IB Course Descriptions

IB 551 – Ethical Forms

This course in theological ethics will focus moral frameworks as tools for making moral judgments. The course will begin by focusing on the role of scripture, tradition, reason and experience in ethical decision making and will then move to an exploration of different frameworks and sources such as Natural Law, Virtue ethics, Narrative ethics, Responsibility/American Empirical Theology and ethics, and feminist and liberationist approaches.

Prerequisite:  None
Instructor: Dr. Charles Bowie

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IB 552 – God and Science: Intro Biomedical Ethics - (Required; 0.5 credit)

This course in theological ethics will focus on biomedical ethics (sometimes called bioethics). Students will be introduced to methods within bioethics as tools for making moral judgments. The course will begin by focusing on a description of bioethics and then turn to a case study that focus on 1) access to healthcare and 2) life at its beginnings.

Prerequisite:
Instructor: Dr. Charles Bowie

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IB 553 – Social Ethics - (Required; 0.5 credit)

- This course introduces the theory and method of Social Ethics and considers how the issues and applications of social ethics influence both the local church and the wider society.  Using case studies to examine specific theoretical and practical issues, we will exercise our own ideas and applications of social ethics.  The aim, of course, is neither to answer every question nor to justify particular stances but, rather, to learn to ask relevant questions, to understand how ethical decisions correspond to theological belief, to communicate clearly one’s own ethical values, and to expand understandings of diverse worldviews.  Students will be encouraged to develop their analytical and critical thinking skills, to reflect on their own processes of ethical reflection, and to communicate their ideas in articulate ways

Prerequisite:
Instructor: Christy Newton

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IB 571 - Social Ethics, Church Leadership and the Occupy Movement - (Required; 0.5 credit)

The Occupy Movement asks important social questions that have profound ethical implications.  It calls inequalities into question and challenges people from all walks of life to think about the ramifications of their beliefs and behaviors.  Particularly important for religious leaders, the Occupy Movement has the potential to awaken local churches to the escalating ethical need to connect gospel teachings with economics, politics, relationships, and everyday actions.  This course challenges students to reflect critically on the ethical value and ministerial usefulness of efforts like the Occupy Movement.  Through readings, discussion forums, online presentations, and a writing project, we will analyze the ethical ramifications of the Occupy Movement and how this kind of effort might enhance church leadership and the social justice ministry of local churches

Prerequisite:
Instructor: Christy Newton

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IB 577 – Consumed: Ethical Transactions in Consumer Culture - (Required; 0.5 credit)

Whether considering fair trade, going green, or shopping for the best deals at Wal-Mart, this course challenges students to consider the ethical and spiritual ramifications of lived consumer behaviors.  We will consider how consumer culture reflects and reifies wider society, including the local church.  And we will consider our ethical responsibilities as spiritual leaders in this world where shopping is practically sacramental and restraint is often condemned as sinful.  Through readings, discussion forums, online presentations, and a case study, we will develop and apply understandings of social ethics to important ethical issues presented to us in consumer culture.

Prerequisite:
Instructor: Christy Newton

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