Saint John the Evangelist Seminary

A Commitment of the Evangelical Catholic Church for Academic Formation

Est. 2006






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Saint John the Evangelist Seminary


MT 505: Social Justice and Peace  (3CH)
Course Syllabus


Bishop James Wilkowski


Course Description:

This course in Social Justice uses various Church documents, as well as extensive discussion, to look at current world problems and their justice implications. The course attempts not only to present information but also to strengthen the studentís ability to reason and apply principals to their own life situations. Morality and social conscience are discussed, as well as the responsibility we all have as Christians to accept our role as our keepers of our brothers and sisters.


Required Text:  Justice and Peace- Our Faith in Action by Joseph Stoutzenberger


Course Goals and Objectives:

The purpose of the class is to make students aware of justice issues that currently exist in our
global community, provide students with opportunities to learn how the Catholic Church calls us to respond to injustice in its many forms, and encourage students to develop and express a
personal philosophy based on solid information.

Immediate Goals:
The students will be able to
1. apply concepts learned in class to current justice situations around the world,
2. explain their own opinions regarding justice issues,
3. propose solutions to various injustices from a Catholic perspective.

Long-range Goals:
The following are long-range goals, which the students will strive to meet as they mature and
become more involved as practicing members of their faith community, ethical professionals in
their life vocations, and citizens in our global society.

The class will:
1. help students to formulate their own opinions and express themselves clearly and confidently,
2. provide students with access to and an understanding of Church documents and doctrine as
they apply to justice issues,
3. encourage students to live their faith without hesitation, following the model of Jesus Christ.

To accomplish its goals, this course has the following objectives:
1. provide the students with a foundation of knowledge regarding the Catholic Church and its
teachings in regards to justice issues,
2. involve the students in activities and discussions that require them to face situations and
answer questions that they may possibly face later in their lives,
3. create a forum for expressing their beliefs, respectfully challenging the beliefs of their peers,
and ultimately understanding themselves more through group discussions.


Course Outline


1. Godís Love: Foundation of Justice
A. What is justice?
B. The Exodus
C. The Prophets
D. The Teachings of Jesus related to the Reign of God and Justice
2. The Church: Called to Work for Justice
A. The Holy Spirit Among Us
B. The Church Through the Ages
C. The Modern Era
D Dorothy Day and the Catholic Workers Movement

3. A Just World: The Catholic Vision
A. Catholic Social Teachings: The Vatican
B. Statements from the Church
C. Major Themes of Catholic Social Teaching
D. Examining Our Culture in the Light of Conscience

4. Guidelines for Charity: Doing Justice, Living Justly
A. Charity and Justice
B. Mother Teresa: A Model of Mercy
C. Changing Social Structures

D. Bishop Carlos Duarte Costa's post-excommunication model.

5. A Consistent Ethic of Life: Justice Across the Life Cycle
A. A Seamless Garment- Life is Sacred from Beginning to End
B. Snapshots of Old Age
C. The Dignity of Persons with Disabilities
D. Protecting Society, Respecting Prisoners

6. Poverty in the United States/ Global Poverty
A. Poverty: Truths and Myths
B. Migrants and Immigrants
C. Characteristics of Poor Countries
D. A Christian Perspective on Poverty


7. Race: Beyond Stereotypes to the American Dream
A. Eliminating Prejudice
B. Prejudice and Social Construction
C. The Impact of Racism
D. The Churchís Stand Against Racism

8. Created in Godís Image: Women and Men
A. Different, but Equal in Dignity
B. Snapshots of Men and Women
C. Signs of Sexism and Phobias
D. The Church Responds to Sexism

9. Earth Justice
A. Environmental Concerns
B. Global Perspective: World Air Pollution Levels
C. A Christian View of the Earth
D. Stewardship

10. The Challenge of Peace/ Peacemaking
A. Approaches to Resolving Conflict
B. The Just-War Doctrine
C. Catholicism and Peacemaking
D. Nurturing Global Peace



Assignments TBA




The Evangelical Catholic Church: A Welcoming Community of Faith Rooted in the Catholic Tradition

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