While religion and faith development permeate all aspects of St. Joseph’s Academy, theology is taught at each grade level in a classroom setting. All students take a full credit of theology each year and meet each day.
Freshmen are presented an overview and in-depth study of the Old and New Testaments during which Sacraments and Saints are covered as they pertain to Scripture. Students are afforded an opportunity to nurture an ongoing relationship with God through their study of the CSJ charism, the Liturgical Year and dedicated time given to prayer through which they explore their individual prayer styles and spiritual growth.
Sophomores focus on the study of Salvation History from the time of Christ to the post-Vatican II Church. This course provides students with opportunities for spiritual growth, particularly by embracing truths offered through movements, people and happenings manifested in Church history. Students are encouraged to examine their own personal faith in light of the presence of God's Spirit in their lives.
Juniors begin the year exploring the components of their own personality leading to the study of morality and conscience formation in a Catholic context. The second semester focuses on the role of Catholics in responding to social concerns in today’s society. This includes study of the principles of Catholic Social Teaching in historical context and modern-day application.
Seniors choose theology electives that are offered as semester courses. Choices and their pairings include World Religions and Theology & Film; and Theology of the Body and Spirituality & Faith.
World Religions (fall semester) presents a summary of the history, major themes, underlying philosophy and components of the religions of the world that may include Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confusianism and Taoism, Primal Religions and Religions of the Western Culture. The course also considers other religions, both old and new, founded during the 19th and 20th centuries. Treatment of these religions and their founders will show a respect for each belief system and reveal the beauty and mystery found in various religious experiences throughout the world and the human quest for God.
Theology & Film (spring semester) explores theological themes, symbols, motifs and images through screening of films. Students will analyze and apply religious themes found in Catholic School and Moral Teachings and focus on how these themes are found in specific films of mainstream culture. Students are required to analyze the films viewed in class, give oral presentations, write papers, participate in group work, facilitate discussions and apply self-reflection to selected films.
Theology of the Body (fall semester) examines the foundations and major conclusions of Pope Saint John Paul II's Theology of the Body. Theological questions such as, Why do humans exist? What is my vocation? How do I live out my vocation? and What is the purpose of the human person? are explored through an examination of Saint John Paul II's Christological human anthropology, which is presented as an exegesis of the first and second books of Genesis and the fifth chapter of Matthew's gospel. Topics such as what it means to be human created in the image of God, the dignity and originality of woman and authentic feminism will also be explored.
Spirituality & Faith (spring semester) focuses on the development of an adult spirituality. Topics addressed and questions explored include the eternal and subsisting nature of the human soul, the rationale behind the teachings of the Catholic Church on the sacraments and forming a relationship with God through varied forms of prayer. Emphasis will be placed on how to develop elements of Catholic spirituality, especially those elements steeped in Ignatian meditation and examen.
For questions regarding the Theology curriculum, please contact our department chair:
Theology Department Chair
As part of the faith formation of each student, our Campus Ministry office and Student Ministers plan grade-level retreats to provide opportunities for personal reflection, the growth of sisterhood and a deepening relationship with our God.
As new high school students, freshmen explore their God-given identity through the theme Loved by God.
Sophomore year, students seek to bring unity into their relationships with God and others through the theme Reconciled by Christ.
Juniors examine the call to holiness that flows from their relationship with God with the theme Strengthened by the Spirit.
Senior year invites students into lifelong discipleship of Jesus with the theme Commissioned to Love.