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Living a Life of Consequence: Self-Discovery and Social Change

What does it mean to live a life of consequence? How does self-discovery lead to social change?

This course will engage the ethical, creative, and reflective imaginations of students by examining various models of social engagement, and different pathways to self-discovery, in light of the significant social challenges of our time.

Inside the Classroom

The material will present real world examples of leaders who have lived lives of consequence by creatively engaging the challenges of their day. The course will expose students to major trends in philosophical and theological ethics, and display a variety of perspectives on social transformation, as a means of connecting leadership, ethics, and social good. 

The course aims to integrate theory and practice by encouraging students to reflect on their own talents, passions, and aspirations towards a consequential life in the context of what they are learning.

Outside the Classroom

During fall break, students will travel to Vancouver, Canada to explore how different categories of engagement are practiced effectively in an area of the world beset by social challenge. 

One component of the course is community-based learning. During the fall semester, students will do 15 hours of community-based learning with an organization of their choice, as a way of exploring how a particular institution, and the people who lead it, seek to shape society for the good. Students have the choice of serving with several community partners, including:

In addition, students will interact with significant leaders from various fields in the Richmond region and beyond who model ethical leadership and social change.

Research and Capstone Project

Students will be asked to make a capstone presentation to the campus community. Students will be asked to display the discoveries they made in the class through a multi-media format which will incorporate the community-based learning components, the immersion experience in Vancouver, the theoretical content of the course, and the students' own lived experiences in addressing the question: What does it mean to live a life of consequence?

Course Fast Facts

Faculty:
Craig Kocher, D. Div.

Years Offered: 2012–13, 2013–14, 2015–16

Fall course:
IDST 290: Living a Life of Consequence: Self Discovery and Social Engagement (1 unit)

Spring course:
IDST 290: Living a Life of Consequence Seminar (.5 unit)

Group travel:
Vancouver, Canada

Sample Course Readings

John Rawls, A Theory of Justice

Paul Collier, The Bottom Billion

Andrew Carnegie, The Gospel of Wealth

Muhammed Unis, Poverty is a Threat to Peace

David Bornstein, The Price of a Dream

Eboo Patel, Acts of Faith

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, The Dignity of Difference 

Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak