RLE 500: INTRODUCTION TO THEOLOGY
This course will employ and intensive online format introducing students to fundamental philosophical concepts, an overview of church history, the historical-critical method of biblical scholarship, and key concepts in systematic theology. The course requires the students to employ online and traditional research skills to complete a short research paper for each of the four main topics.
RLE 501: INTRODUCTION TO BIBLICAL STUDIES
This course introduces students to the theory and application of biblical interpretation methods. Students will come to understand and learn to use historical-critical method: form, redaction, source, feminist, and post- modern criticism, along with other recent approaches. Internet resources for biblical studies and biblical studies software will be introduced and evaluated.
RLE 503: FOUNDATIONS OF CHRISTIAN FAITH
This course offers the fundamental methods that will enable students to engage in the lifelong process of articulating a theology rooted in a developing personal and communal experience that continually dialogues with Scriptures, with diverse historical, religious, philosophical, and theological traditions, and with the physical and social sciences.
RLE 505: RELIGION, PSYCHOLOGY, AND CULTURE
Mindful of the recommendation of Vatican II to “read the signs of the times,” this course examines the place of religious imagination in a world vastly changed by recent scientific, sociopolitical, and economic revolutions. Particular attention is given to the impact of modern psychology. The accompanying global shift in human consciousness and understanding not only affects the secular context of people’s lives, but has far-reaching implications for the theological and pastoral enterprises as well. The course will examine the rise of modernism and the modern self, religious imagination, questions of social justice, and a global ethics.
RLE 507: CHURCH AND MINISTRY
This course will critically examine the identity and praxis of the community called Church. Particular attention will be devoted to the ways in which the church has understood and expressed itself in the past, to the issue of leadership structures and their relation to the ministry of all the baptized, to the initiatives for ecumenical unity, and to the scope of the mission of a “world church” acting as a critical dialogue partner with the pluralist and secular world of our time.
RLE 509: CHRISTOLOGY
Using the contributions of critical biblical scholarship, this course will first reconstruct, from the various Gospel accounts, the traces of what Jesus said and did during his ministry. The way Jesus seems to have faced death will be compared with the way his death and resurrection were interpreted by the early church. Moving through the Christological developments of the second to the eighth centuries, the course will finally consider how contemporary human experience impacts on current theological interpretations of Jesus and his meaning for our times.
RLE 511: RITUAL AND SACRAMENTS
After exploring the social and psychological foundations for human ritual, the course will consider the sacramental character of creation and incarnation. Particular attention will be given to developing an understanding of Jesus as the primordial sacrament, and on Church as the continuing sacrament of Jesus. Consideration of the sacraments as actualizations of the Church will be complemented with a study of the historical development of the sacraments in the different Christian traditions. Students will apply theology to sound liturgical practice in parish, school, and family.
RLE 513: PRINCIPLES OF MORAL THEOLOGY
Participants will explore the foundation of Christian ethics, with a concentration on these and similar questions: On what basis do people decide how to make moral choices? Why do we take the moral stands we do on issues facing the churches and society? Do Christians have different ways of making decisions than people from other religious or secular traditions? The course examines philosophical, sociological, and theological perspectives to these questions.