This course will present the basic principles of the interpretation of the Bible within the Catholic
tradition. It will evaluate the strengths and difficulties of biblical criticism as it has developed in recent
centuries. Alternate approaches, such as that of the early Christian fathers, will be examined.
Differences in biblical interpretation among Christian denominations will be discussed. The Bible will be
shown as the foundation of Christian prayer, catechetics, and family and community life.
Theology will be approached as a service to the Christian people, enabling them to fully understand
their faith in each successive age. Thus, emphasis will be placed on how the insights of theology can
assist in individual and communal spiritual growth and in the renewal of the Church. Some philosophical
background to theological study will be presented.
Many of the major figures, spiritual movements, and theologies in the history of Christianity will be
studied in this course. It will provide a perspective on the origins of numerous aspects of Christian
faith, life, and worship; on the sources of division among Christians; and on other important topics
essential to the understanding of Christianity.
The teachings of the Second Vatican
Council constitute the modern basis for Roman Catholics’ understanding of the Church and its renewal.
This course examines the history and importance of ecumenical councils, the historical and theological
background of the Second Vatican Council, and, most important, the meaning and application of the
council’s teachings in the Church today.
This course will be an exploration of some foundational issues in moral theology, such as the
following: the structure of the human/moral act, the meaning of moral law, the meaning of virtue, the
nature of conscience, the nature and possibility of mortal sin. The course will focus on understanding
the contributions of recent Magisterial statements, especially Veritatis Splendor, in the context of
significant background texts and current controversies and debates about these issues.
This course consists of a study of central issues related to the renewal of the Church and Christian life
today. Both the spiritual and institutional dimensions of Church renewal will be discussed. Lessons
drawn from the history of renewal and reform in the Church will be applied to present movements,
such as Cursillo and charismatic renewal.
This course will discuss how the Christian people are formed by the Word of God as presented in
Scripture and Church Teaching. This information is the result of a sound theological understanding of
the Word and its effective proclamation through preaching, teaching, prophecy, and catechesis based
on the Word of God.
This course will seek a theological understanding of the basic Gospel call to recognition of sin,
repentance, and conversion, and pastoral approaches to enabling men and women to respond to that
call today. It will explore the relationship of the Church to the world through application of the
theology of evangelization presented by Pope Paul VI and the Second Vatican Council.
This course examines Jesus as the essential content of all catechetical endeavors. It identifies the four
pillars of the Deposit of Faith—creed, liturgy and sacraments, Christian moral living, and prayer—as
the basis for the Christian life. It discusses the implications of the kerygma on catechesis, i.e.,
emphasis on insertion into the mystery of Christ. This course considers necessary elements of any
catechetical work as explicated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and includes practice in the
development of curricula for specific catechetical needs.
Offering direction for living the Christian life has been part of the Church’s heritage from the
beginning. This course will study some of the many approaches to pastoral and spiritual direction in
the Church’s history, from the time of the early fathers of the Church up to present-day approaches
including Catholic covenant communities and third order groups. Both classical and current theological
and spiritual literature will be considered, with practical pastoral applications discussed.
This is an advanced, graduate-level course examining the theological foundations of Christian liturgy,
as well as pastoral approaches to planning and fostering good liturgical celebration. The course will
explore the nature of worship, Jewish liturgical tradition and its influence on Christian worship, an
historical understanding of Christian liturgy, and the planning of liturgical celebration.
The course will consist of a theological investigation of the doctrines and magisterial teachings
concerning the singular role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the providential plan of salvation. This will be followed by examining
the relationship between Mary and the Holy Spirit as contained in the writings of the Franciscan martyr
St. Maximilian Kolbe. Lastly, there will be a theological and pastoral analysis of the Marian messages
from the principal apparitions of Mary in the modern world, with special emphasis on the messages of
Lourdes, Fatima, and the present reported apparitions from Medjugorje.
This course will focus on a particular topic or area of importance in pastoral theology, or practical
pastoral work. Examples of possible topics are: Youth Ministry, Parish Pastoral Ministry, Pastoral
Structures (Church Government), and Pastoral Guidance (Spiritual Direction), Church Law and
*This course may be taken more than once on different topics.
The course will seek out and discuss pastoral wisdom for marriage and family life from the Catholic
tradition and other Christian sources. This would include the teachings on marriage and family from
the great teachers of the Catholic tradition, such as St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom. It will also
include contemporary Christian wisdom related to the special situation of Christian families and
married couples in the modern world, as well as consideration of the contributions of the social
sciences and of modern theology to the development of a sound Christian pastoral approach to
marriage and family life today.
This course explores the sacramental life of the Church from the perspective that the hallmark of the
adult Catholic life must be liturgical. We will discuss preparation for Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist,
Reconciliation, Matrimony and Anointing of the Sick in regard to their Rites, Canon Law, pastoral
practice, and the truths they express. The primary objective is to understand how to prepare people
to be fully conscious of what is happening in the sacraments, actively engaged in the rites, and
enriched by them.
Providing a broad overview of ministry positions within the Church, students are taught spirituality
skills and methods for ministry using the content of their theology courses. Observations and field
experiences as well as peer and practice teaching are included. Preparation and projects are focused
on actual placement. This is a suggested course for those not pursuing the Graduate Specialization in
Catechetics. It can be taken along with THE 780 and THE 641. This class is not an elective for those
pursuing the Graduate Specialization in Catechetics.
Opportunities to participate in supervised catechetical ministries such as the RCIA, parish adult
programs, Catholic schools, or parish religious education are available for students to obtain teaching
experience. This may be elected twice for different ministries.
Prerequisite: THE 691, 692, and 641
This course introduces organic teaching methods that integrate the academic grasp of Christianity and
Christian critical thinking with Christian witness, continuing conversion to Christ, and a call to action in
the Church. Practical applications of the principles of evangelization and catechesis are practiced with
continuing conversion as the goal. Stages of faith and moral development are studied to facilitate
teaching the faith at all levels. Learning styles and models are examined to make them applicable to
teaching the faith. Basic communication skills as they apply to the catechetical situation are used.
This course continues the organic teaching method described above and includes the uses of liturgy,
prayer, music, and Catholic literature and art in the catechetical endeavor. Examination of the culture
to be evangelized and catechized is included. A major 50-minute catechetical presentation is required.
Prerequisite: THE 691
This course studies the development of the Christian initiation process by the Fathers of the Church,
highlighting their methods and the content of their catechesis. The revised Rite of Christian Initiation
is studied closely, highlighting its catechetical, liturgical, and pastoral components and the initiation
into the Church of adults and children.
This course studies the needs of the Church in the United States regarding current catechetical
practice. Specifically, it covers family-based catechesis, Catholic schools, religious education, PSR,
adult catechesis, catechesis for conversion, catechesis and culture, and alternative structures for catechesis.
The theory and elements of each type of program are examined, and practice in the
development of new programs for specific needs will be provided.
Prerequisite: Students must have completed all other catechetics courses; may be concurrent with
These courses take a Catholic approach to contemporary moral issues from a theological and pastoral
perspective. Issues in one or more of the following areas will be treated: social, medical, sexual,
marital, and business morality.
An in-depth study of a particular area, book, or theme of Old Testament literature. Examples of
possible course topics include: The Pentateuch, the prophetic literature, the Psalms, covenant
An in-depth study of a particular area, book, or theme of New Testament literature. Possible course
topics include: Pauline writings, the Gospel of John, the Church in the New Testament, theology of the
Christian Spirituality is the study of the nature and means of Christian holiness. This course will
consider various dimensions of Christian holiness, including prayer and worship, the cross and the ascetical
life, repentance, the activity of the Holy Spirit, the role of the sacraments, and the love of God
in Jesus Christ, which is the center of all Christian spirituality. This course will approach these topics
through the study of major spiritual writers and saints of the past and of more recent times.
This course pursues an in-depth study of an important topic or author from either the patristic period
(the era of the Fathers of the Church) or from the great Doctors of the Church, such as St. Thomas
Aquinas, St. Bonaventure, St. Catherine of Siena, or St. Theresa of Avila.
This course will be a systematic exploration of the theology of grace. We will examine the various
meanings and key issues involved in understanding grace as presented in Scripture, tradition, and
contemporary sources. The development of an integrated theology of grace will lead to and ground a
reflection on fundamental aspects of our relationship with God and our living out of the Christian life.
A systematic study of the person and work of Jesus Christ will be conducted in this course. Beginning
with a consideration of method, we will develop a contemporary, integrative approach to Christology,
drawing on the riches of the biblical, traditional, and contemporary testimony.
A consideration of the signs of salvation flowing from the sacrament, Christ, and his Church will be the
goal of this course. The anthropological bases of these signs will be examined and utilized in the seven
sacraments that will be covered in-depth.
This course will explore the meaning of Tradition and its relation to Sacred Scripture, touching upon
such issues as the material sufficiency of sacred Scripture and its relation to the Reformation doctrine
sola scriptura. The monuments of Tradition are studied with a view to recognizing the
complementarity between Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. The study of Tradition readily leads
to an exposition of the development of doctrine within the Catholic Church. The course investigates
such development beginning with Cardinal John Newman’s text, An Essay on the Development of
Christian Doctrine, wherein the development of doctrine answers the questions of how the Catholic
Church’s teaching extended into every generation after the close of the Apostolic Age. The study of
the development of doctrine follows various authors from Newman to the present day.
This course will select a topic of theological interest for careful study. Possible topics include: recent
papal teachings, ecumenism, Catholic apologetics, theology of renewal, the Church and the Holy
This course introduces revelation as the teaching technique of God the Father and examines the
content and method of Jesus’ teaching. The apostles’ teaching styles, the content of their catechesis,
and their use of Scripture are covered as well. The scriptural basis of the catechesis of the Fathers of
the Church is included. The course also explores implementation of Bible studies and liturgies of the
Word for evangelical and catechetical purposes and provides practice in biblical narrative and teaching
The Master's Thesis is an approximately 50-75-page research paper that advances, even if modestly,
the study of the Bible or of historical, systematic, or moral theology. It will be written under the
direction of a faculty advisor and formally defended before the advisor and two other members of the
faculty of theology.
Registration for this optional non-credited course indicates that the student is involved in studies
necessary for the completion of the thesis. At the end of each extension period the student must
demonstrate progress toward the completion of the thesis. Master's students are allowed to register
for THE 999 no more than two (2) times. A matriculation fee is required. This fee entitles the student
to the use of the library and other basic services.
There is a measure of fluidity between the MACE and resident MA Theology programs. MACE courses
requiring CAT 517 as a pre-requisite may not be taken without first completing CAT 517. Otherwise,
with permission from the Director of their program, students may take up to three (3) courses in the
venue other than the one in which they are registered.
There is only one philosophy course offered by the Theology Department toward the MA Theology
degree: THE 804, Philosophical Foundations of Catechesis. However, a student who so desires may
take one three-credit graduate philosophy course (listed in the MA Philosophy program), which would
count toward the fulfillment of MA Theology degree requirements.
This course explores the sound philosophical presuppositions and reasoning of Christian teaching.
Catechesis is a cogent presentation of the truth, which finds its fullest expression in God’s revelation in
Jesus Christ. However, a philosophical discussion and analysis of truth helps lead thinking people
today to consider the sense and veracity of the message of Christ and his Church.
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