Religious Studies Department

Course Offerings

RELIGIOUS STUDIES 1: INTRODUCTION TO RELIGIOUS STUDIES Full Year
The course begins with an introduction to the history and traditions of Saint Francis High School, including its founding congregation, Holy Cross and patron, Saint Francis of Assisi. Students then examine adolescence and some of the ways our culture influences teenage development. The course continues with an examination of religious faith in general, followed by a complete survey of the beliefs and practices of Catholic Christianity. The roots of our Judeo-Christian heritage are introduced by means of a survey of the Hebrew Scriptures. A freshman retreat experience and Christian service with reflection are an integral part of the course.

NEW TESTAMENT - THE GOSPELS Semester
This course investigates the New Testament with particular emphasis on the Gospels. Students will analyze the background and formation of the four Gospels. Specifically, students will be introduced to the Catholic approach to Scripture, including methods of interpretation and spiritual reflection. The Christologies of the four evangelists will provide a framework for the presentation and exploration of Gospel material. Students are also invited to take the “hermeneutic challenge”- reflection on personal and social applications of the words of Christ. Christian service with reflection is integral to this course.

LIVING THE LIFE - CONTEMPORARY ISSUES AND FAITH Semester
This one semester course on faith-based living centers on the Bible and concepts included in the text Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens. Students will learn to identify, incorporate and internalize these habits into their lives through a journey of self-discovery, reflection and application. Adolescent issues covered in this course include self-esteem, responsible decision-making, healthy relationships and the over-riding call of personal integrity. Students will also explore and apply related concepts found in Paul’s epistles and various New Testament writings, making connections between personal faith and the call to live out this faith in the community. Christian service with reflection is integral to this course.

MORAL ISSUES Semester
This course presents Catholic Morality through an examination of character and act ethics, analysis of virtues/vices, principles, values and a thorough decision-making model. Students explore contemporary moral problems, including substance abuse, pre-marital sex, abortion and end of life medical decisions. Christian Service with reflection is integral to this course.

SOCIAL JUSTICE Semester
This course presents the social teachings of the Church and the impact they have son the faithful and the larger society. Contemporary social issues relating to economic, environmental, cultural and political justice are examined. The scriptural challenge to live justly is explored. Christian Service with reflection is integral to this course.

CHRISTIAN VOCATION Semester
This course focuses on a more mature understanding and practice of the Catholic Faith through study and discussion of Christian values. Topics covered include identity, money/possessions, suffering/healing, purpose of work, single life, marriage and the religious life. Christian Service with reflection is integral to this course.

WORLD RELIGIONS Semester
This course investigates the great “God Questions” such as the goal of creation, the meaning of suffering and why many deny the existence of God. Religious Traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and other Eastern traditions are studied with a view to challenging and enhancing the student’s own faith. Christian Service with reflection is integral to this course.

CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY Semester
This course explores the life stories of contemporary Christians, with concentration on both the commonalties and uniqueness found in us all. Students will study the ways in which people experience God, respond in faith and grow spiritually. Insights and writings on theology, spirituality and psychology will be used. Christian service with reflection is integral to the course.

CHRISTIANITY AND PHILOSOPHY Semester
This course presents a challenging exploration of the roots and development of different aspects of modern western thought and the impact of certain philosophical ideas upon Christianity. It traces certain thematic topics such as the nature of God, the human soul, social responsibility and death through several historical eras in which western thinking experienced revolutionary changes. Class discussions, exploration of traditional debates and written analysis of ideas and personalities in philosophy challenge the student to learn and think critically. Christian service with reflection is integral to this course.