Brief Course Descriptions
Thomistic Philosophy for Theologians
An introduction to the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas through a study of several of his basic philosophical writings. The course will concern principally his philosophy of nature, philosophical psychology, moral philosophy, metaphysics, and philosophical theology.
Introduction to Sacred Scripture
This course deals with introductory issues such as the history and environment of the Scriptures, the different types of biblical literature, the scientific methods of exploring the Scriptures, and the development of new methods of Scriptural interpretation.
An investigation into the five books of the Pentateuch \from a literary perspective, from the cultural perspective of its first readers in the ancient Middle East, and from a historical perspective, particularly concerning its formation.
A foundational course considering the nature of divine revelation, faith as humanity’s response to God’s revealing activity, the inspiration and interpretation of scripture, the nature of tradition, and theological method.
Christology and Soteriology
A biblical, historical and systematic consideration of the major questions concerning the Incarnation and Redemption.
A biblical, historical, and systematic consideration of certain themes concerning the nature of humanity and its relationship to God: creation, original sin, justification, and the destiny of humanity (last things).
A thematic and historical exploration of the contributions made to the tradition by the Fathers of the Church. Attention will be paid to their contributions to the development of Christian doctrine, the formation of the biblical canon, and the picture of Christian life that emerges from their writings.
Introduction to Moral Theology
An exploration of the fundamental concepts of the Catholic moral tradition in light of the Second Vatican Council: scriptural foundations, conversion and discipleship, the role of the Magisterium, natural law and the law of Christ, conscience, the moral act, sin and virtue.
Introduction to Catholic Liturgy
A biblical, historical and thematic introduction to Catholic liturgy. Themes will include the general character of ritual and worship, the Trinitarian character of Christian liturgy, the centrality of the Paschal Mystery, the cycle of the liturgical year, and the interrelation and interdependence between liturgy and theology as a whole.
Introduction to Sacramental Theology
A biblical, historical and thematic introduction to the sacraments. Key themes will include the sacraments as rooted in the economy of salvation, and Christ and the Church as sacrament, the broader context of sacramentality, and the roles of the minister and recipient of sacraments.
Introduction to Spiritual Theology
A historical survey of Christian spirituality from the Apostolic age to the Reformation. Themes include the Desert Tradition, martyrdom, monasticism, Franciscan and Dominican spirituality, late medieval mysticism, the Imitation of Christ, and icons and prayer. Connections are made to some contemporary figures and movements.
Introduction to Lay Ministry
This course probes the nature of lay ministry as set forth in Church documents and as practiced in the post-Vatican II Church. It is a foundational exploration of various approaches to lay ministry as lived out today, both in the Church and in the World.
Ministry in Schools
Students are placed in a Catholic school to gain some experience in teaching, working with children or youth, and speaking in public. Instruction in public speaking is included.
The Synoptic Gospels
The course encourages students to apply methods of interpretation learned in the introductory course. General issues pertaining to all three synoptic gospels will be considered, followed by treatments of each gospel separately. Basic issues such as authorship, date, place and characteristic themes will be addressed.
The Gospel According to John
The course encourages students to apply methods of interpretation learned in the introductory course, exploring the meaning of the text for the modern reader. An examination of the original setting, structure, and content of each section of the gospel.
An optional course for students who have the approval of the Dean and consent of a professor of Biblical Studies to pursue a topic in this area. The course may be presented as a tutorial, or as a seminar if three to five students are registered.
The Doctrine of God
The development of the Church’s understanding of God as Triune. Biblical patristic, medieval, and contemporary approaches to the mystery of God are considered. Special attention is given to the connection of Trinitarian doctrine to the experience of salvation.
An optional course for students who have the approval of the Dean and consent of a professor of Systematic Theology to pursue a topic in this area. The course may be presented as a tutorial, or as a seminar if three to five students are registered.
History of the Catholic Church I
History of the Catholic Church II
A survey, in chronological fashion, of the growth of the Church from the time of the apostles to the modern era. The lectures attempt to relate the past with its context and significance. Students are guided to read the key documents of the Church’s history to complement the general approach of the lectures.
An optional course for students who have the approval of the Dean and the consent of a professor of Historical Theology to pursue a topic in this area. The course may be presented as a tutorial, or as a seminar if three to five students are registered.
Christian Social Teachings I
A study of Church documents from 1891 to 1963 related to social justice. An analysis of issues of poverty in Canada and in the global community. An examination of basic principles of Catholic social doctrine: the human person, the common good, the social responsibility of property.
Christian Social Teaching II
A study of Church documents from 1963 to the present related to social justice. An examination of a theology of work and leisure, the principles of preferential option for the poor and a consistent ethic of life, and the application of those principles to issues of social and economic justice.
An optional course for students who have the approval of the Dean and consent of a professor of Moral Theology to pursue a topic in this area. The course may be presented as a tutorial, or as a seminar if three to five students are registered.
Sacraments of Initiation I
A study of Baptism and Confirmation. Emphasis is given to the liturgical aspects of the Eucharist developed in light of the Catholic tradition.
Sacraments of Initiation II
A study of the theology of the Eucharist developed in its biblical, liturgical, systematic, and ecumenical sources, and explaining the themes of sacrament, sacrifice, communion.
Marriage and Sexuality
A theological and pastoral investigation of the meaning of human sexuality and Christian marriage. Specific attention will be paid to pastoral approaches to issues such as sexual development, strengthening marriage and family life, divorce and remarriage, homosexuality, and media influences.
An optional course for students who have the approval of the Dean and consent of a professor of Sacramental Theology to pursue a topic in this area. The course may be presented as a tutorial, or as a seminar if three to five students are registered.
Pastoral Counselling I
This course explores the theoretical background of pastoral counselling and provides the student with some basic training in counselling skills.
Pastoral Counselling II
This course explores the theoretical background of pastoral counselling and provides the student with some basic training in counselling skills.
An optional course for students who have the approval of the Dean and consent of a professor of Pastoral Theology to pursue a topic in this area. The course may be presented as a tutorial, or as a seminar if three to five students are registered.
Ministry in Parishes
Students are placed in a local parish to familiarize them with pastoral settings and to gain ministerial experience. Special emphasis on involvement in RCIA and sacramental programs in order to gain experience in teaching and “breaking open the Word”.
The Pastoral Year
Candidates for ordination spend an entire year in a parochial setting under the direction of an appointed pastor/supervisor. The experience may include specialized courses tailored to the individual’s pastoral needs, such as language studies or a CPE unit.
Prophets and Deuteronomic History
The course examines the Israelite prophetic movement from the early monarchical period to the early post-exilic period, its original message and its modern applications. Themes include the city of Jerusalem in Israelite history, the desert as place and metaphor, and the use of prophetic messages in the New Testament.
The Letters of Paul
The course examines biographical issues by comparing the portrayal of Paul in his own letters and in the Acts of the Apostles. The original setting, structure, and the inspired message of the authentic letters for modern readers are considered. Some attention is given to the remainder of the Pauline corpus.
Applied Biblical Theology
A careful examination of key theological themes addressed in selected Scriptural books: the role of the Psalms in the Church’s prayer and praise; the importance of the letter to the Hebrews in discussing Christology and New Testament priesthood; and the eschatological – prophetic value of the book of Revelation.
Ecclesiology and Mariology
The development of Catholic theology of the Church in light of the Second Vatican Council. Systematic treatment of the nature and mission of the Church in contemporary models. The role of Mary in the mystery of Christ and the Church.
A specialized course concerning Catholic moral principles with clinical/pastoral applications for a pluralistic world. Topics: Reproduction issues, abortion, cloning and stem cell research, organ transplants, genetics, death and dying, resource allocation, and global ethics, with many applications to health care institutions. Expert guest speakers included.
The Theology of Order and Ministries
A historical, doctrinal, liturgical, and pastoral study of ministry in the Church. The Sacrament of Order in light of contemporary approaches to ministry, an understanding of the call to collaboration with the laity in their vocation and mission, and an appreciation of the call to consecrated life in the Church.
Canon Law I
This course is designed to give an appreciation of how the Church uses Canon Law as an instrument to achieve its goals. It includes a brief history, an overview of the basic concepts of law as well as of the general norms, the principles of interpretation and an introduction to the legal dimension of the Church’s life.
Spiritual Theology II
Christian spirituality from the Catholic revival of the sixteenth century to the present. Schools of spirituality considered include: Spanish (Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross); French (de Sales, Pascal, John Vianney, Therese of Lisieux); English (More, Newman, Lewis); Contemporary (Merton, Stein, Hillesum, spirituality of the poor).
An examination of the importance and effectiveness of preaching in the mission of the Church today. Themes include the nature and role of the homily, the methodology of preaching, and techniques for preparation and delivery of homilies.
A practicum involving the seminarian’s peer group and professors which provides supervised experience in the delivery of homilies.
Pastoral Health Care
Under the direction of trained supervisors, the students enter into hospital ministry. The program includes visitation to patients and de-briefing groups for the integration of their theology and experiences with the infirmed.
An introduction to the history and theology of the ecumenical movement. Reference will be made to the teaching of the Magisterium, significant achievements in ecumenical dialogue, and prospects for future achievements. Exposure to the rich variety of Christian ecclesial communities and traditions will be included.
An exploration of the unity of Catholic theology and the interdependence of the theological disciplines. The course will include a comprehensive examination designed to assist students in integrating what they have learned throughout the program.
Theology of Sacramental healing
A historical and theological exploration of the development of the sacraments of reconciliation and anointing of the sick. Emphasis is given to biblical and patristic sources, responding compassionately to contemporary pastoral concerns, and making sacramental reconciliation relevant in pastoral and catechetical situations.
The Art of the Confessor
The course prepares students to be ministers of the sacrament of Reconciliation. Insights from the great confessors of the Christian tradition are followed by specific pastoral material from moral theology and canon law. Applications are made to contemporary pastoral situations, catechetical preparation programs and diocesan guidelines.
Theological and pastoral dimensions of the roles of the presider and the assembly in the liturgy. Attention will be paid to the ritual books of the Church – their operative theology, their proper execution, and their intrinsic spirituality. Practical preparation for presiding at the Eucharist.
Canon Law II
This course is designed to discuss the Church’s legislation with regard to the sacrament of marriage. It will include a consideration of the canonical definition of marriage, pastoral preparation, impediments, the canonical form, dissolution of the bond, matrimonial procedural law.
Missiology and Evangelization
An investigation into the nature of the Church’s pastoral and evangelical mission. Themes include the theology of mission, the relationship of faith and culture, and the “new evangelization”. Particular attention will be paid to reflection on the pastoral skills necessary for presenting the Christian message in a rapidly changing world.
Pastoral Counselling III
This course applies the skills learned in the Pastoral Counselling I and II to specific pastoral situations, especially situations of crisis. Factors that impact on pastoral care and pastoral counselling in a parish setting are specifically addressed
The course explores the theory and practice of catechetics. Emphasis is placed on developing skills for: facilitating faith development across the life span, designing program models to meet the need for a variety of pastoral contexts, and developing catechetical approaches for parish and diocesan settings.
Ethical Issues and Pastoral Ministry
A study of key elements of pastoral ministry requiring ethical decision-making to ensure the proper care of those for whom and with whom ministry is done. Attention is given to the ethical dimensions of issues such as honesty, confidentiality, the use of power, maintaining boundaries, stewardship, collaborative ministry and pastoral accountability
Preaching Assignments in Parishes
The deacons are assigned to preach in parishes on some weekends and on occasion in the Seminary during the week, with the opportunity for evaluation and critique.