Ms. Walker
Church History & Christian Justice


Christian Justice Course Syllabus

Teacher:  Ms. Deborah Walker                            Room: 110

Email:  walker@lansingcatholic.org                  Voicemail: 267-2166

Class Websitewww.lansingcatholic.org/teachers/teachers.aspx?param1=29&param2=1


I.   Course Description

Through this course, you will examine various justice related issues in light of Scripture and Church teaching, and determine ways to respond as both an individual and within our society.  A major part of this course will involve research, writing, and applying the material learned in class. 


II.   Course Content

Areas of Study:

  • Catholic Social Teaching, Scripture and Justice, Social Analysis, Charity and Social Action, Poverty, Genocide, and other justice issues.

Skills - After completing this course you will be able to:

  • understand the Christian view of justice and its biblical foundations
  • demonstrate knowledge of Catholic Social Teaching
  • analyze injustices and develop realistic strategies that respond to their causes, in a manner consistent with Catholic Teaching
  • evaluate your individual lifestyle and values in light of Christian justice
  • practice Christian justice in the many communities to which you belong: family, school, church, community, nation, world.
  • appropriately use a common Catholic vocabulary

Reading & Writing Requirements:

  • You will read chapters in your textbook, scripture passages, and class handouts.
  • You will read the books Amazing Grace and Left to Tell
  • You will write six papers as a research group.
  • You will write responses to daily reflection questions in your journal.


III.   Course Materials


  • Amazing Grace, Kozol


General Supplies:

  • Three-ring binder with five dividers marked: Journals, Notes, Vocabulary, Handouts, and Graded Work.
  • Loose-leaf paper in your binder.
  • A black or blue pen each day.

IV.   Course Policies


  • Come to class with your materials and participate in the lesson. If you need to go back to your locker for materials, you will be marked tardy.
  • When you are absent, it is your responsibility to find out what you missed. Ask a classmate and check the calendar on the board for due dates. Handouts will be on the side table.
  • If you are not in the room when the bell rings, you are tardy. According to school policy, you get a detention each time you are tardy.

Make-up work/late work:

  • You can make up work you missed while absent according to the policies in the student handbook.
  • Long-term assignments must be turned in when due, even if you have an excused absence. You can e-mail these assignments if necessary.
  • You may not make up work you missed due to an unexcused absence, suspension, or tardy.
  • You will lose 50% of your points when an assignment is one day late. After that, you will receive a grade of zero. I recommend that you do the assignment so you will know the material.

Classroom rules/expectations:

  • You will have an assigned seat in this class. I will give you a detention for sitting in another seat without permission.
  • You should use the bathroom between classes. I will excuse you only in an emergency.
  • When we pray, you must stop your conversations and activities. Give prayer your undivided attention.
  • Speak and listen respectfully to both me and to each other. That requires one person speaking at a time. Side conversations are rude and disruptive.
  • Do not do assignments for other classes during theology class. I will take them away.
  • I will dismiss you at the end of class. (The bell does not.)

Disciplinary polices:

  • Your behavior should contribute to a productive class environment. When your actions prevent me from teaching or students from learning, I will ask that you leave the classroom and go to the office.
  • Do not bring gum, food, or drinks in the classroom. I will give you a detention when you have them and ask that you throw them away.
  • You should come to the classroom in dress code. If you arrive out of dress code, I will ask that you correct the problem. If you need to leave the class to do so, you are tardy.
  • Cheating in any form is unacceptable. If you cheat, I will give you a zero on the assignment/test and notify your parents and the assistant principal.
  • Though we teach about plagiarism and work to avoid its use in the classroom, our technological society makes it idifficult to discern the appropriate use of information. We at Lansing Catholic High School define plagiarism as follows:
    1. Plagiarism is the copying of another's work without citing the original source. We use the standard of several consecutive words to define copying.
    2. Plagiarism is using the ideas of another and representing them as one's own. Even when paraphrasing such ideas, one must give appropriate credit to the original author (all students are taught appropriate MLA method of citation).
    3. Plagiarism is also common in classroom speeches. Reading directly from another author's work without giving credit is plagiarism.
    4. The consequences of plagiarism at Lansing Catholic High School are outlined in the student handbook. The first offense includes a zero for the assignment as well as the possibility of ten hours of service and/or a one-day suspension. Penalties become more severe as subsequent incidents occur.
  • All other school disciplinary policies will be enforced in this classroom.

Homework policy:

  • Assignments are due at the beginning of class. I will give at least two days to complete a homework assignment. I will generally give at least a week to complete larger assignments or to prepare for a test.


V.  Grading Policy/Assessment

Grading Scale:

   A          4.00        100-92   %

   A-         3.67         90-91   %

   B+        3.33         88-89   %

   B          3.00         82-87   %

   B-        2.67          80-81   %

   C+       2.33         78-79   %

   C          2.00         72-77   %

   D+       1.33         68-69   %

   D         1.00         62-67   %

   D-        0.67         60-61   %

   E          0.00         0-59     %


 Types of assessment  and Point Value:

  • Participation: You participate by bringing materials to class and being involved in the lesson. This means you will take part in activities, join in on discussions, and be attentive to those who are speaking. You will receive 20 points each quarter for doing so. You will lose a point each time you are sleeping, socializing, or doing something other than theology work during class.
  • Journals: Each day you will read a scripture passage, followed by a short story and a question to help you think about your life and God. You will reflect on what you read and respond to the question in writing. You will receive up to 3 points for each response. Do not cheat yourself by skipping the 'reflect' moments. God often speaks in a quiet voice. Do not miss hearing him!
  • Tests and Quizzes: Tests and quizzes are weighted more heavily than daily work. Test points count double and quiz points count 1.5 times. I will give you a study guide at the beginning of each unit. I recommend that you learn the material as we cover it, to do well on tests. I will generally use multiple choice and short answer test questions.
  • Assignments: You will be assigned reading and written work. Point values will vary between assignments. I will generally provide a grading rubric so you know what I expect.
  • Topic Related Service:  During the third quarter, you must complete two hours of service for an organization that responds to the justice issue you choose for your final project.
  • Final project: The final project will be a culmination of the material studied in class. It is worth 20% of your semester grade.  You must be present at the Justice Exhibit.

  Grade Calculation:  

  • I base your grade on the number of points you earn out of the total number of points possible. Check your grades regularly through Skyward Family Access. See me immediately if there is a question about a grade.  An * means that a grade has not been entered yet. It is not a zero.

   Extra Credit:

  • You will have an opportunity to earn extra points each quarter. This will be available to all students. I will not give individual extra credit assignments.


  • I do not allow students to retake a test.

   Progress Reports:

  • I will notify parents at deficiency time and at any other time, if a student is at 70% average or below for the quarter.

   Service Requirement:

  • You are required to complete 10 hours of service each semester for a non-profit agency.   You may not do more than 5 volunteer hours per school year for a sports program.  Failure to complete service requirements will result in a failing theology grade for the semester.


VI.   Course Procedures: 

  Course format - Each unit of study will generally follow this format:

  • Introduce the new topic
  • Learn new vocabulary
  • Read key points in the textbook
  • Discuss the concepts and take notes
  • Participate in related activities and experiences that reinforce or extend learning
  • Review key concepts
  • Assess how well you understand the material

   Work requirements:

  • I expect you to do the reading assignments carefully and to comprehend the material. This may require you to highlight main points or take notes. I will generally not repeat all of the information in the reading, since I will assume you have learned it on your own.
  • I will write a learning objective on the board each day. These are the objectives that the tests will assess. It is your responsibility to be sure you have met the objective by the end of class.
  • Learn to use the vocabulary words in normal conversation.
  • We will review material for tests and quizzes in class, but I expect you to study on your own. It is wise to learn as you go.

   Words of Wisdom: 

  • Your success in this class is more a matter of effort than intelligence.  Do the work!


VII.   View 'Calendar' on this website for daily topics and assignments)