The Jesuit School of Theology announces an innovative academic experience: Bridge Courses. Beginning in September 2017, JST will offer one-credit courses on various topics that bridge academic theology and ministerial experience. Bridge Courses connect theology with other academic disciplines or address current concerns and vocational ministries. JST students, alumni, and community members can enroll in Bridge Courses to complement their academic programs, to brush up on their theology or ministry skills or simply for the joy of learning. Students can "mix and match" these one-credit courses to meet their degree requirements, to satisfy their particular interests, and to sample applied topics that will assist them after graduation.
Bridge Course faculty members are practitioners and experts with diverse ministry and professional backgrounds. As one-credit courses, each Bridge Course will include 15 class hours, variously scheduled to accommodate students' work, study, and personal commitments. They are offered during the traditional academic day, as well as on evenings and weekends. A course might be an intensive, condensed experience for a few days or lectures with discussion extending through 3-5 weekly meetings. Students seeking credit will be required to complete academic assignments. Most courses may be audited with the instructor's permission. Newly designed courses for January and spring will be added throughout the year.
JST degree students taking courses for credit can find the Bridge Courses listed in the GTU Course Schedule for 2017-18. Registration for Bridges Courses is the same as the regular semester registration process in WebAdvisor. Tuition for Bridge Courses will be billed according to JST's published tuition and fees. Students whose registration exceeds full time status in one semester may contact the Business Office for scholarship assistance.
JST non-degree students (those admitted as students but not yet enrolled in a degree program) may take Bridge Courses for credit or to audit. For these students, registration for Bridges Courses is the same as the regular semester registration process in WebAdvisor. Bridge Courses are listed in the GTU Course Schedule for 2017-18. Tuition for Bridge Courses will be billed according to JST's published tuition and fees. If you are not yet a non-degree student and would like to be, please contact Memphis Latchison, firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your admission.
JST alumni, community members and friends interested in continuing education may attend Bridge Courses on a space available basis by registering HERE. The cost per credit will be $500. Continuing education participants will not be enrolled as JST students. They will not receive a transcript; and cannot transfer courses for graduate credit into any JST degree program.
Shannon Vanderpol, M.Div., St. Ignatius Prep (1.5 credits) Meetings: Thursdays, 6:00-9:00pm; Nov. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Dec. 7 and 14 (IN PROGRESS). This course will introduce students to foundational practices in excellent teaching, getting beyond the "myth of the oracle," and learning how to design curriculum that is realistic and relevant for adolescents. Special attention will be made to prepare and equip students for the interview and demo teaching experience of the hiring process. This course is heavily experiential, and will employ a wide variety of media, on-campus visits to local high schools, guest speakers, and collaborative group learning.
Course Outcomes - Students will:
• Evaluate and be formed in what constitutes excellent teaching
• Learn the basics of curriculum design, classroom management, and lesson planning
• Get acquainted with a typical interview process, and begin to have language to discuss teaching as well as organizational culture and structures in a Catholic High School environment
• Analyze realistic classroom scenarios, with the expressed goals of animating student’s imagination and providing tangible resources.
Shannon Vanderpol, M.Div., St. Ignatius Prep (1.5 credits) Meetings: Thursdays, 6:10-9:00pm; Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22, March 1, and 8. High school education intersects with issues of race, orientation, and gender. These dimensions are in play in both overt and subtle ways, from the classroom to the Immersion trip, the volleyball court, or the service learning site. The aim of this course is to introduce students to the complex equity issues in Bay Area Catholic High Schools, and to also build a framework and language to be effective in their educational ministry. A key component of this course is deepening student's personal understanding of systemic racism and privilege, and to analyze how their own positionality informs how they see the world.
Course Outcomes - Students will:
• Develop skills of cultural proficiency necessary for High School teaching
• Identify and practice strategies for creating safe spaces for students and peers to dismantle privilege and racism
• Build a desire to do their own internal work, and be able to draw-upon best practices and current trends in equity education
• Locate key narratives and principles within the Ignatian tradition and wider Catholic Church that advocate for a faith that does [equitable] justice.
Kevin O'Brien, SJ, Dean, Jesuit School of Theology (1 credit) Meetings: Wednesdays, 8:40-11:30am. Jan. 31, Feb. 7, 14, 21, and 28. A common refrain to explain Pope Francis’ often surprising papacy is, “He’s a pastor, not a theologian.” This response fails to appreciate the theological shift underway. In his Commencement address at JST in May 2017, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego argued that Francis has helped pastoral theology to rightfully claim its place “as a central element of Catholic doctrine and practice.” McElroy continued, “This pastoral outlook demands that all of the other branches of theology attend to the concrete reality of human life and human suffering in a much more substantial way in forming doctrine.” This course will test McElroy’s thesis by examining Pope Francis’ three seminal writings thus far: Evangelii Gaudium, Laudato Si, and Amoris Laetitia. We will read these documents with the goals of articulating Francis’ theological assumptions and convictions and determining if and how they are connected across his writing. Put simply, we will explore together, “What is Francis up to, and why does it matter?” Students enrolled in the class will submit one integration paper.