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
Credit:  1.0 (Offered Online or during On-Campus Intensives)
Instructor: Dr. Charles Bowie

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IB 552 – God and Science: Intro Biomedical Ethics

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:  None
Credit: 1.0 (Offered Online or during On-Campus Intensives)
Instructor: Dr. Charles Bowie

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IB 553 – Social Ethics

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: None
Credit: 1.0
Instructor: Dr. Christy Newton

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IB 570- Globalization and the Local Church

Although many people in local churches today find it difficult to define globalization, there is no doubt that the processes of globalization affect each one of our lives.  Globalization is complex, fragmented, and contradictorily-understood, but ultimately, globalization is about local and global relationships. This course challenges students to reflect critically upon the ethical and spiritual ramifications of globalization and to consider practical ways to respond to it within the life of local congregations.  Through readings, discussion forums, online presentations, and a writing project, we will develop and apply understandings of the relationship between globalization and the daily life of faith.

Prerequisite: None
Credit: 0.5
Instructor: Dr. Christy Newton

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IB 571 – Social Ethics, Church Leadership and the Occupy Movement

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: None
Credit:  0.5
Instructor: Dr. Christy Newton

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IB 572 – Economic Ethics in Unsettled Times

What are the historical and contemporary belief systems that underlie economic systems? How do individuals and groups employ religious ethics in economic practice? What kind of authority do churches and religious leaders have when it comes to society’s complex economic problems and possibilities? This course places Christian economic ethics in historical context and examines the implications of Christian economic ethics in contemporary practice. Through readings, online videos and presentations, discussion forums, and a short writing project, we will develop and apply understandings of economic ethics that influence individuals, communities of faith, and our wider society.

Prerequisite: None
Credit:  0.5
Instructor: Dr. Christy Newton

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IB 573 – Church, Society and the Ethics of Global Warming

The natural environments that sustain life on earth are built entirely upon and within social relationships.  And for this important reason, both church and society are implicated in the causes and consequences of global warming.  In this course, we will consider questions about the fragility and resiliency of the planet, consumption and the global market empire, environmental justice and environmental racism, and the importance of exercising moral agency.  We will examine the ethical responsibilities we have to our natural environments as people of faith and members of global society.  Through readings, videos, discussion forums, online presentations, and a writing project, we will deepen our understanding of climate change from the context of faith and seek to reconcile the ethical disconnect between human and environmental well-being.

Prerequisite: None
Credit:  0.5
Instructor: Dr. Christy Newton

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IB 575 – Globalization and the Hebrew Bible

In this course, the modern paradigm of globalization and that ancient text, the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), are brought together in lively dialogue for: (1) your theological and ethical reflections on the Church in its globalized context, and (2) for you to acquire an awareness of your own sensibilities through practical analyses and applications of themes connected with modern globalization affecting the contemporary Church, including those of justice, economy, geopolitics, and post/neocolonialism. This course then aims to enable you to envision the modern paradigm of globalization in the light of the Hebrew Bible has having direct pastoral significance, meaning, and instruction for the contemporary Church in its globalized context.

Prerequisite: None
Credit:  0.5
Instructor: Dr. Zipporah Glass

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IB 577 – Consumed: Ethical Transactions in Consumer Culture 

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:  None
Credit:  0.5
Instructor: Dr. Christy Newton

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IB 580 – Moral Theology: Naming the Issues

TBA

Prerequisite:
Credit:  1.5
Instructor:

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IB 581 – Moral Theology: Making Decisions with an Informed Conscience

TBA

Prerequisite:
Credit:  1.5
Instructor:

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IB 590 -IB Competency Exercise

*Please refer to section 7.1.6-7.1.8 of the Student Handbook*

Prerequisite:  Completion of all other IB 500 level work
Credit:  0.5
Instructor: Dr. Charles Bowie

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IB 670 -Moral Discernment in Christian Ethics

Who are we to be and what are we to do are the two of the more challenging questions of the Christian Life. Why should anyone be moral? Why do the “right thing”?Add to these questions what is virtue and what is the “good life” and can the Christian life be the “good life” and we have a very promising in depth conversation on our hands. This course will explore these questions by looking theoretically (Introducing Moral Theology: True Happiness and the Virtues) and practically (Moral Discernment: Moral Decisions Guide) at the moral life in a Christian context.

Prerequisite: Successfully completed one competency exercise and a minimum of 60% of IB 500 level work
Credit:  2.0
Instructor: Dr. Charles Bowie

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IB 671 -The Moral Agent and Responsibility

What is the make-up of the moral agent? How do we understand human action governed by moral intentions? These are just two of the questions that ground this course. This is a course in philosophical/theological anthropology that focuses on moral agency in the social world.

Prerequisite:  Successfully completed one competency exercise and a minimum of 60% of IB 500 level work
Credit:  2.0
Instructor: Dr. Charles Bowie

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IB 672 -“Want Fries with That?”: Cultural Globalization, Economic Ethics and Church Life

Religion has been called “the original globalizer,” referring to its historical complicity in conquest and colonization and its contemporary collusion with fundamentalist movements that use culture, politics, and economics to disseminate identity (sometimes violently) across cultural and political borders.  This course will provide a firm grounding in conversations about globalization and economics that have significant bearing on religious belief, ethical practice, and church life.  It will challenge students to reflect critically upon the ethical and spiritual import of cultural and economic globalization and to consider practical ways to respond to it within our individual lives and the lives of local congregations.  Through readings, multimedia presentations and videos, discussion forums, and a writing project, we will develop and apply understandings of economic ethics, moral agency, and commodification of identity that influence individuals, communities of faith, and our wider society.

Prerequisite: Successfully completed one competency exercise and a minimum of 60% of IB 500 level work
Credit:  2.0
Instructor:  Dr. Christy Newton

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