SLU’s Best Classes, According to the Students Who Have Taken Them

As students, we dread the mere fact that we are in school for at least another four years, maybe even more. We try to take our classes and just move on with our time in school. However, you never know what taking one elective course may do to you and how it may affect your time here at Saint Louis University. After talking to some students, I’ve gathered a list of some of the best courses and included some reasons you should take them and the impact they may have on you.

Damen Alexander, a junior studying political science with a minor in African American Studies, recommends The Invisible Institution/Black Theology taught by Leonard McKinnis. Alexander said this class allowed him to think about theology and religion in ways he never had before. 

“Growing up I went to Catholic school. I feel like all we learned was ‘Jesus said this’ or ‘Mark and John said this,’ but this class gives a different perspective on religion and the role it has played for Black people in America. I mean, how many theology classes are you talking about white supremacy in,” Alexander says. 

Although this course is no longer being offered due to the professor leaving, it has been substituted with Liberation and Freedom: An Introduction to Black Womanist Theologies.

Sheltoria Thomas, a senior studying African American Studies with a psychology minor recommends Psychology of Oppression taught by Dr. Richard Harvey. Thomas says this class showed the diversity of AAS and was the perfect balance between that and psychology. This class also showed Thomas just how diverse the field of psychology truly is.

Dr. Harvey took the class to the National Bank in downtown St. Louis and ran them through a poverty simulation. This was a very insightful trip and showed just a small piece of the field practice possible with these degrees. Thomas recalls Dr. Harvey saying that black psychology is decolonizing the mind.

Isabella Principe, a junior studying English with a minor in gender studies, recommended Intro to Women and Gender’s Studies. Principe says this class opened her eyes to a lot of knowledge she did not know, especially about the interdisciplinary nature of gender, ability and more. 

Principe was taught by a graduate student that is also a Jesuit. She says that her professor taught the class about the discrimination of different groups from the Catholic Church, which was an eye opener for her as she does not identify as Catholic. 

The class also taught her about the way the body works, other than just the scientific knowledge we learn growing up. Principe says, “Because you aren’t a certain way you are not normal, but there are so many physical phenomena that are normal.”

Jailon Lyons, a sophomore studying communication with a minor in African American Studies recommends Contemporary Black America with Dr. Jonathan Smith. Lyons says the class was great for discourse and the professor made the class a safe space and let everyone speak freely without judgement. 

Megan Spasenoski, a junior studying public health with a minor in leadership and change management recommends Psych 101 with Dr. Bryan Sokol. She says the class talked about empathy at length and she has now used those techniques in her everyday life. After taking this class, Sokol has become Spasenoski’s mentor and given her new opportunities in her life.

Saving the best for last, myself. I’m a junior studying integrated strategic communication with minors in political science and marketing. My favorite class has been Intercultural Communication with Dr. Amber Johnson. 

This class taught me about narratives and the idea of narratology— people analyzing their own stories. Until this class I never understood the impact stories can have. 

This class talked about biases and taught me more about my own and how to call myself and others out. Although Johnson doesn’t teach this class anymore, I still highly recommend the class or any class with them.