Chapter XI. Course Descriptions


Community Psychology (PSYC)

PSYC 6301 Foundations of Community Psychology
Community psychology includes a focus on ecological determinants of mental health issues in the community, prevention, structural/institutional change, and a consideration of social justice. The course presents a comprehensive overview of community psychology theory, research methods, and illustrations of its application. The course requires a minimum of 15 hours of participant observation at three community institutions in preparation for the action research placement. Prerequisites: Admission to the Community Psychology graduate program. (Fall) 

PSYC 6302 Diversity and Cultural Competency
Didactic and applied research and clinical approaches to various ethnic cultures with an emphasis on their influence on health service delivery. Framework of the course utilizes both personal and professional perspectives on understanding the role of culture, ethnicity, acculturation, religious worldview, and gender on the use of research methodologies and application of psychological theory, principles, and applications within community agencies. Prerequisites: Admission to the Community Psychology graduate program. (Fall) 

PSYC 6303 Understanding Risk and Resiliency: A Focus on Prevention
This is a core course for the Master of Science in Community Psychology program. In this course, students will be presented with theories of risk and resiliency, prevention theory, research methods focusing on needs and progress assessment, and application. The course requires a minimum of 15 hours of internship (i.e., providing service) at a community institution. Prerequisites: PSYC 6301, PSYC 6302, & PSYC 6381/MATH 6303. (Spring) 

PSYC 6359 Practicum and Action Research
Investigates the personal, community, and social needs of various community organizations through participatory and social action research. Prerequisites: PSYC 6301, PSYC 6302, PSYC 6303, PSYC 6381/MATH 6363, PSYC 6384, & PSYC 6386, PSYC 63TP, & PSYC 6390. (Fall) 

PSYC 6370 Family Systems
This course examines the family as a network of persons who are interconnected to each other, and the interaction patterns that exist within.  (Fall). 

PSYC 6384 Research Methods in Community Psychology
Both quantitative and qualitative methodologies utilized in Community Psychology will be addressed.  Students will not only learn about the various Community Psychology research methods, but will also implement their knowledge by designing and conducting a research study relevant to community psychology issues. Prerequisites: PSYC 6301, PSYC 6302, & PSYC 6381/MATH 6363. (Spring)

PSYC 6386 Program Evaluation
Didactic, experiential, and research experiences for the purposes of understanding theory, process, and procedures required to evaluate service-delivery in community agencies.  The framework of the course utilizes various research methodologies, heuristics, and decision-making for determining appropriate strategies to evaluate agency performance.  Service-learning and social justice approaches are utilized to maximize learning experiences and impact agency functioning.  Prerequisites: PSYC 6301, PSYC 6302, & PSYC 6381/MATH 6363. (Spring)

PSYC 6388 Grantwriting
Course provides basic concepts of grant writing, with an emphasis on community grants for community initiatives, state agencies, non-profit organizations, and all levels of education. Basic concepts of grant writing will be covered, including: research funding sources, generating cutting-edge ideas, program and sustainability plans, assessing needs, establishing credibility, evaluation design, dissemination strategies, and formulating a budget. Prerequisites: PSYC 6301, PSYC 6302, PSYC 6303, PSYC 6381/MATH 6363, PSYC 6384, & PSYC 6386, PSYC 6390, PSYC 6359, PSYC 6370, PSYC 63TP, & PSYC 63TR. (Spring)

PSYC 6390 Seminar in Social Justice Aspects of Community Issues
This course offers an in-depth learning experience about contemporary community issues such as poverty, human rights, access to services, the nature of social justice and injustice, status and resources in society, discrimination, racism, sexism, and distribution of power.  These critical social problems will be examined; various intervention strategies and techniques for addressing and eliminating injustice will be explored.  Prerequisites: PSYC 6301, PSYC 6302, PSYC 6303, PSYC 6381/MATH 6373, PSYC 6384, & PSYC 6386. (Summer)


PSYC 63TP Thesis Proposal
This course is the first step in the Community Psychology graduate student’s master’s thesis requirement.  Under the guidance of a faculty advisor, the student will complete a proposal of a thesis topic, including the completion of a literature review of the chosen topic, development of a research hypothesis, and identification of an appropriate method to address the hypothesis.  Prerequisites: PSYC 6301, PSYC 6302, PSYC 6303, PSYC 6381/MATH 6363, PSYC 6384, & PSYC 6386, and permission of the faculty member who will supervise the thesis. (Summer)

PSYC 63TR Master’s Thesis in Community Psychology
For Community Psychology graduate students actively engaged in research leading toward the submission of a written thesis. A program of supervised work will be arranged between the student and a faculty supervisor. Prerequisites: PSYC 6301, PSYC 6302, PSYC 6303, PSYC 6381/MATH 6363, PSYC 6384, & PSYC 6386, PSYC 63TP, & PSYC 6390, and permission of the faculty member who will supervise the thesis. (Fall, Spring, Summer)

PSYC 61TR Master’s Thesis in Community Psychology Continuation
For Community Psychology graduate students who have already completed the 6 required hours of PSYC 63TR Master’s Thesis in Community Psychology, plus 3 additional hours, but are not yet finished with their thesis. Prerequisites: PSYC 6301, PSYC 6302, PSYC 6303, PSYC 6381/MATH 6363, PSYC 6384, & PSYC 6386, PSYC 63TP (3 times), & PSYC 6390, and permission of the faculty member who is supervising the thesis. (Fall, Spring, Summer)

Religious Studies/Pastoral Institute (RSPI)

RSPI 6150 The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.)
The history, theology, and pastoral implications of the post-conciliar restoration of this rite, pastoral adaptations.

RSPI 6201 The Christian Message
Essential elements of the Christian faith, with attention to Roman Catholic teachings; core content for program planning in religious education.

RSPI 6202 Christology
An examination of the central Christian belief in Jesus as the Christ, including the New Testament foundation for this belief and subsequent Christian teaching; contemporary implications.

RSPI 6203 Foundations of Christian Theology
Theology has often been defined as “faith seeking understanding.” This course will explore methodologies and resources used by Christian theologians to better understand and express their faith. The course will examine the basic themes of the Christian faith, particularly in the Roman Catholic tradition. It will also address some contemporary theological issues and pastoral application of theory to ministry.

RSPI 6205 Justice, the World, and the Church
Peace and justice in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, and the U.S. Bishops’ pastoral letters on peace and economics. Models of the church in relationship to peace and justice.

RSPI 6209 Biblical Studies
Foundations for Catholic biblical studies including methodologies, terms, contexts, authorship, and a brief overview of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.

RSPI 6210 Wisdom Literature
An introduction to Israel’s search for wisdom in its Ancient Near Eastern context; including the expression of wisdom, Lady Wisdom, and the place of Wisdom literature in Israel’s faith: Proverbs, Job, Qoheleth, Sirach and the Wisdom of Solomon.

RSPI 6211 Johannine Writings
The Fourth Gospel presentation of a Jesus with whom the believer enters into communion to undergo a personal transformation directed toward a transformation of the world; includes study of the Gospel of John and themes from Revelation.

RSPI 6212 Theologies of the New Testament
An examination and comparison of the different theologies found in the New Testament writings. Topics include the self-identity of early Christians and their relationship to Israel, the role of the Spirit in the churches, and the influence of social conditions on the theological views of Christians.
RSPI 6213 Themes of the Hebrew Scriptures
The consciousness of persons of faith interpreting and transforming history in response to the word of God; a study of the principal themes of the Hebrew Scriptures.

RSPI 6214 The Synoptics and Acts
The message of Jesus about God’s Kingdom seen from the experiences of the early Christian communities. The images of Jesus and his mission, and the Christian challenge in the Church.

RSPI 6218 The Pauline Corpus
The life and ministry of Paul; the principal themes of Pauline theology; special treatment of selected texts from Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, and Ephesians.

RSPI 6220 Church History
Historical survey of Christianity, with emphasis on the Western Church. A. Origins to the Reformation; B. From the Council of Trent to the Second Vatican Council

RSPI 6225/7225 Moral Theology in a Pastoral Context
An examination of the ethical issues and problems which commonly arise within the pastoral context, with particular emphasis on Roman Catholic theological approaches to sexuality.

RSPI 6226/7226 Key Issues in Social Ethics
An analysis of key social issues including the questions of church authority, inculturation and its implications, the meaning of “preferential option for the poor,” theological foundations, national issues and social priorities.

RSPI 6227 Theologies of Liberation
A study of the principal themes of liberation found in Latin American, African-American, feminist, and ecological theologies.

RSPI 6232 Contemporary Christian Theologians
Contemporary theological thought as found in representative thinkers of the Catholic and Protestant traditions.

RSPI 6236 Family Catechesis
The study and analysis of family systems and the implications for intergenerational catechesis.

RSPI 6239/7239 Adulthood and Christian Maturity
The study of current methods and models for adult learning and faith development.

RSPI 6240 Theory and Methods of Catechesis
An exploration of the theological and historical principles of catechesis today, including national and diocesan guidelines; age-appropriate methods and program design.

RSPI  6241 Hispanic History and Cultural Religious Expressions
The history of Hispanic Catholics in the United States, and how this history shapes the life and religiosity of today’s U.S. Hispanic faith communities.

RSPI 6242 Administration and Program Planning in Religious Education
Organizing and administering religious education programs, the role of the coordinator, relationship with pastor, families, students, and teachers.

RSPI 6243 Catechist Formation
Preparation of religious educators; emphasis on USCCB guidelines and cultural foundations for evangelization and catechesis.

RSPI 6244 Culture and Catechesis
Cultural factors which influence the catechetical process, a multicultural examination of the development and expression of belief.

RSPI 6251 Adolescent Catechesis
A study of the content and methods appropriate for religious education of youth.

RSPI 6254 Leadership in the Christian Community
Role, function, principles, and theories of leadership; program development and evaluation; leadership and development.

RSPI 6255 Women and Christian Tradition
Addresses the principal issues and themes of women journeying toward full partnership in the Christian community. Approaches the contemporary dialogue around equality from a variety of perspectives: biblical, theological, and pastoral.

RSPI 6256 Basic Counseling Concepts for Pastoral Ministers
Survey of basic counseling concepts to improve the student’s interpersonal effectiveness, assistance of others, crisis identification, and knowledge of referral procedures.

RSPI 6257 Marriage and Family Theory for Pastoral Ministers
An introductory study of healthy marriage and healthy family theory; family life-cycle development; basic marriage and family problems; basic counseling skills for problem identification and referral.

RSPI 6258 Interpersonal Communication Skills
The importance of interpersonal communication skills as a necessity for the full development of self and others, examined in one-to-one relationships as well as larger systems; emphasis on personal participation; application to a wide variety of pastoral settings.

RSPI 6260 Liturgy
The liturgical life of the Church under its theological, historical, spiritual, pastoral, catechetical, and juridical aspects; practical applications. Emphasis on Vatican II, post-conciliar and documents pertaining to liturgy and renewal.

RSPI 6261 Pastoral Liturgy
Introduction to liturgical spirituality, the role of the assembly, liturgical space and the use of the arts; the liturgical year; pastoral planning; communication techniques and administrative skills; liturgical ministries.

RSPI 6263 Liturgy and Sacraments
Theology of worship and the historical development of the public worship of the church with emphasis on the Eucharist. A survey of the seven sacraments. Basic liturgical principles for planning and celebration.

RSPI 6264 Leadership of Public Prayer
Theological foundations for the language and design of prayer, skills of oral communication and an introduction to homiletics, presiding at communion and other services.

RSPI 6265 Arts for Christian Worship
The importance of the imagination in worship, principles for environments and arts from church documents, experience in creating storytelling, drama, mime, movement, and art.

RSPI 6271 Spirituality and Ministry
A study of Christian spirituality, spiritual growth and its integration with ministry; conversion, asceticism, prayer and mysticism, spirituality and social justice.

RSPI 6272 Christian Sacraments
A study of the sacraments and sacramentality from several viewpoints including scriptural, theological, historical, and liturgical.

RSPI 6273 Introduction to Spirituality
An overview of contemporary approaches to spirituality, especially within the Western Christian tradition; examination of the relationship between human and faith development.

RSPI 6274 Introduction to Prayer
The nature and development of liturgical and private prayer in the Christian tradition, including the scriptural, theological, cultural, and psychological aspects of prayer.

RSPI 6275 Spirituality and Culture
Various approaches to spirituality, particularly within Western Christian traditions, and emerging cultural paradigms which have potential for cultural revisioning and spiritual development.

RSPI 6276 Movements in Western Christian Spirituality
A historical survey through the study of various spiritualities, including Augustinian, Benedictine, Franciscan, Devotio Moderna, Carmelite, Jesuit, Incarnational, and representative movements in the modern era.

RSPI 6280 Theology of Church and Ministry
A study of contemporary ecclesiologies for the development of a renewed understanding of ministry in the 21st century; models of church; and the relationship between charism and institution.

RSPI 6281 Introduction to Pastoral Studies
An articulation of a contemporary theology of ministry highlighting the spirituality of ministry; nature of ordained ministry; expansion of other ministries; and collaboration as an emerging approach to ministry; theological reflection models and methods.

RSPI 6285/7285 Program Planning and Evaluation
The pastoral knowledge, skills and attitudes for creative and successful program planning, management, and evaluation; personal and professional issues that enhance the witness value of the minister’s work.
RSPI 62CS Pastoral Project
Affords the student an opportunity to engage in a supervised project in ministry for the purpose of implementing theories and experimenting with new methods. Prerequisite: RSPI 6285.

RSPI 6X99/7X99 Selected Topics (6199, 6299 or 6399).

RSPI 6990 - Internship in Spiritual Direction
Off-campus program incorporating both content and supervised experience in the art of spiritual direction. With approval of the Director, this internship may be registered for three or six semester hours (RSPI 6390, 6690).

Youth Ministry Sequence

RSPI 6155 Foundations of Ministry Leadership
Examines the principles and priorities that guide students’ lives as Christian leaders.  Presents an understanding of principle-centered leadership and Christian spirituality that addresses one’s personal mission, ministerial roles, and priorities.

RSPI 6156 Principles of Youth Ministry
Presents foundational understandings and principles for developing an effective and comprehensive ministry with adolescents.

RSPI 6157 Skills for Christian Leadership
Addresses the theories and skills ministers need to work with and through people.  Emphasizes the application of leadership skills to various ministry settings, problems, and issues.

RSPI 6158 Developing Youth Ministry
Explores processes and skills for effective leadership in youth ministry.  Prepares leaders to empower the parish community for ministry with youth through collaboration and leadership development.

RSPI 6159 Faith Growth of Youth through Pastoral Care
Explores the principles and methods of caring for young people from various cultures, and their families.  Promotes healthy adolescent development from a pastoral care perspective and to develop interventions for families and adolescents.

RSPI 6160 Faith Growth of Youth through Evangelization and Catechesis
Explores the foundations of nurturing adolescent faith development and Catholic identity through an integrated approach to faith development incorporating teaching, prayer, liturgy, community life, justice, and service.

RSPI 6161 Faith Growth of Youth through Prayer and Worship
Examines the foundational role of Christian worship and sacraments in fostering the spiritual growth of youth.  Develops a realistic and integrated approach to worship within a comprehensive ministry to youth and practical application in the pastoral setting. 

RSPI 6162 Faith Growth of Youth through Justice and Service
Explores the foundations for fostering a justice and service consciousness and spirituality in youth.  Develops skills for creating integrated, action-learning models for the justice and service component of a comprehensive youth ministry.