Theology Department

Philosophy

It is the aim of the Theology Department to impart to every student the message of salvation through Jesus Christ, who perfectly reveals to us the love and plan of God our Creator, and to propose that only in Christ can our deepest human longings be satisfied. We hope to cultivate a faith environment in which our students can readily encounter Christ in a way that completely shapes their lives. Our goal is to form students in heart, mind, and soul who use their theological knowledge to inform their daily living as responsible participants in their communities.

Graduation Requirements: Four credits or .5 credit for each semester enrolled at St. Michael’s.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Curriculum Directives

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops published curriculum guidelines for theology classes at Catholic high schools. The structure and content of the following courses are from the USCCB Curriculum Framework, 2008.

A Sampling of Classes

List of 5 items.

  • Discipleship: Student Leadership

    Credit Earned: 1.0
    This course is offered to seniors who are a part of the senior leadership team. The purpose of this course is to offer seniors an experience of ministry as service within St. Michael's community. Students in this program work in a classroom setting focusing on Social Justice, Pastoral Ministry, and Servant Leadership. The course requires planning and implementing retreats and service learning programs for the students of St. Michael's. Additionally, the students will complete written assignments in order to reflect, explain, and expand upon how Christ calls us to live as disciples.

    Prerequisites: Seniors only; admission by application and selection, including recommendations from teachers and counselors; weighted.
  • Theology II - The Mission of Jesus Christ and Church in History

    Credit Earned: 1.0
     
    The Mission of Jesus Christ (Fall)
    The purpose of this course is to help students understand all that God has done for us through his Son, Jesus Christ. Through this course of study, students will learn that for all eternity, God has planned for us to share eternal happiness with him, which is accomplished through participation in the redemptive life of Christ. They
    will also be introduced to what it means to be a disciple of Christ and what life as a disciple entails.
     
    The Living Body of Christ (Spring)
    The purpose of this course is to help students understand the possibility of encountering Christ in and through the Church. They will be introduced to the claim that the Church was founded by Christ through the Apostles and is sustained by him through the Holy Spirit. Students will discuss the meaning of the Church as the living Body of Christ today, a Body with both divine and human elements. In this course, students will learn not only about events in the life of the Church, but how to see those events as part of the sacred nature of the Church.

  • Theology III - Ethics and Social Justice

    Credit Earned: 1.0
     
    Ethics
    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 and to assist students to live out Christ’s command to love. Students will learn how to implement those concepts and precepts that govern the lives of Christ’s disciples. Perhaps most of all, students will realize the goal of ethics as the cultivation of virtue and the ability to better perceive an all-loving God.
     
    Social Justice
    Intentionally following the Ethics class, those concepts will prove vital in introducing students to the Church’s social teaching. In this course, students will learn how Christ’s concern for others, especially the poor and needy, is present today in  the Church’s social teaching and mission, as well as being part and parcel of cultivating individual virtue. This course will focus on integrating faith into action as students explore various ways to live out Christian discipleship.
     
  • Theology IV – Philosophical Foundation for Theology

    Credit Earned: 1.0
     
    This course will employ an historical approach to the study of philosophy, with special attention to the critical role philosophy has played for understanding theology. This proves true for the theology of the Church Fathers with the influence of Plato and Aristotle, long before Aquinas incorporated each in a sort of “middle way.” We will see that the most prominent and traditional theologians engaged the philosophers of their time. The same holds true today. Course goals are twofold: first, we will see the historical intimacy between philosophy and theology, as well as where the two part ways, depending on the presuppositions of a particular thinker. Second, we will see philosophy as “the  love  of  wisdom”  and,  as  Socrates  said, “a  preparation  for  death.” The  primary  text  for this  course, Sophie’s World, tackles the historical patterns in philosophy while maintaining a narrative arc and a central, fictional character for students to engage. This makes philosophy readily accessible to inquisitive students who have yet to be exposed to the tradition.
     
    Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation

  • Theology IV - World Religions: Ecumenical and Interfaith Issues

    Credit Earned: 1.0
     
    The purpose of this course is to help students understand the manner in which the Catholic Church relates to non- Catholic Christians as well as to other religions of the world. Building on the foundational truth that Jesus Christ established the Catholic Church and entrusted to her the fullness of God’s Revelation, the course is intended to help students recognize the ways in which important spiritual truths can also be found in non-Catholic Christian churches and ecclesial communities as well as in non-Christian religions. Given the reality of today’s world of multi-religious and multicultural encounters, as well as in the spirit of Vatican II’s Nostra Aetate, this course is essential to engage meaningful dialogue across traditions, which in turn leads to a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith as well.

Theology Department Faculty

List of 4 members.

  • Dr. Joshua Coleman 

    Theology Instructor
    University of Denver - Ph.D.
    University of Denver - M.A.
    Spring Hill College - B.A.
  • Mr. Dennis Hodapp 

    Director of Campus Ministry
  • Carolyn Leatherman 

    Theology Instructor
    Augustine Institute - M.A.
    Texas A&M University - B.A.
  • Laura Litschi 

    Theology Instructor
    Pace University - M.S.
    University of Notre Dame - B.A.
    University of Notre Dame - B.A.