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Pre-Theology

Basic Catholic Doctrine I: The Church’s Profession of Faith 
This course offers an overview of Roman Catholic faith. Students engage material which will be studied in depth in later semesters. Resources include the Sacred Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, other magisterial documents, writings, and electronic media that explain dimensions of Catholicism.  

Basic Catholic Doctrine II: Introduction to the Bible
This survey familiarizes the beginning student with the scope, beauty, richness, power and depth of the Sacred Scriptures. Starting with a study of the Catholic Church’s teaching on Divine Revelation, we discuss inspiration, canonicity, inerrancy, Biblical interpretation, and exegesis. We then explore the development of major themes within salvation history as found in both the Old and New Testaments. There will also be a brief overview of principal texts and teachings of the Bible as the foundation for Roman Catholic Christianity. 

Introduction to Human and Spiritual Formation I
This course seeks to help the seminarian develop a sound spiritual foundation rooted in a life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ, both individually and within the context of the Catholic ecclesial communion.  

Introduction to Human and Spiritual Formation II
This course seeks to support the seminarian’s progress in self-development in three areas of the “four pillars” of formation (cf. Pastores Dabo Vobis): the human, spiritual and pastoral dimensions of ordained Catholic Ministry. 

Introduction to Philosophy
This course examines the major questions in Philosophy.  Particular emphasis is given to the work of Plato and of Aristotle.  

Political and Social Philosophy
This course will examine writings by classic authors in social and political  philosophy, including - but not necessarily limited to - Plato, Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Mill. Some of the questions to be studied may include: the nature of ideal society; problems presented by our social existence; and the relationship between the individual and the state. 

Medieval Philosophy
This course will introduce the student to the great medieval revival of philosophical inquiry that culminated in the work of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Emphasis will be given to Saint Augustine, Saint Anselm and Saint Thomas Aquinas, with some attention to other thinkers, as needed. 

Modern Philosophy
The course introduces the student to some of the most fundamental texts and arguments culled from the modern era. The course examines such topics as the nature of human society, the notion of human rights, the development of the theory of knowledge, the rejection of the ancient/Christian notion of man and its attempted retrieval.   

Philosophical Ethics
This course introduces students to the major philosophical theories about morality. Special emphasis is given to virtue ethics and to natural law theory.  

Natural Theology
A philosophical exploration, following the lead of Saint Thomas Aquinas, of what human reason can know about God. Topics include: the relation between faith and reason; religion and science; the existence of God; the Divine attributes.  

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