Ethical Analysis and Advocacy

Instructor: Miguel A. De La Torre


TA: Grego Peña-Camprubí


Office Hours: Arranged by email

Course Synopsis:


  1. To teach students how to identify ethical and theological assumptions implicit in the moral life of persons and communities.
  2. To teach students to examine critically their own ethical assumptions as well as prevailing ethical assumptions in faith communities and society.
  3. To teach selected options in contemporary religious ethical theory, with special emphasis on Christian ethical theory.
  4. To enable students to develop an understanding of ethics which they can articulate and advocate with critical awareness as religious leaders.
  5. To relate theoretical ethical perspectives to select issues in church and society, especially those germane to pastoral practice.


  1. Participation in forum post discussions.  Specific kinds of preparation will be required.
  1. Complete required readings by the date they are to be discussed.
  1. Mid-term take-home examination.  Maximum Length:  10 pages, typed, double-spaced.
  1. Final take-home examination.  Maximum length: 10 pages, typed, double-spaced. 

 A pass/fail grade option is available.  Please inform the teaching assistant in writing no later than February if you choose this option.  No reasons need to be given.

For those who choose a letter grade, the following scale is used:

            Mid-term take home examination      30%

            Final take home examination              40%    (Rubric for assignment)

            Class Participation                               20%

            Academic Decorum                             10%


1) Written grades will be based on the midterm (30%) and final (40%) Written grades are determined as follows:

A: The student demonstrates exceptional quality in written work. Little room for improvement exists. Several primary sources (outside of class readings) are used in the writing assignment. Both effort and execution are first-rate. It is obvious that the reading assignment was critically analyzed.

B: The student’s work is above average. At least one primary source (outside of class reading) is used in the writing assignment. It is obvious that the reading assignment was completed.

C: The student has fulfilled the minimal requirements for this course. Effort and the execution of assignment are of average quality. It is obvious that the reading assignment was not thoughtfully read. There is room for improvement.

D: The student work is below average. It is obvious that the reading assignment was not done. The student is not living up to the expectations of graduate-level work.

F: The student failed to accomplish the class assignments.


A late paper will lose one letter grade for each class day that it is turned in late. If the student plans not to be in class the day an assignment is due, it is the student’s respon­sibility to get the work to the teaching assistant prior to the class meeting time. If extra ordinary circumstances exist which prevent the student from completing her/his  assignment on time, then the student needs to make an appointment with the teaching assistant to discuss an alternative schedule prior to when the assignment is due. Students who do not hand in ALL completed assignments must make prior signed arrangements for an Incomplete.  Students not making these prior arrangements will automatically receive an "F" for the course. 


2) 10% of the grade is based on academic decorum.  Being consistently present for class is a baseline expectation. Grade decorum is based on the following:

A: The student is respectful of others.  While disagreeing or challenging, the student never dishonors or disrespects. The student does not monopolize the conversation and is conscious of the need of all students having an opportunity to speak.

B: Every so often the student is insensitive to other student’s social location; rather than challenging or disagreeing with whatever point of view is being offered.  The student seems to speak more than others, insensitive that others have not had an opportunity to speak.

C: The student is disrespectful and is not willing to entertain different views. The student confuses their particular experience with the norm. Rather than paying close attention to the lecture and/or discussion, the student is texting, checking facebook, or engaging in some other form of social media unrelated to the class.

D: The student disrupts the learning experience of others by the way they conduct themselves in class.

F: The student creates a hostile classroom experience.


Submission of Assignments: In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint, we ask that no assignment be submitted in paper form.  EMAIL your final paper directly to me ( in a Word Document. Send your final paper with the following file name: First Initial + Last Name. For example, my paper file name would be: mdelatorre

Incomplete Policy: Students are responsible for following the procedures outlined in the attached document.

Note: Iliff engages in a collaborative effort with students with disabilities to reasonably accommodate student needs.  Students are encouraged to contact their assigned adviser to initiate the process of requesting accommodations.  The advising center can be contacted at or by phone at 303.765.1146.

This quarter, we'll be having several Zoom meeting sessions as a way of communicating "in person" as well as through the online discussion forums.  These sessions will be a great way to talk about the readings and pose questions and comments in live format, and get some face time with your instructors!  These meetings are optional

The meetings will be held on the following dates:

 4/14 - 6pm  Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

 5/5 - 7pm Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

 5/12 - noon  Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:




Book Discussion

a) These conversations are an important space for our learning in this
class, so please take these postings seriously and don’t be afraid to
post more often than required. Some suggestions for types of questions

1. The author: who is the author and their background, how their context and background might influence their writing.
2. Thesis of the book: what is the main argument of the book.
3. Methodology and theory: who are the theorists the author engages with, what methodology does the author use.
4. Ethical issues: how does the book further your understanding of some ethical issues.
5. Takeaways: your takeaways from the book.


Additionally, as you engage with the book, you may seek ways by which you:

i) Connect the present book to other course material

ii) Share any questions that remained unanswered during your reading of the book

iii) Connect the present book to current events related to course material

iv) Ways in which the author’s ideological location might influence thesis or method and the ramifications.

v) Controversial or difficult topics raised in the book that could use further discussion


Weekly Forum Discussion Instructions

i)Questions for Discussion - by Monday at 12:00am
Each week, a question or questions for discussion will be posted. These questions - and the ones above, are meant to serve as a guide as to how to construct your contribution. You are not expected to answer each of them. You are welcome to begin responding as soon as they are posted.

ii) Initial Response - by Wednesday at Midnight
All students must post a substantial response to the prompts posted  or extend the conversation by responding to another student. Please be sure to keep all posts under the original thread.

iii) Comments and Conversation - by Sunday at 8:00pm

Everyone must post a minimum of one additional substantial contribution to the conversation.

Required Readings

Sep 12, 2022MonIntroductionsdue by 05:59AM
Sep 13, 2022TueDeliberative Motif Lecturedue by 05:58AM
Sep 15, 2022ThuKant Discussiondue by 02:00AM
Sep 19, 2022Mon5 Questions Assignment -- Kantdue by 05:59AM
Sep 20, 2022TuePrescriptive Motif Lecturedue by 05:58AM
Sep 22, 2022ThuSheldon Discussiondue by 02:00AM
Sep 26, 2022Mon5 Questions Assignment -- Sheldondue by 05:59AM
Sep 27, 2022TueRelational Motif Lecturedue by 05:58AM
Sep 29, 2022ThuFletcher Discussiondue by 02:00AM
Oct 03, 2022Mon5 Questions Assignment -- Fletcherdue by 05:59AM
Oct 04, 2022TueLiberationist Lecturedue by 05:58AM
Oct 06, 2022ThuDe La Torre Discussiondue by 02:00AM
Oct 10, 2022Mon5 Questions Assignment -- De La Torredue by 05:59AM
Oct 11, 2022TuePostmodern/Postcolonial Lecturedue by 05:58AM
Oct 13, 2022ThuPitts, Ortega. Medina Discussiondue by 02:00AM
Oct 17, 2022Mon5 Questions Assignment -- Pitts, Ortega, Medinadue by 05:59AM
Oct 18, 2022TuePolitical Ethics Materialsdue by 05:58AM
Oct 24, 2022MonMidtermdue by 05:59AM
Oct 25, 2022TueGender Ethics Materialsdue by 05:58AM
Oct 27, 2022ThuCannon, Townes, & Sims Discussiondue by 02:00AM
Nov 01, 2022TueClass Ethics Materialsdue by 05:58AM
Nov 03, 2022ThuJones & Smith Discussiondue by 02:00AM
Nov 08, 2022TueRace Ethics Materialsdue by 06:58AM
Nov 10, 2022ThuCone Discussiondue by 03:00AM
Nov 15, 2022TueFinal Examdue by 06:59AM