Saint Dominic Academy’s theology curriculum explores the basic traditions, teachings, and community life that comprise Catholic Christianity. Over the course of eight semester-length subject areas, students are given a robust introduction to the Christian sacred scriptures, sacramental theology, the history of the Catholic Church, ecumenical and Interreligious dialogue, vocational discernment, and Catholic moral teaching, and Catholic spirituality and service. The curriculum is grounded in the Midwest Theological Forum Didache Semester Series textbooks, which are aligned to the U.S. Bishop's catechetical framework for high school theology instruction.
THEOLOGY I: SCRIPTURE AND SACRAMENTS
Service Requirement: 6 hrs./semester @ approved site
Description: Students gain a comprehensive understanding of the central role that scripture and sacraments play in the Catholic faith.
Semester I: Sacred Scripture. Students examine the concepts of divine revelation, inspiration, and the interpretation of scriptures. The course presents a survey of the various texts of the Old and New testaments, giving students a broad understanding of their content, literary genre, and historical context.
Semester II: Sacraments. During the second semester of the year, students survey the seven sacraments of the Catholic faith, examining in detail the history, theology, and practice of each in the life of Christians. Beginning with the sacraments of initiation, students then move to study sacraments of vocation and healing. The final part of the course focuses on the origins and forms of liturgy in the Catholic Church.
THEOLOGY II: THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, YESTERDAY AND TODAY
Description: Students learn about the history of the Catholic Church and about the internal structure and mission of the Church today.
Semester I: History of the Catholic Church. Students study the origin and development of the Catholic faith over its 2,000-year history, beginning with the first apostles and continuing through the Roman persecution, Middle Ages, protestant reformation, Renaissance, enlightenment, and modern periods.
Semester II: Ecclesiology and Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue. The second semester leads students through the Catholic Church's mission and its organization and structure. This course also examines key concepts regarding the role of the Church and state, religious freedom, and the importance of dialogue with other religions and with those who have no faith.
THEOLOGY III: VOCATION AND MORAL LIFE
Service Requirement: 10 hrs./semester @ approved site
Description: Students explore Catholic teaching regarding the meaning and purpose of life and the moral foundation that leads to true freedom and fulfillment.
Semester I: The first semester focuses on the Catholic understanding of a vocation as a call from God to serve Him in the world. In conjunction with their Junior retreat in November, the course looks at the various ways that people live out their vocations as single, married, or religious. Students are encouraged to consider their own strengths and weaknesses and to think and pray about their own call in life.
Semester II: The second semester introduces students to key questions in moral life. What should guide human decisions? What does it mean to be a human being? What is the purpose of life, and what does it mean to live a good life? The course considers the 10 Commandments and the teachings of Christ regarding the moral law and the way that the Catholic Church has interpreted these teachings over the centuries and today.
THEOLOGY IV: PRAYER AND SERVICE
Requirement: * Senior Involvement
Description: Students encounter the Catholic spiritual tradition and how it sustains and directs the social teaching and action of the Church.
Semester I: Students turn to primary texts on Catholic spirituality by C.S. Lewis, Fr. Thomas Dubay, and others. Key questions and concepts regarding spiritual life are introduced. What does it mean to have a soul? How do people pray? What are the ways that God speaks to people, and how do we discern the difference between right and wrong?
Semester II: The second semester assists students in understanding the connection between the spiritual life and the love of neighbor.
(*) Students examine key concepts of the dignity of the human person, the rights of workers, the preferential option for the poor, and the principle of subsidiarity, among other themes. The semester concludes with senior involvement, a four-week immersion volunteer experience at various social service organizations in the greater Lewiston/Auburn area.