Skip to the content

Religious Studies

The Religious Studies Department strives to foster an appreciation and practice of Catholic Benedictine traditions of service to God, respect for self and others, mutual support, and the value of work. The coursework and instruction are designed to enrich the faith of students who come from a Christian background and, at the same time, present the teachings to non-Christian students in a way that highlights the beauty of a life lived in imitation of Christ. 

Course Descriptions:

7th Grade: Jesus Christ: God’s Revelation to the World (one semester)

Description: Jesus Christ: God’s Revelation to the World introduces the story of salvation history as it unfolds in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. The course provides a thorough plan for reading and studying the Bible and gives students a general knowledge and appreciation of Sacred Scripture through which they encounter Jesus Christ. Theologically rich and challenging, yet accessible to students of all catechetical backgrounds, this course offers an inspiring, new pedagogical presentation rooted in several opportunities for engaging, learning, mastering, and applying course content to promote lasting knowledge of the faith.

8th Grade: Jesus Christ: His Mission and Ministry (one semester)

Description: Jesus Christ: His Mission and Ministry centers around sharing what Christ reveals about God, uncovering the mystery of the Incarnation, and exploring how growing in discipleship with Jesus helps students live a better life. This course also offers students a rich, thought-provoking and inspiring study of the Bible that explores the significance of the Word of God for the faith, life, and mission of the Church as a whole and of each of her members. It provides varied opportunities for students to consider the Bible’s enduring meaning, its implications, and applications for today and for their mission as Christians.

9th Grade: Jesus Christ: Source of Salvation (one semester)

Description: Jesus Christ: Source of Our Salvation introduces students to a deeper theological study of essential life questions, foremost: "Why do we need to be saved?" and "How are we saved?" The answers are revealed in God's plan for Redemption. This course shares God's invitation for fuller participation in the Paschal Mystery of Christ. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the mystery of Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, and the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. In this course, students will understand that Jesus Christ is the ultimate Revelation to us from God. In learning about who he is, students will also learn about who he calls them to be.

9th Grade: Jesus Christ: One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic (one semester)

Description: Jesus and the Church: One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic encourages students to deepen their understanding of Jesus Christ, the fullness of God’s Revelation, as they encounter him in the living Body of Christ, the Catholic Church. Students will recognize Christ present and active in their lives through the visible and vibrant mission of Church, defined by her four characteristics: one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. Simply put, the goal of the course is to change the lives of students by making real-life connections between what they are learning about the Church and how they encounter Jesus in the contemporary world.

10th Grade: History of the Catholic Church (one semester)

Description: A History of Catholicism is a comprehensive course which presents a faith-filled portrait of two thousand years of Catholic history. This course highlights important events, people, trends, and teachings concerning the Church’s origin, nature, structure, and mission. Following a traditional chronological look at Church history, this course explores the Church as a mystery that reveals the hidden presence of God and uncovers glimpses of this mystery from the Church's earliest roots in the original covenants made between God and Israel, through its institution by Christ, and onward in human history from the apostolic age to the present.

10th Grade: Catholic Social Teaching (one semester)

Description: Catholic Social Teaching is designed to help students gain a greater understanding of the roots of social teaching in the Church, its context in the Bible and the Catechism, and real-life examples of charity and justice in action. This course invites students to be challenged and inspired by the Catholic Church’s social teaching so as to understand the great justice concerns of our times and to respond to them by courageously living and creatively advancing the message of the Gospel in society. This course empowers students with the knowledge necessary to understand the causes of injustice, and at the same time will inspire students to invest themselves in a life of Christian leadership and service as participants in the mission of the Church.

11th Grade: Jesus Christ: Fundamentals of Catholic Morality (one semester)

Description: Jesus Christ: Fundamentals of Catholic Morality focuses on the essential message of Christ's moral teaching: the importance of love of God and neighbor. This course invites students to engage in a rich reflection on the meaning of being human and on human development in the light of the Gospel and of Catholic moral teaching. They are invited to consider morality in the context of God’s relationship to them, as a response to God’s loving initiative in their lives, and as the path of integral personal growth and authentic social development. It will call them to examine the ways in which they think morally and the way they make moral decisions. They will likewise consider the dynamics of human relationships, as well as foundations for healthy relationships. Students will be offered opportunities to explore the moral and social challenges that face young people today and creative ways of responding to these. Finally, through the study of ethics and of Catholic social teaching, this course will encourage the development of social consciousness and thus challenge them to contribute toward a more just and compassionate society, and once more open to moral transformation.

11th Grade: Marriage and Holy Orders (one semester)

Description: Marriage and Holy Orders focuses on adult vocations in the two sacraments at the service of communion: marriage and priesthood. The discernment of these vocations involves preparation through living a chaste single life, which is also essential to living the permanent single vocation. For both women and men, lay and ordained, careful deliberation must also be given to the various callings of the consecrated life. This course is designed to better foster a spirit of vocation and inspire students to discern this own vocation in life.

12th Grade: Exploring World Religions (one semester)

Description: Exploring the Religions allows students to build on their understanding and experience of the Catholic Christian faith by studying different religious traditions. The text begins with a study of Judeo-Christian history, practice, and tradition before expanding to the study of other less familiar religions including Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Shintoism. The course then moves on to uncover a variety of religious traditions that sprang from America's Protestant roots including Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Church of Christ, Scientist, etc. Through the study of world religions, students will acquire an understanding of the way people in different cultures satisfy their spiritual needs. This comparative study of religions also offers students the opportunity to explore and understand what religion is, as well as the beliefs and practices of the religions of the world.

12th Grade: Benedictine Spirituality (one semester)

Description: Benedictine Spirituality will survey the history and spirituality of Christian monasticism through the centuries. Students will begin studying Anthony of Egypt and the 4th-century desert fathers. Students will then study the life and Rule of St. Benedict of Nursia as well as the other monastic practices that started to move west into Europe during the centuries leading up to the Middle Ages. This course will look closely at the day to day life of medieval abbeys such as Cluny and Clairvaux to explore their role as centers of culture and learning in the life of Europe during the Middle Ages and leading up to the Renaissance. Finally, students will examine the spread of Benedictine monasticism to other parts of the world, focusing on the abbeys of the Americas and, of course, our own community here at Subiaco.