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PULSE Faculty and Courses

The PULSE Core Course: Person and Social Responsibility I and II PHIL1088/THEO1088 and PHIL1089/THEO1089

This two-semester, twelve-credit course fulfills the entire Philosophy and Theology core requirement. Enrollment requires class work in conjunction with ongoing involvement in a PULSE placement. Placements put students in contact with people experiencing the consequences of some form of social injustice and requires a 10-12 hour per week commitment. Drawing on traditional and contemporary works of Philosophy and Theology, the classes engage the students in the challenge of self-discovery and growth as related to questions of what it means to assume responsibility for overcoming these injustices.

Faculty and Syllabi 2015-2016

Course # Schedule Disc Group Instructor
PHIL108801/THEO108801 M W F 11 W 2 or F 1 Troxell, M.
PHIL108802/THEO108802 T Th 9 M 12 or M 1 McMenamin, D.
PHIL108803/THEO108803 M W F 9 F 11 or F 12 Kruger, M.
PHIL108804/THEO108804 M W F 10 W 12 or W 1 Kruger, M.
PHIL108805/THEO108805 T Th 10:30 Th 12 or Th 1:30 Lott, M.
PHIL108806/THEO108806 T Th 12
T 11 or Th 11 Weiss, J.
PHIL108807/THEO108807 T Th 10:30 M 11 or M 12 Mullane, M.
PHIL108808/THEO108808 T Th 9 T 1:30 or Th 3 McCoy, M.
PHIL108809/THEO108809 T Th 12 W 10 or W 11 McMenamin, D.
PHIL108810/THEO108810 T Th 10:30 T 12 or T 3 Justin, D.
PHIL108811/THEO108811 M W F 12 M 10 or F 1
Justin, D.
PHIL108812/THEO108812 M W F 12 M 2 or F 2 Troxell, M.
PHIL108813/THEO108813 M W F 10 M 11 or M 1 Sweeney, M.
PHIL108814/THEO108814 M W F 12 F 10 or F 11 Traska, B.
PHIL108815/THEO108815 T Th 1:30 W 11 or W 1 Himes, K.

PULSE Elective Courses

PHIL 2233 Values in Social Service and Health Care

Instructor: David Manzo

The broadest mission of this course is to give perspective and offer reflection on your service experiences to date and then to help you discern the answer to the question, "What's next?" We will try to accomplish this through readings, lectures, discussions, and written assignments. Together we will pursue some of the questions raised by the facts, philosophies and statements contained in the readings.

Offered during the Fall Semester

PhiL 2216 Boston: An Urban Analysis

Instructor: David Manzo

This course is intended for PULSE students who are willing to investigate, analyze, and understand the history, problems, and prospects of Boston's neighborhoods. Community service at a PULSE placement is required for participation in this course. Assignments will require spending time observing, researching, and writing about the neighborhood in which the PULSE placement is located.

Offered during the Spring Semester

PhiL 2261 Telling Truths I: Writing for the Cause of Justice

Instructor: Kathleen Hirsch; Prerequisite: Philosophy Core Fulfilled

This PULSE elective will explore writing as a tool for social change. Students will read and experiment with a variety of written forms—fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and journalism—to tell the "truth" as they experience it in their own direct encounters with social injustice. This workshop is intended to provide a comprehensive introduction to the range of literary strategies that social prophets and witnesses have used, and are using today, to promote the cause of justice. A 4Boston, PULSE, or other volunteer commitment is strongly recommended. Readings will include selected works of contemporary fiction, urban poetry, rap music, oral memoir, and non-fiction.

Offered during the Fall Semester

PhiL 2262 Telling Truths II: Depth Writing as Service

Instructor: Kathleen Hirsch; Prerequisite: Philosophy Core Fulfilled

This PULSE elective focuses on the power of story-telling.  We will read accounts of the role of story in changing lives, from inner city gang members to trainees in soup kitchens to survivors of Hurricane Katrina.   As we explore the ways in which people are using their stories as a means of setting goals and participating in their own “solutions,”  we will tell stories of our own, from personal experience and from field placements.  We will explore the benefits and liabilities of social media, blogging, and websites in emerging social and political movements. Students will learn to gather the building blocks of “story,” in their weekly field placements.  The stories they discover will become the basis for a number of assignments, from narratives to blogs to a final multi-media public story telling project. Class time will be spent in sharing placement stories, responding to texts, learning how organizations create public narrative campaigns, and discussing the special ethical, research, and editing challenges such work entails.  (Telling Truths I is not a prerequisite.)

Requirements: A PULSE, 4-Boston or other voluntary service work (four hours a week) is required. No prerequisites.

Readings: Writings, films, websites by contemporary writers engaged in social justice work.

Offered during the Spring Semester

THEO 3201: The Meaning and Way of Jesus

Instructor: M. Shawn Copeland; Prerequisite: Theology Core Fulfilled

This course inquires into the meaning of the person and mission of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah or Christ of God. The course seeks (1) to probe and to clarify those key issues that emerge in the Church’s centuries-long response to the question, ‘who was/is Jesus Christ?’ and (2) to explore what concretely is at stake in ‘following Jesus’ or in being his disciple. The first aim of the course requires a consideration of proper theological matters—divine and human natures, the salvific meaning of the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus; the second explores the invitation of the gospel ‘to follow’ the way Jesus teaches—a way of compassionate solidarity and active commitment to the poor, abused, homeless, and excluded.

As an elective course in the Pulse Program, students are required to engage weekly in four (4) hours of service at a non-profit community agency during the semester. The Pulse Program will work with the student in discerning an appropriate community service placement, setting up the Learning Work Agreement (LWA) with the supervisor, and handling details in relation to the community service agency. With its emphasis on discipleship or living the ‘way’ Jesus taught, the course seeks to deepen students’ understanding of the relation between action and reflection, social practice and religious faith. 

Offered during the Spring Semester

PhiL 2291 and PhiL 2292 Philosophy of Community I & II
PhiL 2293 and PhiL 2294 Culture and Social Structure I & II

Instructor: Meghan Sweeney (Restricted to PULSE Council)

A four semester-long sequence of courses studying community: its structure, power and change. The dynamics of community, the interrelatedness and interdependence of its various sectors, will be examined by sharing impressions and insights. Specific theoretical models of analysis will be studied and critiqued. The purpose of the course is to begin developing new approaches for learning about social change and for building new visions for the direction that a PULSE students' responsibility to social change might take.