Gonzaga Preparatory School

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Course Descriptions

Theology Department Course Descriptions

Old Testament (Freshman)
This one semester course is a study of major themes of Hebrew Scripture and its foundational relationship with Christianity. Students will become familiarized with characters, events, circumstances, and reflections of God’s people. Students will study passages of scripture in light of God’s ongoing relationship with His people throughout history.
New Testament (Freshman)
This one semester course is a study of the major themes found in the Gospels, Acts of the Apostles and the Letters of Paul in the New Testament. Students will academically study the life of Christ and the formation of the early church while connecting these themes with the church today.
Intro to Christian Life (Sophomore)
This one semester course brings to life the foundational concepts of Sacred Scripture, with special emphasis on the saving death and resurrection of Jesus, the sacramental life, and the Christian call to live a moral life.
Church History and Doctrine (Junior required)
This one semester course is a study of the history of ideas, structure and people of the Christian and Catholic tradition. The course also shows the historical roots of today’s institutions and practices, such as the Eucharist, Church councils, religious orders and the many Protestant denominations. The course deals systematically with fundamental teachings about Jesus, the Spirit, salvation, the Church, the sacraments and lay ministry.
World Religions: (Junior elective)
This one semester selective course is a study of major world religious traditions including Native traditions of North America, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Confucianism and Taoism as well as the monotheistic religions of Judaism and Islam. Students will explore various rituals and traditions associated with each religion along side a comparative evaluation of how each tradition comes to understand the unique roles of divine, human nature and the journey to find meaning. In keeping with the Ignatian tradition of discernment, this course integrates an analysis of how the Catholic Church recognizes and values the respective truth found in the world's religious traditions. 
Sacraments and Prayer (Junior Elective)
This is a one semester course that explores different types of prayer alongside the sacraments of the Catholic Church. Through exploring the nature of rituals  and  nature of the seven sacraments of the Church in particular, students will build an understanding of the individual and communal nature of ritual and prayer. 
Ethics (Senior – required)
Ethics, as a discipline, has to do with character and decision making.  This one semester course explores Ethics from a Christian, specifically Catholic, perspective.  Catholic ethics focuses on developing character and making decisions, in light of values and beliefs such as: eternal life, a loving God, a guiding Church, and the dignity of human life.  Drawing from philosophy, this course will first explore secular ethical frameworks.  Drawing from moral theology, this course will then explore how faith shapes the formation of the Christian conscience and provides tools to guide one in making moral decisions.
Social Justice (Senior – required)
The Social Justice course explores Catholic Social Teaching - the fundamental belief in the dignity of each person, a concern for the common good and the most vulnerable among us, and care for God’s creation.  Out of God’s abundant love, each human person is created in God’s image, to love and to be loved - that is to be in relationship with God and one another.  As such, humans are intrinsically sacred and social.  How we organize our society (family, civic life, economics, law etc.) directly impacts human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow, succeed, and participate in our local, national, and global community.  Seniors will study social issues (economic justice, racial justice, environmental justice etc.), through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching, and critically reflect on how our faith calls us to create a more just and loving world.  
Theology course map
9th Grade
Old Testament
(Fall Semester)
New Testament
(Spring Semester)
10th Grade
Introduction to Christian Life
(1 semester, Fall or Spring)
11th Grade
Church History
(1 semester, Fall or Spring)
Elective Options:
» World Religions
» Sacraments and Prayer
(1 semester Fall or Spring)
12th Grade
(1 semester, Fall or Spring)
Social Justice
(1 Semester Fall or Spring)

Theology Department Graduation Requirements
Three years (seven semesters) of classes are required for graduation. There is no tracking (honors, accelerated or the like) in the theology classes.