COURSE CATALOG: THEOLOGY

FACULTY DIRECTORY: THEOLOGY DEPARTMENT

Graduation Requirements:

Four years of Theology courses required

Courses Offered:

Introduction to Catholicism

Introduction to Catholicism

Grade 9

One-semester course

Description:

This course includes study of the nature and origin of the Catholic Church as the context in which we encounter the living Jesus Christ. Students will study the Church as was founded by Christ through the Apostles. Christ continues to sustain the Church through the Holy Spirit who has guided the Church’s Ecumenical Councils. The successors of the Apostles, the bishops, continue to authoritatively teach the Christian message to this day. Students will explore views of the Church including the Church as the living Body of Christ, the Temple of the Spirit and the People of God. The interactions between the divine and human elements and how they interact will be studied. They will also learn about the Church’s continuing mission of evangelizing the whole world. This course encourages students to expand and strengthen their relationship and commitment to God through Christ while understanding the basic origins and doctrines of the Catholic Church.

Sacraments as Privileged Encounters with Jesus Christ

Sacraments as Privileged Encounters with Jesus Christ

Grade 9

One-semester course

Description:

This course facilitates an exploration of how we encounter Christ today in a full and real way through the Sacraments. Students will gain an understanding of the theological underpinnings of the Sacraments by coming to know Jesus as the fundamental Sacrament of God the Father and the Church as the foundational Sacrament of Christ. The concept of sacramentality and the interaction between signs and symbols will be explored as well. Students will examine each of the seven Sacraments in detail coming to see the scriptural basis, historical development and celebration of each one. The Jewish and philosophical roots of the Sacraments will help students understand their universal appeal. Reflections on faith and worship especially as expressed in the Paschal Mystery and Liturgy will be reviewed in this course so that students may better understand how we encounter Christ in the Sacraments.

Introduction to Sacred Scripture

Introduction to Sacred Scripture

Grade 10

One-semester course

Description:

This course includes an overview of Sacred Scripture with an introduction to the basic principles for understanding and interpreting the Bible. It will present a sense of the unity of the narrative for the divine plan of salvation by reviewing the more famous as well as lesser-known stories from the Bible. Student reading of the Sacred Text is critically important as it always students to react to the text and meditate on it. The course is not intended to be an exhaustive presentation of the contents of Sacred Scripture. It gives the students the fundamentals of how to approach and understand the Bible. Students will share their faith, their perspectives and are expected to reflect on the message of Scripture throughout the semester outside of class.

Church History

Church History

Grade 10

One-semester course

Description:

This course includes an overview of the history of the Church, which focuses on Western Christianity. In this foundation course, the student will explore the core doctrines, traditions, and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. Students will begin their study in the New Testament and read other early Christian writings. They will understand how the Church evolved within the Roman Empire and how she affected the development of Western Europe. They will learn about the major events in European history related to the Church including the fall of Rome, the Great Schism, the fall of Constantinople and the Protestant Reformation. Students will learn about many of the Ecumenical Councils, in particular, Nicaea, Constantinople, Trent and Vatican II. The course will also examine certain historical figures such as Constantine, Pope Leo I, Charlemagne, Martin Luther and Pope John Paul II. Specific writings and Church documents will serve as a springboard for discussion of the development of basic doctrine and sacraments within the historical context. This course is approved as a “College Prep Elective” for UC/CSU.

Christian Morality

Christian Morality

Grade 11

One-semester course

Description:

This course includes a study of the basic components of Christian morality. They will explore the distinction between morality and ethics as different systems by which human beings attempt to do good and avoid evil. Students will learn about ethical theories found in the world. They will understand the human person as an intelligent animal endowed with a free will. The course will explore the Catholic understanding of conscience and the duty of all to form the conscience. The moral positions of the Catholic faith and their origins will also be explored. Contemporary moral dilemmas will be examined and discussed in class in order to better manifest how moral decisions are made in the context of the revelation of Jesus Christ.

*Additionally, students will be guided through the beginning process of their Community Based Service Learning Project (CBSL Project). This project should address a specific need with specific ways of helping the people involved. Course work includes the development of a CBSL Service Project. CBSL is integrated into the curricula of the Theology and English departments.

Social Justice

Social Justice

Grade 11

One-semester course

Description:

Students will have the opportunity to explore issues of justice found in contemporary American society and in other societies. The course presents the development of Catholic teachings on social justice. Students will be asked to look critically at our life, our society and our world. The course will challenge students not simply to learn information but also to change their behaviors based on the teachings of Christ. This course will employ a social-analytic approach to justice related themes that include the fundamental right to life, the inherent dignity of the human person and the right to organized human labor. The course will examine specific social injustices such as systematic poverty, discrimination (sexism, racism), environmental degradation and lack of economic development. Students will discuss and explore these problems with an understanding of how personal individual decisions can contribute to these problems or help alleviate them.

Students continue refining their ideas, motivations and plans for their CBSL project. Coursework will include clearly identifying Catholic doctrine on the subject and Scriptural inspiration to help them continue strongly in their project. Many students will have started their CBSL project.

Faith

Faith

Grade 12

One-semester

Description:

The foundations of Nicene Christianity as the norm of Christian expression are explored in order to help students understand the fundamental importance of knowing what they believe and how to articulate it. The life and teachings of Jesus Christ will be explored as a guide for the moral and faith lives of students. Students explore their own beliefs in order to prepare them to live out their faith more independently as adults. This course emphasizes clear thinking, good articulation of one’s beliefs and personal aspect of Christian morality.

*CBSL work continues in the Faith class with many references to previous experience and information learned in junior year Theology class. The students will implement their projects in the fall semester of their senior year if they have not begun in the junior year.

Christian Lifestyles

Christian Lifestyles

Grade 12

One-semester

Description:

This course challenges students to examine the various ways in which people live their life in the world today while emphasizing the importance of good decision making. They are challenged to assume responsibility for their personal actions with an understanding of how to use Christian moral principles. They consider the vocations of priesthood, marriage and religious life. Students study the developmental tasks of young adulthood and the importance of making good choices in the future.

*Students give their CBSL presentations before their peers, faculty and adults from the wider community. The CBSL presentation draws on much of their learning from the final two years of high school. Their presentations include informing the audience of nature, purpose and motivations of the CBSL project.

Campus Ministry

Campus Ministry

Grades 10 - 12

One-year course

Prerequisite:

Students for the Campus Ministry Team will be selected through an application and interview process taking place December through April.

Description:

Through this course students will demonstrate mastery of the required student outcomes for their respective year of religion (Intro to Sacred Scripture - Church History (10), Ethics - Social Justice, and Faith - Christian Lifestyles (12),and will serve as the leading members of the Campus Ministry Team. Their additional responsibilities will include organization leading to the success of the service, retreat and liturgy components of the CN community. The students are expected to model and live the teachings of Christ in their role as leaders.

*The CBSL Service Project is an integrated component of this course at the Senior level.

World Religions

World Religions

Grades 10 - 12

Elective

One-semester course

Description:

This course begins with the fundamental question of God’s existence or non-existence and the various answers that philosophers and theologians have provided us. The Eastern (non-Abrahamic) religious traditions from India, China and Japan (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Zen Buddhism and Shintoism) will be examined as well as the Abrahamic faiths more popular in the West (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). Students will learn about their origin, ethnic composition and practices. Special attention will be paid to the fundamental questions of human existence, purpose and ultimate destination. Each religious tradition addresses these fundamental questions in different ways, all explored in this course. Discussion will focus not only on what religions teach, rather on what people do in following their religion and what the religion does for them. A desired outcome of this course is that students will have both a greater understanding of and appreciation for the different religious traditions of the world. This course is approved as a “College Prep Elective” for UC/CSU.

Community Based Service Learning

Community Based Service Learning

Community Based Service Learning is incorporated in the students academic experience throughout their four years at jCardinal Newman High School and culminates in the senior year.

The Cardinal Newman community cultivates Christian virtue through the study of Scripture, amplified by the teachings of the Catholic Church and service. Thus, ours is a lived faith incorporating a campus ministry, prayer, liturgy, retreats and community service.

To introduce the life of Christian service to our students, each will spend at least 25 hours a year in community service. The commitment to service culminates in a Community Based Service Learning (CBSL) Project conceived and implemented by the individual student in the junior and senior years of study. In the course of their junior year, the students research a particular social issue that they feel capable of addressing through a focused project. They then seek out a mentor in the community with whom they design a course of action both practical and challenging. Prior to graduation and at the conclusion of their projects, the seniors prepare and deliver presentations explaining their research and highlighting the work they have done. Parents, family, faculty, students, and the greater community attend this day of student CBSL presentations.

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