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Theology

 

Studying Theology at Arlington Catholic High School can be a transformative experience. The Mobius strip represents the continuous interplay between the inner and outer aspects of our lives.  The creation of the self and society is an ongoing process that engages the mind, body and soul. Just as the Cross is at the center of the symbol, Catholic-Christian teaching informs all aspects of the curriculum.  We, in the Theology Department, are dedicated to challenging the mind, nurturing the heart and inspiring the spirit of our students.

Students are called:

  • To be critical thinkers who ask searching questions about meaning and values.
  • To recognize how studying theological and spiritual ideas is essential to understanding past and present societal issues.
  • To value the insights gained from introspection and examination of conscience.
  • To affirm the fundamental dignity of all human beings.
  • To advocate for the weak, the poor and the oppressed.
  • To act on the core values of respect, compassion, justice and integrity both in and out of the classroom.

Faculty

Jane Seminara, Theology Department Chairperson, jseminara@achs.net
BA Religion, Manhattanville College
MTS (Master of Theological Studies), Harvard University
MA Communications, Emerson College
 
Serge Clivio, sclivio@achs.net
BA Religious Studies, Merrimack College
 
Jillian Fiorentino, jfiorentino@achs.net
BA Dance, Dean College
MEd, Our Lady of the Elms College
MAAT (Master of Arts in Applied Theology), Our Lady of the Elms College
 
Mary Catherine MacGillivray, mmacgillivray@achs.net
BA Education, Western Connecticut University
MA Theology, Immaculate Conception Seminary
 
Sr. Barbara McHugh, sbarbara@achs.net
BS Sociology, Suffolk University
MA Religious Education, Boston College
 
David Wilcox, dwilcox@achs.net
BA Political Science, University of Massachusetts, Boston
MEd Religious Education, Boston College

Course Offerings

All students are required to take four years of Theology, which includes a one semester elective their senior year. Active participation is expected in all classes.

Theology 1 - Fundamentals of Catholic Belief and Scriptures

THEOLOGY 1 – 510

1 Credit

FUNDAMENTALS OF CATHOLIC BELIEF

This course introduces the four-year Theology curriculum. Its purpose is to help the students examine and deepen their own understanding of the fundamental beliefs of the Catholic faith. Students explore the nature of God and faith and the meaning of God’s call to act with unconditional love and live with a Catholic worldview. In addition, such basic doctrines as the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the Paschal Mystery are studied. Students are encouraged to apply these concepts to their own lives.

INTRODUCTION TO THE HEBREW SCRIPTURES

1 Credit

This course is designed as an introduction to the Bible as well as a study of the Hebrew Scriptures. It offers students an opportunity to read the Bible and learn how to understand and apply its truths to their own lives. Through a study of basic biblical themes, the course develops an understanding of how God has worked in human history and still works in our world today.

Grade: 9

Theology 2 - New Testament & Morality

THEOLOGY 2 – 520

1 Credit

 
INTRODUCTION TO THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES

This course introduces students to the person and message of Jesus and continues the study of the Bible begun in the preceding course. It shows students how to understand the message of the Christian Scriptures in light of the Gospels.  Students are given opportunities to apply Jesus’ message to their own lives.

 

 

 

CHRISTIAN MORALITY

 

This course presents a Catholic understanding of the nature and meaning of morality based on reason and Revelation. Using Jesus as a role model, the course focuses on the Christian concepts of conscience development, moral law and freedom.

Grade: 10

Honors Theology 2 - New Testament & Morality

HONORS THEOLOGY 2 – 521

1 Credit

This course covers essentially the same material as the college-prep course. However, it offers students the opportunity to explore these concepts in more depth. Therefore, this course requires students to do additional reading, write quality essays, and engage in active, meaningful discussions.

Additional Requirements: Students must have a minimum grade of A- in Theology 1.

Grade: 10

Theology 3 - Social Justice & Sacraments

THEOLOGY 3 – 530

1 Credit

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE

This course is designed to enable students to make mature, Christian decisions about complex world problems. Specifically, the course addresses national and global problems such as racism, sexism, a poverty and war. The responsibility of the Church to address these issues is examined through the study of pertinent Church documents, encyclicals and pastoral letters.

 

SACRAMENTS AND THE CHURCH

This course examines the concepts of sacredness and sacramental awareness from a Catholic perspective. The meanings of symbols and rituals are explored through the study of the sacraments and prayer of the Catholic Church.

Grade: 11

Honors Theology 3 - Social Justice & Sacraments

HONORS THEOLOGY 3 – 531

1 Credit

This course covers essentially the same material as the college-prep course. However, it offers students the opportunity to explore these concepts in more depth. Therefore, this course requires students to do additional reading, write quality essays, and engage in active, meaningful discussions.

Additional Requirements: Students must have a minimum grade of an A- in Theology 2 or a B in

Honors Theology 2

Grade: 11

Theology 4 - The Problem of Evil

THEOLOGY 4
1 Credit

EXAMINING THE PROBLEM OF EVIL: A CATHOLIC-CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE- 545

This course examines the Problem of Evil: what is evil, and why does it exist? The theological form of the Problem of Evil can be stated in this way: If God is all powerful and loving, then why is there evil in the world?  However, we will see that this problem is not limited to religious believers, but is part of a much broader question about the issue of purpose and meaning in the world.  This course will attempt to wrestle with the question of the Problem of Evil by examining traditional Christian theological answers to this problem such as: The Fall of Man and Original Sin, Christ’s Atonement, and the Fall of Lucifer. In addition to the theological answers to the Problem of Evil, we will examine the intriguing contributions of modern social science to this question, particularly Social Psychology and the work of Philip Zimbardo in his landmark book The Lucifer Effect. Case studies will be drawn from various historical events such as the Witch Trials of Europe and America, the Jewish Holocaust, and the Rwandan Genocide.

CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLES – Required semester course in all senior electives

In this second semester course, students assess their own moral values in light of the Church’s teachings on the issues of love, sexuality, personal identity and vocation.

Theology 4 - Voice & Vision

THEOLOGY 4-
Senior Elective:

VOICE AND VISION - 543    
 1 Credit

This elective combines the fields of theology and communications.  Students will be taught formal public speaking skills and group process techniques. Formal speeches (none of which require memorization) are part of this course, but the core of the course revolves around ethical and theological topics. Topics include lying and deception, liberation theology and Latin American politics, the Domination System and confronting evil, core questions of meaning and spirituality, self-knowledge and spiritual consciousness etc. In addition, students will explore biographical portraits of renowned Christian activists, peacemakers and theologians such as Thomas Merton, Stephen Biko, Dolores Huerta, Jane Addams and Oscar Romero.

LIFESTYLES

 In this second semester course, students assess their own moral values in light of the Church's teachings  on the issues of love, sexuality, personal identity and vocation.

Theology 4 - Religions of the World

THEOLOGY 4-

Senior Elective:

RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD - 541     1 Credit

This course ?challenges students to develop a critically reflective approach to the study of the major religions of the world.  This course explores the various forms of religious expression throughout history and into the modern world. Specifically, the students study concepts such as theism, atheism, cults, mythology and indigenous  religion along with major religions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and the religions of Japan and China. The context of the course is our increasingly globalized, pluralistic world. The course aims to clarify how religious beliefs and practices shape and influence society, and how culture shapes and influences particular religions and our own religious experiences?.?

CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLES – Required semester course in all senior electives

In this second semester course, students assess their own moral values in light of the Church’s teachings on the issues of love, sexuality, personal identity and vocation.