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SC 405

When Bad Things Happen: The Existence of Evil

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course information

Welcome to SC 405, “When Bad Things Happen: The Existence of Evil.  This course is a multi-disciplined course in that it covers theological, social, philosophical, and counseling related topics. This course is presented from a "christian perspective." Its primary importance, in relationship to counseling certifications, is to give the counselor an academic background in the problem of evil, or the theodicy.   Bad things happen every day.  Catastrophic earthquakes, sudden deaths, and the sadness that can accompany life are all facets of the human condition.  While bad things may not be seen as pure evil, but the reality of life, one cannot deny that beyond misery there is an existence of evil that goes well beyond the mere counseling dilemmas that one may face.

This course delves into the problem of evil and the “contradiction” that there is a good God that “allows” bad things to happen.  While counselors are trained to serve the emotional need of their clients, this course will attempt to help the counselor answer the academic and intellectual questions of “Why did this happen?”

The text, “The Problem of Evil in the Western Tradition” by Dr. Kelly of John Carroll University serves as an excellent source and introduction to this story covering most of philosophy of evil from the Western perspective.  Dr. Kelly gives a concise history of the philosophy of evil from the time of Israel, through the Middle Ages, to the Modern era.  Philosophical explanations from Augustine to scientific theories are all explored in this easy to read but informative text. In the end, this course provides an excellent source of information for any serious counselor who wants to give a more detailed answer to the question “Why." Contact hours of education = 30. Course Code SC 405

This course is particularly designed for those who would like to apply for Re-certification in spiritual counseling, pastoral thanatology and grief counseling.

Instructor/Course Author:
Mark Moran, M.A.

Email: Mdmoran7@yahoo.com

Resume: access here

TIME FRAME: You are allotted two years from the date of enrollment, to complete all of the courses required in the Pastoral Thanatology program. There are no set time-frames, other than the two year allotted time. If you do not complete the course within the two-year time-frame, you will be removed from the course and an "incomplete" will be recorded for you in our records. Also, if you would like to complete the course after this two-year expiration time, you would need to register and pay the course tuition fee again.

TEXTBOOKS: There is one (1) required textbook for this course:

THE PROBLEM OF EVIL IN THE WESTERN TRADITION: FROM THE BOOK OF JOB TO MODERN GENETICS.  1ST Edition. By Dr. Joseph Kelly.  A Michael Glazier Book.  The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota,  2002. ISBN -10: 0814651046

You are required to order your own copy of the textbook. Please be sure to order your book as soon as possible so that you can begin your course of study.

This book may be ordered online at:

AIHCP Online Bookstore: AIHCP provides an online bookstore stocked with all of the required textbooks, and/or materials required for its CE courses. To purchase this book online, click the access store link, go to the table of categories, right upper hand corner, and click on "Spiritual Counseling." Access AIHCP Store: click here

Supplemental Readings for Course

There is a composite of supplemental readings for this course. Reading/reviewing these supplements is required. Some of the material may be included in the course examination.

GRADING: You must achieve a passing score of at least 70% to complete this course and receive the 40 hours of awarded continuing education credit. There are no letter grades assigned. You will receive notice of your total % score. Those who score below the minimum of 70% will be contacted by the American Academy of Grief Counseling and options for completing additional course work to achieve a passing score, will be presented.

BOARD APPROVALS: The American Institute of Health Care Professionals, Inc. is a licensed Continuing Education Provider in the State of California, Board of Registered Nursing, Provider # CEP 15595. Access information

Online Classroom Resouces and Tools

* Message Boards: each specialty program has an area to "post" on the message board. Students may post messages at anytime. Posting allows students to converse with those in the same specialty practice and to discuss issues/course content etc. Instructions for posting are provided in the online classrooms.

* Chat Rooms: each specialty has it's own unique "chat room." Inside of the classroom there is a schedule for "chat time" with students in your specific specialty practice. Participating in "chats" is voluntary. The chat sessions are used as means for students to come together and discuss course content or anything related to the courses and/or certification specialty.

* Examination Access: there is link to take you right to the online examination program where you can print out your examination and work with it. All examinations are formatted as "open book" tests. When you are ready, you can access the exam program at anytime and click in your responses to the questions. Full information is provided in the online classrooms.

* Student Resource Center: there is a link for access to a web page "Student Resource Center." The Resource Center provides for easy access to all of our policies/procedures and additional information regarding applying for certification. We also have many links to many outside reference sites, such as online libraries that you may freely access.

* Online Evaluation: there is a link in the classroom where you may access the course evaluation. All students completing a course, must, without exception, complete the course evaluation.

* Faculty Access Information: you will have access to your instructor's online resume/biography, as well as your instructor's specific contact information.

* Additional Learning Materials: some faculty have prepared additional "readings" and /or brief lecture notes to enhance your experience. All of these are available in the online classrooms.

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Course Objectives: Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to

  1. To better answer intellectual questions about a client’s grief or crisis
  2. To have an academic understanding of the philosophy of evil
  3. To be more familiar with various philosophers and their ideas on evil
  4. To utilize these new skills and integrate them into your counseling sessions


Core Content

A brief abstract of core content

Some Perspectives on Evil
Israel and Evil
The New Adam
Out of Africa
The Broken Cosmos
The Middle Ages
Decline and Reform and Humanism
The Devil’s Last Stand
Rationalizing Evil
The Attack on Christianity
Dissident Voices
Human Evil in the Nineteenth Century
Science, Evil, and Original Sin
Modern Literary Approaches to Evil
Some Scientific Theories in Evil
Modern Religious Approaches to Evil

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