Ministry and Addictions

Fall 2016
T 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Area IV
Permission Not Required
Limited Enrollment
Course Description: 

This course provides an introduction to the dynamics of addictions and to pastoral care in the lives of persons, families, and communities affected by addictions. We will survey ecclesial, historical, clinical, cultural, and public policy perspectives on alcoholism and other chemical abuse/addiction, as well as behavioral or “process addictions” such as gambling and internet addiction, with a focus on contemporary understandings of the spiritual and theological implications of these perspectives. Attention to intersectionality and the impact of poverty, race, class, gender, and sexuality on substance use and its consequences will be a theme across the semester. We will also consider various frameworks for promoting recovery. The course includes some experiences outside of the classroom (e.g., visits to AA/Al-Anon/ACOA meetings) in addition to classroom time.  The course utilizes discussion, lecture, film, and action-reflection pedagogies.

Background Expected: 


Course Requirements: 

We will operate this course in a seminar/learning community format. That is, each participant is viewed as an active agent of her/his own learning and a contributor to the learning of others. For that reason, attendance and full participation is the most basic course requirement. Only excused absences for unavoidable reasons will be permitted. If you have an emergency requiring your absence, please try to notify the professor by email or telephone prior to the class. Participants should come to class sessions prepared to critically discuss assigned readings for the day, having completed any assigned readings or written work prior to class.

Basis of Evaluation: 

Requirements:  There are four written assignments, described in detail in the “Assignment Appendix” at the end of this syllabus, and weighted as follows:

Assignment 1–            Abstinence Experience:          30%

Assignment 2 –           12-Step Meeting:                   20%

Assignment 3 –           Genogram:                           15%

Assignment 4 –           Social Issues Paper                30%

                                  Class Participation                5%

Total:                                                                                 100%