The Core Courses – Catholic Studies for the Lay Apostolate

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The "Core" Courses

The core courses studied in the 9-month Catholic Studies for the Lay Apostolate are divided between three trimesters. Structurally, after the initial orientation and foundational classes (September), most courses span both first and second trimesters and are offered in 2-hour blocks, either once or twice each week. The third trimester is different in its structure as courses are offered as week-long intensives, featuring both the Springtime of the Faith series as well as an Icon Writing  retreat (traditional eastren-rite Iconography) and an additional Ignatian Discenment-based retreat.

The St. Therese program is extraordinary! All STS students — as a part of their formation — have the opportunity of participating in the various conferences and programs offered at STI: our annual Advent Conference and Lenten Conference, the Theology of the Body conference, as well as the "Keys for Growth in the Spiritual Life" and the Springtime of the Faith courses, plus additional retreatrs and lectures from visiting presenters (approximately a $4,600 value). 

Jump to:   First and Second Trimester  |  Third Trimester

First (Sept.– Dec.) and Second Trimesters (Jan.March)
*indicated text(s) to be provided by the student. All other texts will be made available for purchase through the St. Therese bookstore.

 FOUNDATIONS OF CATHOLICISM

40 Hrs.

Course Description: A survey of the key doctrines of the Catholic faith, their foundation in Sacred Scripture and Tradition as explained by the teaching authority of the Church, as presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This course will challenge the student to respond to the call of Peter in his Epistle: "Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to an account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence." [1 Pet: 3-15]. Particular attention will be paid to the matters of the Trinity, the person of Christ, the nature and authority of the Church, the Sacraments, and the communion of Saints. A solid understanding and love of the principles of the Catholic Faith will establish a foundation upon which the student can build the spiritual life.
Required Texts: Holy Bible* (approved translation), Catechism of the Catholic Church*, Catholic Biblical Apologetics, reference to selected Church documents (Lumen Gentium, Gaudium et Spes, Novo Millennio Ineunte, Deus Caritas Est, etc.)
Instructor: Jim Anderson 2 seminar hrs per week, 20 wks 40 seminar hours
 

 UNDERSTANDING THE SCRIPTURES – THE OLD TESTAMENT

40 Hrs.

Course Description: This course will present to the student salvation history in the context of a Catholic approach to Scripture, highlighting the theme of covenant. Students will be introduced to the Scriptures, the genres of writing, the individual books, the principal themes of the Old Testament, and the practical application of Scripture scholarship and exegesis. Assigned reading, class discussion, reflection papers, practical exercises, and reference to relevant selections from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, will help to engender in the student a deeper love for the Word of God, and its application to his daily life.
Required Texts: Holy Bible* (approved translation), Understanding the Scriptures: A Complete Course on Bible Study, Catechism of the Catholic Church*, Dei Verbum
Instructor: Chris O'Hara 4 seminar hrs per week, 10 wks 40 seminar hours
 

 UNDERSTANDING THE SCRIPTURES – THE NEW TESTAMENT

40 Hrs.

Course Description: This course will continue the study of Sacred Scripture begun in the first trimester. Students will be introduced to the New Testament writings, with particular emphasis on the four Gospels. The principal themes of the New Testament will be discussed in light of a practical application of Scripture scholarship and exegesis. Assigned reading, class discussion, reflection papers, practical exercises, and reference to relevant selections from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, will help to engender in the student a deeper love for the Word of God, and its application to his daily life.
Required Texts: Holy Bible* (approved translation), Understanding the Scriptures: A Complete Course on Bible Study, Catechism of the Catholic Church*, Dei Verbum
Instructor: Chris O'Hara 4 seminar hrs per week, 10 wks 40 seminar hours
 

 THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH

40 Hrs.

Course Description: This course offers an account of Christian History based solidly on historical fact and viewed through the eyes of Faith, presenting the history of the Catholic Church from Pentecost to the pontificate of Benedict XVI. This study delves into the heroic witness of the Saints and the tremendous achievements of the Church, allowing the student to witness the Holy Spirit’s guidance of the Church through history. Through assigned reading, written and oral reflections, and class discussion, this course will provide the student with a balanced view of our past, boldly addressing the issues that have faced the Church, as the Church has developed in fulfilling her mission over the past two millennia.
Required Texts: The History of the Church: A Complete Course, assigned readings from primary sources.
Instructor: Lisa Anderson 2 seminar hrs per week, 20 wks 40 seminar hours
 

 OUR MORAL LIFE IN CHRIST

40 Hrs.

Course Description: This course offers an introduction to Catholic moral thought and reflection on the Ten Commandments in light of these Christian moral principles in a manner relevant to the society and culture of today. Students will be provided with the tools necessary for living a moral life while engaging the world in thoughtful and hopeful dialogue inspired by both truth and charity. Active tutorial discussion and participation is encouraged as a means of understanding the issues facing the Church and the faithful today.
Required Texts: Holy Bible* (approved translation), Our Moral Life in Christ: A Complete Course, Catechism of the Catholic Church*, Selections from Veritatis Splendour, Evangelium Vitae, Humanae Vitae, and other Church documents.
Instructor: Jerome Weiler 2 seminar hrs per week, 20 wks 40 seminar hours
 

 FAITH AND REASON: CRITICAL THINKING FOR APOLOGETICS

40 Hrs.

Course Description: Critical thinking is an indispensable tool in service of the Faith. Philosophy helps us to think more logically and be aware of the fallacies present in the arguments often presented to us by our society and culture. This course will examine such questions as: How do we know reality? How does our knowledge differ from that of the lower animals? Has man an immortal soul? Have we free will? Can God's existence be proved? What does philosophy show about God's nature and His relation to the world? Are there objective and unchangeable moral principles? By means of assigned reading, class assignments and discussion, students will be presented with the basic tools of critical thinking. These are the tools essential to the work of the Christian as he seeks to bring clarity to the mind and heart of man in the work of ecumenism, evangelization, apologetics, and catechesis.
Required Texts: Reasoning Things Out, selections from Fides et Ratio
Instructor: Jim Anderson 2 seminar hrs per week, 20 wks 40 seminar hours
  

 SPIRITUALITY AND CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY

60 Hrs.

Course Description: The efficacy of the faith formation program at St. Therese School of Faith and Mission program is its context in a life of basic Christian community. Beginning in orientation, regular teachings and reflections on Christian character, community life and spirituality will be given as a foundation for the lived experience of community at St. Therese. Of course, pride of place is afforded the example of St. Thérèse and her Little Way of Spiritual Childhood, recognized as a universally applicable spirituality, and one especially suited to the Christian disciple today. The personal witness of visiting presenters reveals how the Little Way of St. Thérèse is incarnated in the experience and practice of the faithful. Scheduled personal spiritual reading with group discussion is an essential component of this part of the formation program. The spirituality and community life of St. Therese students is further augmented by opportunities for spiritual growth throughout the year. These spiritual "highpoints" include: Consecration to Jesus through Mary, the Life in the Spirit seminars, an Icon writing workshop during Holy Week, and introduction to the spiritual tradition of the Eastern Rite Churches. Students have the opportunity to reflect on their developing spiritual lives through prayer journaling and the submission of regularly scheduled personal letters to the Director of the Faith Formation program describing both areas of spiritual growth and challenge with reflection on their community and spiritual life.

[N.B.: Due to the nature of the formation program and its emphasis on personal spiritual growth within the context of community life, the "seminar hours" assigned this "course" are reflective of the time spent in teaching and reflecting on aspects of spirituality and community, i.e.: formal teachings, reading discussions, community life discussions, etc. This does not take into consideration the time spent in one-on-one mentoring, share groups, or men's and women's sessions, nor the life as a whole at St. Therese, which is itself a "school of love".]

Required Texts: Holy Bible* (approved translation), Catechism of the Catholic Church*, I Believe in Love, Preparation for Total Consecration, Poustinia, In His Zone, What Does God Want?, other supplementary readings.
Instructor: Jim Anderson 2 seminar hrs/wk, 20 weeks + Orientation at >20 hrs. +60 seminar hours
*indicated text(s) to be provided by the student. All other texts will be made available for purchase through the St. Therese bookstore.

 

Jump to: First and Second Trimester  |  Third Trimester

Third Trimester (April May)

 SPRINGTIME OF THE FAITH - First-Year Stream (2017-2018)

 

St. Therese, as a school of faith formation for the lay apostolate, is to prepare lay people to conform their own lives to Christ and to bring Christ and the world into right relationship, becoming the Gospel in the temporal order. To that end, and in keeping with the theme of the third trimester – Discernment and Mission – the following weeks of formation will be offered at St. Therese School of Faith and Mission during the final trimester. These week long intensives will be open to the public who can join the students of St. Therese for one or more of these conferences:
Please note:The order in which the conferences are listed below may not be the order in which they are actually presented. Please visit www.St-T.ca/sotf or contact us for specific dates, times and costs. Registration for these courses are open to the public.
SotF Course 1: Ignatian Discernment I:  An Introduction to Ignatian Discernment
SotF Course 2: Called for a Purpose: A Theology of the Laity
SotF Course 3: Being Apostles of Hope: Ecumenism and Apologetics in the New Evangelization
SotF Course 4: Heralds of the New Evalgelization I: A Theology of Evangelization
Instructor: Various 20-30+ seminar hrs per week, 4 weeks 80-120+ seminar hours
 

 OTHER WEEK-LONG INTENSIVES (2017-2018)

 

Course 1: Ignatian Discernment Retreat - Fr. John O'Brien, SJ
Course 2: The Gospel of the Body and the Little Way: Living St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body with the Help of St. Thérèse of Lisieux - Christopher West, open to public registration
Course 3: Icon Writing Retreat (in the Eastern-Rite Iconographic tradition) - Fr. Ivan Nahachewski
Instructor: Various 20-30+ seminar hrs per week, 3 weeks 60-90+ seminar hours
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