WSR Spring 2018 Recommended Courses

The following Spring 2018 courses are recommended for students enrolled in the Women's Studies in Religion certificate program. Note that courses not on this list can also be counted toward the certificate if the final paper/project relates to themes connected to women/gender. 


This seminar is required for completion of the GTU Women's Studies in Religion certificate and is open to all interested students. It explores and analyzes emerging themes and issues in women's studies in religion, focusing on those that intersect with race, sexuality, gender, ethnicity, class, culture, nationality, and religious expression.

This course will provide theoretical groundwork and common vocabulary for students interested in pursuing women's studies and womanist, feminist, mujerista scholarship in theology/religious studies. The course introduces the issues that are raised by the field of women's studies, and explores how these issues relate to the study of religion. Evaluation based on Moodle participation, leadership of class discussion, and final project and presentation. This course is open to all degree programs at the GTU and has an inter-religious orientation. This course is taught from a liberationist pedagogy perspective.

ABSW, TH, 07:10PM-09:40PM

The courses below can count toward the three courses (9.0 credit hours) required to complete the Women’s Studies in Religion Certificate. 


Intended for MDiv, MA, and PhD students, this course will explore the religious foundations of several U.S. social justice movements of the 20th century including the Civil Rights Movement, Women's Movement, LGBTQ Movement, and Environmental Justice Movements. The historical, cultural, and economic aspects of these various movements will be considered with the aim of understanding how religion informed these calls for deep and lasting change within U.S. culture. Several class presentations and a final research paper will be required.

PSR:6, M, 06:10PM-09:00PM


This research seminar will focus on the histories of women in American religious traditions. The centerpiece of the course will be student research projects and the historical contexts that assist us in understanding the issues and developments addressed in the student projects. As a research seminar, students will read widely in primary and secondary sources, contribute to class discussion and write a major research paper. [Auditors with faculty permission]e

PSR:H133, TH, 09:40AM-12:30PM


This course uses feminist, womanist, postcolonial, decolonial, and queer theoretical lenses to analyze the construction of "woman" in Christian tradition throughout the early, medieval, early modern, modern, and postmodern/contemporary periods. The course’s asynchronous online format includes video lectures, posted readings, and online discussions. Evaluation methods include weekly participation in online discussions, a group presentation (online), two reflection papers, and a final paper or project (student choice in consultation with professor). Designed for MTS students but also open to MDiv and MA students. 



This course will explore the social discourse and politics surrounding the music and public persona of Beyonce Knowles. The course will use Knowles a paradigmatic figure to explore issues of womanist thought, with particular interest in topics of race, class, and gender, focusing on concepts of sexuality, embodiment, agency, etc. These popular social and political issues will serve as a framework to evaluate various texts in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible.

SFTS, T, 09:00AM-11:50AM


Course description unavailable.

TH, 02:10PM-05:00PM


This seminar will utilize deep reading and round-table dialogue to investigate female authored mystical texts. In the first half of the semester we will study primary sources together, raising questions from the field of spirituality. During the second half of the semester, students will select a female mystic, for example, Beatrice of Nazareth, Teresa of Avila, Hildegard of Bingen, Hadewijch, Jeanne Guyon, Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich, Catherine of Siena, Mother Teresa, or Simone Weil, whose writings they will examine more deeply. Each participant will select texts to share with the seminar in order to introduce their thesis about the subject's spirituality. We will explore how these intimate friends of God hermeneutically expressed their mystical revelations and approached the implications of their spirituality, theologically and politically. How did they interpret scripture, exegete society, and present their divine revelations, especially in contexts of gender inequality, political instability, and ecclesial restriction?

PSR:5, M, 09:40AM-12:30PM


The understandings and embodiments of gender, sex and sexuality have long and complex histories. Constructions related to these categories often foreground what is considered "normal" in any given time period or place. In this course, we will interrogate some of these complexities and constructs and invite ourselves into deeper exploration of how power is at play in them and what they might reveal to us about God and ourselves. Through critical and creative engagement with stories and texts giving voice to the beautiful diversity existing within creation, we will center marginalized perspectives in developing our understanding. Whose voices are generally present? Whose are absent? What has changed over time? What has not? Who decides? How might ancient understandings vary from our own? Where is God in all of it? Finally, and perhaps most importantly, what is the good news for the diverse communities we are called to serve?

PSR:H133, M, 02:10PM-05:00PM


This online course will focus on the cases of Latina/o immigrants in the United States and Japan in relation to their experiences of faith, ethnicity and gender. The approach is interdisciplinary as we will draw from several fields for the analysis of the class topics. The goal of the course is to provide grounds for students to acquire tools for understanding the different realities of immigrants. Issues of faith, race/ethnicity, gender and migration will be constantly connected to pastoral reflection throughout the course, especially since our world is increasingly becoming multicultural, multiethnic and multi-religious.ting Information   



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 meets Thursdays, 2/1/18-3/8/18.

n/a, TH, 06:10PM-09:00PM


This course theorizes dance and religion as they intersect in various cultural contexts. Through close analytical readings of texts and movement, we will explore the political and historical events that shaped a given religious/spiritual dance form and discuss the contemporary issues that surround its continued practice. Formations such as gender, sexuality, lived religion, nationalism, race, class, post-colonialism, globalization, commercialization, and ritual will inform our understanding of the multiple lenses through which these dances and dancers can be viewed. Fundamental questions will include: What is considered dance, and what is considered religion? How does the practice of dancing (or not) affect people's understanding of their spirituality? How does the political construction of the body within a given culture affect who can dance and how they dance in their religious practice?

PSR:H133, M, 06:10PM-09:00PM


This course is a theologically and scientifically informed reflection on major issues in Christian sexual ethics, with an emphasis on the Catholic tradition. Topics include: sex and sexuality, Biblical norms for sex, marriage and divorce, celibacy, homosexuality, pre-marital sex, pornography, contraception, et al. Format is reading/discussion and lecture. Student evaluation will be based on reflection papers on the reading and a final paper on a related topic of the student's choice. [Previous study of fundamental moral theology or a graduate introductory course in ethics; Faculty Consent required]

JSTB:216, M, 02:10PM-05:00PM


In an unsettling landscape of post-2016 election, it is pertinent to examine praxis in the interdisciplinary rubrics of practical theology. Present dilemmas of theological and ethical debates about roles of churches in public square discourse about intersecting disparities are not new, resurfacing in milestone eras of human rights crisis. Students will investigate forms of practical theology that critically engages theoethics as we think about implications of civic realities and lived experiences. In seminar format, students will consider the present societal stew of what I call Black Lives Matter Times to examine public ideological clashes over moral imperatives and identities that pose a conundrum of expectations on what is appropriate theoethical action from diverse faith and inter-religious communities, i.e., what are the theoethical links to social reform activism as discipleship ministry. Class will meet 9:30am-4:30pm on 5 Saturdays in Spring 2018: 2/10; 3/3; 4/7; 4/28; 5/12.

ABSW, S, 09:30AM-04:30PM