Loyola University Maryland


The Good Life Course Pairing

Effectively Writing the Good Life (WR 100)

This course will introduce you to the discipline of writing in the university through analytical and productive work with the contemporary essay and its various genres. You will learn how to conceive and pursue a line of inquiry about a subject, how to develop an original argument, and how to support an argument with various sources of evidence, including scholarly research. You will develop and practice a full writing process, including planning, drafting, considering critical feedback, revising, reflecting, and editing. And you will hone your critical reading skills to evaluate and engage with other people’s arguments. To help you achieve these goals, we will critically examine and respond to texts, in a range of genres, written by authors in the real world for real audiences. We will also do a lot of writing—consciously and reflectively employing the concepts and strategies we learn about—inside and outside of class. All of the work we do in this class is grounded in rhetoric: the effective use of language and symbols, always sensitive to context, especially one’s audience and productive of change. The various skills you learn and practice in this course will enable you to become a more thoughtful, reflective, critical thinker who can participate in intellectual and world-shaping conversations inside and outside the academy.

Faculty biography

Dominic Micer has been reading and writing for more than half a century and has been teaching writing for nearly a third of a century. His favorite book is Primo Levi's The Periodic Table; his favorite painting is Winslow Homer's Right and Left, and his favorite musical composition is Steve Reich's The Desert Music. He has been known to tell a joke or two in class; students in the class have been known to laugh at those jokes sometimes.

God and the Good Life (TH 201)

What is the good life and what does God have to do with it? This course examines the Christian understanding of human flourishing, as it has been shaped by the Bible, the experience of the early Christian community, and the insights of modern theologians. We will learn about central biblical narratives and their interpretation by Jews and Christians; classic works of theological exploration from the Christian tradition; and the relevance of theology to modern concerns about social justice, climate change, and interreligious relations.

Faculty biography

John Zaleski is a Lecturer in the Department of Theology and holds a Ph.D. in the Study of Religion from Harvard University. His primary teaching and research interests are in Christian and Islamic thought, as well as in the comparative study of religious and theological traditions. Dr. Zaleski lives in Baltimore with his wife and 1-year old daughter and when he is not deciphering medieval Arabic and Syriac texts loves nothing more than going for a hike and chatting about God's greatest gift to humanity: the game of baseball.

Mentor biography

Barbara Kurz was born in Brazil but claims Kansas City as home. Barbara has just joined the Loyola community as the Associate Director of Messina.  Barbara has a strong background in Student Life, student development, and leadership development. Working with first year students has always been a passion for Barbara and she is thrilled to work with Messina students. Outside of work, Barbara enjoys being a “foodie” and trying out new restaurants with her partner, reading, and spending time with her dog, Ellie.


Virtual Advisor

Both courses in this pairing satisfy core requirements for all students.
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Your first year

What, exactly, is Messina?

A closer look at Loyola University Maryland's first-year experience.

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