Religion 4: Discipleship and Social Justice

Elective Courses

Charlie Hynes

During a students’ Senior year at Saint Ignatius College Prep, they have the opportunity to choose a religion class. This allows for students to partake in a religion class that suits and interests them. One of these options is Discipleship and Social Justice. Discipleship and Social Justice is a class taught by Mrs. David-Crowder, Father Taber, and Mr McKeon. The class focuses on analyzing social justice issues in the real world through a Catholic lens. Students learn how to apply their Catholic tradition and teachings to issues like racial justice, immigration, poverty, globalization, ethics of life, and gender equality. 

The course focuses on the idea of Catholic Social Teaching (CST), which is the way the Catholic Church makes decisions and actions on issues in the real world. Catholic officials use a combination of Catholic teachings and current world viewpoints to act on social justice issues and teach their stance to members of the church. Students are expected to recognize how social sin embedded with structural problems produces inequality, and to apply CST and Scripture to contemporary social and political issues involving the primary axes of discrimination. “I began teaching this class after I left the FAM office, and I really wanted kids to have a space to discuss social issues while also learning about their faith,” says Mrs. Davis Crowder. “This is the perfect opportunity for these discussions.” 

There are many different assignments that offer an opportunity to continue the conversations. Students are required to listen to a podcast and write a reflection once a WOLFPACK cycle. Also, students are assigned a specific date on which they chose an article about Catholics in action and present the main ideas. These assignments allow for meaningful class discussions about the world’s current state and many social justice issues that plague the world. 

Jack Hughes, a DSJ student, says, “My favorite thing about [Discipleship and Social Justice] is how discussion based it is. I love hearing about different perspectives on social issues, and I really think that this class is helping me become a better and more empathetic person. As someone who wants to go into Politics when I am older, this class is really helping me analyze issues that could help my career.”

Over the course of the semester, sensitive issues like race, gender, and ethics of life are discussed in class. Mrs. Davis Crowder understands this, and she makes it known to students that if they need a break during these conversations, they are able to step out to grab some water and settle down. She also reminds students that discriminatory words or phrases are not allowed, and she also makes sure the discussions are respectful and do not get out of hand. “When discussing these things, it can get pretty dicey in class, but Mrs. DC does a good job of making sure the talks are school appropriate,” says student Mckenna Ellis. 

If you enjoy discussion-based classes and are interested in learning about social justice issues in the real world, Discipleship and Social Justice is a class that specializes in those areas. When selecting courses for senior year, meet with your counselor for confirmation and more information on religion classes.