Middle School Theology Courses
The mission of Saint Thomas Academy is to create Christian leaders. The Theology Department is an integral element in this educational process. As a department, we stress the moral dimension of leadership. We strive to help young men be capable, just, compassionate, and forthright citizens. In assisting students in their faith formation, we seek to develop a spirituality that encourages young men to desire personal holiness as well as to become servant leaders who welcome and care for each other. It is our hope that each student will come to know the mystery of God’s abiding presence and the depth of God’s love for all. It is our goal as a department to develop educated and informed Catholics who seek to be knowledgeable in their faith, who are willing to embrace the challenges of Christianity in the new millennium, and who are ready to work for the Church’s social mission of justice and peace.
The following is a list of general curriculum objectives which identify what will be covered within the Theology Department curriculum:
- Students will possess basic Biblical interpretation skills and demonstrate a reverence for and appreciation of God’s word found in sacred Scripture.
- Students will understand the basic teachings of the Church as articulated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (i.e. sacraments, creed, Ten Commandments, beatitudes, spiritual/corporal works of mercy, virtues, precepts of Church).
- Students will understand their obligation to act morally and ethically as responsible Christians according to the dictates of a well informed and formed conscience.
- Students will know and understand the Church’s teaching pertaining to sexual morality and respect for life in all forms.
- Students will have a basic understanding of the history and theology of the Church.
- Students will have a knowledge and appreciation of contemporary religious and spiritual leaders.
- Students will be able to understand the nature of liturgy and prayer and the movement from liturgy and prayer to service.
- Students will explore Christ’s invitation to discipleship and the call to personal holiness by exploring those lifestyles that are compatible with this common Christian vocation.
- Students will know the key principles of Catholic social teaching and will be able to identify these as central and essential elements of their faith.
- Students will learn to respect the diversity of religious traditions.
- Students will develop reflective and critical thinking skills; moral and creative imaging skills; and prayer and dialogical skills, which allow them to research and identify, assess and evaluate, discern, judge, and determine action in light of Gospel values and Church teaching.
FAITH IN GOD AND GOD’S CALL - Grade Level: 6
This course is designed for sixth graders and has as its primary focus the history and message of God in the Old Testament of the Sacred Scriptures. Students are encouraged to study God’s call to us, God’s saving action, God’s invitation, God’s reminder to do God’s will, and God’s promise of Everlasting Life. Students study the Old Testament and take part in weekly discussions of the Scripture’s doctrine and morality. All students take part in the planning and celebration of prayer through prayer services and liturgies. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in community outreach programs.
FAITH IN JESUS - Grade Level: 7
This course is designed for seventh graders and has as its primary focus the person, history, and message of Jesus Christ. Students are encouraged to not only study the life and times of Jesus, but to adapt His message to their daily lives. Students study the Gospels and take part in weekly discussions of the Scripture's doctrine and morality. All students take part in the planning and celebration of prayer through prayer services and liturgies. Students also have the opportunity to participate in community outreach programs.
FAITH IN THE CHURCH - Grade Level: 8
This course is designed for eighth graders and places its focus on the story of the Church. The first semester of the course serves as an introductory analysis of the Catholic Church from the Pentecost to the 21st century. The second semester is divided into several components: prayer, parish life, Christian art and music, and an introduction to social justice issues. Students will discuss life issues as adolescent members of the global church as well members of a local parish of faith community. Students also participate in Middle School service projects and will experience an annual retreat.