Ciszek Hall Jesuit Residential College

Jesuit formation, to which Fordham’s M.A. in Philosophy and Society (MAPS) directly responds, comprises a three-year period of full-time graduate-level studies. Our innovative and interdisciplinary curriculum leverages the best of the Catholic intellectual tradition and Fordham’s disciplinary strengths in philosophy, theology, the social and natural sciences, the arts, and the humanities to advance knowledge and learning that promote faith and social justice. A central characteristic of the program is the integration of academic studies with contextually oriented ministry undertaken in solidarity with local communities (praxis-based learning). Students will establish ongoing relationships with community partners which include a well-established network of Bronx based non-profit/nongovernmental organizations; community advocacy groups; tenants’ rights groups; and youth climate justice movements. It will also include an institutional partnership between Fordham, the Society of Jesus, and the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO), Universidad Jesuita de Guadalajara, Mexico, where students have the opportunity to spend six months working on language and taking courses with brother Jesuits at the ITESO.

Program Highlights
  • Develop skills for learned and collaborative ministry in the Church in a spirit of dialogue and cultural sensitivity.
  • Engage the realities of the contemporary world in intellectually rigorous ways, especially by understanding the Catholic intellectual tradition and growing in an awareness of the social justice dimensions of local and global challenges.
  • Engage in coursework that exposes you to religious pluralism and cultural analysis as well as opportunities for immersive study locally and internationally.
  • Learn to respond effectively to a Church and world that need well-formed minds and open hearts.
Program Basics
  • The curriculum includes courses in philosophy (at least 30 credits), theology (at least 24 credits), social/natural sciences, arts and humanities (at least 9 credits). Successful completion of the degree requires 69 credits.
  • Beginning with introductory seminars in contextual learning and an integrative orientation to philosophical inquiry as a way of life, the program culminates in an integration seminar where students will synthesize their three-year interdisciplinary experience with an eye toward their future ministries.
  • The MAPS program meets Church and Society requirements for ordination to the Catholic priesthood.
  • Designed to be completed on a full-time basis over a 3-year period.
  • Courses will be delivered in a range of modalities (e.g., in-person, online, hybrid, semester-long courses, shorter modules, etc.).
  • The Ciszek Hall Jesuit Residential College provides the communal context within which all learning experiences will take place. This living and learning community will facilitate the academic, apostolic, spiritual, and personal integration required in this stage of First Studies.

Course Requirements

What follows are the categories for study and a sampling of relevant courses. This menu should be interpreted as a scaffold constructed to reach the interdisciplinary learning goals rather than as disciplinary distribution requirements.

Primary Learning Goals

  • understand and appreciate the complexities of the human condition;
  • acquire a methodology for continually reflecting on the changing contexts of mission.
  • grow in one’s ability to collaborate effectively and to undertake communal discernment.
  1. Ethics in Pastoral Ministry (3 units)
  2. Pastoral Counseling Skills (3 units)
  3. Introduction to Contextual Learning and the Bronx (3 units)
  4. Introduction to Latin American Culture, History, and Politics (3 units)
  5. Ignatian Reflection on Contextual Ministry (1 unit) – taken each semester in Year
  6. Ignatian Reflection on Contextual Ministry (1 unit) – taken each semester in Year
  7. Ignatian Reflection on Contextual Ministry (1 unit) – taken each semester in Year

Primary Learning Goals

  • acquiring a methodology for continually reflecting on the changing contexts of mission.
  • deepening one’s understanding of Jesuit history as it relates to ministerial contexts;
    1. History and Culture of the Jesuits I (1 unit) – delivered modularly in the learning community
    2. History and Culture of the Jesuits II (1 unit) – delivered modularly in the learning community
    3. History and Culture of the Jesuits III (1 unit) – delivered modularly in the learning community
    4. Navigating the Contexts of Mission (3 units) – chosen from a menu that will include courses in Psychology, Philosophy, Spirituality, etc. like:
      Psychology and Religion
      Trauma: Counseling and Ministry Issues
      Topics in the Philosophy of Education
      Hermeneutics
      Ignatian Spirituality for Ministry
      Tutorials

Primary Learning Goals

  • understanding, through an encounter with important texts, how thinkers and cultures have sought to respond to fundamental questions and dimensions of human and social existence;
  • acquiring a methodology for continually reflecting on the changing contexts of mission.
  1. Introduction to Philosophical Inquiry (3 units)
  2. Ancient Philosophy (3 units) – chosen from a menu that will include courses like:
    Introduction to Plato
    Introduction to Aristotle
    Philosophy’s Origins
  3. Augustine (3 units)
  4. Aquinas (3 units)
  5. Early Modern Philosophy (3 units) – chosen from a menu that will include courses like:
    Classical Modern Philosophy
    Kant
    Descartes and Spinoza
  6. Contemporary Philosophy (3 units) – chosen from a menu that will include courses like:
    American Pragmatism
    Kant and German Idealism
    Hegel’s Phenomenology
    Kierkegaard
    Nietzsche
  7. Ethics, Normative Ethics, or Natural Law (3 units) – chosen from a menu that will include courses like:
    Natural Law Ethics
    Normative Ethical Theory

After taking these 21 required units (in addition to the three-unit Capstone experience), students will need to take at least 6 additional units in philosophy (either in the Interdisciplinary Core or as Electives)

Primary Learning Goals

  • understanding and appreciating the complexities of the human condition;
  • understanding, through an encounter with important texts, how thinkers and cultures have sought to respond to fundamental questions and dimensions of human and social existence;
  1. Contours of the Ancient and Late Antique World (1) – taken in the same semester as ancient philosophy
  2. Contours of the Late Medieval and Early Modern World (1) – taken in the same semester as Aquinas or Early Modern course
  3. Contours of Modernity and Postmodernity (1) – taken in the same semester as contemporary philosophy course

Primary Learning Goals

  • analyzing structures and developments in society and culture, especially those that are relevant to faith, justice, religious pluralism, and ecological issues;
  • understanding, through an encounter with important texts, how thinkers and cultures have sought to respond to fundamental questions and dimensions of human and social existence;
  1. The Church in Controversy (3 units)
  2. Theologies of Gender and Sexuality (3 units) – chosen from a menu that will include courses like:
    Theological Anthropology and human Diversity
    Sexual Ethics

After taking these 6 required units (in addition to 15 units in Contextual Analysis and Jesuit Studies) students will need to take 3 additional units in theology (either in the Interdisciplinary Core or Electives)

Primary Learning Goals

  • analyzing structures and developments in society and culture, especially those that are relevant to faith, justice, religious pluralism, and ecological issues;
  • acquiring a methodology for continually reflecting on the changing contexts of mission.

3 units in each of the following three areas

  1. Justice and Human Rights (3 units) – chosen from a menu that will include courses in History, Humanitarian Studies, Philosophy, Theology, English, Political Science, etc. like:
    Ethics and Society: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives
    Race and Gender in Modern America
    Social Movements in Global Perspective
    Atlantic World: Empires, Diasporas, and Migrations
    US Immigration and Ethnicity
    Contemporary Issues in Humanitarian Action
    Humanitarian Aspects of Migration
    Dimensions of Political Justice
    Conflict Resolution
    Histories of Colonialism, Empire, Theology
    Political Theology
    Catholic Social Thought
    Tutorial
  2. Race and Racism (3 units) – chosen from a menu that will include courses in Theology, Philosophy, etc. like:
    Philosophy of Race
    Black Theologies and the Decolonial Option
    Latinx Theology
    African-American Theological Ethics
    Tutorial
  3. Environmental Studies and Sciences (3 units) – chosen from a menu that will include courses in the Social and Natural Sciences, Theology, Urban Studies, etc. like:
    Christian Ecological Ethics
    Ecological Theology
    Environmental Ethics/Environmental Policy/Bioethics
    Urban Health and Environment
    Environmental History of the American City
    Tutorial
  • As the student considers his own education, which learning goals might need more attention?
  • Does he have particular intellectual interests that have not yet been adequately explored?
  1. Philosophical Electives – any courses not completed for Philosophical or Interdisciplinary Core
  2. Theological Electives – any courses not completed for Theological or Interdisciplinary Core
  3. Additional Electives – any courses not completed for the Interdisciplinary Core in any discipline (e.g., English, History, Medieval Studies, etc.), for example:
    Staging Blackness: Black Drama in the African American Literary Tradition
    Poetry of Witness
    Slavery in American Fiction
    Race, Religion and Monstrosity in Medieval Literature

Primary Learning Goals

  • understanding and appreciating the complexities of the human condition;
  • analyzing structures and developments in society and culture, especially those that are relevant to faith, justice, religious pluralism, and ecological issues;
  1. Language Proficiency in Spanish certified by the Director. In rare cases, in consultation with Provincials and Assistants for Formation who determine that a different language would be more useful for a Jesuit’s future ministerial contexts, another language may be substituted for Spanish (e.g., French for Canadian Jesuits or English for African Jesuits) with proficiency certified by the Director.

Primary Learning Goals:

  • understanding and appreciating the complexities of the human condition;
  • analyzing structures and developments in society and culture, especially those that are relevant to faith, justice, religious pluralism, and ecological issues;
  • understanding, through an encounter with important texts, how thinkers and cultures have sought to respond to fundamental questions and dimensions of human and social existence;
  • acquiring a methodology for continually reflecting on the changing contexts of mission.
  1. Concluding Integration Capstone Seminar (3)

Some Useful Figures

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The Minimum Number of Credits in Philosophy
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The Minimum Number of Credits in Theology, Ministry, Jesuit Studies
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The Minimum Number of Credits in Other Disciplines
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The Average Numbers of Hours Spent Weekly in Praxis-Placements

Interdisciplinary Program Committee

  • TBA
  • TBA
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