College of Philosophy and Letters

College of Philosophy and Letters Website

Leadership

Randall S. Rosenberg, Ph.D.
     Dean

Description

Founded in 1889, Saint Louis University’s College of Philosophy and Letters oversees undergraduate and post-baccalaureate programs for students preparing for priesthood or for lay Catholic ministry. Programs include a B.A. and B.S. in philosophy for ministry, a certificate in philosophy for ministry, and a certificate in foundations of Christian service.

Following recent congregations of the Society of Jesus, curricular and capstone requirements for the bachelor’s programs for Jesuits and the two certificate programs have been structured to help students engage issues of faith and justice in dialogue with culture. 

Programs in the College also include an archdiocesan concentration in the BA. Oriented toward reflection on the relationship between faith and reason, this program satisfies undergraduate requirements for archdiocesan seminarians.

A bachelor’s degree from the College of Philosophy and Letters provides the early academic formation of students preparing for Catholic ministry and priesthood. The College is concerned with both the undergraduate training appropriate to the bachelor’s degree and the implementation of ecclesiastical requirements for religious and seminarians at the collegiate level.

The bachelor’s degree in the College offers four concentration options. The concentrations in humanities, language, and math/natural sciences conclude with a capstone focused on a particular context of ministry. The archdiocesan concentration concludes with a capstone on faith and reason.

The certificate in philosophy for ministry is designed primarily for post-baccalaureate students preparing for eventual ordination. As such, its requirements follow ecclesiastical standards for the philosophical training of students studying for the priesthood. Although this certificate presupposes a previous degree, its requirements may be satisfied by undergraduate coursework. The certificate in foundations for Christian service is a flexible, 15 – 16 credit program for religious and lay students who desire philosophical, theological, and other relevant disciplinary background for intelligent reflection on contexts of possible ministry. 

The Master of Arts in Philosophy and Theology for Ministry provides interdisciplinary foundations for intelligent ministry in the Church and further divinity studies required for ordination. For future priests, the degree also offers the opportunity to satisfy one year of the four years of graduate theological studies required for ordination.

PLJ 1010 - Ecclesiastical Latin I

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Elementary introduction to the Latin language, including grammar and vocabulary. Special attention is given to the place of Latin as the language of the Roman Catholic Church, and to its use in the texts of the Roman liturgy, Church documents, and the Church Fathers.

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 1020 - Ecclesiastical Latin II

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Elementary introduction to the Latin language, including grammar and vocabulary. Special attention is given to the place of Latin as the language of the Roman Catholic Church, and to its use in the texts of the Roman liturgy, Church documents, and the Church Fathers.

Prerequisite(s): PLJ 1010

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 1050 - Catechism I: Catholic Doctrine

Credit(s): 2 or 3 Credits

This course is a comprehensive treatment of the teachings and beliefs of the Catholic Church. Highlighting the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Part One: The Profession of Faith), the class examines the meaning of faith rooted in the Scriptures and Catholic Tradition.

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 2000 - Introduction to Philosophy

Credit(s): 1-3 Credits

This course introduces students to important philosophical themes and to the practice of closely reading philosophical texts through an engagement with historical and contemporary sources. Offered in spring.

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 2010 - Ecclesiastical Latin III

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Broadens and deepens skills gained in Ecclesiastical Latin I and II, with a focus on the documents and special vocabulary of the Holy See. (Offered occasionally)

Prerequisite(s): PLJ 1010; PLJ 1020

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 2020 - Ignatian Humanism

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course explores the Ignatian spiritual tradition as a distinct form of Christian humanism. Attentive to the writings of St. Ignatius Loyola, the impact of Renaissance humanism, and the emphasis on a faith that does justice, this course reflects on the pioneering attempts of Jesuits to navigate a variety of challenges, including the relationship between science and religion, missionary activity and interreligious dialogue, poverty and the protection of the vulnerable, and more. Accordingly, the course engages the life and work of Ignatius Loyola, Francis Xavier, Robert de Nobili, Matteo Ricci, Edmund Campion, Teilhard de Chardin, and Alfred Delp.

PLJ 2050 - Catholic Morality

Credit(s): 2 or 3 Credits

This course is a comprehensive introduction to the moral teachings of the Catholic Church.

Prerequisite(s): PLJ 1050

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 2800 - Biblical Greek I

Credit(s): 3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

Introduction to the basics of biblical Greek. (Offered occasionally)

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 2930 - Special Topics

Credit(s): 1-4 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

PLJ 2980 - Independent Study

Credit(s): 1 or 3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

PLJ 3000 - Logic and Epistemology

Credit(s): 3 Credits

An introduction to an Aristotelian account of logic and the acts of the mind and to the nature and possibility of knowledge, with a focus on developing and articulating a realist philosophy that provides a foundation and guiding inspiration for future courses and studies. Offered in fall.

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 3050 - Liturgy and Sacraments I: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist

Credit(s): 2 or 3 Credits

This course presents the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist as liturgical celebrations and rites that ‘actualize’ Christ in his Salvific Event.

Prerequisite(s): PLJ 1050

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 3055 - Liturgy and Sacraments II: Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, Marriage

Credit(s): 2 or 3 Credits

This course studies the sacraments of Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Marriage.

Prerequisite(s): PLJ 1050; PLJ 3050

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 3060 - Introduction to Scripture: Biblical Hermeneutics and Fundamental Theology

Credit(s): 2 or 3 Credits

The course expounds on the basic concepts and criteria used in Biblical Sciences: Word, Revelation, transmission, Truth in Scripture, Canonicity, authenticity, integrity, Magisterium, tradition.

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 3100 - Ancient Philosophy

Credit(s): 3 Credits

An historical introduction to the thought and texts of principal Greek and Roman philosophers from the Pre-Socratics to the Neo-Platonists, with special emphasis on Plato and Aristotle. (Offered every Fall)

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 3150 - Philosophy of Nature

Credit(s): 3 Credits

An introduction to the Aristotelian philosophy of nature (investigating change and motion in sensible bodies) and to the philosophy of science (investigating the significance and practice of scientific inquiry), especially in relation to Catholic belief and practice. (Offered every Fall)

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 3200 - Medieval Philosophy

Credit(s): 3 Credits

An historical introduction to the thought and texts of principal philosophers of the medieval period, with special emphasis on Augustine and Aquinas. (Offered every Spring)

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 3300 - Philosophical Anthropology

Credit(s): 3 Credits

A comprehensive examination—through a critical engagement with historical and contemporary sources—of the nature of the human person as an incarnate being possessing freedom, subjectivity, and powers of knowing. The course includes both Thomist and personalist perspectives. (Offered every Spring)

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 3550 - Church History I

Credit(s): 2 or 3 Credits

Introduction to the patristic foundations of the Catholic Church. (Offered in Fall)

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 3555 - Church History II

Credit(s): 2 or 3 Credits

A survey of the history of the church from Benedict of Nursia to the present day. (Offered in Spring)

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 3660 - Topics in Sacred Music

Credit(s): 2 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

Course addresses themes connected with the appreciation, history, and meaning of music, with emphasis on sacred music. (Offered occasionally)

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 3665 - Music for Worship

Credit(s): 1-2 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

Course focuses on the application of music theory in practice, with a view to preparing students to lead or participate in music for worship. The course is tailored to the individual needs of the students enrolled in the course.

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 3930 - Special Topics

Credit(s): 1-4 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

PLJ 3980 - Independent Study

Credit(s): 1 or 3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

PLJ 4000 - Metaphysics

Credit(s): 3 Credits

An introduction to the foundation of philosophy, the science of being, emphasizing an Aristotelian-Thomistic perspective while also addressing modern and contemporary views. Offered in fall.

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 4050 - Christian Prayer

Credit(s): 1-3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

This course covers the basics of spiritual theology, prayer and its development and presents the insights of some of the spiritual masters, ending with a treatment of some contemporary issues regarding spirituality and prayer.

Prerequisite(s): PLJ 1050

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 4100 - Modern Philosophy

Credit(s): 3 Credits

A historical introduction to the thought and texts of principal philosophers of the modern period (17th through 19th centuries), with special emphasis on Descartes, Hume, Kant, and Hegel, concentrating on their metaphysical and epistemological arguments. (Offered every Fall)

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 4250 - Natural Theology

Credit(s): 3 Credits

A continuation of the study of metaphysics, treating the subject of being in relation to its principle and end, God as Subsisting Infinite Being and First Cause, and the nature of human knowledge of Him. (Offered every Fall)

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 4310 - Ethics

Credit(s): 3 Credits

This course introduces ethics by beginning with Saint Thomas’ account of the final end, action, virtues, and law as found in his Summa Theologiae. The course will conclude with Pope John Paul II’s intervention into moral theology, Veritatis Splendor. (Offered every Spring)

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 4350 - Social-Political Philosophy

Credit(s): 3 Credits

An historical and systematic introduction to the study of the human as a social-political being, focusing on such topics as the nature, origin, and purpose of political order and its relation to transcendent truths, with readings from historical and contemporary sources. Offered in spring.

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 4800 - Contemporary Philosophy

Credit(s): 3 Credits

An historical introduction to the thought and texts of principal philosophers of the contemporary period (19th century to the present), focusing especially on their metaphysical and epistemological arguments. (Offered every Spring)

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 4900 - Integration Seminar

Credit(s): 1-3 Credits (Repeatable up to 12 credits)

In this course students integrate philosophy with knowledge in other fields of study. The course may be offered as a self-contained study of the connections between philosophy and other fields, or offered as an inter- or cross-disciplinary supplement, taken in tandem with one or more other courses.

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 4930 - Special Topics

Credit(s): 1-4 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

Pre/Corequisite: PLJ 3000 or PHIL 2050.

Prerequisite(s): (PLJ 3000 or PHIL 2050)

PLJ 4960 - Capstone Project

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Students write a capstone paper that integrates multiple sources of knowledge-philosophical, theological, ministerial, and other relevant disciplinary perspectives-in addressing a challenge presented by a context of ministry with which they have some direct personal experience.

Prerequisite(s): PHIL 1050 and PHIL 2050; PHIL 3250*, PHIL 3300*, PHIL 4500*, and PHIL 4600*

* Concurrent enrollment allowed.

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 4965 - Philosophy Capstone: Faith & Reason

Credit(s): 2 or 3 Credits

This course provides a capstone to the philosophy curriculum by considering themes from various parts of philosophy as focused in the prism of the relation between faith and reason and by building connections to the study of theology. The primary text for the course will be Pope John Paul II’s Fides et ratio and key topics will include the relation of faith and reason and the threefold character of philosophical inquiry as realist, metaphysical, and sapiential. (Offered every Spring)

Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students in the Coll. of Philosophy Letters college.

PLJ 4980 - Independent Study

Credit(s): 1 or 3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

PLJ 5900 - Integration Seminar

Credit(s): 1-3 Credits (Repeatable up to 12 credits)

In this course students integrate philosophy with knowledge in other fields of study. The course may be offered as a self-contained study of the connections between philosophy and other fields, or offered as an inter- or cross-disciplinary supplement, taken in tandem with one or more other courses.

PLJ 5930 - Special Topics

Credit(s): 1-3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)

PLJ 5960 - Capstone Project

Credit(s): 3 Credits

Students write a capstone paper that integrates multiple sources of knowledge-philosophical, theological, ministerial, and other relevant disciplinary perspectives-in addressing a challenge presented by a context of ministry with which they have some direct personal experience.

PLJ 5980 - Graduate Reading Course

Credit(s): 1-3 Credits (Repeatable for credit)