Bridge Courses

Bridge courses are 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 or bolster their ministry skills. Each Bridge Course will include 15 class hours, variously scheduled. 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.

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. 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 also take Bridge Courses for credit or to audit.

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.

FALL 2018

Shannon Vanderpol, M.Div., St. Ignatius Preparatory High School - No credit - November 3, 2018, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. This workshop 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 introduce students to the hiring process (interviews, teaching demonstrations).

Rose Feerick, M.Div., Director, Wisdom and Money. No credit - Tuesday October 9, 2018, 6:45 pm.  At this Tuesday Community Night presentation, Rose Feerick, JST Alumna and Board Member, will share her experience creating a non-profit organization that embodies values of justice and integrity.  Her reflections this evening will prompt us all to consider how to live our faith commitments intentionally in small and large organizations.

INTERSESSION - January 2019

Camaldolese monks from Incarnation Monastery and New Camaldoli Hermitage - 1 Credit - Wednesday, January 16 - Sunday January 20, 2019 at Big Sur Monastery. One prior meeting TBD. The common quest among Christians to find spiritual support in Eastern traditions challenges us to consider what may be missing in contemporary Christian spiritual practices.  This one credit course allows students to explore contemplative spirituality and practice, including lectio divina and silent meditation.  After an introductory meeting in Berkeley, students will spend four nights at the New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur. Students will share in the liturgical prayers of the hermitage and learn about the contemplative life while reflecting on their own spiritual journey. These practices readily complement lay life or approaches to the Divine from other religious communities and traditions.  In addition to tuition, students will be charged a fee of $250, which includes room and board. Limit 8 students; priority given to JST degree students; Renewal participants if space is available.

Andrew Rodriguez, SJ, M.Div. - 1 Credit - Saturdays - January 26 and February 2, 8:30 am -5:00 pm. This workshop offers students the opportunity to plan retreats appropriate for audiences in different pastoral settings. It will involve exploring themes, organizing talks, designing activities, and discussing best practices. The course allows students to integrate different areas of their theological studies as applied to the praxis of retreat-giving.


Patrick Coogan, Assistant Dean of Finance and Operations (JST) - 1 Credit - Wednesdays, February 6 – March 6, 2019, 12:40 to 3:30pm. This course provides a brief introduction to business and administration issues that ministers may encounter when working at any level of an organization. The assignments and lectures will help students they transition from the academic world to the workforce and understand how to connect their everyday work with their organizations’ stated missions. The course will explore the fundamentals of strategic planning, leadership and management, organizational structure, resource management, budgeting and financial reporting. Course meetings will include guest lecturers, case study discussions and role playing to familiarize students with questions and challenges they will encounter in everyday office settings. After completing this course, students should feel more comfortable accepting a professional ministry role to make impactful contributions toward the success of a mission-driven organization. It is suitable for any degree program as an elective offering.

Dr. Sandra Schneiders, IHM, Professor Emerita - 1 Credit - Fridays, February 8 – March 8, 2019, 6-9pm. This course is intended to help students gain competent access to the riches of the Fourth Gospel (John) as a resource for spirituality (experience of God), theology (thinking coherently about God), and ministry (fostering the Reign of God in this world).  Because it is a short, intensive course, the approach will necessarily be selective and will require considerable independent work by the students. Attendance at all class meetings is required (class material will not be available on line or in print because personal interaction is critical to the course process) as well as completion of assigned reading for each class.

Fred J. Piazza, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist - 1 Credit - Saturday, February 23 and March 9, 2019, 8:30am-5pm. This course will explore the experience of trauma, including its cognitive, behavior and spiritual consequences.  Counseling approaches will be presented for assisting persons touched with traumatic experiences – sexual assault, intimate partner violence, childhood or elder abuse, political violence, etc. Case studies and role-playing will augment theory and counseling principles.

Sr. Joann Heinritz, CSJ, Spiritual Director - 1 Credit - Saturday, April 6 and 13, 2019, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm. This workshop is an invitation to explore and experience how the body is an active participant in our spiritual journey, the Word becoming flesh as an invaluable source of enlightenment.  Liberating the mind from dualism and elevating our consciousness to greater states of expansive awareness create alchemy of body, mind and spirit.  The life conditions of ancient Israel and the times of Jesus in the Gospels are obviously different from ours, but the deep and lifelong need for embodiment is core to prayer and living life to the full.

Jim Briggs, Ex. Director of School of Applied Theology (retired) - 1 Credit - Saturdays, March 2 and 16, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. Using the Ignatian model of discernment, this course will help Masters students, sabbaticants, and local people in ministry to discern their future directions.  It includes: identifying individual gifts, talents, and charisms; clarifying the purpose to which one feels called to put their giftedness and the work setting where one can be happiest and most productive; and learning the most effective ways of communicating one’s goals to those with responsibility for hiring or assignment decisions.