The study of Theology plays a central role in the academic life of Christian Brothers Academy. The four-year course of study in Theology not only imparts knowledge of the Catholic Christian tradition, but also aims to transform the student’s own relationship with God. Covering questions regarding God, Christ, and the Scriptures, to name but a few, the courses offer the student the opportunity to explore in greater depth the doctrinal and spiritual aspects of Catholic beliefs and practices. The curriculum also helps prepare the student for future theological study in college.
Semester 1: Revelation
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.
Semester 2: Christology
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. (5 Credits)
The first semester of the course focuses on The Paschal Mystery and how this tremendous mystery has helped found an institution that has lasted over two millennia. It aims to help students recognize that the moral life involves an ongoing commitment and attempt to live out Christ’s mission in our daily lives and that this commitment adds meaning to their very existence. It includes guidance in the process of conscience formation and how we as Christians can keep Christ alive to our self, others, and in the Church of today. Ultimately, we will focus on how the truth of The Paschal Mystery will impact the way we live our lives and how our lives will impact the world around us.
The second semester of this course will be spent expanding the student’s relationship and knowledge of the Catholic Church as an institution and the spirit of its theology. Its primary aim is to facilitate each student’s spiritual growth toward maturity in Christ through the liturgical life of the Church. The course examines our relationship with self, others, and God through the lens of Church life. The hope for the first semester is that each student is afforded the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the liturgical life of the Church and how important their role is as the laity. All students are encouraged to write reflectively about their experiences and be involved in a dialogue with both teacher and other students. (5 Credits)
The primary text, The Paschal Mystery, focuses on the spiritual life of the individual as a member of the Body of Christ. Also, the course will serve as a precursor to semester two by discussing the sacraments, saints, and the mysteries of the Church made present through signs and symbols. Additionally, this one-semester course expands the student’s understanding of prayer and his relationship with God. This course examines our relationship with self, others, and God. Its primary aim is to facilitate each student’s spiritual growth toward maturity in Christ. The approach is both theoretical and experiential. Students are afforded opportunities to read from a handful of spiritual classics and experiment with a variety of prayer forms, and they are encouraged to write reflectively about their experiences. Ultimately, it leads into the second semester and the focus on morality, church history and liturgy.
The primary text, The Church, connects the spiritual and the physical through the explanation of liturgical celebrations and the use of Church as a moral lens to the world. Students will be able to better grasp the meaning behind liturgical celebrations, martyrology, Church hierarchy, and the fundamental beliefs of a unified Church in a pluralistic world. This one-semester course also serves as a general introduction to key principles and themes in Christian morality. It aims to help students recognize and accept that the moral life involves a personal commitment to ongoing conversion to Christian values. It includes guidance in the process of conscience formation and examination of the challenges inherent in living a Christian life. Additionally, we will discuss the parable of The Prodigal Son in great detail and its moral implications for believers in a world of hurt and sin. Ultimately, the goal of the sophomore-year course is to foster and encourage an appreciation of the beauty and mystery of the faith. The course follows the LaSallian tradition of teaching the whole person: touching both the mind and the heart in the formation of “Christian gentlemen.” (5 Credits)
The first semester is devoted to an extensive study of the Sacred Scriptures. The course is designed to guide the student of the Bible through the text and its development, and enrich his understanding of the way the Bible came to be written. The first marking period is devoted to the Hebrew Scriptures. Here the student is introduced to contemporary biblical scholarship, including the use of the historical-critical method. The second marking period is devoted to the Christian Testament, with an emphasis on the Gospels. Readings are taken from college-level texts that offer the latest scholarship in Biblical studies (as learned in the first marking period).
The second semester is devoted to an extensive study of the Sacraments in the Catholic Church.The course will incorporate current readings in Ritual Studies and sacramental theology that see the sacraments as doors to the sacred. The course is designed to guide the students to an historical understanding of the sacraments. Readings will focus on the importance of rituals, how the sacraments developed as rituals in the early church, and how the Church adapted these sacraments to changing historical circumstances while preserving their innate religious meaning. A particular emphasis will be placed on the sacraments of initiation in the Church. Readings are taken from college-level texts that offer the latest scholarship in sacramental theology. (5 Credits)
During first semester, students will study Sacred Scripture and will learn basic principles for understanding and interpreting the Bible with special attention to Scripture’s purpose and religious significance, the sense of the unity of the narrative for the divine plan of salvation, and the presence of God’s action in this record of Revelation.
During second semester, students will study Sacraments and will learn to 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 to learn how they may encounter Christ throughout life.(5 Credits)
This course is divided into two parts. In the first semester, the course examines Christian theology. It is an opportunity for the student to encounter the great theologians of the Christian tradition, to assess the strengths and weaknesses of theological positions, to develop his own ability to reason theologically, and to engage in verbal and written theological debate. In the second semester, the course deals with Christian theological ethics. In light of Christian theological claims, the course analyzes different types of moral reasoning and examines specific ethical issues. (5 Credits)
This two-semester course affords the student the opportunity to explore in greater depth the history and central beliefs of the church (first semester) and Catholic personal morality and social justice (second semester). The students are invited to come to a deeper understanding of how these various dimensions of the Catholic faith relate to their own lives. In the second semester, students examine how the Church’s social teachings impact the Church’s stance on social and political issues. This course serves as both a summary of prior instruction and a preparation for living a Catholic life as adults. (5 Credits)
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.
Responding to the command of Jesus to “love one another,” the seniors in the Peer Ministry Program provide opportunities for the freshmen to compare their values and attitudes with those of the Gospel. Through group dynamics and interpersonal relationships, the program challenges both the freshmen and seniors to grow on a variety of levels. The seniors are prepared to lead weekly meetings with small groups of freshmen. In an attempt to foster personal, social, religious, and relational growth in the freshmen, the seniors utilize a series of group exercises designed to both challenge and affirm the freshmen, with the Peer Minister lending direction and support. The seniors are challenged to be witnesses of faith in their sessions with the freshmen. (5 credits)
This two-semester option acknowledges the potential for learning inherent in volunteer community service. Students commit to serving at the same site on the order of two hours per week. Through required readings, journal-keeping, and group meetings, the volunteer is guided through reflection upon his service involvement as a manifestation of his Baptismal commitment. The academic coursework marries Christian morality, particularly in light of the Ten Commandments, with social justice, focusing on traditional Catholic concepts such as the Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching. (5 Credits)