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Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology

Theology Courses

All courses listed here are offered for 3.0 semester-units unless otherwise noted. Each course is listed under just one category, although other categories may apply. DSPT courses follow the GTU course number system. Any descriptions of courses found on official syllabi and/or the GTU course schedule take precedence over those listed here. 

BS Biblical Studies & Biblical Languages NT New Testament Studies
CE Ethics and Social Theory
(includes Christian Ethics and Religion and Society: RS)
OT Old Testament Studies 
ED Theology & Education PH Philosophy & Philosophy of Religion 
FE Field Education  PS Religion and Psychology 
FT Functional Theology  PT Philosophical Theology 
HM Homiletics  RA Art and Religion 
HR Cultural & Historical Studies of Religions  RS Religion and Society 
HS History  SC Spiritual Care 
IDS Interdisciplinary Studies  SP Christian Spirituality 
IR Interreligious Studies  ST Systematic Theology 
LS Liturgical Studies     

 

Level Description Abbreviations
1000-1999 basic introduction, no prerequisites MA – Master of Arts
2000-3999 primarily for Master’s level students MDiv – Master of Divinity
4000-4999 advanced Master’s and Doctoral level MTS – Master's of Theological Studies
5000-5999 Doctoral level, open to advanced Master’s level with
Faculty permission
STD – Doctor of Sacred Theology 
6000-6999 only PhD/ThD level STL – Licentiate in Sacred Theology
    TBD-to be determined

Sacred Scripture – Core Courses 

BS-1560        Intro to Sacred Scripture — This course combines an overview of Scripture with an introduction to biblical exegesis and hermeneutics. The course briefly introduces students to each book of the Old and New Testaments, equips them with the tools for exegesis of individual passages of Scripture, and instructs them in guidelines for biblical interpretation within the Catholic tradition. Intended audience: MDiv and MA/MTS students. Prerequisite: Introduction to Sacred Scripture.

OT-2098        Pentateuch and Histories — This course introduces students the Pentateuch and Historical books of the Old Testament. It explores the historical, theological and literary significance of these texts both as revelation within the context of ancient Israel, and as the foundation of the narrative that the apostles present as culminating with Christ’s advent. Intended audience: MDiv and MA/MTS students. Prerequisite: Introduction to Sacred Scripture.

OT-2149        Prophets — This course introduces students to the history of Israelite prophecy and selected prophetic texts from the pre-exilic, exilic and post-exilic periods. It focuses both on the significance of the prophets as heralds of God’s word to Israel in their own historical contexts, and as witnesses to the coming reality that is made manifest with Christ’s advent. Intended audience: MDiv and MA/MTS students. Prerequisite: Introduction to Sacred Scripture.

OT-2600        Wisdom Literature — This class presents students with an introduction to the Wisdom writings of the Hebrew Scriptures. It seeks to understand how these writings were first received as God’s revealed wisdom within their original Hebrew contexts; how the fullness of their wisdom is seen in light of Christ, the incarnate Wisdom of God; and how they can shape us to become living expressions of God’s wisdom today. Intended audience: MDiv and MA/MTS students. Prerequisite: Introduction to Sacred Scripture.

NT-2235        The Synoptic Gospels — This lecture course for MDiv, MA, and MTS students first reviews critical and methodological issues in the study of the Synoptic Gospels. Exegesis of selected passages will be used to provide in-depth understanding of the origins of the Synoptic traditions and their theology, christology, ecclesiology and eschatology as seen in the life, Passion, and Resurrection of Jesus and in the early Church. This discussion will include the Christological titles, the miracles of Jesus, the parables of the Kingdom, the Sermon on the Mount, the Passion and Resurrection Narratives. Students will be expected to provide a one-page response to eight selections of readings to be posted on Moodle. The goal for the student is to be able to discuss the historical and theological issues of the Synoptic Gospels against the background of the Jewish and Greco-Roman worlds between the 2nd century BCE and 1st century CE. Intended audience: MDiv and MA/MTS students. Prerequisite: Introduction to Sacred Scripture.

NT-2277        The Johannine Corpus — This lecture course for MDiv and MA/MTS students provides a critical survey of the Gospel of John, the Johannine Epistles, and the Revelation of John (Apocalypse) with respect to authorship, date and place of composition, and community. Jewish background to this body of writing is important as are concerns with who truly rules the world and commands allegiance. The course will identify the complex chains of vocabulary and expanding symbols that provide the matrix for Johannine christology, soteriology, and eschatology. There will be a detailed exegesis of key passages of the Gospel of John. The letters will be briefly discussed as reflections on the Gospel, as the Johannine community’s response to threats from within and without. The Revelation of John will be presented against late first-century concerns with the Roman Imperial Cult and Christian worship. Intended audience: MDiv and MA/MTS students. Prerequisite: Introduction to Sacred Scripture.

NT-2279        Johannine Lit & Cath Epistles — This course presents an overview of the Johannine Literature (John, 1-3 John, Revelation) and Catholic Epistles (1-2 Peter, James, Jude). The course focuses on close readings of each book/epistle, with attention given both to historical questions (authorship, dating, etc.) and to identifying each writing’s distinctive theological contribution to Christian theology. The course employs a lecture/discussion format and evaluates student progress with exams (midterm and final, 25% each), a research assignment and presentation (35%), and discussion participation (15%). Intended audience: MDiv and MA/MTS students. Prerequisite: Introduction to Sacred Scripture.

NT-2520        The Pauline Corpus — This lecture course for MDiv and This lecture course for MDiv and MA/MTS students first considers the relationship between the figure of Paul in the Acts of the Apostles and in the letters. Then the course will present a reading of the thirteen letters making up the Pauline corpus with a view to developing an understanding of the major issues in Pauline anthropology, soteriology, eschatology and ecclesiology, including sin, death, law, grace, salvation, expiation, ransom, sanctification, freedom, justification, reconciliation, new creation, transformation. The course will consider the development of Paul’s gospel, examine why justification by faith entered into Pauline soteriology after 1 Corinthians, and follow the trajectory of Pauline ideas in Colossians, Ephesians and the Pastoral Epistles. Where necessary, issues of authorship and integrity of composition will be discussed. Intended audience: MDiv and MA/MTS students. Prerequisite: Introduction to Sacred Scripture.

NT-2526        Pauline Literature — This course presents an overview of the fourteen epistles (including Hebrews) which comprise the traditional Pauline corpus. Along with close readings of each epistle, this course introduces students to the history of Pauline scholarship (including interpretation ranging from the early church to modern “old” and “new” perspectives), critical questions related to authorship and theology, and the place of Paul within Christian theology more broadly. Intended audience: MDiv and MA/MTS students. Prerequisite: Introduction to Sacred Scripture.

Sacred Scripture – Elective Courses 

BS-3455        Christianity from Christ to Constantine — This course is an exploration into the writings of the early Church, using the primary sources of texts from key figures within the Church’s early centuries and Eusebius of Caesarea’s Ecclesiastical History. Following the story of a non-entity on Good Friday that converted the world’s greatest empire within three centuries, this course traces the continuation of the Christian movement from the Book of Acts up through the conversion of the Emperor in the fourth century, as it sought to embody, uphold and spread the gospel amidst persecutions and internal challenges to the faith. Employing a seminar format, this class will shed light on how the teachings of Scripture were understood and lived out among the earliest generations of Christians, the ways in which early Christianity corresponded and contrasted with the cultures, values and religions of the ancient world, and how studying these writings can help us better understand our own mission as heirs to the faith of these earliest believers. Intended audience: MDiv and MA/MTS students.

Historical Studies, Theology – Core Courses 

HS-1105        History of Christianity I — History of the Church from the Apostolic Period until the end of the Middle Ages, focusing, in particular, on its transformation from a small Jewish sect into the international Church of the middle ages. Some attention will be paid to the development of doctrine, but more emphasis will be placed on piety and worship, dissent, missions, mysticism, ecclesiastical organization, and Church relations to secular government.

HS-2195        Church: Modern to Contemporary — Church History, 1451-2013: a survey of the life and story of the Catholic Church from the fall of Constantinople to the start of a new millennium and the fiftieth anniversary of the convocation of the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, celebrated with the Year of Faith and the election of the first pope from the Americas. While the intent of the course is to trace the general trends and conditions that shaped the Catholic over the expanse of six centuries, students have the opportunity to study more localized events and traditions, noting where movement has taken place to renew the Church and re-launch the Gospel mission.

Historical Studies, Theology – Elective Courses 

HS-2443        Don Bosco’s Environment — The course examines the social, political, cultural and religious context in which St John Bosco (1815-1888), an innovative Christian educator and spiritual director, lived and worked. Don Bosco (as he is familiarly known) became so influential that his outreach to needy youth continues, not only in his native Italy, but in 132 countries around the globe. The objective of this course: to make a synthesis, at least in its fundamental points, that will allow us to reflect on the figure of Don Bosco in his own context and then to ransom his image as it is held captive by the conditioning of his times, to bring his insights into the contemporary world. In this way we can let his experiences speak to us as we attempt to deal with challenges that the Salesian family must confront today.

HS-2751        History of the Eastern Church — This course surveys the history of “Eastern” Christianity from late antiquity (age of the emperor Justinian) until the present day. The focus will be on the formation of three characteristic components of Eastern Orthodox Christianity: institutions, liturgy and piety, and mysticism and theology. The focus will be on Greek Christianity in the earlier part of the course and Slavic Christianity in the later. Relations with the Christian west will also be considered.

HS-4133        From 3 Popes to 2 Councils — After the disputed Papal election in 1378, the Church was uncertain who was truly the Pope, and a long schism followed. The division was healed by the efforts of a generation of canonists, theologians and secular politicians at the Church Councils of Constance and Basel. A spirit of collegial government was generated at the Councils that demanded that ecclesiastics and civil leaders respect all factions within society. This course will show currents of renewal, collegiality and reform in the Church that continued through the Catholic and Protestant Reformations and still find echoes today.

HS-4476        Heresies and Inquisitions — Students in this seminar will read and discuss the sources for Christian dissenting movements during the period 1000-1400. Focus will be on ^popular^ heresies: Cathars, Waldensians, Joachites, Fraticelli, Dolcinites, Free Spirits, witches etc. We shall also examine how Orthodoxy responded to dissent: persuasion, coercion, repression, and inquisition. The goal of this course will be acquiring the background and techniques needed to understand and interpret original sources on dissent and its repression in the middle ages. The outcome will be that the student is able to write an original research paper, potentially publishable as an article, on some aspect of medieval dissent or its repression, using original sources and showings control of modern scholarly literature on the topic.

HSBS-4050     Patristic-Medieval Exegesis — The students of this seminar will read and discuss representative examples of Biblical Exegesis from the first century to the fourteenth century. Each meeting will be topical. Students will prepare individual oral reports on their particular readings and give them during each session. After the reports, the rest of the time will be devoted to general discussion and comparison of the texts.

HSST-2310     History of Christian Eschatology — This course will examine Christian speculation on the End of the World from the first century to the Year 2000 and beyond. Special emphasis will be paid to Biblical and apocryphal sources for such speculation, ancient Christian millenarianism, medieval and Reformation apocalypticism, nineteenth- and twentieth-century dispensationalism, and contemporary images of the End in literature and film. Required readings will be taken from original sources.

HSPH-4410     Hellenistic & Roman Philosophy — Greek philosophy after Alexander the Great. Epicurean and Stoic alternatives. Middle and Neo-Platonism. Judaism, Christianity, and Hellenistic Philosophy.

HRRA-2050     Aboriginal Sacred Art & Music — The Aboriginal People of Australia possess the oldest continuous culture on the planet, more than 50,000 years old. This course will teach about the Dreaming and the Land and will celebrate the contemporary art of local aboriginal communities. Aboriginal art is intimately connected with stories arising from the Dreaming, so aboriginal art cannot be well understood without understanding sacred land and the Dreaming Ancestors. While some representations occur across the Continent, “Dreaming sites,” are local and their influence is local and over particular peoples. This course will treat all aboriginal art, but, will focus on the Kimberley and the Northern Territory.

HSSP-4342     Medieval Mystics Seminar — The students of this seminar will read and discuss representative Christian mystics from the period 1000-1600. Each meeting will focus on a particular group of mystics. Students will prepare individual oral reports on their particular readings and give them during each session. After the reports the rest of the time will be devoted to general discussion and comparison of the texts.

HRST-2083     Christian-Muslim Dialogue: Theory and Practice — This is a seminar course exploring important elements and critical issues of dialogue. The study will include an examination of theories supporting and challenging interreligious dialogue and the history of Christian Muslim relations. There will be a special focus on the recent development of “A Common Word” initiative begun in 2007 (http://www.acommonword.com), the Roman Catholic Church’s response to this project and the Building Bridges Seminars organized by the Anglican Church in 2002. Comparative theology methodology and interfaith pedagogies provide a foundation for these explorations. Throughout the semester scholars from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith traditions will join us as “dialogue partners” and we will visit their places of worship and gathering.

Systematic Theology – Core Courses 

ST-1091         Theology: Nature & Method — This course (formerly titled “ST-1710 Theology: Method & Structure”) is an introduction to the nature, method, sources, and structure of theology, focusing on (but not limited to) the Roman Catholic tradition and the work of St. Thomas Aquinas in particular. Issues to be considered include: the nature of theology, its method, the relationship between philosophy and theology, the theology of revelation, and the respective roles of scripture, tradition, magisterium, faith, and reason in theology. The course also introduces students to writing research papers in theology. Intended audience: MA, MDiv, and MTS students.

STPH-3095     The One Creator God — Classical and contemporary questions regarding the nature of God and creation will be addressed through the retrieval of the tradition of Thomas Aquinas. Existence and attributes of God, divine compassion and human suffering, the possibility and nature of God-talk, divine action and contemporary science, cosmology and creation. Intended audience: MA, MTS, MDiv, and PhD students.

ST-2300         Trinity — Beginning with the scriptural understanding of the Trinity, the course will trace the development of the doctrine, especially in the theology of Thomas Aquinas, and then examine certain contemporary approaches to the doctrine against that background (Schleiermacher, Barth, Rahner, Moltmann, Boff, LaCugna). Intended audience: MA, MTS, and MDiv students.

ST-3128         Theological Anthropology — This course is an introduction to historical and contemporary issues in Christian anthropology, with an emphasis on the theology of Thomas Aquinas. It will consider (a) the human person created in the image of God, according to the states characterized by innocence, sin, law, grace, and glory; (b) historical justification & nature/grace controversies; and (c) hope & eschatology. Intended audience: MA, MTS, and MDiv students.

ST-2232         Historical Development of Christology — The primary purpose of this lecture course is to survey the main lines of Christological development from the earliest Patristic writers through Aquinas. The areas of particular concentration will be the Patristic development from Nicea to Constantinople III and Aquinas’ Christology and soteriology. Its secondary purpose is to survey the main lines of Marian doctrine, both as it has evolved historically, as it is being revisioned by contemporary authors. Modern and contemporary developments in Christology, including the various “Quests” of the historical Jesus, will be covered in ST 3115, Contemporary Christology, in the spring semester of 2020. NOTE: this course is a prerequisite for ST 3115. Intended audience: MA, MTS, and MDiv students.

ST-3115         Contemporary Christology — This lecture course (designed for the MA/MDiv/MTS levels) will trace the modern development of the various “Quests of the Historical Jesus” (First, Second, Third), with particular emphasis on Edward Schillebeeckx’s hermeneutical and theological principles and James Dunn’s historical Christology, as well as on several other important “Third Quest” figures (Crossan, Brown, Meier, Wright, Theissen, and Sanders). The prerequisite for the class is to have completed ST 2232 (Historical Development of Christology) or its equivalent (work ensuring a fairly comprehensive knowledge of the Patristic/conciliar development of Christology from Ignatius of Antioch through Constantinople III, and of Aquinas’ understanding of the hypostatic union in the framework of his metaphysics of “esse”).

ST-3067         Theology of Sacraments — This course will introduce students to systematic theological reflection on the sacraments in general and on each of the seven sacraments. While other traditions will be touched upon, the focus will be on the Roman Catholic tradition, especially as found in the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas. In this tradition, it is believed that (1) the sacraments, being instituted by Christ and deriving their power from him, introduce us to his divine life, and that (2) these sacraments are celebrated by the Church, so that this life may be professed and shared. This course focuses primarily on the first of these two fundamental aspects of the sacraments, although the second (liturgical) aspect will be present in many ways. Intended Audience: MDiv or MA Theology students; other graduate students admitted with permission.

ST-3069         Special Topics in Sacraments — This course will help students to deepen their systematic theological reflection on the sacraments in general and on each of the seven sacraments, with a particular focus on the sacraments of Eucharist and Holy Orders. The Roman Catholic tradition as exemplified in the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas, with reference to its historical context, will provide the basis for reflection. Students completing the course will be able to explain, discuss, and apply the insights gained here for preaching, catechesis, liturgy, and further theological studies. Intended Audience: MDiv or MA Theology students; other graduate students admitted with permission. Prerequisite: An introductory course in sacramental theology. 

STSP-3036      Ecclesiology: Foundations — This foundational course invites students to examine the Church in Scripture, the rising of the Christian community, and the progressive self-awareness of the early community as it responded to the call of the Gospel and the needs of the times (part one). The next step is to survey the “quest for ecclesiology” in the movement from the Reformation and the Council of Trent to the twentieth century and all that went into creating “a Vatican II mentality” (part two). The final step is to highlight Church in the contemporary world: Church as mystery; community sent to announce and celebrate salvation; Church that witnesses and serves (part three). The course ends by taking stock of the tasks confronting the Church today.

Systematic Theology – Elective Courses 

ST-2330         Angels & Demons — This course examines the theology of angels and demons in the Christian tradition, with a focus on the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas. It will include the history of doctrine, as well as systematic reflection on how angelology can shed light on our current theological conceptions of God, Christ, and humanity. 

STPH-2209     God and Suffering — This course will explore classical and contemporary approaches to the problem of God and human suffering, including scriptural, theological, philosophical and literary sources. 

STPH-2500     The Passion of the Western Mind — This seminar will center around a careful reading of Richard Tarnas’ The Passion of the Western Mind, a landmark one-volume narrative intellectual history of the West which stresses the discovery, loss, and recovery of the concept of form, as well as most of his recent Cosmos and Psyche (a scholarly retrieval of elements of the astrological tradition which stresses its archetypal, indicative, and participatory nature). The goals of this course are for you to attain a broad, synthetic understanding of the western intellectual tradition from its origins in ancient Greece to the present, and for you to critically ponder Tarnas’ theory of the religious, cultural, philosophical, and archetypal dynamics that have shaped this history. There will also be other, supporting readings, particularly Louis Dupre’s Passage to Modernity. 

STPH-4800     God After the Death of God — In The Gay Science, Nietzsche famously declared (through his literary invention, “the madman”) the death (murder!) of God. This declaration has often been closely linked to the presumptive end of metaphysics. How ought people of faith, believers, respond to such pronouncements? What forms of faith and religious life are possible in a secularized world? This class will explore possible answers to these questions by looking at the writings of great religious thinkers of the last two centuries, such literary and spiritual giants as St. John Henry Newman, Dostoyevsky, Kierkegaard, St. Therese of Lisieux, G.K. Chesterton, Gabriel Marcel, and Flannery O’Connor. Intended audience: MA, PhD, and advanced MDiv students.

STPH-4885     Issues in Divine Action — A seminar course exploring contemporary issues in the theology of divine action. Pursuing questions such as how we might understand divine providence, miracles, and prayer in this age of science, the course will consider how modern Newtonian science influenced our understanding of causality, how theories of contemporary science (such as quantum physics, chaos theory, and emergence) have opened the discussion of divine action, and how certain classical philosophical insights into the nature of causality (Aristotle) and Aquinas) may be brought to bear on contemporary issues in the theology/science dialogue. A background in science is not necessary. Intended audience: MA and PhD students.

STSP-3036      Ecclesiology: Foundations — This foundational course invites students to examine the Church in Scripture, the rising of the Christian community, and the progressive self-awareness of the early community as it responded to the call of the Gospel and the needs of the times (part one). The next step is to survey the “quest for ecclesiology” in the movement from the Reformation and the Council of Trent to the twentieth century and all that went into creating “a Vatican II mentality” (part two). The final step is to highlight Church in the contemporary world: Church as mystery; community sent to announce and celebrate salvation; Church that witnesses and serves (part three). The course ends by taking stock of the tasks confronting the Church today.

STSP-3082      Evangelizing in a Secular Age — The “new evangelization” first proposed by St. Paul VI and strongly endorsed by St. John Paul II reaches far beyond older definitions of mission outreach. In this present moment, wrestling with the “dictatorship of relativism” (Pope Benedict XVI) and the call to God’s mercy (Pope Francis), religious educators have a duty to understand the times and to respond accordingly. An appropriate response demands of the educator and minister high levels of integration and a deep personal faith. At issue is the debate between seeing God’s hand and sensing an absence of religious influence and authority in the public square. This course examines the complexity of this present moment in both the Church and culture within a North American context. By examining the cumulative impacts of globalization and secularization and by referencing prophetic voices addressing these evolving realities, the students will become conversant with various models of theology and spirituality which aptly demonstrate and reinforce the conviction that the Gospels are up to the challenges and tasks presented in this milieu. Among many of these prophetic voices has risen a discernible strain advocating the power of the shared journey of faith and a spirituality of accompaniment. A special focus will be given to various models of this shared journey as a fecund response to this challenging new moment.

STSP-4725      Church on the Move: Ecclesiology Applied — Did the proliferation of religious movements during the twentieth century represent a new and dynamic element within the Church? What is the impact of this phenomenon at the start of the 21st century? Why do many ecclesial movements raise tensions and conflicts within the wider community? During this course you will study new ecclesial movements from perspective of the Catholic experience in Europe through the socio-political upheaval of the last century, and then extend your study to examine some movements that originated in the Americas. Your scope will be to learn about and understand lay ecclesial movements from within each movement by attempting to study the circumstances that led to their formation and development, “listening to” the testimony of their founders, leaders and members. Since new ecclesial movements and communities continue to proliferate, it is not be possible to survey them all in the context of one semester course. Therefore, in the course we will concentrate on select movements that have an international impact. For your part, you study the historical origins of select movements, their expansion, their membership, and their growth. You will have the opportunity to investigate the evangelical and social motivations that have given rise to this phenomenon, examining the pastoral plans, the catechetical projects and the spiritual ideals at the foundation of each movement. 

STHS-4037     Eschatology — In this course, we will examine systematic theological conceptions of final fulfillment in the Christian tradition, including conceptions of death, resurrection, judgment, heaven, hell, purgatory, the end and renewal of the world, apocalypse and apokatastasis. We will often make reference to the theology of Thomas Aquinas but will also consider the work of Joachim of Fiore, Bonaventure, Rahner, von Balthasar, Pannenberg, Moltmann, and others. The course will provide students with a means of evaluating the theological implications of various options in eschatology.

STHS-4041     Truth and Authority in the City of God — This seminar is a theology course with a strong historical context. It covers all twenty-two books of Augustine’s “great and arduous work,” the City of God, which stands as the longest work presenting a sustained argument to survive from Graeco-Roman antiquity. We trace the evolution and multiple uses of the two-cities theme, how it illuminates his social, moral, and political philosophy/theology, his understanding of spiritual conversion by which prodigals become pilgrims, and his approach to history and eschatology. Particular attention is given to Augustine’s assessment of the authority of the discourses (words, speeches, myths) of the gentiles, for he was the master of word-signs and performances. Theologia are the discourses about the divine, either on our part about the divine or on the part of the divine about creatures. The gentiles adapted theology to the stage, the civic order, and to the order of nature. Augustine ponders deeply the inefficacy of ancient wisdom and philosophical traditions to resist noble and ignoble lies about religion for the sake of political and cultural solidarity. He explores the crisis of human history once the revealed Word forms a people in truthful love. Intended audience: Advanced MA and PhD students.

STHS-4141     20th & 21st c. Roman Catholic Theologies — This course is an introduction to currents in 20th-century and 21st-century Roman Catholic theology, including overviews of pre-conciliar neoscholasticism, the efforts labeled as “nouvelle theologie,” results from and reactions to Vatican-II, as well as more recent developments such as post-modern, personalistic, and analytic theologies, and recent Thomistic theology. A significant portion of the course content will be determined by the participants’ interests. Intended audience: Advanced MA Theology and PhD students.

Moral Theology – Core Courses

CE-2003        Roman Catholic Sexual Ethics — This seminar course will examine human sexuality from the perspective of the Roman Catholic tradition as experienced in various cultural contexts and in dialogue with other religious traditions. The investigation includes an examination of the Church teachings and studies by leading theologians that explore topics such as marriage, family life, single life, and celibacy. The interreligious component seeks to foster a dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and other faith communities concerning the core topics of the course. Intended audience: MA, MTS, MDiv students.

CE-2045        Fundamental Moral Theology — This course (designed for the MA/MDiv/MTS levels) will consider the fundamental principles of moral theology (the teleological drive for happiness and perfection, the moral virtues, freedom and voluntariness, natural law, prudence, the determinants of the moral act, moral “objectivity” and intentionality) from the perspective of the Roman Catholic tradition, particularly in the lineage of Aquinas. We will also examine in some detail the contemporary debate over the nature and importance of the “indirectly voluntary.” Students should be prepared to engage in disciplined and critical reading and thinking in the Aristotelian/Thomist tradition, and be willing and able to synthesize a large amount of sometimes complex and difficult material; this is not an easy course.

CE-3050        Catholic Social Teaching — This is a seminar course focused on the Roman Catholic social teaching as expressed in the encyclical tradition from Leo XIII to Pope Francis and the Regional Bishops’ Conferences of the Catholic Church. The study will examine the development of Catholic social thought as it emerges from the reading of the “signs of the times” in light of sacred scripture, natural law, and virtue. Method of evaluation consists of two 8-10-page papers (mid-term and final), weekly Moodle posts, group presentations, and monthly news analysis. Intended audience: MA, MTS, and MDiv students.

Moral Theology – Elective Courses

CE-4490        Aquinas On Vices: A Heuristic Lens to Understand Human Acts — In the wake of the renewal of virtue ethics, works on Thomas Aquinas’ propositions on the human act and agency have mainly considered it from the point of view of virtue. This seminar will focus on an approach via the notion and explorations of «vice». It will propose a more complex understanding of the notion of act and agency in Aquinas and of the conditions for ethical discussions on human action. Pre-requisites: strongly recommend that you have taken a course in either General Ethics or Fundamental Moral Theology.

PHCE-4200     Friendship and Virtue — This is a seminar course focused on friendship as it is understood by religious traditions and philosophical theories. The course emphasizes the connections between friendship and the moral life as understood by religions and philosophies in particular cultural contexts. Discussions, research, and writing will draw from comparative methodologies in theology and philosophy. Intended audience: MA, MTS, and MDiv students.

PHCE-4950 Personhood and Human Rights — Thomas Aquinas calls the word “persona” a “term of dignity” (nomen dignitatis) and says that human beings are “naturally free and existing for their own sake” (homo [est] naturaliter et liber et propter seipsum existens; Sth II-II 64, 2 ad 3). The dignity of the human person as a bearer of rights is therefore an important aspect of our topic. Challenges to human dignity may arise from scientific reductionism or in bioethical contexts. This seminar will explore questions of human rights in a political and inter-religious context looking at how the philosophical implications of various religious traditions impact the notion of human rights. Included in this inquiry will be historical accounts of human rights struggles in local and global contexts. The course readings emphasize and respect the various ethical expressions of religious and philosophical traditions, not presupposing the human rights language as the only dominant and standard ethical expression, though it is an important one. Rather, the underlying human rights values of various traditions are stressed. In this way, the differences and commonalities among these religious and philosophical traditions can be better appreciated. At the end, we want to answer the question: Given different ethical expressions, are there common values shared by various religious and philosophical traditions that allow or even urge them to work together to uphold human dignity and human flourishing? How can this thinking contribute to deepening our understanding of human dignity and the importance of human rights theory and action? 

PHCE-4961     Religion and Peacebuilding — This seminar course explores the religious peacebuilding and modern-day approaches to conflict resolution and political peace processes. The course will include the study of theological and ethical teachings of various religious traditions that offer a foundation for promoting human rights, social justice, and peacebuilding. Intended audience: MATh, MAPh, MTS, and MDiv Students. Prerequisite: Fundamental Moral Theology and or one course in historical or systematic philosophy.

PHCE-6005     Theories of Justice — What is the RIGHT thing to do? What would you do when faced with a moral dilemma? The goal of this seminar is to reflect critically on moral and political assumptions that form theories of justice. Included in these analyses will be varying theological and cultural approaches to discourses about justice. Intended audience: Primarily, but not exclusively, for PhD and STD students. Pre-requisites: 6 credit-hours in graduate studies of either moral theology or philosophy.

Spirituality

SP-2130        Salesian Identity and Charism — As a platform for understanding the specific charism of St John Bosco, youth apostle and founder of the Salesian Family, students unpack the Christian concept of charism particularly with reference to vocation and mission. The course begins with a survey of the first biblical references to “charisma/charismata”, and students follow theological developments of the term. Emphasis shifts then to Consecrated Life. In response to the invitation of Vatican II, methods for identifying the charism of the founder will be explored along with the question of expressing the spirit of the founder in changing cultural realities. In the final portion of the course, attention will be given to how the theology of charism and consecration relates specifically to the Salesian Family.

SP-2137        Salesian Prayer & Spirituality — Participants will seek to deepen their understanding of Christian spiritual life and practice of prayer and to explore ways of leading others, especially young people, to develop a personal relationship with Our Lord through significant prayer experiences. Methodology: Participants will research, present and guide the class in various prayer forms, including, but not limited to, styles of meditation, lectio divina, Ignatian active contemplation, centering prayer, the Jesus prayer, Marian devotion and spiritual reading. They will also present suggestions on how these prayer forms may be used in catechetical or retreat programs with young people.

SP-4571        Francis de Sales: Sources and Spirit — Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva from 1602 to 1622, is known as a French-speaking spiritual author and director, but few understand his roots in the Italian Renaissance and how his training in secular environments prepared him to for his life mission as one of the foremost Catholic Reformers in the aftermath of the Council of Trent. This course provides the opportunity to examine his principal works as well as lesser known personal writings in an attempt to understand the basis for Salesian spirituality that he (perhaps unknowingly) originated—a lay spirituality in the Catholic tradition that paved the way for Vatican II.

SPHS-2000     History of Christian Spirituality — This course will explore classics of Christian spirituality from medieval mysticism to the civil rights movement. Emphasis will be placed on careful reading of primary texts.

SP-2130        Salesian Identity and Charism — As a prelude for understanding the pastoral contribution of St John Bosco (1815-1888) and the various branches of the Salesian Family, students unpack the Christian concept of charism especially with reference to vocation and mission. The course begins with a survey of biblical concepts and follows the development of the theology of charism. The emphasis then shifts to consecrated life. Methods for identifying and rediscovering (re founding) the charism of the founder will be explored. 

SP-2131        The Spiritual Accompaniment of the Young Emerging from Don Bosco’s Experience and Writings — The course offers insights on the traits of spiritual accompaniment that emerge from St. John Bosco’s writings and his life experience. It also offers an outlook on those theological themes presented by Don Bosco to his young readers in his endeavor to accompany them on the path of salvation. Themes such as salvation, eschatology, ecclesiology, the sacraments, and the virtues, feature constantly in Don Bosco’s writings. The course will also give an overview of the Saint’s life experience, especially his spiritual experiences, his experience of God and of spiritual friendships. The course will also offer a section on spiritual direction/accompaniment, presenting the approach of various authors, starting from those that influenced Don Bosco to authors who are closer to us. 

SP-4571        Francis de Sales: Sources and Spirit — Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva from 1602 to 1622, is known as a French-speaking spiritual author and director, but few understand his roots in the Italian Renaissance and how his training in secular environments prepared him to for his life mission as one of the foremost Catholic Reformers in the aftermath of the Council of Trent. This course provides the opportunity to examine his principal works as well as lesser-known personal writings in an attempt to understand the basis for Salesian spirituality that he (perhaps unknowingly) originated – a lay spirituality in the Catholic tradition that paved the way for Vatican II. Primary sources studied and discussed. 

Pastoral Theology – Core Courses 

FE-1021        Field Education, Level I, Part 1 (0.0 Units) — This course introduces students to the fundamental skills required for supervised ministry. Students will learn processes of theological reflection for ministry and mission. They will develop their understanding of the vocation & mission of the ordained & laity in the Church and world, in light of Catholic teaching. They will also learn fundamental concepts and skills related to evangelization and collaborative ministry. Course is normally taken Pass/Fail. Ed Level I, Parts 1 & 2 after passing both courses. Intended audience: DSPT MDiv students.

FE-1022        Field Ed Level I, Part 2 (1.5 Units) — This course continues to introduce students to the fundamental skills required for supervised ministry. Students will deepen (1) their engagement with processes of theological reflection for ministry and mission; (2) their understanding of the vocation & mission of the ordained and laity in the Church and world, in light of Catholic teaching; and (3) their familiarity with fundamental concepts & skills related to evangelization & collaborative ministry. The student will earn a total of 1.5 units of credit for Field Ed Level I, Parts 1 & 2 after passing both courses. Intended audience: DSPT MDiv students. Prerequisite: Field Ed Level I, Part 1.

FE-2021        Pastoral Ministry Internship Part 1 (1.5 Units) — This course (Field Ed Level II, Part 1) is the first part of students’ year-long experience in a supervised pastoral ministry experience, through which they will (a) exercise basic skills of the apostolate, (b) engage in theological reflection upon it, and (c) document and communicate their learning about these areas. Each student is required to arrange for regular supervisory sessions with the approved supervisor at the ministry site. Prerequisites: Field Ed Level I, Parts 1 & 2.

FE-2022        Pastoral Ministry Internship Part 2 (1.5 Units) — This course (Field Ed Level II, Part 2) is the second part of students’ year-long experience in a supervised apostolate, through which they will (a) exercise basic skills of the apostolate, (b) engage in theological reflection upon it, and (c) document & communicate their learning about these areas. Each student is required to arrange for regular supervisory sessions with the approved supervisor at the ministry site. Intended audience: DSPT MDiv students. Prerequisites: Field Ed Level I or equivalent, and Pastoral Ministry Internship Part 1.

FE-3021        Field Ed Level III, Part 1 (0.0 Units) — Through a 2-semester apostolic placement, students will deepen their engagement in (a) fundamental skills required for supervised ministry, (b) theological reflection for ministry & mission, (c) their understanding of the vocation & mission of the ordained & laity in the Church and world, in light of Catholic teaching, and (d) fundamental concepts and skills related to evangelization and collaborative ministry. Intended audience: DSPT MDiv students. Prerequisites: Field Ed Levels I and II or equivalent. 

FE-3022        Field Ed Level III, Part 2 (0.0 Units) — Through the 2nd semester of a two-semester apostolic placement, students will deepen their engagement in (a) fundamental skills required for supervised ministry, (b) theological reflection for ministry and mission, (c) their understanding of the vocation & mission of the ordained & laity in the Church and world, in light of Catholic teaching, and (d) fundamental concepts and skills related to evangelization and collaborative ministry. Intended audience: DSPT MDiv students. Prerequisites: Field Ed Levels I and II, and Field Ed Level III, Part 1, or equivalent.

FE-3023        Field Ed Level III, Part 3 (0.0 Units) — Through a 2-semester apostolic placement, students will continue to deepen their engagement in (a) fundamental skills required for supervised ministry, (b) theological reflection for ministry and mission, (c) their understanding of the vocation & mission of the ordained & laity in the Church and world, in light of Catholic teaching, and (d) fundamental concepts and skills related to evangelization and collaborative ministry. Intended audience: DSPT MDiv students. Prerequisites: Field Ed Levels I and II, and Field Ed Level III, Parts 1 & 2, or equivalent. 

FE-3024        Field Ed Level III, Part 4 (1.5 Units) — Through the 2nd semester of a two-semester apostolic placement, students will continue to deepen their engagement in (a) fundamental skills required for supervised ministry, (b) theological reflection for ministry and mission, (c) their understanding of the vocation & mission of the ordained & laity in the Church and world, in light of Catholic teaching, and (d) fundamental concepts and skills related to evangelization and collaborative ministry. The student will earn a total of 1.5 units of credit for Field Ed Level III, Parts 1, 2, 3, & 4 after passing all four courses. Intended audience: DSPT MDiv students. Prerequisites: Field Ed Levels I and II, and Field Ed Level III, Parts 1, 2, & 3, or equivalent. 

HM-1073       Foundations of Preaching — In this course, the student is given the fundamental elements of preaching, preparation of Scriptural text for proclamation, the study and prayer over the text of Scripture, the composition of a homily founded upon and flowing from the text to facilitate an encounter with Jesus and His saving grace and the actual practice of proclaiming the Scriptures and preaching upon them.

HM-2230       Liturgical Preaching — In this course, we will explore the criteria for a homily imposed by the liturgical celebration of the sacraments. Each Sacrament will be treated as to the requirements that it places on the preacher so that the homily is full accord with Catholic liturgical practices. We will also consider what is required in preaching in non-liturgical settings such as retreats, days of recollection, etc. Intended Audience: DSPT MDiv students and other clerical students; other students are welcome.

LSRA-1500     Foundations of Catholic Liturgy: The Ongoing Work of Jesus Christ — The purpose of this course is to provide a general introduction to Christian liturgy by examining fundamentals of worship from theological/juridic, historical, anthropological, spiritual, and pastoral perspectives (see Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 16). The principle of “lex orandi/lex credendi” will be engaged as a theological tool for examining the roles that symbol, culture, and fine arts play in worship and discipleship. While the focus is on the Latin Rite, other rites are reviewed to guide the historical influences on worship and culture. Intended audience: MDiv, MA, STL, STD, and PhD students. 

PS-1016        Pastoral Counseling: Process/Skills — This course introduces basic concepts, attitudes, and skills of pastoral counseling. Consideration is given to the fundamental process and skills of pastoral counseling to more effectively deal with common pastoral concerns and problems. It further covers professional ethics for pastoral ministers including issues such as boundaries, power differentials, confidentiality, and sexual misconduct. Systematic training and practice in basic responding and initiating skills are provided. Multicultural implications are included. Intended audience: MDiv students. 

LSFT-2404      Celebration of the Sacraments (1.5 Units) — This practicum will introduce those in formation for priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church to the celebration of the sacraments and other liturgical rites according to the Ordinary Form of the Latin Rite. The course offers an opportunity to integrate their lived understanding of the liturgy through the study and practice of leading it. Students in the course will be encouraged to pursue their own learning goals through the way they approach the course assignments. Format: Practice liturgy sessions with discussion before and after each, with some sessions to be audio-&-video recorded. Course is normally taken Pass/Fail. Intended audience: Candidates for the presbyterate in the Roman Catholic Church. Prerequisites: A course in liturgy and a course in sacramental theology.

CEFT-2000     Confessional Ministry (1.5 Units) — The course offers a practicum on the Sacrament of Reconciliation, focusing on the theological, pastoral and canonical issues the confessor may encounter. The course is designed for Roman Catholic ordination candidates who have completed their MDiv requirements in moral theology, canon law, sacramental theology, and pastoral counseling, and who are able to critically analyze moral action in light of the principles of Roman Catholic moral theology in the tradition of Aquinas.

Other Theology Electives

LSFT-2405      Dominican Rite Practicum (1.5 Units) — This course is a 1.5-unit graded liturgical practicum open to Dominican friar students, normally after residency year, best in the year of deaconal or priestly ordination. The goal is to acquire the ability to celebrate Low Mass and Missa Cantata according to the traditional Dominican Rite in Latin. The outcome will be a correct and fluid “dry Mass” celebration of the Dominican Rite Low Mass and of the Missa Cantata.

LSRA-3500     Liturgical Anthropology — This course will explore the historical, philosophical and biological aspects of the meaning of “conscious and active participation” by the laity. The first part introduces students to key concepts discussed by theologians of the so-called liturgical movement, namely “active and intelligent participation” as guided by a “liturgical piety” cultivated in the lay faithful. The second part introduces students to the philosophical anthropology of St. Thomas Aquinas, Jacques Maritain, and other relevant philosophers so as to develop practical insights for the cultivation of a legitimate “liturgical piety.” In the third part, student will be introduced to basic principles from the field of “aesthetic science” (also known as neuroaesthetics) to understand how contemporary science explores these same topics. Because of its central role in Catholic liturgy, music and its impact on cognitive function and pro-social behavior will receive particular attention. Students will demonstrate their mastery of this material by creating and presenting a preliminary design concept for a catechetical program instructing either artists or parish-based groups on the meaning and development of a legitimate liturgical piety. The course is intended for MDiv, MA, STL, and STD students. 

RS-2178        Education and Salesian Spirituality — In this course, students examine the themes of Youth Spirituality and Christian Education of young people. They make use recent Salesian and Church documents regarding the Church’s educational mission to demonstrate possible ways of reaching out to the young in the service of life and hope. This material will be examined within the context of the American vision of Catholic Youth Ministry so that the students may begin the process of applying the Salesian pastoral principles and praxis to the reality of the Church in contemporary circumstances.

RS-2177        Salesian Style Youth Ministry — The course surveys the foundations in Salesian Youth Ministry and Salesian Youth Spirituality as both the proposal for life that Salesian educators make to the young and the way we, as Salesian educators live that spirituality ourselves. Through the reflection on real life choices, students are able to begin to prayerfully reflect on their personal gifts and unique call by God to be “Christ Among Us” in the pedagogy and spirituality of Don Bosco. An attempt will be made to use recent Salesian and Church documents regarding Salesian educational mission to demonstrate the ways in which to reach out to the young in the service of life and hope. This material will be examined within the context of the American vision of Catholic Youth Ministry so that the students may begin the process of applying the Salesian pastoral principles and praxis to the reality of the Church in the United States today. 

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