Theology courses at The Montfort Academy are not meant to be treated only as academic classes but are also meant to teach the students about the way to live their lives. By the time each course is finished, students will have a better appreciation of the Faith and a deeper relationship with Our Lord.
Theology I (9th grade) – Old Testament & the Prefiguring of Salvation
Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them (Mt 5:17). These words of Our Lord show us the importance of knowing and understanding what is written in the Old Testament. This is something very much lost among Christians in the world today. By learning to read Scripture in context, students will learn how Our Lord and the Church are foreshadowed in the Old Testament, and how they came to be fulfilled in the New Testament; they will see the very whole of salvation history. This will be accomplished by focusing on Covenantal Theology and how each of the Old Testament covenants is used to begin to draw all of mankind back into the one Family of God. The main books used as the focus of the course will be Sacred Scripture (Revised Standard Version which has been translated directly from the original Hebrew and Greek scriptures) and Understanding The Scriptures: A Complete Course on Bible Study which is authored by renown theologian, Dr. Scott Hahn.
Theology II (10th grade) ‐ New Testament and Sacramental Theology
In the words of St. Augustine, In the Old Testament the New Testament is concealed; in the New Testament the Old Testament is revealed. Building upon what was learned and studied in the Old Testament during Freshman Theology, students will focus on the life of Christ as it appears in the four Gospels, and the life of the early Church through the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles. Students will also do a study of Sacramental Theology as it is presented in the New Testament and the writings of the early Church Fathers. The main texts used as the focus of the course will again be Sacred Scripture (Revised Standard Version) and Understanding The Scriptures: A Complete Course on Bible Study. In addition to these, we will use the writings of the Early Church Fathers (St. Athanasius, St. Iranaeus, et. al.).
Theology III (11th grade) ‐ Church History and Doctrinal Theology
This course traces out the major events and ideas in the history of the Catholic Church. Along the way, it looks at how the Churchʹs great theologians formulated the doctrines of the Church in response to both Revelation and to these events and ideas. This course will give students the opportunity to understand how the Catholic faith was received by the Apostles, formulated by the theologians, taught and defended by the hierarchy and practiced by the faithful. At the end of the course, students ought to have a grasp of the following: the major time periods of Church history, the significant personalities who were its architects, and the development of doctrine in the context of the Churchʹs historical issues. In addition, students should understand not only the outlines of the history of the Catholic Church but also a sense of doctrine as alive and permanent. The course will use H.W. Crockerʹs Triumph as a guiding text but will also draw on other histories such as Thomas Bokenkotterʹs A Concise History of the Catholic Church, Fr. John Lauxʹs Church History, and Philip Hughesʹ A History of the Church to the Eve of the Reformation. Students will also read selections from primary sources which detail various doctrinal controversies. For this, we will rely on the series edited by William Rusch, Sources of Early Christian Thought as well as Robert Louis Wilkenʹs The Spirit of Early Christian Thought.
Theology IV (12th grade) – Moral Theology and Apologetics
The senior year theology course, Moral Theology and Apologetics, is the culmination of the first three. This course seeks to articulate and defend the Church’s view of the best way to live. With an understanding of Scripture and the sacraments as well as the historical development of doctrines, fourthyear students are now in a position to explore the moral implications of what the Church believes to be true. Moreover, they will carry the apostolic responsibility of making this view intelligible and appealing to others. In the first place, then, this course will examine how one is to live as a Catholic, particularly in the modern world. Secondly, it will introduce students to the foundations of Apologetics such that they might themselves be capable of making a compelling case for the Christian life. This course will require research, writing, debate, and oral presentations. Particular topics will generally be selected by the instructor, but sometimes determined by student interest. They will include: 1) the problem of evil; 2) arguments for the existence of God (with a focus on Aquinas’s “Five Ways”); 3) the authenticity of Scripture; 4) the role of Tradition in Catholic doctrine; 5) the Church’s moral teaching (especially on controversial topics); 6) the nature of Faith and its relation to the motives of credibility; 7) objections to Catholicism from natural science. Key texts will include Aquinas’s Summa Theologica, C.S. Lewis’s essay The Abolition of Man, The Bible, The Catechism of the Catholic Church, St. Justin Martyr’s First Apology, St. Irenaeus’ Against Heresies, and Mortimer Adler’s Ten Philosophical Mistakes.