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.

All religion courses are for one semester.

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.
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.
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.

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.

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.
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.

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.

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 their own vocation in life.

The Catholic Spirit: An Anthology for Discovering Faith Through Literature, Art, Film, and Music takes up this charge and presents the truths of Catholicism in the context of the arts: great artwork, literature, music, and Church writings. The Catholic Spirit sends teens on a journey through classical works like Flannery O’Connors “Parker’s Back, Gerard Manley Hopkins’ “God’s Grandeur,” Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam, and Gregorian chant, along with modern classics like “A Woman’s Prayer” by Dorothy Day and films like Cool Hand Luke and On the Waterfront. Organized around chapters that follow the structure of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the text includes primary source material from varying periods of Church history with contextual and background text to help students understand their significance. Several additional research opportunities are included to further the students’ study of the key teachings of the Church through reading, viewing, and listening to classical period pieces.

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.