Teaching

I am the Assistant Professor of Religion and Society at the Franciscan School of Theology, a seminary and graduate school in the Franciscan tradition. Like my colleagues here, I help students see the connections between faith and lived reality. Some of the courses I teach are listed with their descriptions below.

Before coming to my current position, I taught at several other institutions. At Santa Clara University, a Jesuit school, I taught Solidarity in the Community (service learning), Religion in the United States and Theology of Marriage; I still occasionally teach this final course online. I was also in the sociology department at Santa Rosa Junior College, teaching Sociology of Family and Modern Social Problems. Finally, I received two teaching fellowships at the Graduate Theological Union, where I taught Marriage and Family as well as Religion and Social Transformation.

Religion and Social Transformation: How does one go about changing the world? What difference do religious ideas and values make in a society that so often seems resistant to them? How does one move beyond an ideal (and/or idealistic) vision in order to bring about a new social reality that fosters human flourishing? These are the sorts of questions that animate this class. In responding, we will investigate the efficacy of religious ideas and constituencies with respect to understanding and challenging institutional power, engendering civic discourse and engagement, contributing to social movement activism and so forth.

Ministering to American Catholics: This course will examine the Catholic landscape so as to better understand the contemporary pastoral needs within the Catholic Church in the U.S. Questions this class will explore include: Why are young adults leaving the Church? How can I integrate different ethnic groups in a parish while still preserving the differences they bring? What are the best practices when addressing political issues within a parish? By incorporating insights from sociologists and theologians, students will better minister to a variety of populations as well as learn theory to apply to groups not covered within the class.

Intercultural Ministry: This is seminar, required for M.Div. students, will cover major cultural issues in ministry and offer concepts and practices to facilitate more sensitive ministry for these contexts. The course consists of lectures on pastoral ministry, discussion, field placements, and group theological reflection exercises.

Spirituality of Ministry: This ministry seminar required for M.Div. students will include lectures on pastoral ministry, time in field placements, and group theological reflection exercises. Special attention will be given to the spirituality of ministry.

Fundamental Moral Theology: This course outlines the basic structure and method of Roman Catholic moral theology, with a particular emphasis on the Franciscan moral vision. By means of common readings, discussion, and lectures, it introduces basic concepts of moral theology and moral methods from a Franciscan perspective.