ILT J-Term Bioethics Course

ILT Bioethics Course January 14-18

This week, ILT is offering a J-Term intensive course on Bioethics taught by Pastor Tim Rynearson. The twenty regular course participants include some of ILT's MDiv and DMin students from the United States and Canada, pastors from across the country who have come to audit the course for continuing education, and several local community members. In addition to the time spent in daily class sessions, Pastor Rynearson has been leading evening sessions for the congregation and local community, which the students also participate in.

Students are learning how to think critically rather than emotionally about bioethical issues. They are learning how to study, analyze, and evaluate various arguments, particularly focusing on issues surrounding the beginning and end of life. Bioethical case studies are examined and discussed. Students are going through the process of wrestling with issues and discerning how they can effectively provide pastoral care for those involved in each of these situations. Furthermore, they are learning how to equip others in the congregation to have important conversations with their loved-ones so that they may effectively minister to those around them as well.

Some of the topics being discussed include beginning of life issues such as abortion, surrogacy, invitro-fertilization, artificial insemination donation, cloning, DNA testing banks, personhood, parenthood, and emotional issues surrounding the drive to have, or not have, children. End of life issues include physician assisted death (now legal in Canada and for about 1/3 of Americans), choosing to keep or remove various life support measures, palliative care, how to have important conversations with loved ones - ideally long before there is a need to be involved with end of life care, and how to help people grieving the loss of children and other loved-ones. All of the above are presented in light of God's Word.

The Institute of Lutheran Theology would like to thank Living Word Lutheran Church, LCMC, in Grapevine, Texas and Senior Pastor David Eibels for hosting our Bioethics course this week. We wish to especially thank ILT graduate Kari Malinak who serves as the Pastor of Discipleship for her efforts in helping to make this valuable J-Term happen.

Photo by: Wendel Ritz

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