Theology

The Theology Department at Bishop Kelly High School has the responsibilities for developing, coordinating and overseeing that portion of the school’s academic curriculum which deals with the knowledge of God and religious truth. The focus of Bishop Kelly’s instructional theology program is to be found in what is called “didache” an awareness and experience of God’s love and redemption as revealed in scripture and tradition – the cognitive element. The school’s total theology program is composed of two additional components, known as “koinonia” – which is faith formation based on involvement in Christian community – and “diakonia” – which encompasses prayer, liturgy, sacramental celebrations, retreats, etc.

In dealing with the academic goal of the Theology Department, its members are confronted with questions of faith and young people. It will be the primary goal of the Theology Department to enhance the Catholic faith of its students and to help them explore, understand and articulate that faith which they already possess—in light of the Church’s experience and teaching. It is the department’s belief that an appropriate education in Catholic theology must honor both elements. Students will be taught the living, ongoing faith and tradition of the Church and they will be provided with the opportunities to experience that faith and tradition as their own. Students who graduate from Bishop Kelly High School will be able to articulate the beliefs of the Catholic Church as well as to express how these beliefs apply to their own lives.The department is currently adapting courses in light of the Doctrinal Elements of a curriculum Framework for the Development of Catechetical Materials for Young People of High School Age published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2007.

To compensate for the limitations imposed by the classroom, Bishop Kelly High School has broadened its theology program to incorporate two additional segments – campus ministry and service learning. The campus ministry program allows students to live out the Gospel message through service to the total school community while the service learning program enables students to reach beyond the confines of school and family communities to benefit the larger community of which they are a part. Because of the overlap, which legitimately exists among the classroom, the campus ministry and the service learning programs, it is imperative that these three components work in close harmony with one another in coordinating the total theology program at Bishop Kelly High School.

Courses and Prerequisites:

+THEOLOGY 1: OLD TESTAMENT

Grade Level: 9-required

Course ID# 900 – First Semester (FY)

This required course presents to incoming freshmen the possibility that God can be found in Holy Scripture. The Catholic Church teaches that God is revealed through Scripture and Tradition. This course will interpret the inspired Scripture paying special attention above all, “…to what God wants to reveal through the sacred authors for our salvation” (Catechism of the Catholic Church Par. 137). The course will include a study of the development of the Old Testament, the literary forms, the diverse approaches used in their interpretation, and a comparison of these scriptures with the other literature from the time and area in which they were written. Emphasis of the course will be twofold: an understanding of the meaning of the words when they were written and a consideration of how they can nourish the students’ own spiritual lives. Ten hours of service learning will be a component of the course, with the emphasis on working within the home and surroundings for relatives, neighbors, and friends. Some examples might be: helping an elderly grandparent with chores, planning an outing for family, helping a neighbor, or babysitting for a single parent (friend).

+THEOLOGY 1: NEW TESTAMENT

Grade Level: 9-required

Course ID# 900 – Second Semester (FY)

This course continues the yearlong study of Holy Scripture, by focusing on the writings concerning Jesus Christ and early Christianity. Here students will encounter the Gospels and other early church writings. The course will discuss the literary forms, the images of Jesus and the development of the Church as seen in the New Testament. Students will be presented with opportunities to draw connections between the Old and New Testaments since each sheds light on the other. Ten hours of service learning will be a component of the course, with the emphasis on working within the home and surroundings for relatives, neighbors, and friends. Some examples might be: helping an elderly grandparent with chores, planning an outing for family, helping a neighbor, or babysitting for a single parent (friend).

+THEOLOGY 2: THE CATHOLIC CHURCH - HISTORY AND TRADITIONS

Grade Level: 10-required

Course ID# 910 – Two Semesters (FY)

The purpose of the first part of this yearlong course is to help students understand all that God has done for human beings through the life, death, and resurrection of his son Jesus. It will explore the Paschal Mystery and the stages of Catholic theological development that have led to our present day understanding of Jesus Christ. Two quarters of the year are spent studying Church history. The seven sacraments of the Catholic Church will be presented so that students may see how they can encounter the Risen Christ. This course includes a study of the liturgical year and the organization of the Church. Ten hours of service learning will be a component of each semester with the emphasis on work within a worship community or religious organization.

+PASTORAL ARTS

Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: Application Required

Course ID# 920 – Two Semesters (FY)

Pastoral Arts is designed to work alongside the Campus Ministries course. It is open to all students interested in participating in school-related liturgical functions. Students will be trained to be active participants and confident leaders for music during liturgies at school and at their parishes. The learning environment will be active. In addition to traditional lectures and demonstrations, students will be given hands-on “lab” experience in pastoral music ministry. The content follows the sophomore course of study. An application is required for admission to Pastoral Arts. Ten hours of service learning will be a component of each semester (for sophomores) with the emphasis on work within a worship community or religious organization.

+COMPARATIVE RELIGIONS

Grade Level: 11-required *

Course ID# 911 – First Semester (S1)
Course ID# 912 – Second Semester (S2)

This one-semester junior class is offered each semester of the school year. The course is designed to help students understand how the Catholic Church relates to non-Catholic Christians as well as to people of other religions or no religion. It starts with the foundation that Jesus Christ established the Catholic Church and gave her to the fullness of God’s revelation. Comparative Religions also explores the recognition of spiritual truths that can be found in non-Catholic Churches and religions. This course will help students see the ways that other systems of belief or practice are different from the Catholic faith. Additionally, the class incorporates with, through and beyond the textbook a Catholic apologetic focus. This includes open dialogue between the Catholic Church and the particular religion while pointing out differences and similarities in doctrine, tradition, and practice. The curriculum is aligned with the Catholic Bishops Framework. Each section of the class textbook (Exploring the Religions of Our World, Ave Maria Press) that specifically refers to Christianity and Catholicism has been granted a Nihill Obstat and Imprimatur.

Ten hours of service learning will be a component of the course with emphasis on school related service projects.

* Juniors must take a semester of Moral Decision-Making, and one semester of Comparative Religions

+MORAL DECISION-MAKING

Grade Level: 11-required *

Course ID# 901 – First Semester (S1)
Course ID# 902 – Second Semester (S2)

This one-semester junior class is offered each semester of the school year. This course will emphasize the Christian vision of decision-making with Jesus as the model of full humanness. Students will be challenged to examine their own choices in light of Roman Catholic teachings. The course will include topics with specific moral concerns such as: drugs, alcohol, medical ethics, violence, relationships, social justice, prejudice, discrimination, life and death issues, sexuality and HIV/AIDS.

Ten hours of service learning will be a component of the course with emphasis on school related service projects.

* Juniors must take a semester of Moral Decision-Making, and one semester of Comparative Religions

+ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY AND CHRISTIAN BELIEF

Grade Levels: 12, Juniors may take this as an elective with instructor approval.

Course ID# 914 – First Semester (S1)

Philosophy and Christian Belief is designed for seniors. Students will develop a working familiarity with ancient Greek philosophers including Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, as well as selected Muslim, Jewish and Christian philosophers. Special emphasis will be placed on the philosophies of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. This is a college preparatory course. Students will be challenged to read from original philosophical works and to think critically and abstractly. The teacher’s role is to provide a means for the students to understand the philosophical texts and to demonstrate that Christian belief takes the process of philosophy seriously. Our fundamental issue is the effect that philosophy has on Christian faith.

+MODERN PHILOSOPHY AND CHRISTIAN BELIEF

Grade Level: 12, Juniors may take this as an elective with instructor approval.

Course ID# 942 – Second Semester (S2)

Philosophy and Christian Belief is designed for seniors. Students will develop a working familiarity with modern philosophers and periods of thought from the Renaissance to the present. This is a college preparatory course. Students will be challenged to read from original philosophical works and to think critically and abstractly. The teacher’s role is to provide a means for the students to understand the philosophical texts and to demonstrate that Christian belief takes the process of philosophy seriously. Our fundamental issue is the effect that philosophy has on Christian faith. Only one semester of Philosophy may be taken to satisfy the Theology requirement. A second semester may be taken as a general elective.

+SOCIAL JUSTICE

Grade Level: 12

Course ID# 921 – First Semester (S1)
Course ID# 922 – Second Semester (S2)

Social Justice is designed for Seniors. The reason for this course is to introduce students to the Catholic Church’s social teaching. Students will learn that Christ’s concern for others, especially the poor and needy, is present today in the Church’s social teaching and mission. Students will be called to recognize and name the injustices in our midst. Topics include war, poverty, and governmental systems. Students will discover how to analyze causes of injustice in light of our Catholic faith, tradition, and the catholic response. All Catholics are called to seek justice is an essential component of our faith.

+CAMPUS MINISTRY

Grade Level: 12
Prerequisite: Application required

Course ID# 931 – First Semester (S1)
Course ID# 932 – Second Semester (S2)

The Campus Ministry course is an elective, which is designed to allow students a first-hand experience at living out the Gospel message through service to the Bishop Kelly High School community. At its core, the class will emphasize individual and small group spiritual development. Making use of class retreats, student body liturgies and a variety of service projects, the goal of the class will be to put faith into practice. Students selected as Campus Ministers will be called upon to share their faith in a variety of ways, and must be comfortable doing so. Campus Ministers do not have to be Catholic but all Campus Ministers should be practicing their faith on a regular basis.