Theology

Department Chair: Mr. Mark Mals - Mark.Mals@uofdjesuit.org, ext. 2621

Four credits, consisting of required courses, are needed to complete the graduation requirement.

Courses in Theology for 2017-2018

9th Sem 1 - Jesuit Studies (0.5 credits)

This required first semester freshman course is an introductory study of St. Ignatius of Loyola, The Jesuits, and U of D Jesuit. Students will explore the impact the Jesuit order has had on Christian spirituality, world history, the arts, science, and education. Students will also learn to implement the Jesuit “way of proceeding,” a process of critical thinking that seeks God in all things, and apply it to all facets of their lives. Students will recognize the importance and practice of The Spiritual Exercises, Contemplatives in Action, Men and Women for and with Others, AMDG, Magis, and the Grad at Grad.

9th Sem 2 - Hebrew Scriptures (0.5 credits)

This required second semester freshman course is an introduction to Sacred Scripture (the Bible) with special attention to the interaction between God and the Israelite people through the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). Emphasis is placed on understanding Jewish History through the Torah and Historical Books and Revelation through the Hebrew Prophets in the Prophetic Books. Students are also introduced to contemporary Jesuit Prophets such as Ignacio Ellacuria S.J., Rutilio Grande, S.J., Alfred Delp, S.J. and others to help them understand and live out our continued call to fulfilling the prophetic mission: to see the world as God sees it and proclaim the world as God’s Kingdom. Focus is placed on relating themes found in the Hebrew Scriptures to contemporary social concerns.

9th Workshop - Called to Protect

This 2-3 day Archdiocese of Detroit program will be taught during the freshman year as a component of one of the theology courses. This is a personal safety instruction program for teens in Catholic high schools. The program addresses boundaries – physical, emotional and behavioral – and how to recognize, stop and act if someone attempts to violate personal boundaries.

10th Sem 1- Christian Scriptures (0.5 credits)

This required first semester sophomore course serves as a bridge between the Hebrew Scriptures and Christian Scriptures (Old and New Testaments) as the Hebrew prophecies are fulfilled through the realities of Jesus. The mystery of Jesus is revealed as the historical Jesus emerges. Emphasis is placed on the Infancy Narratives, Jesus the person, the miracles and teachings of Jesus, and the events and impact of the Paschal Mystery on the world. Students also reflect on and react to St. Ignatius’ mandate to “Go out and set the world on fire,” as experienced through the lives of Paul and the Apostles in Acts and the Letters of the Christian Scriptures. Through the Spiritual Exercises, students reflect on and apply the life and teaching of Jesus to their daily lives.

10th Sem 2 - The Sacramental Life (0.5 credits)

This required second semester course is a study of the sacramental life, ritual, and sacred presence. Concepts covered include the meaning and relevance of sacrament, the person and role of the Holy Spirit, the gift of grace, the Catholic Church’s Sacraments of Initiation, of Healing, and of Service (Vocation), and our call to Mission. The course prepares students to recognize and realize that “The world is charged with the grandeur of God” (Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ) and their responsibility to live the Jesuit call to See God in All Things.

10th Workshop - Called to Serve

This 2-3 day program is used in Catholic high schools as part of required safe environment training and will be taught during the sophomore year as a component of one of the theology courses. The Archdiocese of Detroit Safe Environments Policy specifies teen employees, and volunteers who work with children, must attend safe environments training. Called to Serve focuses on and enhances the following skills: working with and role modeling for children; communicating and working with adult supervisors; interacting appropriately with peers; recognizing and responding to inappropriate behavior.

11th Sem 1 or 2 - Morality (0.5 credits)

This required one-semester course (taken either semester) is an introduction to the basic principles of morality in the Catholic tradition including foundational moral concepts, Christian understanding of human nature, objective morality, and methodologies for moral discernment, including the Ignatian Rules of Discernment. Particular attention is given to the "human" act, knowledge and freedom, sin and conversion, Virtue Ethics and character, nature of conscience, natural law, values and norms for moral decision making and social responsibility as they relate to the Jesuit mandate to be Men and Women for and with Others.

12th Sem 1 or 2 - Human Dignity and Social Justice (0.5 credits)

This required one-semester course (taken either semester) is grounded in Pedro Arrupe’s Men and Women for Others that invites students to become fully human by resisting the dehumanization of others and embracing love and justice by working to change unjust and oppressive social structures as a constitutive element of our faith. Students will look at contemporary social issues -including poverty, racism, and gender - through the lens of scripture and Catholic Social Teaching and reflect on what it means to be a “man for and with others” called to respond to St. Ignatius’ mandate to “go forth and set the world on fire.”

Electives

CRISPAZ (Christians for Peace in El Salvador) (0.5 credits)

This independent study elective course for juniors and seniors prepares students for the summer immersion trip to El Salvador. Through films, readings, skype conversations, and class discussion, students immerse themselves in the history and ongoing human rights struggles in El Salvador with a special emphasis on the lives and teachings of the Jesuit martyrs from the University of Central America (UCA) who were killed for proclaiming the Gospel of peace and justice during El Salvador’s bloody civil war.

Environmental Justice (0.5 credits)

This one-semester elective course for juniors and seniors asks students to reflect on environmental and social challenges that are facing “our common home,” challenges that range from global climate change to local water and incinerator issues. The course invites students to consider how environmental decisions often impact poor communities and then fashion a response that demonstrates a commitment to justice. Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si, serves as the primary text for this course and is supplemented with other Jesuit resources and guest speakers from the community.

Ignatian Meditation and Prayer (0.5 credits)

This one-semester elective course for juniors and seniors introduces students to Ignatian Spirituality as a pathway to deeper prayer, self-awareness and knowledge, discernment, and service to others by way of learning the history, science, and practice of meditation, contemplation, and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Foundational to the course are the writings and lectures of Anthony de Mello, SJ, a master teacher in the art of prayer and meditation.

Ignatian Leadership (0.5 credits)

This one-semester elective course for juniors and seniors utilizes the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius as its centerpiece to delve deeper into St Ignatius and the Jesuits from the perspectives of history, spirituality, and the arts. The course explores how students can continue on with a life inspired by St. Ignatius in their adult life including Jesuit Universities, Jesuit Vocations, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, and Jesuit retreat houses. Students are also introduced to Jesuit organizations such as the Ignatian Solidarity Network, Jesuit Refugee Services, and Christian Life Communities.

Ignatian Scholars Program (0.5 credits)

This independent study elective course for seniors prepares students for the summer immersion trip to Spain, Rome, and Lourdes walking in the footsteps of St. Ignatius. Coursework will be completed online between February and June with a final exam and project due upon return to the United States. This independent study is in collaboration with St. Ignatius Cleveland.

Irish Studies Program (0.5 credits)

This independent study elective course for seniors prepares students for the summer immersion trip to Northern Ireland. This online course uses readings, lectures, and compositions related to history, literature, politics and Catholic social teaching applied to the Irish Peace Process. While in Belfast, Northern Ireland, students participate in a service-learning program during which they learn the dynamics of conflict and peace-building from the key architects of the Irish Peace Process. The program utilizes the Ignatian pedagogical method of context, experience, reflection, action and evaluation. This independent study is in collaboration with Walsh Jesuit and St. Ignatius Cleveland.

Philosophy (0.5 credits)

This one-semester elective course for juniors and seniors offers students the opportunity to examine domains of Western Philosophy including the questions and arguments regarding human nature, knowledge, freedom, the nature of reality, the problem of evil, and the existence of God. The course focuses attention on major figures including the Classical Philosophies of Socrates, Plato, an Aristotle and their influence on the Christian Philosophies of Aquinas and Augustine. Throughout the course, tudents excogitate the meaning of happiness and the good life and apply it to the Jesuit teachings of AMDG, Men and Women for and With Others, and the Magis.

Sacred Art and Symbols (0.5 credits)

This one-semester elective course for juniors and seniors explores sacred/religious symbols used as visual expressions in art, architecture and religious imagery. Students study various faith traditions to gather an understanding of praise older than language and the written word to “see God in all things.” In this integrated approach to learning about culture, religion and the arts, each student creates major art pieces that represent the faith traditions studied and their own original works that express an understanding of the creative process allowing them to embrace the universal call of the Beloved to us, His instruments, and our response – an expression of praise. Students gain an ability to understand the role of the creative spark in their lives.

Science and Religion (0.5 credits)

This one-semester elective course for juniors and seniors encourages students to realize that part of being human is the fundamental and ubiquitous quest for knowledge and understanding of the world that transcends scientific or religious restraints. Both science and religion seek to answer those questions regarding faith and reason. The aim of the multi-faceted approach in this course is through four lenses of the relationship between Science & Religion: opposition, independence/separation, dialogue, and cooperation. The course explores the relationship between science and religion from antiquity to contemporary views taking into account historical, sociological, and philosophical perspectives. Students explore the contributions of scientists and philosophers including Jesuits: Matteo Ricci, SJ, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ, George Coyne, SJ, Guy Consolmagno, SJ.

Wealth and Poverty (0.5 credits)

This one-semester elective course for juniors and seniors investigates experiences and beliefs about wealth, poverty, social class, and economic inequality. Readings, videos, discussions, and simulations address historical roots, consequences of imperialism and globalization, and current data and policy options for America and the world. A crucial goal of the course is to deepen students’ commitment to a “faith that does justice” with a focus on Pope Francis’ teachings on economics and a preferential option for the poor and vulnerable.

World Religions (0.5 credits)

This one-semester elective course for juniors and seniors invites students “to find God in all things” through a study of the history, beliefs, and practices of the world's major Eastern and Western religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. One of the objectives of the course is to prepare students to live in and contribute to a rapidly-shrinking world where knowledge of the world's religions is imperative to our Christian vocation to "make peace among individuals and nations." (“The Challenge and Possibility of Peace").