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Online certificate program in Thomistic Ethics & Spirituality

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The Sacra Doctrina Project's online certificate program in Thomistic Ethics & Spirituality is offered in conjunction with St. John Vianney College Seminary and Graduate School (Archdiocese of Miami, FL). 
Program Description

The online certificate program covers 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 two 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 work toward a certificate for either individual classes or for a course course group if all three classes comprising the group are available.

Students who complete a single class will be awarded a class certificate. Students who complete a course group will be awarded a subject 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.

  • You may sign up for any class as long as you believe you will likely have the time that will be required to watch the ten lectures, take the ten quizzes, and write the 3-5 page paper that each class requires.

Click on the course group 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                                                                                                           (John O'Neill, PhD)


 1. Foundations of Sacramental Theology                                                (Daniel Lendman, PhD and Ryan J. Brady, PhD)

 2. Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, and Anointing of the Sick (coming soon)                                (Ryan J. Brady, PhD)

 3. The Eucharist and the Liturgy                                                                                              (Fr. Nick Winker, M.Div.)



  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 (coming soon)                              (Taylor Patrick O'Neill, PhD)



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

 2. Marriage (coming soon)                                                                                                      (Fr. Nick Winker, M.Div.)

 3. Religious Life (coming soon)                                                                                       (Ryan J. Brady, PhD)



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

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

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

Description of Class Method & Grading Policy

Each class consists of 10 modules. Each module consists 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 or more prompt options to choose from at the beginning of the course).

The classes are 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 about 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.


All classes are $100. A course group is, therefore, $300. Certificates for each class or course group will also be awarded upon completion of the class or course group to students who request them. 


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

For any questions, please email us at or the seminary at

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