Applied Ethics in Public Policy – GOVT 324

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

The goal of the course is to prepare the Christian public policy specialist to maneuver intellectually in the public square. This course examines the ethical dimensions of policy problems in a manner that addresses the tension between secular society and the traditional Christian faith. It explains the moral foundations of institutions and how conceptions of liberal society seek to define them. The course will equip the student to analyze major secular moral theories employed in policy arguments and to cogently represent the Christian conscience on important policy issues. It will discuss the proper uses of the Bible in formulating policy arguments and the role of science in policy deliberation. In addition, it will illuminate the way in which Christian beliefs may become involved in policy deliberation. (Formerly ETHC 324)

Prerequisite

GOVT 323

Rationale

The application of an ethical, Biblical worldview requires an understanding of the actual context in which ethics occur. This course focuses on one such context—the public policy arena—and all that comes with it. The student will understand the challenges of the political arena, and how to make ethical policy decisions.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Examine how conceptions of the liberal society influence the ethical dimension of policy, with particular focus on the tension between Christianity and political Liberalism.
  2. Develop analytical skills for assessing and comparing how the most important contemporary, secular, ethical theories interact with public policy analysis and development.
  3. Explain a reasonable approach to rational policy analysis that can reasonably be called moral or ethical assessment (i.e. ethical public policy analysis).
  4. Formulate reasonable ethical positions on public policy that give due consideration to the historical Christian conscience.
  5. Defend the employment of Christian commitments (metaphysics) in conducting ethical public policy analyses on a representative array of policy issues.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 450–500 words, demonstrate course-related knowledge, and contain at least 3 references from required readings and at least 2 biblical integrations. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 200–250 words, and contain at least 1 reference and a biblical integration.

Focused Ethical Policy Analyses (3)

For each essay, the student will write a 750–1000-word analysis-based paper in current Turabian format that focuses on a topic provided by the instructor. Each paper must include at least 6 scholarly references from the required reading and 3 biblical references.

Ethical Public Policy Analysis

The student will write a 1,500–1,750-word analysis-based paper in current Turabian format that focuses on a topic provided by the instructor. The paper must include at least 6 scholarly references from the required reading and 3 biblical references.