Theology

Theology 

We approach theology as the highest science—revealed truth that must take center stage in learning if young souls are to discover transcendent reality and their ultimate purpose. “Being Christian,” as Benedict XVI put it, “is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.” For that reason, our program is structured to help students encounter Christianity as a living thing, that they may “love and live the truth,” not merely memorize it.

Theology

The Gospel of Life

9th Grade

Scripture and Liturgy

10th Grade

Theology of the Body and Catholic Social Teaching

11th Grade

Our Moral Life in Christ

12th Grade

The Gospel of Life

9th Grade

Freshman year focuses on Christianity as story. By reading and discussing stories like The Great Divorce, the overly familiar Christian mysteries are made new again, so Christianity can be seen as what C.S. Lewis called “true myth”—something that can grip the imagination and the emotions, giving direction to one’s life.  Key themes for the year are based in John’s Gospel: Logos, love, heaven and hell, original sin, prayer, and personal identity.

Scripture and Liturgy

10th Grade

In the first semester of sophomore year, with the aid of Scott Hanh’s book, A Father Who Keeps His Promises, we teach the structuring principles of the Bible—covenants, periods of history, typology, genres, common symbols, etc.—to equip students to read the Bible on their own. Along the way, we practice reading it meditatively, with the aid of the Church Fathers, with the hope of encountering the person of Jesus.

In the second semester, with the aid of Peter Kreeft’s book Catholic Christianity and The Spirit of the Liturgy by Pope Benedict XVI, we teach the Catholic liturgy as God’s work, exploring the nature of worship and the related topics of sacrament and prayer.

Theology of the Body and Catholic Social Teaching

11th Grade

In the first semester of junior year, the aim is to help students understand their masculinity and femininity in the light of faith—as a reflection of our gift-nature and vocation to love.  Carl Anderson’s book Called to Love: Approaching John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and You by Ascension Press serve as a framework for presenting the Church’s compassionate teaching on love, marriage, same-sex attraction, gender identity, and celibacy.

The aim of the second semester is to help students understand our moment in history as part of the drama of salvation, instead of interpreting it through purely secular categories. To that end, we study the prophetic voices of modern saints and the magisterium’s response to modernity, from Leo XIII to Pope Francis.

Textbooks: The Second Greatest Story Ever Told by Fr. Michael Gaitley and excerpts from papal encyclicals and the documents of Vatican II.

Our Moral Life in Christ

12th Grade

The final year is dedicating to reading and discussing modern spiritual classics, works like C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters and Romano Guardini’s Learning the Virtues That Lead to God.  This course aims to deepen in students an understanding of God’s call to joy and holiness and to inspire in them a habit of careful spiritual reading that continues after graduation.

 

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