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Religious Studies

The Religious Studies Department seeks to reinforce St. John’s mission to educate the whole student – intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. We believe a student enriches his education when theological exploration is part of his experience, and when he engages his mind and imagination. With this two-part goal in mind, the Religious Studies program supports rigorous academic learning and provides opportunity for meaningful experiential learning. Grounded in critical thinking and personal reflection, the Religious Studies curriculum provides a  theological foundation to better inform the student’s faith experience. Each student is encouraged to respond to course material by:

  1. discovering the mystery of God in his life and in the life of his greater community;
  2. pursuing meaningful relationships, both in and out of the classroom
  3. committing himself to the pursuit of justice and peace;
  4. honoring diversity and multiculturalism;
  5. deepening his spiritual life through scripture and prayer; and,
  6. developing his character by asking what it means to live an ethical life.

Religious Studies Courses

Grounded in the question, "do universal ethical principles exist," students explore a number of theoretical structures that inform our moral decisions: sources of ethical behavior, models of moral development, the role of conscience in ethical choices, and the place of the Catholic faith in moral dialogue.

Students will investigate literary styles and techniques used to communicate this relationship, as well as the historical and cultural contexts of each book in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Built on the theme of The Problem of God, this one semester survey course examines the development of philosophy and its influence on theology in the Western tradition.

Students will explore how each of the four evangelists reflected on the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

This course engages students in theological reflection on the mystery of the relational dynamic inherent in self, others, and God.

This course introduces students to psychology, the scientific study of the mind and human behavior, and how it intersects with our understanding of faith, spirituality, and religion.

This course explores the relationship between science and religion beginning with an inquiry into two important controversies, the Galileo affair and Darwin’s theory of evolution.

This course provides students with structured opportunities for meaningful community service and for personal reflection on the lessons gained from it.

The course examines the notion of justice in human culture. Students explore the current social issues we encounter in our local, national, and global societies, and the Catholic Church's response as articulated in her formal Social Teachings.