Students are required to study theology for each semester enrolled at St. Joseph High School. Each course supports and complements the previous and/or subsequent courses. The department’s goal is to enable students to think theologically and to critically reflect upon the reality of faith, thus empowering the student to cooperate with God’s grace in life’s daily journey.
Mr. Michael Golla Jr.
Mr. Michael Shimek
Sr. Clare Underbrink
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Prerequisite: Freshman Level
Introduction: Jesus Christ
This course introduces students to Catholic Theology, with special focus on the mystery of Jesus Christ, who He is and who we are called to be as his followers. The course serves as a preparation for subsequent Theology courses and aims to connect Catholic Christianity with students’ lives. Topics such as Christian communication, Christian personality, social influences, faith development, and human sexuality are included.
“The purpose of this course is to give students a general knowledge and appreciation of the Sacred Scriptures. Through their study of the Bible they will come to encounter the living Word of God, Jesus Christ. In the course they will learn about the Bible, authored by God through Inspiration, and its value to people throughout the world.” (USCCB Framework)
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Prerequisite: Sophomore Level
The Paschal Mystery
“The purpose of this course is to help students understand all that God has done for us through his Son, Jesus Christ. Through this course of study, students will learn that for all eternity, God has planned for us to share eternal happiness with him, which is accomplished through the redemption Christ won for us. [...] They will also be introduced to what it means to be a disciple of Christ and what life as a disciple entails.” (USCCB Framework)
This course is a study of the "Story" of the Church as the community of Christ. Selected topics in Ecclesiology invite the students to examine their beliefs about Church and to discover the heritage of the Catholic Church as it has developed through the centuries. They will see Church in its frailty as well as in its beauty and strength.
1 Credit, 2 Semesters, Prerequisite: Junior Level
In this course students explore the rich tradition of Sacraments in order to recognize them as opportunities to encounter Christ in a full and real way. The course addresses topics such as symbol, ritual, tradition, and the meaning of “sacrament”, as well as exploring the history, scriptural foundation, and current practices of the seven sacraments of the Church. It also encourages a more conscious participation in sacraments as a means to encounter Christ.
The course in Catholic Morality challenges students to explore their attitudes, beliefs, values and practices in relation to the Catholic Church teaching on how we judge actions. Fundamental questions form the basis of class discussions and individual reflections: Who did God create me to be? What kind of person am I becoming? What kind of person do I want to become? How do my actions reflect what I say that I believe, and what the Church teaches?
1 Credit, 2 Semesters, Prerequisite: Senior Level
Catholic Social Teaching
This course examines the essential elements for building a Christian society. Basing itself on the Sacred Scriptures and the long tradition of Catholic social teaching, this course encourages the student to examine from a Christian perspective the institutions and the very structure of our present society. The student is challenged to move beyond acts of charity to social action, for the permanent transformation of society corresponding to the vision given to us by Christ. Some issues that are addressed include hunger, violence, economic equality, racism, sexism, and modern technology.
A course in Christian Lifestyles is designed to aid students in facing challenges of young adulthood so that they can shape a future that is hopeful, healthy, and full. The students are challenged to begin to find their place in this world and integrate their faith with real-life choices. Various vocational paths that reflect a Christian lifestyle are examined. Considerable time is spent studying marriage and family.
Spirituality & Ministry
1 Credit, 2 Semesters ~ Prerequisite: Grade 11 and 12
This practical course offers a blend of teaching, discussion, experiential exercises, activities, and opportunities for service. We will explore various approaches to spirituality and ministry and ways to animate spiritual, social, and service activities on campus. This course is open to Juniors and Seniors who are interested in being involved with Campus Ministry at STJ.