Theology Department

The Theology Department offers a four-year program in theology and campus ministry. The program is designed to give every student a firm foundation in faith and morals. Theology classes are enhanced with service work and retreats. Academic credit is given for the theology courses.

The theology curriculum follows the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops' DOCTRINAL ELEMENTS OF A CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK for the Development of Catechetical Materials for Young People of High School Age. The theology curriculum is designed so that all students, regardless of faith background, can succeed. Courses must be taken in the proper year, but no course has a prerequisite. All students must complete their service work requirements in order to progress to the next level of theological studies.

Freshman year includes a course on The Revelation of Jesus Christ in Scripture and a course on Who is Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Other moral issues such as cheating, prejudice, bullying and racism are addressed in the course. All freshmen are to complete ten hours of service work as part of their formation and theological studies and will attend one retreat.

During the sophomore year, the students study The Mission of Jesus Christ (The Paschal Mystery) and Jesus Christ's Mission Continues in the Church. Sophomores attend a service retreat as part of their formation and theological studies.

The junior year is devoted to the study of Sacraments as Privileged Encounters with Jesus Christ and Life in Jesus Christ on morality. By April 30 of the junior year, all juniors must fulfill service work requirements that include a parent acknowledgment, a service contract, and 40 hours of service. Juniors also attend an overnight retreat.

During the summer between the sophomore and junior years, all in-coming juniors must read two books chosen by the Theology Department as part of their junior year theology courses.

The senior year curriculum in theology consists of a course on the Church's Social Teaching, Living as a Disciple of Christ in Society, as well as an elective course. Students choose among Healing Racism, Philosophical Foundations, Prayer and Spirituality, Scripture, World Religions, or The Holocaust in Christian-Jewish Dialogue as an elective. By April 30 of the senior year, all seniors must fulfill service work requirements that include a parent acknowledgment, a service contract, 40 hours of service work, and a reflection paper. This is required for graduation. For further information, please refer to the Director of Campus Ministry. All seniors also go on an overnight retreat.

THEOLOGY COURSES

THEOLOGY I:

The Revelation of Jesus Christ in Scripture

The purpose of this course is to give students a general knowledge and appreciation of the Sacred Scriptures. Through their study of the Bible they will come to encounter the living Word of God, Jesus Christ. In the course they will learn about the Bible, authored by God through Inspiration, and its value to people throughout the world. If they have not been taught this earlier, they will learn how to read the Bible and will become familiar with the major sections of the Bible and the books included in each section. The students will pay particular attention to the Gospels, where they may grow to know and love Jesus Christ more personally.

Who Is Jesus Christ?

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the mystery of Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. In this course students will understand that Jesus Christ is the ultimate Revelation to us from God. In learning about who he is, the students will also learn who he calls them to be.

THEOLOGY II:

The Mission of Jesus Christ (The Paschal Mystery)

The purpose of this course is to help students understand all that God has done for us through his Son, Jesus Christ. Through this course of study, students will learn that for all eternity, God has planned for us to share eternal happiness with him, which is accomplished through the redemption Christ won for us. Students will learn that they share in this redemption only in and through Jesus Christ. They will also be introduced to what it means to be a disciple of Christ and what life as a disciple entails.

Jesus Christ’s Mission Continues in the Church

The purpose of this course is to help the students understand that in and through the Church they encounter the living Jesus Christ. They will be introduced to the fact that the Church was founded by Christ through the Apostles and is sustained by him through the Holy Spirit. The students will come to know that the Church is the living Body of Christ today. This Body has both divine and human elements. In this course, students will learn not so much about events in the life of the Church but about the sacred nature of the Church.

Theology III:

SACRAMENTS AS PRIVILEGED ENCOUNTERS WITH CHRIST

The purpose of this course is to help students understand that they can encounter Christ today in a full and real way in and through the sacraments, and especially through the Eucharist. Students will examine each of the sacraments in detail so as to learn how they may encounter Christ throughout life.

LIFE IN JESUS CHRIST

The purpose of this course is to help students understand that it is only through Christ that they can fully live out God’s plans for their lives. Students are to learn the moral concepts and precepts that govern the lives of Christ’s disciples. Among the topics presented are conscience, decision-making, mercy and sin, and the virtuous life. Respect life issues of stern cell research, abortion and euthanasia are studied in the course.

Theology IV:

I. Required Course:

All students will take the following course to fulfill the first semester of required theology at the senior level.

Living as a Disciple of Jesus Christ in Society

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the Church’s social teaching. In this course, students are to learn how Christ’s concern for others, especially the poor and needy, is present today in the Church’s social teaching and mission.

II. Individual Elective Course List:

Each student will select one of the following courses to fulfill the second semester of required theology at the senior level.

HEALING RACISM

This course examines the attitudes of today’s society towards people of different ethnic, racial, religious, and cultural groups. Students will apply the scriptural and Church’s teaching on human dignity and respect of others.

THE HOLOCAUST IN CHRISTIAN-JEWISH DIALOGUE

This course will examine the roots, causes, events and implications of the Holocaust. Specific focus will be given to the historical and spiritual relationship between Christianity and Judaism. The students will explore and discuss the need for continual dialogue, mutual respect and tolerance between the two groups.

PHILOSOPHICAL FOUNDATIONS

This course introduces students to some of the ultimate questions that face all of humanity: Who am I? Where have I come from and where am I going? Why is there evil? What is there after this life? Students will be able to use philosophical language clearly, consistently and appropriately; identify and formulate problems philosophically; examine concepts and questions philosophically; relate specific texts and authors to the examination of concepts and problems and construct philosophical arguments. Students will search for answers to these and other questions in relationship to contemporary issues and challenges.

WORLD RELIGIONS

This course is an analytical and critical study of the practices, beliefs and the sacred texts of some of the major Western religions. As Christians live in an interdependent, global society, they will be helped by knowing about the faiths of other people. Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism will be described. The Catholic faith is enriched when one studies the God who subsists in all people of faith.

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