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Online Certificate Program Course Listings

Course Group:

Theology of the states of the Christian Life

Class 1:


Holy Orders

This class explores Catholic teaching on the ordained ministry, beginning with the nature of sacrifice and the ministries of the Old Testament. It then delineates the degrees and nature of the sacrament of Holy Orders in the Church with reference to the Fathers, Councils, and the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas.

(Instructor: Fr. Dylan Schrader, PhD)

Class 2:


Religious Life

In this class, students will learn about the way of life religious brothers, priests, and sisters live and why this way of life has traditionally been called the “state of perfection” due to its foreshadowing of heaven and its ability to lead its adherents towards a life of holiness. We will consider the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience as well as the differing ways of living out the counsels in active, contemplative, or mixed religious orders. Texts to be considered will be Vatican II’s ‘Dei Verbum,’ St. John Paul II’s ‘Vita Consecrata,’ Pius XII’s ‘Sponsa Christi,’ and St. Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae and “On the Perfection of the Spiritual Life.”

(Instructor: Ryan J. Brady, PhD)

Class 3:



"When he spoke about marriage, Christ did not establish a new "outward sign" or a new form for entering into marriage, and instead recalled the original truth of creation: "he who made them from the beginning made them male and female . . . 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one . . . therefore what God has joined together let no man put asunder" (Mt 19:4-6). Rather than "adding" something to marriage from outside, Christ reveals the fullness of God's original plan for marriage and accomplishes this plan through his death and Resurrection. Henceforth, marriage between the baptized represents and participates in Christ's spousal love for the Church. This course provides an overview of the nature and sacramentality of Christian marriage, and it also explores the history of the doctrine of marriage within the Catholic tradition from Augustine through the Second Vatican Council, and pays special attention to the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. John Paul II."

(Instructor: Fr. Nick Winker, STL)

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