All religion courses are offered as semester courses requiring students to successfully complete a whole credit of religion each year.
Religion 8: Catholic Christianity (Parts 1 and 2)
The course is devoted to the study of God’s faithful love as it is revealed in the Church of Jesus Christ. Students become acquainted with the mystery of the Church, the Body of Christ, from its Scriptural and historical roots and origins through it rich development over twenty centuries. They learn the distinctive traits of Catholicism, Catholic beliefs and practices. They are encouraged to hear and share the Good News of Jesus, responding to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit given through a devout prayer life and the sacramental life of the Church. Christian morality is taught using the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes as a foundation
Religion 9: Creed: An Introduction to Catholic Identity
This course is an introductory survey of the Profession of Faith, the Creed. In a line-by-line analysis of the Creed, the student will study the Church doctrines of the Trinity, the persons of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the marks of the Church, the concept of forgiveness of sins and resurrection of the body. Based on Scripture and Tradition, the development of the Creeds and doctrines will be critically analyzed. The student will also be challenged to develop her own positive sense of identity and worth and evaluate and develop her personal relationship with God, her family, her peers, and the world. The student will also examine her own moral values and her responsibilities as a Catholic woman in society. In addition to the text, resources include the New American Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Religion 9: Old Testament
The study of the Old Testament introduces students to the story of God’s Revelation that began with creation, became expressed in a series of covenants and reaching its climax in the person Jesus of Nazareth. The colorful story of the Jewish people encompasses all aspects of the human experience and all elements of the faith journey: birth, love, hope, commitment, doubt, betrayal, despair, and death. Students will study the Old Testament not only to learn about the ancient Jewish roots of our Christian faith but also to learn about God’s relationship with us today. Through prayer, writing and personal reflection students will engage in a conversation with the scriptures “so that by hearing the message of salvation [they] may believe, by believing they may hope, and by hoping they may love”. (Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Vatican II)
Religion 10: Sacraments
“The purpose of the sacraments is to sanctify men, to build up the body of Christ, and finally, to give worship to God. Because they are signs they also instruct. They not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen and express it: that is why they are called ‘Sacraments of Faith’. They do indeed impart grace, but, in addition, the very act of celebrating them disposes the faithful most effectively to receive this grace in a fruitful manner, to worship God duly, and to practice charity.
It is therefore of capital importance that the faithful easily understand the sacramental signs, and with great eagerness have frequent recourse to those sacraments which are instituted to nourish the Christian life.” (Vat II, Constitution on Sacred Liturgy, #59)
In this course, students will explore the historical development of each sacrament and will gain a deeper understanding of the theological meaning of each sacrament, thus allowing the student to deepen her relationship with God.
Religion 10: The New Testament
Knowledge of Jesus and the Gospels is central to the development of one’s Christian faith. “…so that by hearing the message of salvation the whole world may believe, by believing, it may hope, and by hoping, it may live” (Preface of Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation).
In this course students will be challenged to deepen their intellectual understanding of Jesus of Nazareth and their personal commitment to Catholic Christianity. The course will present both the Jesus of history, a first-century Palestinian-Jewish teacher and healer, and the Christ of faith, the Son of God and the second person of the Trinity. After a general introduction to the tools of biblical studies and to the New Testament in general, students will be introduced to the first century Palestine context in which Jesus lived. They will study the key principles that illustrate Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of Divine Revelation and through whom we may attain salvation. Then students will study Jesus’ institution of the Church and its journey toward eternal union with God in Heaven.
Alongside the academic content of the course, students will be invited to enrich their own relationship with Jesus of Nazareth and with God, whom Jesus taught us to call “Abba.” Activities may include creative writing, prayer, and personal reflection.
Religion 11: Personal Morality
In Matthew’s Gospel, a young man asks our Lord, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” It is this question—the desire for ultimate fulfillment—that provides our course with its main objective: how do we, as beings created in the image and likeness of God, live in order to achieve our end and satisfy our deep longing for union with the Trinity. This course is designed to provide students with a foundation in Catholic moral teaching, derived from Scripture and the rich Tradition of our Church. After she finishes this course, the student will have a sound basis to live as she is called to live—as an “other Christ.” Focus will be on discernment, character building, prayer, principles, and the end and meaning of life.
Religion 11: Social Morality
The intention of the Social Morality course is to awaken the sensitivity of students to the world that surrounds them. Issues of injustice – Right to Life, Poverty, Racism, Prejudice, Peace, and Society – are prevalent in the world, yet are often disregarded. With Scripture, Catholic Social Teaching, and Catholic Church Documents as a guide, students will become more aware of the needs of others, and how she can make a difference.
Religion 12: Church History
A course in Church History and doctrine challenges the student to recognize and appreciate the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit in the unfolding of Catholic Christianity and enriches the student as she grows to maturity in her faith. In this course students will examine the role of the Church, its concern for the world, its nurturing ability, and its vision to accept all peoples of God as holy. They will trace the origins and historical unfolding of Catholic Christianity. Emphasis will be placed on Catholic Ecumenical Councils, Catholic Doctrine and Dogma, Catholic Saints, and important Catholic theologians.
Religion 12: Catholic Vocations
“All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity.” (Lumen Gentium, 40). As part of the Mystical Body of Christ, we are all called to live a life of service and love. The beginning of this course will focus on our universal call as Catholic Christians. “When they become adults, children have the right and duty to choose their profession and state of life.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2004). The focus will then turn to the specific states of life (vocations) and will provide the student with the necessary tools to discern her state of life prayerfully and prudently.