Theology Course Descriptions

"Through the sacrament of Holy Orders priests share in the universal dimensions of the mission that Christ entrusted to the apostles. The spiritual gift they have received in ordination prepares them, not for a limited and restricted mission, but for the fullest, in fact the universal mission of salvation 'to the end of the earth, prepared in spirit to preach the Gospel everywhere" (CCC, 1565).

Scripture Courses

  
BBL 511 Introduction to the Old Testament: the Pentateuch and the Historical Literature
Required Theology I
A survey of the Pentateuch and the historical literature of the Old Testament, with a focus on three key events in the history of ancient Israel: the Exodus, the United Monarchy, and the Exile.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
BBL 512 The Prophetic Literature of the Old Testament
Required Theology II
A survey of the development of Israelite prophecy, with a focused study of selected prophets, prophetic texts, and their historical contexts.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
BBL 513 The Psalms and the Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament
Required Theology IV
A study of the psalms and the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, with attention to the use of the psalms in the Church’s liturgy. The focus is on the main literary types within the Psalter; a sense of the historical context of the principal psalms; an appreciation of the main characteristics of Hebrew poetry; and an ability to engage the Christian spiritual interpretation of the psalms.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
BBL 514 The Synoptic Gospels and Acts
Required Theology I
An exegetical survey of the three Synoptic Gospels. An introduction to the current state of research on the Synoptic Gospels, an appreciation of the Gospels as literary-rhetorical communications with an oral pattern addressed to first-century Mediterranean audiences, an ability to exegete passages for use in preaching and pastoral ministry, and an ability to articulate major Synoptic theological themes and concepts.
Format: lectures and student panel presentations.
 
BBL 515 The Johannine Literature of the New Testament
Required Theology IV
An exegetical presentation of the Gospel and Letters of John. An ability to interpret Johannine passages in their context; an ability to derive key concepts, themes, and messages from these texts for personal formation and pastoral ministry.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
BBL 516 The Pauline Literature of the New Testament
Required Theology II
An exegetical survey of the 13 letters of the Pauline tradition. An ability to interpret the letters as literary-rhetorical communications within their milieu of Greco-Roman culture and Jewish apocalyptic eschatology; an ability to derive key concepts, themes, and messages from these texts.
Format: lectures and student panel presentation.
 
BBL 574 The Letter to the Hebrews
An exegetical presentation of the Letter to the Hebrews.
Format: instructor and student-led seminar sessions.
 
BBL 575 The Book of Revelation
An exegetical presentation of the Book of Revelation. An ability to interpret Revelation as a literary-rhetorical communication within its milieu of Greco-Roman culture and Jewish apocalyptic eschatology; an ability to derive key concepts, themes, and messages from this text.
Format: instructor and student-led seminar sessions.

Church History Courses

 
HST 511 Patristic Church
Required Theology I
A general survey of the history of the Church in the Patristic period; gives special attention to seminal contributions of the Fathers. Focus on an understanding of the Church’s everyday dynamism and struggles in these eras; a sense of the importance of the councils in the history of the Church.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
HST 512 Medieval and Reformation Church
Required Theology I
A general survey of the history of the Church from Charlemagne to the Reformation. Focus on an understanding of the Muslim invasion of the West and the influence of Feudalism on the Church; an appreciation of the rise of religious orders, the beginnings of the university system; an understanding of the causes of the Western Schism, the rise of Protestantism, and the Church’s reformation.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
HST 513 Modern and Contemporary Church
Required Theology III
A general survey of the history of the Church in the Modern and Contemporary periods. Focus on an understanding of the historical roots of the present divided state of Western Christianity; a sense of the complexity of the Church’s interaction with various social thought and the effect on the Church; an appreciation of the historical developments leading up to the Second Vatican Council.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
HST 514 The Catholic Church in the United States
Required Theology IV
A general survey of major trends in the history of religion in the United States, with specific attention to the religious and social experiences of Roman Catholicism.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
HST 554 Saint Augustine and His Influence
An overview of the life and thought of Augustine of Hippo, with attention to his extraordinary and enduring influence in the life of the Western Church.
Format: seminar, with introductory lectures.
 
HST 574 From Desperation to Hope: Contemporary Papal History
A history of the contemporary Church from the end of the Second World War through the challenges of communism, secularism, and globalization. This course will explore the major papal deeds and teachings in the last decade of Pius XII’s pontificate, the pontificates of John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI.
Format: seminar.
 
HST 591 The Second Vatican Council and the Contemporary Church
An historical survey and assessment of the conciliar and post-conciliar developments related to the Second Vatican Council through a thorough knowledge of the documents of the Council, especially of its four constitutions.
Format: seminar, with introductory lectures.

Systematic Theology Courses

 
SYS 511 Fundamental Theology and Biblical Hermeneutics
Required Theology I
An examination of major themes in fundamental theology, namely: religious experience and the question of God; revelation; faith and its expression in creeds and doctrines; Tradition; Scripture; magisterium.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
SYS 512 Christology and Soteriology
Required Theology I
An examination of the doctrinal theology of the central mystery of the Christian faith, Jesus Christ. After a review of methodological considerations, an historical approach begins with New Testament Christology, Christology in the Tradition, focusing on patristic-conciliar and medieval Christology, and concludes with the Christological teaching of the contemporary magisterium.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
SYS 513 Ecclesiology and Ecumenism
Required Theology I
An examination of the theology of the Church from a Eucharistic and Trinitarian perspective. Topics include: the mission of the Church and the nature of evangelization; the structures of the Church; the relation of the Churches to one another; the magisterium; the necessity of the Church for salvation; the Church as the universal sacrament of integral salvation.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
SYS 514 Anthropology, Sin and Grace
Required Theology II
An historical survey of theological reflection on the life of grace in the Christian tradition. An overview of key developments: scriptural sources, especially Paul; patristic sources, including the Greek Fathers; the Pelagian controversy and Augustine’s highly influential response; the theology of Thomas Aquinas; the position of Martin Luther and the response of the Council of Trent; contemporary theologies of grace; the anthropology of the Second Vatican Council’s constitution, Gaudium et Spes.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
SYS 515 Creation and Eschatology
Required Theology IV
An investigation in two parts: first, of Christian belief in creation, in the nature and consequences of the fall, and in original sin; second, of Christian hope for an absolute future in the Risen Christ.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
SYS 516 The Mystery of the Triune God and World Religions
Required Theology IV
An investigation in two parts: a survey of the world’s religions, based on the principles of the Second Vatican Council’s document, Nostra Aetate; and a theological exploration of the nature and personal activity of the triune God of Christianity.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
SYS 517 Mariology
Required Theology IV
An overview of the abiding importance of Mary in the Catholic tradition. A theological appreciation of the role of the Virgin Mary in Christology and ecclesiology, especially as presented by Vatican II in its document Lumen Gentium.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
SYS 554 Protestantism and Ecumenism
A survey of Protestant Christianity in Europe and North America, with attention to the 20th-century development of the ecumenical movement. Sources include the document Unitatis redintegratio of the Second Vatican Council, the 1993 revised Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and the 1995 Encyclical Ut unum sint of Pope John Paul II.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
SYS 576 Pneumatology
A study of the history of the development of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit and the theology of the same, with special emphasis on the magisterium of Pope John Paul II.
Format: lecture and discussion.
Prerequisites: SYS 512 Christology & Soteriology and SYS 513 Ecclesiology & Ecumenism.

Liturgical and Sacramental Theology Courses

 
LST 511 Introduction to Liturgical-Sacramental Theology
Required Theology I
An introduction to the liturgical/sacramental life of the Church through exploration of foundational issues in liturgy and sacraments, the nature of liturgy, the Trinity in liturgy, the nature and reality of the sacraments.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
LST 512 Liturgy of the Hours
Required Theology I
An historical and theological investigation of the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours. Also covered: the liturgical calendar and the notion of liturgical time.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
LST 513 Baptism and Confirmation
Required Theology II
The course focuses on Baptism and Confirmation from a historical, liturgical, theological and pastoral perspective. Particular attention is given to the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and its relationship to the Rite of Baptism for Children.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
LST 514 Liturgy of the Eucharist
Required Theology III
A consideration of the Mass of the Roman Rite and the Mystery of the Eucharist: its origin and shape in the early centuries; components of the Mass of the Roman Rite considered from historical, liturgical, theological, rubrical, and pastoral perspectives, especially as evidenced in the Eucharistic Prayer. Excursus on the dogmatic theology of Real Presence; on Eucharist as Sacrifice; on the relationship between the Last Supper, the Lord’s Supper and the cross.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
LST 515 Marriage and Holy Orders
Required Theology III
An historical and systematic overview of the sacraments of Marriage and Holy Orders, an examination of the Rite of Marriage and the Rites of Holy Orders.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
LST 516 Penance, Anointing, and Burial
Required Theology IV
A selective historical and theological investigation of the following celebrations of the Church’s liturgical life: the Sacrament of Penance, the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, and the Rites of Burial.
Format: lecture and discussion.

Moral Theology Courses

 
MTH 511 Fundamental Moral Theology
Required Theology II
An investigation of the elements of Catholic moral teaching in the magisterial documents of the Church, particularly in the documents of the Second Vatican Council, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and Veritatis splendor.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
MTH 512 Social Ethics
Required Theology II
An investigation of the meaning of justice in Catholic tradition, teaching, and theology. Focus on an understanding, based in Tradition and Scripture, of the good of the human person in relation to society and the common good; an understanding of the meaning of the virtue of justice in the thought of Saint Thomas; a familiarity and conversance with the social encyclicals and the social teaching of the Second Vatican Council; a thorough knowledge of the natural law on the issues of labor and capital, private property, and the universal destination of created goods.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
MTH 513 Marriage, the Family, and Human Sexuality
Required Theology III
An investigation of authentic Catholic thought on the family and human sexuality, and an introduction to Natural Family Planning for clergy. This course is conducted in collaboration with the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction, Omaha, Nebraska. Medical consultants, educators, and practitioners of Natural Family Planning participate in the presentation of materials. At the conclusion of the course, students will receive a certificate issued jointly by Kenrick School of Theology and the Pope Paul VI Institute, Omaha.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
MTH 514 Medical Ethics
Required Theology IV
An in-depth investigation of contemporary issues in medical ethics: reproductive technologies; euthanasia; genetic engineering; justice as a medical issue; the question of cooperation with evil.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
MTH 565 Pastoral Cases in Moral Theology
An introduction to methods for resolving complicated moral issues in pastoral practice. The course will cover pastoral issues that involve fundamental moral principles, the gravity of sin, and the culpability for evil in pastoral situations.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
MTH 586 Marriage Preparation
A practical study of methods, materials, and skills necessary for effective preparation for marriage in the Church with reference to the fields of pastoral counseling, canon law, moral theology, dogmatic theology, and liturgy.
Format: lecture and discussion.

Pastoral Studies Courses

 
PST 511 Pastoral Theology
Required Theology II
An introduction to pastoral theology; an investigation into the history of church ministry; emphasis on the Theology of the Laity and the role of the Priest as Head, Shepherd, and Spouse of the Church; attention to ministry to the elderly, Hispanic immigrants, youth, multi-generational and multi-ethnic, rural and urban parish settings.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
PST 512 Introduction to Canon Law
Required Theology II
An introduction to the nature and history of canon law; an investigation of selected canons in Book One of the 1983 Code of Canon Law; an investigation of the power of government in the Church, focused in the hierarchical constitution of Church, as found in Book Two of the 1983 Code.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
PST 513 Sacramental Law
Required Theology IV
An investigation of the essential canons in Book Four of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, concerning the administration of the Sacraments in general. Particular focus on the Sacrament of Marriage and the process of marriage preparation followed in each student’s sponsoring diocese.
Format: lecture and discussion.
Prerequisite: PST 512
 
PST 514 Introduction to Homiletics
Required Theology II
An introductory study and practicum in the art and skill of preparing and preaching homilies. Focus on a familiarity with various homiletic resource materials; a knowledge of the verbal and non-verbal dynamics involved in public communication; an ability to derive homiletic themes from any given set of lectionary readings; an ability to synthesize homiletic themes theologically and creatively, and to present them attractively.
Format: introductory lecture, in-class practicum, videotape feedback sessions.
 
PST 515 Advanced Homiletics
Required Theology III
An advanced-level study and practicum in the art and skill of preparing and preaching homilies.
Format: introductory lecture, in-class practicum, videotape feedback sessions.
 
PST 516 Introduction to Pastoral Counseling
Required Theology I
An introductory study, with classroom simulations, of the respective roles of the pastoral counselor and the spiritual director in the helping process. Also covered: a preliminary consideration of issues such as faith, prayer, grief, and guilt.
Format: lecture, discussion, and in-class practicum.
 
PST 517 Catechesis and Elements of Religious Education
Required Theology III
An introductory study in catechesis which covers the essential elements of education. This course will emphasize the catechetical vocation to make disciples of Jesus, with the broader pastoral view of formation and care in the life of faith in all its dimensions.
Format: lecture, demonstration, in and out-of-class practicum, video review session.
 
PST 548 Ministry in a Hispanic Cultural Setting
A general overview of key elements in ministering to the Hispanic people, especially as they differ from a more traditional perspective; popular religiosity, role of men and women, family structure, leadership, immigration, demographics, liturgy, preaching evangelization, and special issues.
Format: lecture, discussion, interactive activities, research and student presentations.
 
PST 562 New Feminism
A review of feminist literature based on the perspective of the new feminism called for by Pope John Paul II.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
PST 572 Grief Counseling
An in-depth investigation of the grieving process, with specific attention to the role of pastoral intervention in complicated grief.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
PST 584 Western Sacred Music
A survey of selected monuments of Western Sacred Music. Basic knowledge of the historical development of musical style and form; increased appreciation through familiarity with the sacred works of major western composers.
Format: lecture, music listening, concert going, small group study, and analysis of scores.

Human and Spiritual Formation Courses

 
HSP 511 Introduction to the Spiritual Life of a Priest
Required Theology I
An introduction to a priest’s spiritual life. Focus on a knowledge and appreciation of devotion to Mary; an understanding of the spirituality of obedience, celibacy, and simplicity of life; a knowledge of the importance of communion with the magisterium and the diocesan bishop; an awareness of and appreciation for various methods of disposing oneself to prayer; a knowledge of the importance of the examen, lectio divina and spiritual reading.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
HSP 512 Priestly Identity, Celibacy, and Ethics
Required Theology II
A continuation of the study of the life and identity of a priest. An examination of the professional ethics of the ordained ministry. A consideration of the doctrine and theology of the requirement of priestly celibacy in the Western Church.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
HSP 513 Pastoral Issues
Required Theology III
An in-depth investigation of counseling issues such as alcoholism, co-dependency, sexual abuse, marital infidelity, and other frequently presented client concerns. Special attention to crisis work with aging adults, terminally ill patients, family survivors of suicide, and incest victims.
Format: lecture, discussion, and in-class practicum.
 
HSP 514 Spiritual Theology and Spiritual Direction
Required Theology III
A three part study: first, a consideration of the tenets of traditionally Catholic spiritual theology; second, a consideration of prayer as faith, trust, and surrender to God; third, a consideration of spiritual direction with emphasis on its aim, importance, and qualities required of the director.
Format: lecture and discussion.
 
HSP 521 Supervised Ministry Ia and
HSP 522 Supervised Ministry Ib
Required Theology I
A concentration on pastoral care of the poor, such as the Saint Vincent de Paul Society or charitable outreach within the parish.
 
HSP 523 Supervised Ministry IIa and
HSP 524 Supervised Ministry IIb
Required Theology II
A concentration on care of the elderly, homebound, sick and dying. Includes home visits and hospital and nursing home ministry.
 
HSP 525 Supervised Ministry IIIa and
HSP 526 Supervised Ministry IIIb
Required Theology III
A concentration on religious education, particularly classroom teaching. Can additionally include
teaching in RCIA, RCIC, and/or Parish Adult Education programs.
 
HSP 527 Supervised Ministry IVa and
HSP 528 Supervised Ministry IVb
Required Theology IV
Fourth year transitional deacons serve in parishes as assigned by the Archbishop of Saint Louis.

Liturgy Practicum Courses

 
LPR 511 Liturgical Formation I: Basics of Liturgy
Required Theology I
A basic introduction to the practical aspects of the Church’s liturgies and rites. Focus on awareness of the dynamics of the liturgical seasons; awareness of the liturgical books used in the Roman rite; awareness of the various documents governing liturgical norms; appreciation of the various options available in planning liturgy; awareness of the norms of the Liturgy of the Hours.
Format: lecture, practicum, and actual participation in various liturgical roles.
 
LPR 512 Liturgical Formation II: Further Issues of Liturgy
Required Theology I
A continuation of Liturgical Formation I, with specific focus on the Word and the Eucharist, based upon the Lectionary, the circular letter for Holy Week, and Holy Communion and the worship of the Eucharist outside of Mass.
Format: lecture and practicum.
 
LPR 521 Deacon Practicum
Required Theology III
A practical preparation for the liturgical ministry of the deacon, based on the normative liturgical documents of the Church.
Format: lecture and practicum.
 
LPR 522 Priest Practicum
Required Theology IV
A practical preparation for the liturgical ministry of the priest, based on the normative liturgical documents of the Church.
Format: lecture and practicum.
 
LPR 513 Choir
Instruction and training in vocal and choral techniques, for use principally in liturgical settings.
Format: practicum.

Curriculum Support Courses

 
CSC 511 Graduate Research and Writing
Required Theology I
An introduction to the tools and methods of graduate research. Focus on familiarity with the use of the print and electronic library resources and reading and writing skills.
Format: lecture and interactive exercise.
 
CSC 531 Summative Evaluation Seminar I
Required Theology III
The Summative Evaluation Seminar I is designed to assist students in the compilation of a bibliography for their master’s theses or comprehensive exam questions in partial fulfillment of the ordination requirement. The specific focus of the course will be on the collection of quotations relevant to the purpose of the project and the development of a comprehensive outline and introductory chapter.
Format: lecture and guided work.
 
CSC 532 Summative Evaluation Seminar II
Required Theology III
The Summative Evaluation Seminar II is designed to assist students in the preparation of a first draft of their master’s theses or comprehensive exam answers in partial fulfillment of the ordination requirement.
Format: guided study.