Graduate Bulletin

XII. Course Descriptions

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Religious Studies/Pastoral Institute (RSPI)

RSPI 6150 The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.)
The history, theology, and pastoral implications of the post-conciliar restoration of this rite, pastoral adaptations.

RSPI 6202 Christology
An examination of the central Christian belief in Jesus as the Christ, including Testament Christologies and subsequent developments in classic Christian teaching, Christology, and world religions.

RSPI 6203 Foundations of Christian Theology
Theology has often been defined as “faith seeking understanding.” This course will explore methodologies and resources used by Christian theologians to better understand and express their faith. The course will examine the basic themes of the Christian faith, particularly in the Roman Catholic tradition. It will also address some contemporary theological issues and pastoral application of theory to ministry.

RSPI 6205 Justice, the World, and the Church
Peace and justice in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, and the U.S. Bishops’ pastoral letters on peace and economics. Models of the church in relationship to peace and justice.

RSPI 6209 Biblical Studies
Foundations for Catholic biblical studies including methodologies, terms, contexts, authorship, and a brief overview of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.

RSPI 6210 Wisdom Literature
An introduction to Israel’s search for wisdom in its Ancient Near Eastern context; including the expression of wisdom, Lady Wisdom, and the place of Wisdom literature in Israel’s faith: Proverbs, Job, Qoheleth, Sirach and the Wisdom of Solomon.

RSPI 6211 Johannine Writings
The Fourth Gospel presentation of a Jesus with whom the believer enters into communion to undergo a personal transformation directed toward a transformation of the world; includes study of the Gospel of John and themes from Revelation.

RSPI 6212 Theologies of the New Testament
An examination and comparison of the different theologies found in the New Testament writings. Topics include the self-identity of early Christians and their relationship to Israel, the role of the Spirit in the churches, and the influence of social conditions on the theological views of Christians.

RSPI 6213 Themes of the Hebrew Scriptures
The consciousness of persons of faith interpreting and transforming history in response to the word of God; a study of the principal themes of the Hebrew Scriptures.

RSPI 6214 The Synoptics and Acts
The message of Jesus about God’s Kingdom seen from the experiences of the early Christian communities. The images of Jesus and his mission, and the Christian challenge in the Church.

RSPI 6218 The Pauline Corpus
The life and ministry of Paul; the principal themes of Pauline theology; special treatment of selected texts from Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, and Ephesians.

RSPI 6220 Church History
Historical survey of Christianity, with emphasis on the Western Church. A. Origins to the Reformation; B. From the Council of Trent to the Second Vatican Council

RSPI 6225/7225 Moral Theology in a Pastoral Context
An analysis of pre- and post-Vatican II emphases in moral theology, highlighting conciliar teaching, papal documents, and the U.S. Bishops statements on both individual and social ethical concerns. The topics treated include the meaning of morality, the question of natural law, the difference between morality and religion, moral discernment, and Roman Catholic theological approaches to bio-ethics, sexuality, social ethics, environmental concerns and women’s issues.

RSPI 6226/7226 Key Issues in Social Ethics
An analysis of key social issues including the questions of church authority, inculturation and its implications, the meaning of “preferential option for the poor,” theological foundations, national issues and social priorities.

RSPI 6227 Theologies of Liberation
A study of the meaning and principal themes of liberation found in Latin American, U.S. Hispanic, African-American, feminist, womanist, and ecological theologies.

RSPI 6232 Contemporary Christian Theologians
Contemporary theological thought as found in representative thinkers of the Catholic and Protestant traditions.

RSPI 6236 Family Catechesis
The study and analysis of family systems and the implications for intergenerational catechesis.

RSPI 6239/7239 Adulthood and Christian Maturity
This course focuses on current models and methods for adult learning and faith development within various ministerial settings, with a special focus on adult and family catechesis.

RSPI 6240 Theory and Methods of Catechesis
This course examines the theological and historical principles and methods necessary for effective catechesis and catechetical leadership today. The course includes catechetical documents of the church, national and diocesan standards and guidelines, plus age appropriate methods and program design.

RSPI 6241 Hispanic History and Cultural Religious Expressions
The history of Hispanic Catholics in the United States, and how this history shapes the life and religiosity of today’s U.S. Hispanic faith communities.

RSPI 6242 Administration and Program Planning in Religious Education
Organizing and administering religious education programs, the role of the coordinator, relationship with pastor, families, students, and teachers.

RSPI 6243 Catechist Formation
Preparation of religious educators; emphasis on USCCB guidelines and cultural foundations for evangelization and catechesis.

RSPI 6244 Culture and Catechesis
Cultural factors which influence the catechetical process, a multicultural examination of the development and expression of belief.
RSPI 6251 Adolescent Catechesis
A study of the content and methods appropriate for religious education of youth.

RSPI 6254 Leadership in the Christian Community
Role, function, principles, and theories of leadership; program development and evaluation; leadership and development.

RSPI 6255 Women and Christian Tradition
Addresses the principal issues and themes of women journeying toward full partnership in the Christian community. Approaches the contemporary dialogue around equality from a variety of perspectives: biblical, theological, and pastoral.

RSPI 6256 Basic Counseling Concepts for Pastoral Ministers
Survey of basic counseling concepts designed to enhance the pastoral minister’s interpersonal effectiveness, assistance of others, crisis identification, and knowledge of referral procedures.

RSPI 6257 Marriage and Family Theory for Pastoral Ministers
An introductory study of healthy marriage and healthy family theory; family life-cycle development; basic marriage and family problems; basic counseling skills for problem identification and referral.

RSPI 6258 Interpersonal Communication Skills
The importance of interpersonal communication skills as a necessity for the full development of self and others, examined in one-to-one relationships as well as larger systems; emphasis on personal participation; application to a wide variety of pastoral settings.

RSPI 6260 Liturgy
The liturgical life of the Church under its theological, historical, spiritual, pastoral, catechetical, and juridical aspects; practical applications. Emphasis on Vatican II, post-conciliar and recent documents relating to Catholic worship and liturgical renewal.

RSPI 6261 Pastoral Liturgy
Introduction to liturgical spirituality, the role of the assembly, liturgical space and the use of the arts; the liturgical year; pastoral planning; communication techniques and administrative skills; liturgical ministries.

RSPI 6263 Liturgy and Sacraments
Theology of worship and the historical development of the public worship of the church with emphasis on the Eucharist. A survey of the seven sacraments. Basic liturgical principles for planning and celebration.

RSPI 6264 Leadership of Public Prayer
Theological foundations for the language and design of prayer, skills of oral communication and an introduction to homiletics, presiding at communion and other services.

RSPI 6265 Arts for Christian Worship
The importance of the imagination in worship, principles for environments and arts from church documents, experience in creating storytelling, drama, mime, movement, and art.

RSPI 6271 Spirituality and Ministry
A study of Christian spirituality, spiritual growth and its integration with ministry; conversion, asceticism, prayer and mysticism, spirituality and social justice.

RSPI 6272 Christian Sacraments
A study of the sacraments and sacramentality from several viewpoints including scriptural, theological, historical, and liturgical.

RSPI 6273 Introduction to Spirituality
An overview of traditional and contemporary approaches to spirituality, especially within the Western Christian tradition; significant historical figures; and the importance of spiritual maturity for full human development.

RSPI 6274 Introduction to Prayer
The nature and development of personal and communal prayer forms and methods, particularly in the Catholic Christian tradition; biblical and theological foundations of Christian prayer; cultural and psychological aspects of prayer.

RSPI 6275 Spirituality and Culture
Various approaches to spirituality, particularly within Western Christian traditions, and emerging cultural paradigms which have potential for cultural revisioning and spiritual development.

RSPI 6276 Movements in Western Christian Spirituality
An historical approach to the study of various Christian spiritualities, including Augustinian, Benedictine, Franciscan, Devotio Moderna, Carmelite, Jesuit, Incarnational, and representative movements in spirituality today.

RSPI 6280 Theology of Church and Ministry
This course addresses the development of a contemporary ecclesiology from which might flow a renewed understanding of ministry both ordained and lay; various models of church; the relationship between charism and institution; and the expansion of ministries in the post-Vatican II Catholic church.

RSPI 6281 Introduction to Pastoral Studies
Within a study of the historical and theological development of ministry in the Christian church, this course addresses methods and resources for research in the field of pastoral studies, theological reflection in ministry, the nature and spirituality of ordained and lay ministries, collaboration as an essential approach to ministry, and practical applications of theory to ministry situations.

RSPI 6285/7285 Program Planning and Evaluation
The pastoral knowledge, skills and attitudes for creative and successful program planning, management, and evaluation; personal and professional qualities which enhance the witness value of the minister’s work.

RSPI 62CS Pastoral Project
Individually designed capstone project which provides students the opportunity to engage in a supervised experience in ministry. Focus elements include spiritual formation, theological reflection, professional ethics and identity, and Catholic social teaching.

RSPI 6X99/7X99 Selected Topics (6199, 6299, or 6399).

RSPI 6990 - Internship in Spiritual Direction
Off-campus program incorporating both content and supervised experience in the art of spiritual direction. With approval of the Director, this internship may be registered for three or six semester hours (RSPI 6390, 6690).

Youth Ministry Sequence

RSPI 6155 Foundations of Ministry Leadership
Examines the principles and priorities that guide students’ lives as Christian leaders. Presents an understanding of principle-centered leadership and Christian spirituality that addresses one’s personal mission, ministerial roles, and priorities.

RSPI 6156 Principles of Youth Ministry
Presents foundational understandings and principles for developing an effective and comprehensive ministry with adolescents.

RSPI 6157 Skills for Christian Leadership
Addresses the theories and skills ministers need to work with and through people. Emphasizes the application of leadership skills to various ministry settings, problems, and issues.

RSPI 6158 Practices of Youth Ministry
Explores processes and skills for effective leadership in youth ministry. Prepares leaders to empower the parish community for ministry with youth through collaboration and leadership development.

RSPI 6159 Pastoral Care
Explores the principles and methods of caring for young people from various cultures, and their families. Promotes healthy adolescent development from a pastoral care perspective and to develop interventions for families and adolescents.

RSPI 6160 Evangelization and Catechesis
Explores the foundations of nurturing adolescent faith development and Catholic identity through an integrated approach to faith development incorporating teaching, prayer, liturgy, community life, justice, and service.

RSPI 6161 Prayer and Worship
Examines the foundational role of Christian worship and sacraments in fostering the spiritual growth of youth. Develops a realistic and integrated approach to worship within a comprehensive ministry to youth and practical application in the pastoral setting.

RSPI 6162 Justice and Service
Explores the foundations for fostering a justice and service consciousness and spirituality in youth. Develops skills for creating integrated, action-learning models for the justice and service component of a comprehensive youth ministry.