Masters Level Courses
Cultural and Historical Studies
- CH 6310 Church History I: The Patristic Era
- CH 6311 Church History II: Holy Roman Empire to the Present
- CH 7140/8140, 7240/8240, 7340/8340 Selected Topics in Church History
- CH 7220 United States Religious History
- CH 7231 Historia Religiosa de México/Religious History of México
- CH 7235 History of Hispanic/Latino Christianity in the United States
A study of the development of Christian thought from Apostolic times through the 4th century CE. The focus is on the early Church Fathers and the theological concepts found in their writing.
This course shall address the history of Christianity from the 5th century CE to the present day. It includes the Church and Roman government, the development of the papacy, the Reformation and its leaders, The Catholic Reformation, The Council of Trent, Wesley and Methodism, Jansenism, the French Revolution, developments in the Americas, Pius IX and Italian Unification, Leo XIII, Modernism, The First Vatican Council, John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council, John Paul II and New Evangelization, Ecumenism. It will begin with the use of history in theology.
A survey of the history of the various faith traditions within the economic and multicultural realities of a developing “American” identity, from colonial times to the present. While a primary focus is upon the Catholic Church in the U.S., including the presence of various Catholic ethnic groups, especially the Irish and Hispanic, there is also consideration of the place and displacement of the first native peoples and their religions, the predominant role and diversity of Protestantism, the emergent Black Church in the U.S., and the presence of non-Christian religions.
Estudio historico de los procesos que han contribuido a la presente realidad religiosa de México, y en particular de las regiones central y norteña. Emphasis on the Church’s sense of mission, relations to indigenous cultures and the emergent mestizo population, Church-State relations, the twentieth century “social revolution,” and the Protestant presence. Ofrecido en espanol y/o inglés, segun los participantes.
This course studies the development of Hispanic Christianity in the territory of what is now the mainland United States from the 1500s to the present. The purpose is to gain an understanding of that experience and its diversity and thus of the heritage and traditions of U.S. Latino/a Christians today. The Catholic experiences are the primary focus, with secondary attention to Protestant ones. Major themes include spiritualities; sense of mission; Church-State relations; geographic expansion; relations with non-Hispanic populations; institutional development including organizational structures, personnel, and finances; the various Hispanic/Latino/a social and ethnic experiences; and the shifting status of Hispanics within the Christian institutions themselves. Presented in English and/or Spanish, depending on the participants. A regional and ethnic perspective on CH 6311 Church History II: Holy Roman Empire to the Present, CH 7231 Historia Religiosa de México/Religious History of Mexico, and CH 7220 United States Religious History.Estudio histórico del desarrollo del cristianismo hispano en el territorio continental de lo que es ahora los Estados Unidos Americanos desde el siglo XVI hasta el presente. Se busca entender aquella experiencia y su diversidad para llegar a descubrir la herencia y las tradiciones de los cristianos latinos en los Estados Unidos de hoy día. El enfoque está puesto en las experiencias católicas, sin olvidar la influencia protestante. Entre los temas principales se destacan los siguientes: espiritualidades; sentido de misión; relaciones Iglesia-Estado; expansión geográfica; relaciones con poblaciones no-hispanas; desarrollo institucional, incluidas sus estructuras, personal, y finanzas; las diversas experiencias sociales y culturales de los hispanos/latino/as; y el lugar social de los hispanos en las mismas instituciones cristianas. Ofrecido en español y/o inglés, según la capacidad de los participantes.
- NC 9002 MAPM Pastoral Practicum - Proposal
- NC 9003 MAPM Pastoral Practicum - Project
- NC 9005 MAPM Pastoral Practicum - Continuation Status
- NC 9025 MA (Theology) Scholarly Paper
- NC 9026 MA (Theology) Scholarly Papers Continuation Status
- NC 9027 MA (Theology) Thesis - Continuation Status
- NC 9028 MA (Spirituality) Thesis Continuation Status
- NC 9030 MDiv Integration of Theological Studies - Continuation Status
- Church Law
- Pastoral Care
- Pastoral Formation
- PS 7109/8109, 7209/8209, 7309/8309 Selected Topics in Liturgy
- PS 8100/8101 Practicum in Presidential Leadership at Liturgy
A special two-semester practicum/seminar for candidates for Roman Catholic priesthood (ordinarily in the last year of course work) with special emphasis on the skills and art for presiding at the celebration of Eucharist and other liturgical acts. (PS 8100 - A - First semester; PS 8101 – B - Second Semester)
- PS 7125 Divorce/Annulment/Remarriage
- PS 7225/8225, 7325/8325 Selected Topics in Church Law
- PS 7320 Church Law
From the perspective of Vatican II, the 1983 Code of Canon Law and current pastoral practice, this course will address the breakdown of marriage and its effects in society, families and individuals. There will be a study of: the Church’s current annulment procedures, dissolution of the marriage bond, marriage cases in the R.C.I.A. and pastoral care of divorced and remarried Catholics.
This course provides the student with an opportunity to examine canonical issues useful to those preparing for pastoral ministry. Rather than an abstract outline of principles of law, the study focuses on an interpretation and application of canon law for ministry in the southwestern U.S.A. The basic content includes an overview of the 1983 Code of Canon Law and, in particular, a treatment of Book II, The People of God, and of Book IV, The Sanctifying Office of the Church. Topics covered relate to Ecclesiology (TS 7315), Theology of Priesthood (TS 7236), Ecumenism (TS 7223), Christian Initiation (TS 7331), Penance and Anointing of the Sick (TS 7332), and Eucharist (TS 7333).
- PS 7138, 7238, 7338 Selected Topics in Preaching
- PS 7334 Introductory Preaching/Predicación Introductória
- PS 7235 Liturgical Preaching/Predicación en la Liturgica
This course explores the basic homiletical process, including hermeneutics, communication strategies, ecclesial expectations, and ritual. Students will begin development of a theology of preaching and will seek to establish a discipline for preparation. Students will craft and preach several homilies. Critiques will be made by the professor and peers. Audio visual recordings will be used as aids. (Prerequisite: RS 4125 Rhetoric and Proclamation)
This course will be a practical application of the art of communication in English and Spanish to the unique, multifaceted social, cultural and psychological environment of the assembled worshiping Hispanic/Latino community for the purpose of engaging that community in experiencing the Word of God. The emphasis will be on the pastoral settings and liturgical contexts for homilies. (Prerequisite: PS 7334 Introductory Preaching/Predicación Introductória)
- PS 7142/8142, 7242/8242, 7342/8342 Selected Topics in Catechetics
- PS 7340 Evangelization and Faith Formation
- PS 7260 Youth Ministry
This course includes foundational themes in evangelization and faith formation. It seeks to assist participants in understanding the theological, theoretical and social-psychological foundations of evangelization and faith formation as well as offer principles, methodologies, and skills for effective catechetical ministry in the U.S. context.
The course includes the study of youth ministry and church documents; psychology and religious development of youth and young adults; developing a vision of youth ministry; and collaborative planning and leadership development with adult, youth and young adult leaders in ministry.
- PS 6210 Hispanic Ministry in the 21st Century (at the Mexican American Catholic College - MACC)
- PS 6350 Basic Pastoral Care
- PS 7159/8159, 7259/8259, 7359/8359 Selected Topics in Pastoral Counseling
- PS 7160/8160, 7260/8260, 7360/8360 Selected Topics in Pastoral Studies
- PS 7351 Pastoral Counseling
A preparatory course to provide foundation for pastoral care in the context of family and parish; history of pastoral care; early Christian writings, the hermeneutics of pastoral care, life cycle of individuals and families; theoretical, practical and theological considerations.
An introduction to basic concepts and skills of pastoral counseling (both theological and psychological aspects), including relationships to general pastoral care and spiritual direction. Emphasis is on the person of the counselor and practice through role playing of cases and peer counseling. (Prerequisite: PS 6350 Basic Pastoral Care)
MDiv and MAPM – Seminarians
- PS 6192 Orientation to Supervised Ministry I (.5 cr. hr.)
- PS 6193 Orientation to Supervised Ministry II (.5 cr. hr.)
- PS 9195 (Year 2 Theology - 1st sem.) Theological Field Education(1.5 cr. hrs.)
- PS 9295 (Year 2 Theology - 2nd sem.)Theological Field Education(1.5 cr. hrs.)
- PPS 9196 (Year 3 Theology - 1st sem.)Theological Field Education (1.5 cr. hrs.)
- PS 9296 (Year 3 Theology - 2nd sem.)Theological Field Education(1.5 cr. hrs.)
- PS 9699 Ministerial Internshipg
An orientation course which aims at understanding the nature of Theological Field Education and Internship at Oblate School of Theology. The focus will be on developing an awareness of the process of learning through supervision and theological reflection on experiences in ministry. (1st semester)
This is a continuation of the orientation course. Upon completion of PS 6192, the student is required to be in a supervised ministry placement. At that placement the student will engage in the practice of ministry with a designated supervisor and theological reflection in a peer reflection group. The goal of the reflection is to develop a method of reflection that leads to integration. (Prerequisite: PS 6192 Orientation to Supervised Ministry I)
The student is required to engage in the practice of ministry in a supervised placement and theological reflection. Theological reflection takes place on site with a ministry supervisor and in peer reflection groups at Oblate School of Theology. The goal of the reflection is to develop a method of reflection that leads to integration. (Prerequisite: Orientation to Supervised Ministry I & II) )
Full-time involvement in ministry under supervision includes training for field instructors, professional consultancy services, growth groups, lay committee involvement, and structured evaluations. Internship calls for extensive theological reflection. Twelve credit hours may be earned over two semesters but not applied to the MDiv degree at OST. (Prerequisite: two years in graduate theology)
MDiv Lay Students
- PS 6177 Pastoral Formation Seminar I (.25 cr. hrs.)
- PS 7178 Pastoral Formation Seminar II (.25 cr. hrs.)
- PS 7179 Pastoral Formation Seminar III (.25 cr. hrs.)
- PS 7180 Pastoral Formation Seminar IV (.25 cr. hrs.)
These seminars are the formation component for those students in the Master of Divinity degree who are not engaged in a formation process elsewhere. It addresses three areas: Spirituality, Developing a Life of Prayer, and Effective Structures for Ministry. They include communal prayer, retreats, and spiritual reading among the requirements.
MAPM Lay Students
- PS 6177 Pastoral Formation Seminar I (1 cr. hr.)
- PS 7181 Theological Reflection for Pastoral Leadership 1st semester (1 cr. hr.)
- PS 7182 Theological Reflection for Pastoral Leadership 2nd semester (1 cr. hr.))
This course provides a context for both formation and theological reflection for students in the MA in Pastoral Ministry program. They include a supervised ministry component.
- PS 7198/8198, 7298/8298, 7398/8398 Selected Topics in Supervision in Ministry
- PS 9895 Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)
The minister in training works in the basic CPE program at an accredited center. Three credit hours may be earned and applied to the MAPM. Three credit hours are given for a unit of CPE, but not applied to the Master of Divinity degree.
- SS 6200 Scriptural Hermeneutics
- SS 7110/8110, 7210/8210, 7310/8310 Selected Topics in Sacred Scripture
- SS 7124/8124, 7224/8224, 7324/8324 Selected Topics in the Old Testament
- SS 7130/8130, 7230/8230, 7330/8330 Selected Topics in the New Testament
- SSS 7129 The Psalms
- SS 7208 Biblical Roots of Justice
- SS 7211 Qoheleth and the Cowboy: Introduction to the Cultural Context of the Bible
- SS 7213 Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament
- SS 7215 Storyteller’s Art in the Bible
- SS 7229 Praying the Psalms with Christ in the Liturgy
- SS 7230 Models of Discipleship in the New Testament
- SS 7235 The Apocalypse
- SS 7237 Acts of the Apostles
- SS 7242 The Parables of Jesus
- SS 7311 The Torah
- SS 7312 Prophetic and Historical Literature of the Old Testament
- SS 7331 Synoptic Gospels
- SS 7333 Johannine Literature
- SS 7236 Pauline Literature
This course is designed to help students interpret biblical passages. A student who has successfully completed this course should be able to interpret a biblical text using the methods of Tiffany and Ringe in Biblical Interpretation: A Roadmap and Rhoads, Dewey and Michie: Mark as Story. In addition, some elements of Introduction to the Bible will be touched on including the canon, inspiration, geography, archaeology, the historical critical method, and the teaching of the Catholic Church on biblical interpretation. This course is a prerequisite for other biblical courses at OST.)
The Psalter: its composition and development; various literary devices used. Special attention will be given to the categories and nature of the Psalms. In the Psalms we meet the Israelite/Jew in his attitudes towards God, the covenant, the world.
This course will explore the roots of justice and determine what this foundational concept meant in the lives of our biblical ancestors. The meaning of biblical justice will be determined by studying the concept in various sections of Scripture, e.g., the creation accounts in Genesis, the Exodus and sections of covenant legislation in the Torah, prophetic literature, wisdom literature, the gospel of Luke, Pauline and apocalyptic literature. Implications of biblical justice for the church and world today will be discussed.
A look at the differences between North-American and Mediterranean (Ancient Near-Eastern) approaches to life. The clash between American rugged individualism and Mediterranean group-centeredness creates static that interferes with our reception of biblical communication. This course compares and contrasts American and Mediterranean approaches to value, relationships, education, status, roles and time-orientation in order to be able to understand the Bible in its own context.
General introduction to the Wisdom Literature of the Ancient Near East and of Israel especially. Introduction to the individual authors and books, with the accent on their active role in the growth of Israel’s religious thinking and in the opening up of new vistas. (Prerequisite: SS 6200 Scriptural Hermeneutics)
A recent trend in Bible study has been the fruitful application of modern studies of the art of storytelling (narratology) to the stories told in the Bible. This course will read Bible stories using the tools provided by this recent approach. We will also sample some representative authors who use this technique in order to shed new light on both the Old and the New Testament narratives.
An introduction to the psalms with special emphasis on their use in the liturgy. Official church documents will be examined for their teaching on the use of the psalms in the liturgy. Interpretations of the psalms by the church fathers will be looked at.
This course aims at familiarizing students with the Book of Revelation (the Apocalypse). Introductory issues such as sources, genres, structure, authorship, provenance, date, intended audience are looked at as well as proposed reconstructions of the social and religious setting of the Johannine community as reflected in the work. The Apocalypse is looked at against the background of the Old Testament as well as pseudoepigraphical and apocryphal writings, the Dead Sea Scrolls and Targums. Contemporary interpretations of the Book of Revelation (does it tell us that the world is soon to end?) are also examined..
The course will explore the rich, varied, and challenging models of discipleship that appear in the books of the New Testament including the gospels, the letters of 1 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, James, Hebrews, and the book of Revelation. We will identify the various aspects of Christian discipleship as understood by the various early Christian communities and discuss how each first century model can be re-appropriated in Christian life and ministry in the Church and world today.
This course will explore Luke’s second volume, the Acts of the Apostles. Attention will be given to: 1) reviewing various hermeneutical approaches that will be used during the semester; 2) establishing historical and literary context for Acts; 3) discussing the text of the Acts of the Apostles by way of an exegetical/literary approach; 4) identifying and studying the theological themes that emerge from the study of the text; 5) discussing the impact of Lucan theology found in the Acts of the Apostles on 21st century Christian life and ministry with attention given to social location.
In order to appreciate the parables in the synoptic gospels, this course will begin by exploring the role of storytelling and the nature of narrative theology. The history of parable interpretation and contemporary approaches to interpretation will be examined. Individual parables will be studied with attention to the challenging invitation to conversion and Christian commitment that these stories offered to the original audiences and continue to extend to us today. (Prerequisite: SS 6200 Scriptural Hermeneutics))
Introduction to the Pentateuch. Exegesis of Genesis 1-11. The Covenant and the Ten Words of Yahweh. (Prerequisite: SS 6200 Scriptural Hermeneutics)
This course is a general introduction to the origins of prophecy and its role in the development of Old Testament thought. The prophets will be studied in their historical context within Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. The focus will be particularly on the books of Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel because of their importance for ministry. (Pre-requisite: SS 6200 Scriptural Hermeneutics and SS 7311 The Torah)
This course is designed to introduce the student to the synoptic gospels and their background in the first century world. Attention will be given to various approaches to interpretation (e.g., historical, narrative, reader-response/social location). Time will be spent on exegesis of passages in major sections of the gospels highlighting similarities and differences. Consideration will be given to the theological aspects of each gospel with emphasis on Christology and the theology of discipleship/ecclesiology. The significance of the synoptic gospels for contemporary faith life will be addressed with emphasis on social location. (Prerequisite: SS 6200 Scriptural Hermeneutics)
An introduction to the literature produced by the “Beloved Disciple” and his followers, i.e., The Gospel of John, the Johannine Letters and the Apocalypse. Proposed reconstructions of the history of the Johannine community will be examined for their value in illuminating the background of these writings, their audience and purpose. The distinctive themes of this literature, such as Light and Life, Signs, the Hour, and Glory as well as the techniques of irony and misunderstanding will be examined. (Prerequisite: SS 6200 Scriptural Hermeneutics and SS 7331 Synoptic Gospels)
This course will provide an overview of Pauline literature as well as an in-depth discussion of 1 Corinthians, Galatians, and Philippians. Theological themes that emerge from the texts of the letters will be discussed with emphasis on Christology and ecclesiology. The relevance of Paul’s work for contemporary faith communities will be addressed with attention to social location. (Prerequisite: SS 6200 Scriptural Hermeneutics)
- SS 7260 Biblical Hebrew I
- SS 7261 Biblical Hebrew II
- SS 7250 Biblical Greek I
- SS 7251 Biblical Greek II
(Prerequisite: SS 7260 Biblical Hebrew I)
(Prerequisite: SS 7250 Biblical Greek I)
- Systematic Theology
- Sacramental Theology
- Moral Theology
- TS 6301 Theology of Revelation and Faith
- TS 6301 Revelación y fe
- TS 6305 Introduction to Missiology: Culture and Religion
- TS 7125/8125, 7225/8225/ 7325/8325 Selected Topics in Systematic Theology)
- TS 7220 Elements of Mission
- TS 7222 Marian Theology
- TS 7223 Ecumenism)
- TS 7224 World Religions
- TS 7225 Vatican Council II
- TS 7225 St. Augustine: Philosopher – Theologian – Pastor
- TS 7226 Toward a Contemporary Theology of Religious Life
- TS 7257 A Catholic Understanding of Religion and Ecology
- TS 7311 Christology: Jesus Christ and Human Redemption
- TS 7313 Christian Anthropology: The Transformation of Humanity
- TS 7314 God in the Christian Tradition: The Mystery of the Triune God
- TS 7315 Theology of Church and Ministry
The historical development of the biblical and later Christian reflection, especially the major conciliar statements, upon divine revelation and Christian faith, and a systematic treatment of the key themes: Jesus Christ as fullness and mediator, faith and reason, Tradition and Scripture, dogmatic development, magisterium and sensus fidei, infallibility. Attention throughout to theological methodology.
Desarrollo histórico de la reflexión bíblica y cristiana, en especial de los decretos conciliares mayores, sobre la revelación divina y la fe cristiana, y una reflexión sistemática sobre los temas fundamentales: Jesucristo como plenitud y mediador, fe y razón, Tradición y Escritura, desarrollo del dogma, el magisterio y el sentido de la fe, infalibilidad. Teniendo siempre en mente la metodología teológica.
An interdisciplinary introduction to the relations among culture, religion, and social groups, with a view toward Christian mission in the United States. Through a guided process of discernment, the participants study and share their own cultural origins, the varieties of intercultural relations, the development of the question of Gospel and culture within Christianity, philosophical and theological approaches to culture in recent church pronouncements, and the relations of Christianity and culture in the dominant and Hispanic United States cultures.
This course focuses on a crucial contemporary issue in the reflection on Theology of Revelation and Faith (TS 6301), that is, the contextual aspect of faith and theology. It also provides a general introduction to the cultural dynamic of the United States as a basis for the contextualized pastoral orientation of the entire curriculum.
This course is an introductory overview of the history and theology of the Christian mission from its earliest beginnings to the present. It will include discussion on topics ranging from the vital questions raised by inter-religious dialogue, the ecumenical movement, and their relationship with modern approaches to missionary activity. It incorporates an emphasis of the analytical tools provided by cultural anthropology as an important aspect of the “inculturation of the faith.” In each of these ways, a sound general understanding of the present status of missionary activity and modern missionary approaches become a basis for future understandings of mission in the life of the Church. (Prerequisite: An introduction to theology)
A biblical, historical, and contemporary investigation of the devotional and doctrinal place of Mary in the life of faith, with attention to cultural and gender issues. A Roman Catholic focus with ecumenical and interfaith perspectives. Mary in the New Testament, the Eastern and Western traditions, Marian apparitions.
A study of the movement for Christian unity, with particular attention to the participation of the Roman Catholic church. It includes such items as historical survey of the movement, theology, issues, developments in theological dialogue and activity, models of unity, relationships with particular churches and religious groups, practical ecumenism at the local level. (Prerequisite: Ordinarily presumes some background in Ecclesiology)
Surveys the histories, personalities, sacred texts, rituals, devotions, and customs of the world’s major non-Christian religions. Particularly addresses Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Hinduism. From theological and pastoral perspectives, considers the importance of understanding, appreciating, and respectfully assessing such faiths in light of Christian revelation, ecumenism, and evangelization.
A theological study of Vatican Council II (1962-1965) as the major constitutive event of the Roman Catholic Church in the twentieth century. Designed as an experience of “re-living” the Council, the course examines the historical and theological situation leading up to the Council, the leadership dynamics and theological discussion which brought about the final documents, and how the Council has since been implemented and received.
AThe course guides students in the study of the life and works of St. Augustine as a philosopher, a theologian, and a pastor. The course particularly focuses on his philosophical view of Christian doctrines and the controversies the Church faced at the time (especially against the Manicheans, Donatists, and Pelagians). The course also explores the pastoral care expected from the bishop and the preacher as contained in Augustine’s letters and sermons.
This course explores scriptural, historical and theological elements of religious life with attention to the signs of the times for religious life in a contemporary and global context. Topics include: 1) various forms of religious life and the historical situations that gave rise to them, 2) the understanding of the vows and how these are expressed in different contexts, and 3) religious life in the world and church today.
This course will be a conversation between Catholic tradition and recent scientific revelations about creation. In it, we will develop a methodology to explore the magnificence of creation, the current ecological crisis, and the response of recent Catholic theology and spirituality. Seeing new insights about creation through the lens of Catholic tradition will deepen our experience of God in creation and call us to a compassionate care of all creation.
A systematic and critical study of the central Christian belief in Jesus as the Christ. The study explores the New Testament basis for this belief and conciliar developments of Christological doctrines, and attempts to retrieve critically these traditions in order to mediate them to contemporary faith experiences. Also, included in the study are representative contemporary Christologies. (Prerequisite: ordinarily taken subsequent to the Synoptic Gospels.)
An examination of what it means to be human from a Christian perspective. Our current condition leads us inevitably to seek to penetrate the mystery of our ancient origins, our history, and our future destiny. The principal themes are thus those of human being as divinely created and graced, sinful and redeemed, and called to fulfillment in God. Attention to the contemporary dimensions of culture will be offered during the course.
A systematic and critical study of the basic Christian belief in the Mystery of God - One and Three. The study traces the theology and doctrine of God from its biblical foundations through the Western philosophical traditions to the present. The God question in the present day is examined in the face of contemporary atheism and secularism and in relation to its implication for personal and communitarian faith.
This course is a systematic study of the reality of church and of ministry in the church. The method of the course will involve critical examination of important historical models and visions of church and ministry in biblical, patristic, magisterial and conciliar sources. The purpose of the course is to assist participants in the development of their own ecclesiology and theology of ministry and pastoral office especially as these are experienced in the environment of the southwest United States.
- TS 7137/8137, 7237/8237, 7337/8337 Selected Topics in Sacraments
- TS 7236 Theology of Ministerial Priesthood
- TS 7331 Liturgy and Theology of Christian Initiation: Baptism and Confirmation
- TS 7332 Liturgy and Theology of the Sacraments of Healing: Penance and Anointing of the Sick
- TS 7333 Liturgy and Theology of Eucharist
- TS 7335 Christian Marriage: Theological and Canonical Aspects
A fascinating history and a much-debated contemporary question with connections to ecclesiology, pastoral ministry, and the human sciences of psychology and sociology, the issue of the Roman Catholic ministerial priesthood. This course provides a beginning insight in a life-long journey of self - Church - God - understanding. Contemporary questions with connections to ecclesiology and pastoral ministry will be discussed in relation to Roman Catholic ministerial priesthood. (Prerequisite: TS 7311 Christology: Jesus Christ and Human Redemption)
An examination of the experience of Christian conversion as it is sacramentalized in Baptism and Confirmation. Historical, sacramental, and liturgical sources will be used in the study, and special emphasis will be given to the reformed Roman Catholic Rites of Adult Catechumenate and Initiation. This course also serves as the introduction to sacramental theology and should normally be taken first in that sequence.
An examination of the theology, processes, liturgy and pastoral reality of sacramental healing in the church. The study will involve consideration of historical and contemporary perspectives and will lead to critical pastoral reflection on the demands of this ministry. Special attention will be given the revised rites of Penance and Pastoral Care and Anointing of the Sick. This course presupposes TS 7331 and is ordinarily taken after participation in a summer quarter of CPE or its equivalent.
A systematic, historical and liturgical study of the meaning and content of the Church’s Eucharistic faith and the pastoral, social and ecclesial implications of the present teaching and practice of Eucharist within the context of the renewal of liturgical life in the Roman communion. (Ordinarily presumes a previous course in Sacramental Theology).
This course treats the sacrament of marriage from both theological and canonical perspectives. The study begins with a survey of the development of the theology of marriage, with particular emphasis on the contributions of Vatican II and subsequent church documents. Students will study current theological writings, along with a discussion of some contemporary theological and pastoral issues. The course also examines the canonical norms on marriage, including those which relate to: the nature of marriage, pastoral preparation, impediments to marriage, matrimonial consent and canonical form. Special pastoral concerns are: marriage in the Mexican-American culture and the procedures of the marriage tribunal. Issues treated relate to PS 8252 Marriage and Family Counseling. (Prerequisite: PS 7320 Church Law)
- TS 6350 Foundations of Moral Theology
- TS 7157/8157, 7257/8257, 7357/8357 Selected Topics in Moral Theology
- TS 7252 Theology of Human Sexuality
- TS 7253 Bioethics/Healthcare Ethics
- TS 7256 Ministerial Ethics
- TS 7257 Theological Ethics of Thomas Aquinas
- TS 7259 Sound Bytes or Sound Decisions: Political Responsibility
- TS 7350 Catholic Social Thought
This course studies the nature and methodology of Christian ethics and its historical development within the Roman Catholic tradition. Through an exploration of foundational concepts and of contemporary thought within moral theology, students are helped to understand the human person as a moral agent.
A survey of the theology and psychology of human sexuality including the meaning of intimacy and of human genital sexuality; theological-pastoral considerations of the various manifestations of human sexuality and the expression of human genital sexuality and the integration of sexuality in the totality of the human person. (Prerequisite: TS 6350 Foundations of Moral Theology)
This course is a basic introduction to the critical issues raised by the development of bioethics, medical technology and the health care system as it exists in the United States. The use of case studies will enable health care professionals and those in ministry to develop a methodology to understand these issues. Recent church documents on bioethics and medical ethics will also be studied.
In the past, society chose to give special recognition and unique privileges to the members of the traditional professions -- law, medicine, and ministry. In return, professionals recognized that they had a fiduciary responsibility to individuals and to society and developed their own ethical standards. In recent years, political, economic and social forces have converged which have caused society to re-examine the status of the professions. Levels of trust have eroded and society often questions the motivation of professional persons and the ability of the professions to develop their own ethical standards.
This course addresses the major aspects of St. Thomas’ understanding of moral theology, including his sources, method and themes. Special attention will be given to his treatises on happiness, grace, virtues and vices, and law. Students will make a short presentation applying one aspect of the Thomistic legacy to a contemporary ethical issue. (Prerequisite: TS 6350 Foundations of Moral Theology)
In an era when the political process has come to be characterized by curt rhetoric and jingoism, this course will examine the theological and philosophical issues of the relationship between public life and Christian responsibility. Through readings and analysis of social issues in American Culture, the participants will come to a better understanding of the Church’s call for full political responsibility.
This course is a basic presentation of Catholic Social Morality, covering the theoretical, historical and practical aspects of the social teaching of the Church, especially through its encyclicals and documents. Emphasis is placed on the theological and ethical foundations which are necessary for a pastorally sensitive social ethics. When possible, experts in fields which pertain to contemporary social issues are invited to engage with students. One component of the course learning is devoted to the study of the method of “reading the signs of the times” and its application in collaborative groups to a contemporary social problem in San Antonio. Due to the global nature of the Roman Catholic church and the increasingly global dimensions of contemporary U.S. life, this course will also engage various global moral concerns. (Prerequisite: TS 6350 Foundations of Moral Theology)
- TS 7183/8183, 7283/8283, 7383/8383 Selected Topics in Spirituality
- TS 6260 Introduction to Christian Spirituality
- TS 7261 Earth Insights: A Nature-Based Christian Spirituality
- TS 7283 Salesian Spirituality
- TS 7365 Reading Religious Experience & Discernment of Spirits
- TS 7369 Overview of History of Christian Spirituality
- TS 7370 Fundamental Principles of Spiritual Direction
- TS 7370 Integration of Psychology and Spirituality
- TS 7371 Classical Christian Writers I
- TS 7372 John of the Cross
- TS 7373 Classical Christian Writers II
- TS 7374 Mysticism
- TS 7376 Biblical Foundations of Spirituality
- TS 7378 John of the Cross – The Living Flame of Love
- TS 7383 “Love is God’s Meaning”: The Spiritual Path of the English Mystics
- TS 7383 Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality
- TS 7383 The Spirituality and Thought of Thomas Merton
- TS 7383 G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, and the Christian Imagination
- TS 7383 Franciscan Spirituality: From God, To God, Through Christ
- TTS 7388 Genius Born of Anguish: The Spirituality of Henri Nouwen
An introduction to the terminology, issues, and challenges pertinent to the practice of and the theological reflection on spirituality in the Christian tradition. A survey of the main elements of spirituality in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Synoptics, the Pauline and Johannine corpuses. Aspects of spirituality in Christian Antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Reformation Period and contemporary times. Special attention given to the spirituality of Benedict of Nursia, Francis of Assisi, Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Jesus, John of the Cross and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. A theological synthesis of the personal spiritual journey.
Building on the work of Teilhard de Chardin, this course draws from Christian Tradition and contemporary science to explore the Christian journey. In this course students will reflect on the relevance of dynamics that occur at all levels of creation (Cosmic, Earth, and Human) and apply them to the Christian spiritual path. The work of Brian Swimme, Steven Chase, and Brennan Hills form the backbone of the course.
This course is designed to introduce students to the Salesian tradition, one of the most attractive and accessible “schools” of Christian spirituality. Founded in the 17th century by Francis de Sales and Jane de Chantal, the tradition has taken many forms - lay, ordained, monastic and apostolic –all of which share a particular quality of heart. Attention will be given to the varied global expressions the Salesian spirit has taken: among them the Visitation of Holy Mary, the Salesian family of Don Bosco, the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, the Fransalian Missionaries, and the Daughters of St. Francis de Sales. Seminal texts such as the Introduction to the Devout Life and the founders’ letters of spiritual direction, as well as the lives of notable figures in the tradition, and characteristic practices (e.g. the practice of the “little virtues,” devotion to the Sacred Heart, “preventive pedagogy” etc.) will serve as backdrop for the exploration of central Salesian themes as resources for vibrant contemporary living and ministry.
A survey of the history of Christian spirituality from the early apostolic period through the patristic, medieval, modern and contemporary eras. The course offers a more in-depth examination of certain key moments and persons and their lasting contribution to the ongoing Christian tradition. Students will also be expected to read and critically appraise one classical work of Christian spirituality from a provided list.
This introductory graduate course will enable the student to explore the process of Spiritual Direction. It will involve one in the skills needed to help others with their religious experience, including prayer. Basic listening and counseling skills will be practiced. Selected related topics including the theological contexts of spirituality, integration, ministry and professional ethics as related to Spiritual Direction, the difference between Spiritual Direction and Pastoral Counseling, and the complex issues of when and how to refer one to counseling will be discussed.
This course will explore the relationship between spirituality and psychology. It will examine the historical notions of self, psyche, soul and spirit and relate them to the investigations of theologians and psychologists in our contemporary setting. It will give a historical framework for these terms and present students with the key schools of thought that have shaped contemporary application of the terms. Material covered will include the origin of the terms “soul”, “psyche” and “spirit” in classical and early Christian usage; the Desert tradition; medieval understandings of the self, especially in the writings of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross.; Freud, Jung and contemporary analytical schools; spiritual direction and its relationship to psychoanalysis and counseling; the discernment of spirits; and the re-emergence of “soul” language in contemporary psychology.
An introduction to the spirituality of the Spanish mystic, John of the Cross. The course will be a commentary on his two major works, The Ascent to Mount Carmel and The Dark Night of the Soul, with special explication on John’s concepts of prayer, spiritual direction, and religious experience of spirits, loving without exploitation, and healing.
This course will investigate the highest stage of spirituality which is mysticism. Although comparisons will be made with Eastern Mysticism, emphasis is placed on the historical, theological and psychological aspects of mysticism.
This course will explore the role of Scripture in Christian spirituality. It will examine both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament and their contributions to Christian spirituality. Material covered will include a brief introduction to biblical hermeneutics and criticism; the relationship between spirituality and discipleship; the spirituality of Jesus; Pauline understanding of the terms “spirit” and “flesh; and some of the ways Scripture has been used in various Christian spiritual traditions. Special emphasis will be given to the early chapters of Genesis, the Song of Solomon, the Psalms, the Gospels, and the Pauline letters and their contributions to Christian spirituality.
The spirituality of the Spanish mystic, John of the Cross. This course will be a textual commentary on his final and most synthetic work, The Living Flame of Love, highlighting the relation of his thought to great thinkers, religious and secular, with special explication on some of his key concepts: religious experience, grace, prayer, discernment of spirits, spiritual direction, healing, and paschal transformation.
This course explores how the extraordinary flowering of mystical writing in late medieval England has the power to nourish our contemporary spirituality. The women and men writers pursued a spiritual path and quest for meaning in deeply unsettled times (war, plague, economic disturbance, social protest and major divisions in the Church) which strangely resonate with our own age. The writers have unique voices but share important values. They write for individual spiritual seekers, in the vernacular, with spiritual directness based on experience, and their teachings have a clear practical purpose. The course focuses on the two popular and contrasting texts, Julian of Norwich’s “Showings” and the anonymous “Cloud of Unknowing”, and their practical and theologically-rich spiritual teachings. In very distinctive ways, each proposes a contemplative path of desire and love and that love is also God’s “meaning”.
St. Ignatius of Loyola believed that we can find God in the events of everyday life. This course explores this pivotal insight and provides a practical introduction to St. Ignatius’ spirituality. It will focus on Ignatius’ world view, spiritual experiences and sources that shaped his spirituality. It is an introduction to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, but is not a retreat, nor a training program for spiritual directors. Each session explores the historical context, theology and practice of Ignatius. Case studies and role plays will be used to illustrate the material.
This course is designed to cover the many salient features of Merton’s writing by exploring select passages drawn from his diaries/journals, letters and poetry. A deeply and accomplished man of letters, Merton’s spiritual quest is meticulously recorded in his numerous books. If spiritual autobiography is his preferred métier then a careful analysis of the primary genres he opted to write in will reveal the depths and struggles of his spiritual maturation.
This course will explore the life and thought of two outstanding twentieth-century writers, find commonalities in their thinking, and unearth the various riches of their spiritual and literary legacies.
Franciscan spirituality holds an important place in any study of Roman Catholic, Christian, or world spirituality. This spirituality, which traces its origins to the understanding of God, of creation, and of human beings first enunciated by Francis of Assisi and then elaborated by those inspired by him, has for eight centuries given faith-filled insight to millions of people, sent missionaries to every corner of the world, given rise to countless pieces of art, and led to far-reaching social movements. No study of Christian spirituality is complete without some knowledge of Franciscan spirituality, and in a city named for a Franciscan saint and in a region first evangelized by Franciscan missionaries, spiritual literacy demands some knowledge of Franciscan spirituality! The course will consist of a close reading of Franciscan sources, written individual reflections and group discussion of their meaning in the light of background lecture presentations.
This course is designed to explore the life and spirituality of the Dutch priest/psychologist Henri Nouwen. Key concepts in his thinking – “wounded healer,” “the First Love,” and befriending one’s death – will be examined in the context of several of his seminar works, the evolution of his ideas, the struggles of his spirit.
- TS 7370/SS 7370 Spanish Mystics, Biblical Interpretation and the Songs of Songs
- TS 8296 MDiv Integration of Theological Studies
The Song of Songs is a seminal text both in biblical interpretation and spirituality. The Hispanic interpretation and translation of the Song of Songs reaches back to the early Middle Ages and moves forward through the period called the “Convivencia,” when the Jewish, Arab and Christian cultures lived together in relative harmony. Later, this interpretative tradition flourished during the 15th and 16th centuries, when it had a profound influence on the mysticism of John of the Cross, Theresa of Avila and other mystics through the work of Benito Arias Montano, Luis de Leon and lesser known biblical scholars. Translations into Spanish of the Song of Songs eventually found their way into the settlements, monasteries and convents in the New World—a fact recorded in the archives of the Spanish Inquisition.
Final qualifying project for candidates for the MDiv degree. The topic is selected by the participants with a view toward the pastoral integration of the major areas of the MDiv curriculum focused upon a particular pastoral concern.
Practicum / Thesis
- TS 9377 MA (Spirituality) Thesis/Project
- TS 9379 Practicum in Theological Education and Scholarship
- TS 9681 MA (Theology) Thesis
Supervised praxis-oriented theory and methods of teaching, evaluation, research, and creative expression in the setting of graduate theological study and ministerial formation. Prerequisites: 30 graduate credit hours of theology or related areas. Approval of the instructor required prior to registration. Student’s schedule must be open during the periods of the instructor’s other courses. (For OST students only.)