Discernment And Christian Decision Making Course Syllabus

Christian Discernment and Decision Making
College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University

Fall Semester
4 credits

Instructor: Kathy Langer

Office Hours: By appointment on either campus.

E-mail: [email protected]

Class schedule and location: consult course catalog


Course Description:

This course introduces participants to the teachings on discernment found within the Christian tradition. The topic of discernment will be considered both as a way of life and as a specific process for vocational decision-making. Participants will apply discernment principles in differing contexts through course assignments and class activities such as discussion of case studies and reflection on personal experiences.


Learning Objectives:

Be able to receive and critique the accepted wisdom provided in the theological treatment of discernment throughout Judeo-Christian history.
Deepen understanding of the holistic, contextual and societal implications of discernment.
Gain familiarity and practice with the skill(s) of discernment.
Become acquainted with communal approaches to discernment.

Required Readings:

Farrington, Debra K. Hearing with the Heart: A Gentle Guide to Discerning God's Will for Your Life (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2003.)
Brackley, Dean, The Call to Discernment in Troubled Times: New Perspectives on the Transformative Wisdom of Ignatius of Loyola (New York: Crossroad, 2004.)
Merton, Thomas, Seeds (Boston, MA: Shambhala, 2002.)
Jim Wallis, God's Politics, (San Francisco, CA: Harper, 2005.)
Access to a Bible
Other selected readings

Academic Dishonesty Policy:

Cheating and Plagiarism

a. Cheating is defined as the attempt, successful or not, to give or obtain aid and/or information by illicit means in meeting any academic requirements, including examinations.

b. Plagiarism is defined as the use, without proper acknowledgment, of ideas, phrases, sentences, or larger units of discourse from writer or speaker.

Students are expected to know and abide by the policy as stated in the university catalogue and student handbook.

Disability Statement:

Students with documented special learning needs may want to contact Academic Advising Office x5687 (St. Ben's) or 2248 (St. John's.)

Student Behavior:

All students are expected to behave according to accepted norms that ensure a climate wherein all can exercise their right to learn. Such norms are set forth in the undergraduate catalogue. Please be sure that you have read and understood the material included in the sections entitled "Academic Regulations" and "Probation and Dismissal."

This syllabus is subject to change at professor's discretion. Students are responsible for any changes made during class.