The mission of the PULSE Program is to educate our students about social injustice by putting them into direct contact with marginalized populations and social change organizations and by encouraging discussion on classic and contemporary works of philosophy and theology. Our goal is to foster critical consciousness and enable students to question conventional wisdom and learn how to work for a just society. We accomplish this by helping our students make relevant connections between course material and experience with community service.
Throughout the years, we have found that the relationship between field work and classroom study evokes a rich conversation. The Western philosophical tradition began in wonder and inquiry about basic problems:
What does it mean to be human?
To enjoy freedom?
To fall in love or become a friend?
To participate in community?
These basic questions reassert themselves when a student acts as a companion to a disabled adult, tutors an inmate, extends a sympathetic ear to a suicidal person over a telephone line, or feeds a homeless person on a cold winter night.
The majority of the students enrolled in the PULSE Program take a twelve-credit, year-long core-level course in philosophy and theology entitled Person and Social Responsibility. Several PULSE elective courses are also offered. In addition to classroom reflection and discussion, carefully selected field placements in after school programs, youth work, corrections, shelters, literacy, domestic violence, health clinics, housing programs, and HIV/AIDS services among other areas become the context in which students forge a critical and compassionate perspective both on society and themselves.
The specific learning goals for the PULSE year-long core-level course, Person and Social Responsibility, are as follows:
- Students will have an understanding of the ways in which service and the study of philosophical and theological traditions inform each other.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to employ an ongoing praxis methodology in which they encounter challenging social realities, critically reflect upon them in conversation with philosophical and theological traditions, and act with informed and critical agency.
- Students will develop a critical understanding of intersectionality and interlocking structures of privilege and oppression, especially race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability.
- Students will demonstrate moral development through a growth in compassion, a sense of responsibility and agency in response to injustice to contribute to the common good and social justice, and engagement in questions about the divine-human relationship.
"Person and Social Responsibility"
Hours Per Week of Service