Human Life Studies Minor | Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Human Life Studies Minor

    Abortion for any reason, in-vitro fertilization, designer babies, genetic manipulation, high-tech pornography, human trafficking, cloning, gay marriage, transgenderism, transhumanism, population control, state-mandated immorality: There seems no end to the assault of the Culture of Death upon the Culture of Life. Once it all sounded like the stuff of dystopian science fiction. Now, it’s the morning news.

    Franciscan University believes students in all disciplines need to be torch-bearers in the Church’s ongoing efforts to transform the Culture of Death into a Culture of Life. Plus, our Human Life Studies Minor is both theoretical and very practical. It is designed to give interested students a deeper understanding of the complexities that now face those attempting to transform the culture, so they will be better equipped to become effective pro-life leaders in whatever field or vocation they may enter, be it medicine, biological research, nursing, politics, the priesthood or religious life, the law, psychology, sociology, journalism, communications, business, or teaching and research in the humanities.

    To that end, the Human Life Studies Minor makes it easier for students in every major to fulfill the requirements, and it includes a 1-hour Practicum, designed to help them take the next practical step in their chosen field or career after graduation.

    Three of the seven required courses for the Human Life Studies Minor also satisfy Franciscan University’s Core requirements. Plus, students only have to take an additional four courses to complete the minor.

    Required Courses

    • HLS 201 The Culture of Death and the Culture of Life (3 credit hours)
    • HLS 202 Life Issues, Marriage, and the Family (3 credit hours)
    • HLS 301 Life Issues and the Law (3 credit hours)
    • *BIO 110 Human Biology or
      BIO 203 Embryology (3 credit hours)
    • *POL 220 American National Government (3 credit hours)
    • *PHL 212 Foundations of Ethics or
      THE 115 Christian Moral Principles (3 credit hours)
    • HLS 403 Practicum (1 credit hour)

    Human Life Studies Course Descriptions

    HLS 201: The Culture of Death and the Culture of Life first explores the deeper historical, philosophical, theological, and political roots of the various issues defining the Culture of Death, both in its ancient and modern form. Then it goes into a detailed study of the Culture of Life as initiated by the Church, both at its origin and in answer to the contemporary Culture of Death (paying particular attention to Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae and St. John Paul II’s Evangelium Vitae). Finally, it goes into detailed study of specific contemporary moral issues, such as human trafficking, prostitution, pornography, contraception, abortion, and gendercide. There are no prerequisites for this course. (3 credit hours)  

    HLS 403: Practicum. Each student will have two tasks to complete for the Practicum. The first task is to write a reflection paper of 20 pages for the HLS minor that (a) shows the student’s in-depth knowledge of one of the issues treated in HLS, and (b) offers a detailed, real-life plan for how the student will impact this issue in his or her chosen field of work or future study. This paper will be based on a paper that students are required to write for HLS 201, taking into account that students often change majors and life-plans. The second task is to work with Franciscan University’s Career Services Office on a one-to-one basis, meeting once a week, to apply for jobs, graduate programs, or internships so the student can make the next necessary, practical step in impacting the culture. This second requirement may be waived for those who are already established in a position after graduation. Prerequisites: Students must have completed all required courses for the HLS Minor (or be completing those requirements during the spring semester of their senior year). (1 credit hour)  

    HLS 202: Life Issues, Marriage, and the Family begins with a detailed study of the history of marriage in the West, and the place of the great marriage encyclicals (Arcanum and Casti Connubii) and the Catechism within that context. It then moves to a deeper analysis of the issue of same-sex “marriage,” focusing especially on how it was successfully pushed through politically, culturally, and intellectually, and what this means for the relationship of church and state. It ends with a focus on the best contemporary arguments and political strategies that reaffirm heterosexual monogamy against same-sex “marriage.” There are no prerequisites for this course. (3 credit hours)

    Electives Offered

    In addition to the seven required courses, the HLS Minor offers two additional electives:

    HLS 401: Human Life Studies - Selected Themes treats in depth a particular area or subject within the domain of human life studies. This course provides a more extensive examination of one or more of the areas introduced in the other HLS courses. This course may be repeated for credit if the topic is different from the previously taken course. Prerequisites: Varies according to topic; students should check with the HLS program director. (3 credit hours)  

    HLS 301: Life Issues and the Law begins with a deep historical, philosophical, and legal account of the transformation in legal philosophy and practice from a Catholic-friendly common law/natural law foundation to a positive law foundation antithetical to the Church’s understanding of the proper foundation of law. This transformation was the necessary precursor to all the landmark Supreme Court cases ushering in the Culture of Death. HLS 301 then treats in detail these Supreme Court cases, adding to this study at least two in-depth books that analyze the larger historical-political context of the chosen cases. There are no prerequisites for this course. (3 credit hours)  

    HLS 407: Human Life Studies - Internship allows the student the opportunity to acquire practical skills and experience in the pro-life/pro-family apostolate by serving with a pro-life/pro-family organization or research opportunity supportive of the mission of the Catholic Church and the natural law as approved by the HLS program director. This course may be repeated for up to 6 hours of credit. Prerequisite: HLS minors who have completed HLS 201 or HLS 202 or HLS 301 or permission of the HLS program director. (1–6 credit hours)  

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