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Students in graduation

Religious Studies Department

Philosophy

The Department of Religious Studies at St. Benedict’s Prep works to develop in our students knowledge of the Christian faith and its practical consequences for behavior in everyday living. Within the context of the Benedictine monastic tradition, we communicate the fundamentals of the Christian religion. We challenge Christian students to a deeper experience of Church, an acceptance of Jesus Christ, openness to the Holy Spirit, and commitment to bringing about the Kingdom of God.

Departmental Goals

Jesus came to preach the good news of the coming of the Kingdom of God. In view of our call to continue to build the Kingdom of God on earth, we, the members of the department of religious studies, commit ourselves to the following goals:

  1. To assist all students in their search for meaning in their lives in relation to God, themselves, others, and all of creation, regardless of their religious background.
  2. To develop in our students an understanding of and appreciation for the Judeo-Christian tradition through the academic study of sacred scripture from the perspective of Catholic Christianity.
  3. To instill in our students an intellectual understanding of the moral teachings and values of Jesus, especially the inherent dignity of every person.
  4. To impart to all students an understanding of the Catholic tradition, and to Catholic students a sense of their identity as Catholics, and commitment to a life based on Chritian principles.
  5. To foster knowledge of and respect for other religious experiences and traditions.
  6. To assist students in the discovery of their God-given vocation in life

Relgious Studies Department Courses

The Story of Jesus (Middle Division)

During the course, the students will learn how to have a better understanding of Jesus Christ. We will be covering Jesus' life, his teachings, sacraments and what our responsibilities are as good Christians. We will try to implement Jesus' teachings with our everyday life and have comparisons/discussions frequently. We do have writing assignments, which I encourage the students to put a lot of thought into before completing. If time and effort is put into these reflective papers, it will be a sure way for the student to get to know himself in a more realistic light. Often times through these papers we become aware of the many gifts God has bestowed upon us and how we can best use these gifts. It is also a time when we find areas that we need to work a little harder on. Our immediate goals are to be happy and confident within ourselves.

Practical Application of Scriptures (Freshman Year)

"It's not about Religion. It's about a relationship with God, through Christ and our relationships with others." This course is designed to provide each student with a biblical foundation necessary for his spiritual growth and development of a personal relationship with God through Scripture, personal reflections, prayer, community service projects, and group discussions. This course will provide the student with an introductory study of the Old Testament. Emphasis will be given to understanding God's involvement in this history and development and its relevance to Christianity's understanding of the New Testament and Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.

Introduction to the New Testament (UDI)

This course teaches a thoughtful, faith-based approach to understanding the New Testament, with particular emphasis on the identity and message of Jesus Christ as found in the four gospels. The student will learn how to read the gospels in the cultural, religious and literary context of First Century Palestine and in relation to their Jewish roots in the Old Testament.

The student will gain a faith-based understanding of such concepts as: How the Scriptures were formed, The Nature and Differing Purposes of the Four Gospels, The Identity of Jesus: Divine and Human, The Kingdom of God, The Parables of Jesus, The Miracles of Jesus, The Passion and Death of Christ, The Resurrection of Jesus, The Ascension and Pentecost, The Role of Saint Paul.

The student will be challenged to look at the faith dimension of his own life. A Christian student will be asked to articulate his relationship with Jesus Christ and look at the practical everyday consequences of his Christian faith.

Mystery of Life Seminar (UDII)

At the center of every human being is a set of needs, desires, and questions: What is the meaning of life? What am I looking for? How can I know the truth? Sometimes it feels like the answers are a mystery, but we are most free and happy when we set out on a journey toward these mysterious answers. In this course, we will seek to understand how these needs, desires, and questions are unfolding in our lives and how God is responding to them.

Journey of Lfe Seminar (Senior Year)

As students prepare to embark on the journey of life after high school, it is important to spend some time reflecting on the direction in which they are headed. This course will focus on three main topics that will come up along the “journey of life”:

  1. The Relationship between Faith, Reason, and Science
  2. The Meaning of Suffering
  3. The Purpose of Love and Sexuality

By reading texts and engaging in discussions about these topics, students will be better prepared to face these topics as they appear in their college classes and life experiences.

Morality & Justice (Elective)

This course is presented as a unified and integrated curriculum of the personal and social dimensions of Christian moral growth. The course begins with an in depth review of decision making from both the personal and social dimensions and then continues with other Catholic social teaching principles. Some areas discussed in depth that illustrate both the social and personal levels of morality are: abortion, alcohol, drug abuse, capital punishment, euthanasia, equal rights, human sexuality, hunger, poverty, racism and war.

Christian Lifestyle (Elective)

Christian Lifestyles focuses on living the Christian vocation and lifestyle. Topics include the Marriage & Family, Single Life, Holy Orders, and Religious Vocations with their respective opportunities and challenges. Highlighted in each lifestyle is the potential for growth in Christ and service to his people. The course will also emphasize Love, Friendship, and Dating.

Advanced Seminar in Greek and Biblical Literature (Elective)

This course is designed to teach 'personal ethics' by contrasting 'Hellenic' (Greek) and 'Hebraic' (Jewish) religious beliefs and moral codes. We do this by way of a simultaneous study of Acts of the Apostles (and some of St. Paul's letters) from the Bible and of the Greek comic epic, The Odyssey. The course also employs maps, background material on the Roman Empire, discussions of the styles of Greek and Biblical literature and stories from the Old Testament and the Christian Gospel.

World Religions (Elective)

At the core of all religions is a proposal to satisfy the human heart’s infinite need and desire for happiness and fulfilment. We will look at several of the world’s major religions with the intention to understand what they propose and to judge the extent to which they answer to the needs that constitute our humanity.

Introduction to The Rule of St. Benedict (Elective)

The course introduces the student to St. Benedict of Nursia's "Rule for Monks" (RB) through reading the text of the Rule, learning its place in the history of monasticism, studying its fundamental spiritual teachings, seeing how these are lived out today in monasteries and applying its spiritual wisdom to the student's everyday life.