-depth exploration of prenatal and newborn development. We will cover influences on prenatal development, changes to the mother and fetus throughout pregnancy and prenatal development, a variety of considerations around childbirth, physical development and functioning in the newborn, and the early parent-child bond. We will also explore childbirth practices around the world. Students will be encouraged to integrate a Christian perspective with a variety of other scientific and popular perspectives on pregnancy, birth, and babies.

Tags: SI

General Education: SHAR

CORE 351. AIS: Cults, Power, and Politics. (4 Credits)

This course examines how cults influence, and are influenced by, politics. We will discuss the structure of cults and the psychological/relational manipulation of cult members. The course will then shift toward how state regimes use cult personalities to further entrench their positions of power using examples from North Korea, China, and Russia. Additionally, we will discuss how religious cults have threatened political structures using examples from the Münster Rebellion, Branch Davidians, Peoples Temple, Scientology, and many others. Finally, students will evaluate warnings of cult behavior in religious and political structure as well as judge Christian practices of discernment and intervention.

Tags: GP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 352. AIS: Applying Cognitive Psychology to Educational Practice. (4 Credits)

An interdisciplinary seminar that examines how findings from cognitive psychology can be used to improve learning in educational settings. Specific cognitive processes such as working memory, long term memory, metacognition, and language processing will be discussed as will specific tasks in educational settings such as math and reading. This course will also emphasize theological perspectives on cognition, learning and teaching.

Tags: SI

General Education: SHAR

CORE 353. AIS: Biology and Politics. (4 Credits)

This course is an interdisciplinary consideration of the biological basis of political attitudes and behavior. It leverages concepts from genetics, neuroscience, endocrinology, physiology, and psychology to study political phenomenon, introduces students to key methodological techniques and research findings from the field of biology and politics, and challenges students to evaluate the biology and politics research agenda from a Christian perspective.

Tags: SI, SIP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 354. AIS: Nature's Beauty. (4 Credits)

In his Philosophical Theology, F.R. Tennant insists that, "Nature is sublime or beautiful, and the exceptions do but prove the rule." This course attends to nature's beauty from a diversity of perspectives. Aesthetics, a branch of philosophy, asks: "What is beauty?" Philosophy also wonders why, as in: "Why is there beauty?" The sciences offer a Darwinian theory of beauty, one that reduces our experience to its roles in survival and reproduction. At the same time, the sciences offer a non-reductive role for beauty in theory confirmation. Theologians, on the other hand, insist that the beauty of nature reflects the very nature of God and testifies to God's presence and goodness. Nature's Beauty draws on each of these disciplines in order to understand the place and significance of beauty in the life of the Church.

Tags: PI, SIP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 355. AIS: Boundary Waters. (4 Credits)

This course explores the boundaries between Christian faith and Native American culture in the Great Lakes region, as well as the boundaries between ourselves and God in Christian spirituality informed by Indigenous art and thought. Evoking the history of Christian missions in the Midwest, students engage in the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola supplemented by Indigenous Christian reflection. Concluding papers place student experiences in conversation with an investigation of a minority group in the United States. Prerequisite: First Year Seminar. Additional course fee required: $150.


General Education: SHAR

CORE 356. AIS: Global Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations. (4 Credits)

The matter of Christian-Muslim relations cannot be ignored these days. This course covers fundamental information about global Islamic communities, and focuses on the major aspects of relations between Christians and Muslims including missiological and theological reflections. Topics are devoted to the most significant intellectual interpretations and encounters, that in recent years have led the way towards new developments in recognition and acceptance. It offers an excellent understanding for future relations between Christians and Muslims. The course is relevant to all those who are interested in cross-cultural work, ministry in Muslim contexts, and Christian-Muslim relations generally.

Tags: GP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 357. AIS: Theology and Film. (4 Credits)

This course explores the relationship between Christian theology and film. It seeks to cultivate an appreciation for and an understanding of both how the particular claims of the Christian faith frame our viewing and interpretation of film and how film might inform, challenge, or enhance our faith. In order to develop a broad perspective of film, this course will intentionally engage with a variety of films from a diversity of cultures, while also providing an opportunity for a careful analysis of one particular cultural context. Theological topics to be considered include film in relation to creation, theological anthropology, suffering, redemption, community, and eschatology.

Tags: GP, VPAV

General Education: SHAR

CORE 358. AIS: War and Justice. (4 Credits)

War is, it seems, a relatively permanent feature of human civilization. This course gives students an opportunity to explore a wide range of moral, philosophical, and theological perspectives on war and the degree to which it can be fought justly. We will focus especially on the development of the "just war" tradition and its realist and pacifist critics and how contemporary developments - the erosion of national sovereignty, technological advances, and the like - affect how we should think normatively and theologically about war.

Tags: PI

General Education: SHAR

CORE 359. AIS: Pictures and Words as Poetic Images. (4 Credits)

An advanced integrative seminar that introduces students to the joys and value of imagination and creativity. It explores the poetic interconnections between words and images through creative exercises and artistic collaborations. No technical knowledge of photography or art required.

Tags: LE, VPAV

General Education: SHAR

CORE 361. AIS: Visual Rhetoric: An Interdisciplinary Approach. (4 Credits)

This course will introduce students to persuasive techniques in images and to the use of visual metaphor and visual narrative. We will perform close readings of images and create our own visual arguments, using composition fundamentals (e.g., color, shape, direction, texture, light - or its absence) and figurative elements (e.g., metaphor, synecdoch, metonymy, hyperbole, and personification). Throughout the semester, we will analyze and design images and consider the ways in which visual representations are manifested in various fields of study as we survey images from disciplines that include graphics/information design, fine arts, art history, advertising, and cultural studies. Theorists will include Mariani, Saussure, Peirce, Tufte, Bolton, Grusin, Newbold, Barnes, Patterson, Gunther, van Leeuwen, Golombisky, Hagen, and Lester.

Tags: VPAV

General Education: SHAR

CORE 362. AIS: Christianity - Asia to America. (4 Credits)

A study of the indigenization of Christianity in Asian American and Asian contexts.

Tags: DUS, GP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 363. AIS: Nation at War: Great Britain 1914-1945. (4 Credits)

As students explore the history and literature of Great Britain from the onset of World War I to the conclusion of World War II, they will be asked to grapple theologically with many of the challenging questions that arise during a time of war. Using both primary and secondary historical sources, students will investigate the complexities of the political, social, and economic realities of the time. They will also be asked to think about particular responses to these complexities from writers such as T. S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, W. H. Auden, C. S. Lewis, and Dorothy L. Sayers. As students move back and forth between the history and the literature, they will gain deeper insights into this time period and begin to understand the different ways that historians and literary scholars approach the past. They will also position these insights within a theological framework as they draw on Scripture and other theological sources to help address the questions that arise during this difficult time in British history.

Tags: HP, LE

General Education: SHAR

CORE 364. AIS: Protestants and Poverty through the Modern Era. (4 Credits)

This course seeks to equip students with integrative resources for reflecting as Christians on the issue of poverty and the practices of poor relief in the United States today. The course will employ a historical method that traces the history of Protestant understanding and treatment of poverty during three eras: Reformation, Post-Reformation, and Modern American. In each period, students will study the social, biblical, and theological history of Protestant engagement with poverty in so far as the issue was perceived and addressed. They will examine the ways in which particular forms of engagement intersected with matters such as race, gender, culture, and economics, and will learn to read critically so as to ascertain both what is highlighted by a particular form of engagement and what may have been hidden by it. Through readings, discussion, presentations, and experiential learning opportunities, students will be equipped with integrative resources for addressing the complexity of current-day concerns relating to U.S. and global poverty. At the end of the course, students will complete an integrative research paper that incorporates, historiography, draws from Protestant history, and reflects on scriptural and theological mandates relating to the poor in response to current-day challenges faced in Chicago.

Tags: DUS, HP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 365. AIS: Christianity and Space. (4 Credits)

The course "Christianity and Space" seeks to examine the growing fields of astronomy and space exploration in conversation with the disciplines of history and theology. In the coming decades as humanity's presence expands in our Solar System to the Moon, Mars, and beyond, challenging questions will arise that will require a Christian response from the resources of theology, biblical exegesis, and history. Through this course, students will survey the history, technological approaches, and methodology of space exploration while also gaining a foundation in the broader history of Christianity’s relationship with science including recent historiographical developments within that field of study. Through stimulating readings, lectures, group discussion, integrative and interdisciplinary research papers, experiential learning, and group projects, this course seeks to equip students to think holistically about Christianity and space exploration. These skills will be further honed as students participate in a semester-long Mars settlement simulation group project that requires thinking through key questions of ethics, politics, and theology.

Tags: HP, SIP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 366. AIS: Roots of Celtic Christian Spirituality. (4 Credits)

Pressing social and political issues have generated increasing interest in Celtic Christian spirituality. Many Christians, as well as many from outside the Church, are attracted to this ancient form of worship. Is this trend promising for the revitalization of the contemporary, evangelical church? This course will offer insight into Celtic Christianity by means of a thorough examination of its roots. We will look closely at, first, the philosophical origins of the dominant themes of the early medieval Irish church. Grasping these philosophical, theological and ecclesiastical roots requires seeing them in their proper social and political context. To that end, we will survey the historic milieu in which these ideas took root. Finally, we will also examine the outworking of the Christian mission in Ireland and beyond. Reflecting on the underlying theological commitments, the lives and times of those who developed Celtic spirituality, will provide rich resources for the restoration of the contemporary Christian Church.

Tags: HP, PI

General Education: SHAR

CORE 368. AIS: The Other America: Literature of the Caribbean. (4 Credits)

Foreigners tend to perceive the Caribbean strictly as a tourist space—a tropical haven of sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, swaying palm trees, and smiling natives. But what J. Michael Dash refers to as “the other America” can be found only in the literature and the history of these culturally vibrant islands—spaces that Antonio Benítez Rojo describes as expanding “outward past the limits of [their] own sea.” This course will examine Caribbean literature with respect to history, language, culture, diaspora, creolization, and globalization. Students will investigate the commonalities and the contrasts that emerge in the writings from these ethnically and linguistically diverse societies. Students will also become familiar with key words and terms associated with literature of the Caribbean while analyzing authors and critics from the Anglophone, Francophone, and Hispanophone Caribbean islands.

Tags: GP, LE

General Education: SHAR

CORE 369. AIS: The Rhetoric & Philosophy of James Baldwin. (4 Credits)

The Rhetoric and Philosophy of James Baldwin. Explores the non-fiction writing of James Baldwin, a towering public intellectual of the 20th century who wrote penetratingly about race, politics, faith, love, and trauma. Through discussions, short papers, seminar presentations, and final projects, students will learn about the rhetoric and philosophy informing many of Baldwin’s texts and his life-long commitment to promoting justice, mercy, and understanding across and within racialized communities.

Tags: DUS

General Education: SHAR

CORE 371. AIS: J.R.R. Tolkien and Environmental Stewardship. (4 Credits)

This course explores what J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy writings have to teach us about ecology and environmental stewardship and how the study of ecology can enrich our engagement with Tolkien’s stories and our own.

Tags: LE, SIP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 372. AIS: Existentialism. (4 Credits)

In this class we will explore why we are all soul-achingly anxious and depressed. Our conversation partners are a set of loosely associated thinkers who have come to be called the “existentialists,” figures like: Søren Kierkegaard, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Friedrich Nietzsche, Simone Weil, Miguel de Unamuno, Albert Camus, and Jean-Paul Sartre. While there are more academic reasons for gathering these figures under a common banner, the short of it is that each is passionately committed to interrogating our collective despair. It’s not all doom and gloom though: Taken together, the existentialists develop a powerful vision of redemptive love. Falling in love with this conception of love is the chief goal of this course. Prerequisite: CORE 101.

Tags: LE

General Education: SHAR

CORE 373. AIS: Hope and Whiteness. (4 Credits)

This course explores a scholarly understanding of both hope and whiteness and how these shape our social world, looking at different philosophical and anthropological accounts of hope, whiteness, and their forms of intersection. Amidst the writing of scholars of race and whiteness, we will encounter a debate: Is there room for hope? Is racism so entrenched in the United States and the world that we can never be extricated from its discourses, practices, and effects? If there is room, what might such hope look like? How might hope as regards to race relations be relevant to robust Christian hope? In this course, we’ll consider a range of responses to these questions. Ultimately students will seek a more rugged, theoretically and theologically grounded understanding of both whiteness and hope so that they might “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Pet. 3:15). Prerequisite: FYS.

Tags: DUS, PI

General Education: SHAR

CORE 374. AIS: The Persecuted Church. (4 Credits)

Persecution of Christians is on the rise in many parts of the world. Suffering for one’s faith in Jesus Christ comes in many forms. Believers are insulted, isolated, humiliated, discriminated, arrested, beaten, tortured, burned, and even killed for their faith. This course will look at the state of Christian persecution around the globe, the nature of persecution, the reasons for persecution, systematic injustice and brutal laws leading to persecution, and how Christians respond to persecution. Prerequisite: CORE 101.

Tags: GP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 375. AIS: Theater Practice and the Other. (4 Credits)

How can engagement in theater practice (conceiving, creating, directing, designing and performing in plays) combined with a Christian theological understanding create empathy and a movement toward compassion for the experiences and struggles of individuals and groups who seem fundamentally different? Students enrolled in CORE 375 will be introduced to the basic skills of theater making, and then will practice those emerging skills in the conception and development of a solo performance project in which they will embody the experience of an identified 'other' to an audience in a theater piece. Prerequisite: CORE 101. Additional course fee required: $100 for Chicago play attendance.


General Education: SHAR

CORE 376. AIS: Harry Potter: Theology and Literary Imagination. (4 Credits)

The Harry Potter series has been a global phenomenon, read by children and adults worldwide. Its success is easy to understand, given Rowling’s masterful storytelling. What is often missed, though, is the series’ substantive theological engagement: The books take up classic theological claims and develop those claims. Rowling achieves this theological work through both her creative appropriation of Christian images and symbols and her use of established literary traditions, namely genre fantasy. In this course, we will read all seven of the Harry Potter volumes in conversation with theological questions, including the nature of God, suffering, immortality, hope, virtue, sin, and salvation. Moreover, we will explore the notion of a Christian literary imagination and consider what it means to bring together literature and theology. Prerequisite: FYS. Pre or Corequisite: FYS.

Tags: LE

General Education: SHAR

CORE 377. AIS: Shakespeare by the Numbers. (4 Credits)

Using Shakespeare’s plays and poems as a test case, this course will explore the ways in which statistical methods common in mathematics can be applied to the interpretation of literary texts and to debates over composition and authorship. Students will begin by learning traditional stylistics—metrical, rhetorical and lexical analysis, including the use of concordances—and getting a basic grounding in the literary culture of the late 16th century. They will then explore computational stylistics and data visualizations using tools like Voyant and Palladio as we consider the contrast between what literary scholars now call “close” and “distant” reading. Students’ final papers will combine literary critical and quantitative methods to make an original argument about some aspect of Shakespeare’s works. The course will also give us occasion to reflect on the way two apparently different disciplines—mathematics and literary criticism—both tend towards God as they seek the divine order that lies behind phenomenal reality.

Tags: AAQR, LE

General Education: SHAR

CORE 378. AIS: Best and Worst of Christian History: Key Lessons for Today. (4 Credits)

This Advanced Integrative Seminar guides students through key figures and events of Church history, with special attention to the first thousand years. It explores the many and varied ways in which Christian leaders and communities in the founding centuries of the Faith embodied and betrayed the way of Jesus Christ. Prerequisite: CORE 101.

Tags: HP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 379. AIS: Pilgrimage Routes and Marketplace Impact. (4 Credits)

This course will explore the economic impact that pilgrimage has had in Spain on the medieval Camino de Santiago and Japan's Kumano Kodo route. Both Unesco heritage sites, as pilgrimage has grown in popularity, so has the once rural areas begun to build up economically. The Kumano Kodo is a sister Japanese Camino for the Camino de Santiago, and one can also receive a dual Compostela certificate by completing both. The course will examine motivations for each pilgrim site's popularity and research how wars, pandemics, and environmental changes affect the sites' popularity and the community surrounding them and opportunities for human flourishing.

Tags: GP, HP

General Education: SHAR

CORE 381. AIS: Poetry & Devotion. (4 Credits)

The content of this seminar is organized around this overarching question: In what ways does devotional poetry nurture one’s expression of Christian spirituality? The topics of the course are addressed within the cross-disciplinary intersection of Christian spirituality with English literature and writing. Specifically, the genre of devotional poetry is explored as a means through which the student experiences and expresses her or his relationship with God.

Tags: LE, VPA

General Education: SHAR

CORE 382. AIS: Christianity in Romantic England. (4 Credits)

Students will explore the intersection of British Romantic literature and Christian theology through a thematic survey of the figures, movements, and diverse ideas that shaped England between 1789 and 1832. Students will gain a greater understanding of disparate Christian religious movements during the period and consider challenging philosophical questions about God, miracles, war & peace, the poor, women’s rights, education, and global missions that gripped the nation. Through close literary and theological analysis of works of poetry and prose, experiential learning opportunities, and research and writing projects that encourage multidisciplinary perspectives, students will develop a wider knowledge of the Christian tradition, reflect critically on the Christian faith, and set some of the most influential literature in the English language in a robust theological context. Prerequisite: CORE 101.

Tags: LE, PI

General Education: SHAR