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Theology

Four years are required for graduation. Transfer students are exempt from taking a Theology class the years they were not at JSerra. Additionally, all transfer students will be placed in regular Theology courses upon their arrival to JSerra. Should they wish to petition into an honors course they must receive approval from the department chair.

Catalog

Introduction to Catholic Principles - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: International students needing introduction to the concept of God.


This course is designed for the international student who is not familiar with the concept of God in general and of Catholic Christianity in particular. Through the use of different media, storytelling, discussions and reading the student will gain knowledge of basic Christian principles. They will be introduced to the mystery of the Trinity, Salvation History, and how the work of Jesus continues through the Holy Spirit in the Church today.

  • Year
  • 10 Credits

Theology I - Foundations - Grade 9

Prerequisites – Students will be placed into Theology 1 Foundations if they have not had prior Catholic instruction.


Semester I
The Revelation of Jesus Christ in Scripture
This course will 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. 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. This course provides a basis and understanding essential to further theological studies. Showing how Scripture is the inspired Word of God and how natural revelation and reason complement Divine Revelation, this course will explore what Catholics believe about God, why they believe it and why such belief is reasonable.


Semester II
Who Is Jesus Christ?
This course will 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. This course will explore the mystery of the Blessed Trinity – one God in three Persons – as revealed in Scripture and Tradition. It presents details about the Person of Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of Revelation, the role of the Holy Spirit in the Christian life, and how we can know the Father through the Son.

  • Year
  • 10 Credits

Theology I - Grade 9

Prerequisite: Placement will be based on department placement exam


Semester I
The Revelation of Jesus Christ in Scripture

This course will provide students with a solid knowledge and understanding of the Sacred Scriptures as they encounter the living Word of God, Jesus Christ. The class requires critical thinking, good listening skills and application of high order thinking skills, as well as, strong reading and writing skills.


Semester II
Who Is Jesus Christ?

This course will introduce students to the mystery of Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. The student will be challenged to do extensive writing requiring application of high order thinking skills.

  • Year
  • 10 Credits

Theology II - Grade 10

Semester I
The Old Testament: Learning to Trust in God

The purpose of this course is to help students, first and foremost, understand the narrative flow and structure of God’s amazing work through salvation history as it is presented in Sacred Scripture. Students will grow in familiarity of navigating through the different books of the Bible as well as learn key themes and lessons as they walk through the different eras. They will learn that the whole story of the Old Testament can be summed up as follows – God wants to fulfill our desire for true happiness, but man wrestles with trusting in God because of sin. This course will examine forty stories in salvation history that advance the plot and prepare to open our hearts in anticipation for receiving Jesus Christ and his Church. By the end of the semester students will be familiar with the Bible, know the story of salvation history, and have their own encounter with the word of God.

 

Semester II
The New Testament: Jesus’ Saving Work

The purpose of this course is to pick up the narrative thread of the previous semester and continue the journey of God’s work of salvation through the long awaited Messiah, Jesus Christ. Beginning with the announcement of the angel to Mary, students will examine forty stories in the life of Jesus: his infancy, public ministry, passion, death, resurrection, and then study the early works of the Apostles at the beginning of the Church. Building upon similar themes and lessons from the first semester, students will be able to identify parallels in both Old and New Testaments, see how the sacraments are prefigured in the life of the Jewish people, and recognize how Jesus is the fulfillment of all of the promises of the anticipated Messiah. Through an in depth study of the life of Jesus and his Church students will gain an understanding of the saving work of Jesus as God’s great gift and expression of love.

  • Year
  • 10 Credits

Theology II Honors - Grade 10

Prerequisite: A grade of A or better in both semesters of Theology I or an A- or better in both semesters of Theology I Foundations. All students must receive teacher approval.


Semester I

The Old Testament: Learning to Trust in God
The purpose of this course is to help students, first and foremost, understand the narrative flow and structure of God’s amazing work through salvation history as it is presented in Sacred Scripture. Students will grow in familiarity of navigating through the different books of the Bible as well as learn key themes and lessons as they walk through the different eras. They will learn that the whole story of the Old Testament can be summed up as follows – God wants to fulfill our desire for true happiness, but man wrestles with trusting in God because of sin. This course will examine forty stories in salvation history that advance the plot and prepare to open our hearts in anticipation for receiving Jesus Christ and his Church. By the end of the semester students will be familiar with the Bible, know the story of salvation history, and have their own encounter with the word of God.


Semester II

The New Testament: Jesus’ Saving Work
The purpose of this course is to pick up the narrative thread of the previous semester and continue the journey of God’s work of salvation through the long awaited Messiah, Jesus Christ. Beginning with the announcement of the angel to Mary, students will examine forty stories in the life of Jesus: his infancy, public ministry, passion, death, resurrection, and then study the early works of the Apostles at the beginning of the Church. Building upon similar themes and lessons from the first semester, students will be able to identify parallels in both Old and New Testaments, see how the sacraments are prefigured in the life of the Jewish people, and recognize how Jesus is the fulfillment of all of the promises of the anticipated Messiah. Through an in depth study of the life of Jesus and his Church students will gain an understanding of the saving work of Jesus as God’s great gift and expression of love.

  • Year
  • 10 Credits

Theology III - Grade 11

Pedagogy: What will students learn, what skills will students develop, how students will encounter God


Semester 1

Sacraments: Receiving God's Life and Love

The purpose of this course is to help students understand how they can encounter Jesus Christ today in a full and real way through the Sacraments. Students will learn that God desires for us to come into contact with the deep mysteries of his life and love through physical and tangible realties that can actually be experience through the senses – the Sacraments. At the same time these physical realities are signs that point towards profound and transforming realties that are happening in the soul. This course will explore each of the seven Sacraments in their scriptural origin, celebration, and benefits to Christian living. Students will understand that the seven Sacraments that Jesus entrusted to the Church as sure ways of receiving his Divine life and love.


Semester 2

Morality: Living God's Life through Love

The purpose of this course is to help students understand the purpose for why they were created: to fulfill their desires and achieve happiness through the help of Jesus Christ. Students will learn how the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude help perfect our natural desires for happiness, while the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity fulfill our natural desires by aiming them towards God. This course we explore the following themes: human desires, the meaning and way of achieving happiness, the cardinal and theological virtues, what determines right from wrong, and a study on each of the Ten Commandments as a spring board towards true happiness. Students will learn how to imitate the life of Jesus Christ, make correct moral decisions, and ultimately live life the fullest.

  • Year
  • 10 Credits

Theology III Honors - Grade 11

Prerequisite: A grade of B or better in both semesters of their previous honors theology course or an A in both semesters of their previous regular theology course. All students must receive teacher approval.

 

Pedagogy: What will students learn, what skills will students develop, how students will encounter God

 

Semester 1

Sacraments: Receiving God's Life and Love

The purpose of this course is to help students understand how they can encounter Jesus Christ today in a full and real way through the Sacraments. Students will learn that God desires for us to come into contact with the deep mysteries of his life and love through physical and tangible realties that can actually be experience through the senses – the Sacraments. At the same time these physical realities are signs that point towards profound and transforming realties that are happening in the soul. This course will explore each of the seven Sacraments in their scriptural origin, celebration, and benefits to Christian living. Students will understand that the seven Sacraments that Jesus entrusted to the Church as sure ways of receiving his Divine life and love.

 

Semester 2

Morality: Living God's Life through Love

The purpose of this course is to help students understand the purpose for why they were created: to fulfill their desires and achieve happiness through the help of Jesus Christ. Students will learn how the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude help perfect our natural desires for happiness, while the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity fulfill our natural desires by aiming them towards God. This course we explore the following themes: human desires, the meaning and way of achieving happiness, the cardinal and theological virtues, what determines right from wrong, and a study on each of the Ten Commandments as a spring board towards true happiness. Students will learn how to imitate the life of Jesus Christ, make correct moral decisions, and ultimately live life the fullest.

  • Year
  • 10 Credits

Theology IV - Grade 12

Responding to the Call of Jesus Christ
The purpose of this course is to help students discern the vocations of life: how Christ calls us to live. In this course, students learn the purpose and call of our human sexuality using the teachings of Blessed John Paul II and Scriptural exegesis. The course is structured around married life, single life, priestly life, and consecrated life. Students should learn what it means to live life for the benefit of others and the value in considering a vocation in service to the Christian community.

  • Semester
  • 5 Credits

Theology IV Honors: Lives of the Saints - Grade 12

Prerequisite: A grade of B or better in both semesters of their previous honors theology course or an A in both semesters of their previous theology course. All students must receive teacher approval.

 

Students will take a journey though Church history by learning and discussing the lives of the Church’s greatest saints.  The saints are examples of holiness, and their extraordinary stories of holiness are inspiring and refreshing.  This course will traverse the history of Catholicism by studying the challenges of each epoch and the responses to those challenges by the saints.  Understanding saints and their influence throughout Church history is vital to understanding the Church today.  In addition, this course will allow invite students to reflect on their own experiences, faith, and spiritually.   

  • Semester
  • 5 Credits

Comparative Religion - Grade 12

Since Theology IV is only a semester-long each, students may choose one elective to fulfill the 4 year requirement of theology classes for graduation.

 

The purpose of this Comparative Religion is to compare and contrast the teachings of major world religions and to give students the ability to reason through their own answers to such questions. Using basic components of critical thinking, such as Aristotle’s philosophy of rhetoric, students will debate and discuss the spiritual truths of Catholic teachings and how they compare with other faiths. Using a detailed analysis of natural law, questions such as right and wrong, objective truth, morality, rival concepts of God, virtue, and human nature will be explored in the context of the major views/religions of today, including: Judaism, Islam, the Orthodox Church, Protestant denominations, Hinduism, Buddhism, cults, witchcraft, and atheism. The class will be focused mainly on discussions, debates, and presentations. An express goal of the course is to assist students in understanding the different faiths of the world as well as developing a respect for their beliefs and traditions.

  • Semester
  • 5 Credits
  • UC Approved

SOCIAL JUSTICE - GRADE 12

Since Theology IV is only a semester-long each, students may choose one elective to fulfill the 4 year requirement of theology classes for graduation.

 

Social Justice is a one-semester Theology IV elective. The purpose of this course is to help students understand that they were born into a community in which they should participate. The students will be made aware of the Church’s teachings on most of the major sociopolitical issues of our time through the study of the Church’s encyclicals, emphasis on global solidarity, the option for the poor, and the dignity of the human person. This class will provide a framework for the students to begin to come to terms with and form opinions about the major sociopolitical issues of our time, as well as a solid foundation with which they will be able to make educated judgments about future issues.

  • Semester
  • 5 Credits