Online certificate program in Thomistic Ethics & Spirituality



The Sacra Doctrina Project is pleased to announce an online certificate program in Thomistic Ethics & Spirituality, offered in conjunction with St. John Vianney College Seminary and Graduate School (Archdiocese of Miami, FL). 
Please note that since the courses are asynchronous, you can begin any time as long as you finish the requirements by December 14th. All of the courses will be offered again next semester, which begins January 11th.
Program Description

The online certificate program will cover a number of topics (see below), all of which culminate in a theological understanding of the teaching of the Angelic Doctor on ethics, morality, and the spiritual life. The program will be of interest to directors of religious education, catechists, continuing education for clergy, undergraduates who want to supplement their education, or those simply interested in examining the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas and its relation to the pursuit of holiness and the gift of beatitude. 

Program Options and Certificates

Students may participate in the program on three separate levels. The program is divided up into six course groups, each covering a particular topic. In turn, each course group is divided into three individual classes (see course offerings below). Students may take a single class, an entire course group (three-classes), or the entire certificate program. 

Students who complete a single class will be awarded a class certificate. Students who complete a course group will be awarded a subject certificate. Students who complete the entire program will receive a program certificate. All certificates will be jointly awarded by The Sacra Doctrina Project and St. John Vianney College Seminary and Graduate School.

Course Offerings 

Preliminary notes:

  • Each course group is divided into three classes:

       Class # 1 of each course group starts on 9/14 (though one can sign up later) 

       Class # 2 of each course group starts on 10/14

       Class # 3 of each course group starts on 11/14 

  • Although you have until 12/14 to complete any class you sign up for, it would

     be best to finish the first class in a course group before the next begins. 

  • You may sign up for any class after it has begun as long as you will have time to watch

      the ten lectures, take the quizzes and write a 3-5 page paper by the end of the class.

Click on the course title for more information


  1. Moral Philosophy                                                                                                  (Ryan J. Brady, PhD)

  2. Moral Theology                                                                                                                  (Taylor Patrick O'Neill, PhD)                

  3. Particular Moral Issues                                                            (Ryan J. Brady, PhD & Taylor Patrick O'Neill, PhD)       


  1. Generation of the Word                                                                                          (John O'Neill, PhD)

  2. Incarnation                                                                                                            (John O'Neill, PhD)

  3. Redemption                                                                                                 (Sean Robertson, PhD cand.)


  1. Foundations of Sacramental Theology                                                                     (Daniel Lendman, PhD) 

  2. Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, and Anointing of the Sick        (Daniel Lendman, PhD & Sean Robertson, PhD cand.)

  3. The Eucharist and the Liturgy                                                                           (Sean Robertson, PhD cand.)


  1. Mysticism in the Church Fathers                                                                                (Ryan J. Brady, PhD)

  2. The Mendicant Mystics: St. Catherine of Siena, St. John of the Cross, and St. Teresa of Avila (T.P. O'Neill, PhD) 

  3. Charity and the Three Stages of the Spiritual Life                                                  (Taylor Patrick O'Neill, PhD)



(One of the two elective course groups; see "Program Requirements" for more) 

  1. Holy Orders                                                                                                     (Fr. Dylan Schrader, PhD)

  2. Religious Life                                                                                                         (Ryan J. Brady, PhD)

  3. Marriage                                                                                                               (Daniel Drain, PhD)


(One of the two elective course groups; see "Program Requirements" for more) 

  1. Providence                                                                                                                            (Taylor Patrick O'Neill, PhD)

  2. Grace and Predestination                                                                                 (Taylor Patrick O'Neill, PhD)

  3. Sin and the Problem of Evil                                                                               (Taylor Patrick O'Neill, PhD)

Program Requirements

Those students taking a single class or a single course group are free to take whichever they like. Those students completing the full program must complete five of the six offered course groups, with the following requirements.

  • Thomistic Ethics (suggested at the beginning of the program)

  • Mystical Theology (suggested at the end of the program)

  • Christology and Sanctification

  • Sacraments and Liturgy

Students must also complete one of the following two courses as an elective:

  • Theology of the States of the Christian Life

  • Providence, Grace, and Evil 

Description of Class Method & Grading Policy

Each class will consist of 10 modules. Each module will consist of:

  • 1 reading assignment

  • 1 recorded video lecture (30 - 60 minutes)

  • 1 online quiz 

Grading is pass/fail. The students will be graded on:

  • 10 Quizzes

  • 1 final paper (3 - 5 page response to a provided prompt; instructors will give students three prompt options to choose from at the beginning of the course).

The classes will be offered asynchronously, meaning that the students can complete the reading, lectures, and quizzes at their own pace. Each class and course group will run for 15 weeks (commensurate with a single semester). All material for the class or course group must be completed by the end of that 15 week schedule. Students taking a course group must complete the first class in the group before moving on to the second and the second before moving on to the third. This means that students taking a course group, if moving at a steady pace, will have 5 weeks for each class and 2 modules to complete each week.


Single Class 

Course Group (3 classes)

Completion of Certificate Requirements (5 out of the six total courses; 15 classes)





  • To get the less expensive price for a course group, you must take each of the three classes in that course group in any given semester. Otherwise, the cost will be $100 for each single class. For example, if you take two classes in one course group and one in another course group, the cost of the three classes will be $300. 

  • You will always only pay for what you are taking in a given semester.

  • To end up paying $1000 for the whole program (which means five out of the six course groups offered), you should sign up for however many course groups you plan to complete in a semester. The first two you sign up for will be $250 each. The next one will be $200 and the last two you sign up for will cost $150 each. In this way, completion of the entire program will cost $1000 but students are not obligated to pay for anything but what they are currently completing. 


To register, please fill-out the online registration form.

For any questions, please email us at

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