BI211 Foundations of Biblical Interpretation – Old Testament (30 hours).
The “Foundations of Biblical Interpretation” course consists of the systematic presentation of the necessary components for a general and essential understanding of the Old Testament, that reveres Divine Revelation in the history of the people of Israel. The basic principles and criteria for interpretation and reading of the Scriptures as proposed by the Catholic Church in the Council document Dei Verbum and the interpretation of the Bible in the Church will be studied.
FT200 Fundamental Theology (30 hours).
Fundamental Theology is a branch of Theology that seeks to introduce—from the viewpoint of reason—the foundations and characteristics of Christian faith, through the analysis of their conditions and the development of essential differences in relation to other visions of the world and other religions. This course will present key themes in Christian theology: Revelation and faith as basis for theology and their development in the Tradition of the Church. The course will explore topics such as inspiration, Christ as the full Revelation of God, the religious experience, faith and the Magisterium, the biblical traits of faith, popular religiosity and culture as theological loci, and the work of the Holy Spirit. The relationship between faith and culture and in the development of divine Revelation in history will be taken into account throughout all these areas.
HC215 History of the Church (30 hours).
The development of Christianity in the world will be studied in this course, and there will be a reflection on how the church should live amidst to the tensions that influence its nature. There will be emphasis in the awareness that the Church is not the Kingdom of God, but rather the community called to live out and proclaim the values of the Reign. The Church is a reality composed of many cultures but with an only one faith. This course also seeks to communicate, not just the richness and faithfulness of the Church in the world, but also its problems, challenges and unfaithfulness throughout time as well as the pastoral implications for our times.
CH354 Christology (30 hours).
Christology is the branch of Theology that studies the person and action of our Lord Jesus Christ. This course, therefore, is an introduction to the person, life and mission of Jesus in Sacred Scriptures, the Apostolic Tradition and the Magisterium of the Church. The experience of Jesus in his time, the testimony of the Early Christians and the contemporary vision on Jesus Christ after Vatican II will be explored.
CS302 Christian Spirituality (30 hours).
This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge, resources and approaches for the fostering of the spiritual formation of faith communities. The course will delve into the Biblical and theological foundations of Christian spirituality as well as the role of social sciences for a better understanding of the spiritual development and integration of contemporary Christian practice in the formation and process of discipleship. The main objective of the course is to help participants to better understand their own spirituality and that of the people with whom they will interact in their ministerial service.
IL217 Liturgical Theology (30 hours).
In this course we ask ourselves how have we gone from being a society where the existence of God was never questioned to one in which there are so many people who don´t believe in God or at a minimum, they have so many doubts about his existence. At first sight, this might not seem to be a very relevant question for a course on the Liturgy, but it is very real and concrete in our contemporary cultural context.
The course presents liturgical aspects of the life and mission of the Church, in harmony with the Vatican II Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, which defines the liturgy as the work or total exercise of Christ, “source and summit of the life of the Church”. It is important to note that the “principle of sacramentality” permeates the entire human reality. Thus, we will be examining the various forms in which Christ—the main sacrament of encounter with God—becomes incarnate in the life of the Christian community in many ways, and particularly through the seven sacraments.
CE330 Christian Moral Theology (30 hours).
This course will deal with basic principles of Christian morality, both at the individual and the social levels. We will explore the biblical vision of the person as image of God: that is, a social creature marked by their capacity to know and to freely choose their own lifestyle. The concepts of freedom, responsibility and conscience will be explored in the light of the love of God. Some specific moral problems will be studied in order to apply Christian ethical principles and to become familiarized with the process of moral decision making.
We will reflect on the method of moral discernment as a tool which will help to differentiate right from wrong, good from evil, sin from virtue. The ultimate goal or purpose of moral theology is to determine how human beings should live.
EC331 Eclesiology (30 hours).
Ecclesiology is the theological discipline in charge of studying the development and evolution of the church founded by Jesus Christ. One of the goals of this course is to answer the question: Why and to what end does the Church exist? The relationship between the preaching of Jesus about the Reign of God and the Church of the Christian Creed will be explored. This course will focus on the identifying elements of the Church: a community of believers; the Church of Vatican II: the Church in Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes; the concept of People of God as a sacrament of salvation, “Reign of God”.
BI212 Principles of Biblical Interpretation – New Testament (30 hours).
The present course consists of a systematic presentation for a general and essential understanding of the New Testament, valuing Divine Revelation in the Incarnation and Salvation through Jesus Christ. The basic principles and criteria for interpretation and reading of the Scriptures as proposed by the Church in the conciliar document Dei Verbum will be explored. Using the above mentioned principles and criteria, the students will have access to tools for an adequate reading of Sacred Scriptures, group exegesis and the practice of personal reflection in the present context.
HomileticsHomilética (60 hours).
This course emphasizes the use of techniques of preparation of homilies and fosters the development of communication skills for the participants. In order to maximize its benefit and adequately develop its content, it has been divided into two parts:
- IH314 Homiletics I – general principles: The course offers tools and techniques for Catholic preaching. We will examine contemporary teachings of the Magisterium on homiletics and at the same time offer the opportunity to prepare homilies that will be presented among participants in order to receive critiques, privileging the content and skills required for preaching.
- PH314 Homiletics II – Practice: During the course, we will continue reflecting on the various techniques of preaching. Through homiletic practice, the student will be helped to perform adequately in different liturgical and sacramental contexts within which preaching takes place.
MI320 Missiology (30 hours).
Missiology is the branch of theology that studies the commission, message and mission of the Church, emphasizing the nature of missionary work. In this course, we will offer a general vision of the mission of the Church through its principles and practice, reaffirming the baptismal call to missionary commitment of all Christians. The reality of mission will be examined from a perspective inspired in the Vatican II Council, and deepened by the various documents of the Church. The principles of an inculturated mission, geared to respond to the present realities of the Hispanic community in the United States will be explored. At the same time the latest developments in the thinking about mission from an ecumenical perspective will be studied. We will also delve into some practices of mission in the parish context, such as the teaching of the faith in catechesis, with the objective that each Christian may reach a deep encounter with the person of Jesus, so that they can own a sense of true discipleship: in the family, in the parish community and in society.
CL332 Canon Law (30 hours).
Canon Law is the name of the order and discipline, structures, norms, and procedures of the Catholic Church. It is the regulation of the organization of the Catholic Church with the faculties and obligations of its members. Canon Law is, besides, a tool to guide the Church as a great human institution made of different cultures, informing the faithful about their rights and duties as such. In this course we will deal with the main contents of Canon Law, underlining the rights and obligations of the baptized.
TS320 Sacramental Theology (30 hours).
The approach of this course is a theological analysis of the sacraments. Indeed, the liberating nature of sacramental action by virtue of the Paschal mystery and the validity of theological reflection on the sacraments in the light of the Magisterium of the Church and the experience of community. The importance of sacraments in the life of the Church is shown in the study of sacramental, relating them to evangelization and Christian Initiation.
IS321 Integrating Seminar (30 hours).
This seminar has the objective to cast a retrospective look on the entire process of spiritual, academic, human, and pastoral formation of the candidates. Through a method of theological reflection and practice, the candidates will have a central role in the articulation of theology and essential skills for diaconal ministry. Likewise, this seminar will help to underscore the integration of learning and to determine if the candidate is ready for ordination to the permanent diaconate.
MC409 Marriage in Canon Law (30 hours)
This course orients the candidates to the permanent Deaconate to the study of Title VII, Book IV of the Book of the Code of Canon Law, that is the canonical part of the sacrament of Matrimony. The objective is for the candidates to become familiar with the norms of matrimony law, understand the different situations, and be able to respond, with canonical and pastoral competence to the various challenges presented in parish life in reference to this, such as: evaluation of irregular life states of candidates that present themselves to the reception of Christian Initiation as adults; canonical preparation of couples seeking the sacrament of Matrimony, the guide and orientation of parishioners in need of an annulment of their marriages.
LR335 Use of liturgical books (30 hours)
In this course we will explore the use of the main liturgical books, such as the Misal Romano, the Lectionary, (volumes I, II, and III), the Book of the Gospels, the Roman Pontifical, the Divine Office and the Sacramentary, in order enable the candidates for a better performance of their liturgical and sacramental tasks.
DV400 Vatican II Documents (15 hours)
This course informs of the richness and organization of the Catholic Church represented in the list of 16 documents issued by the Vatican II Council (1962-1965), which are the approved documents emanating from this assembly and promulgated by Pope Paul VI. In these documents we will find orientations about doctrinal and moral teachings, legal norms and proposals for action for the faithful.
PA337 Patristics (15 hours)
Patristics is a part of theology that studies the life, works and teachings of the Fathers of the Church. This refers, particularly to a period of Christianity of the early centuries which consisted in the doctrinal elaboration of Christian beliefs and their defense against the attacks of pagan religions which, through erroneous interpretations, gave way to heresies. This course is extremely important as it constitutes a fundamental contribution to the formation of future deacons and it comes to complement the learnings of other courses such as Bible and History of the Church. The name of this theological branch derives from the fathers who lived in the early centuries of the Christian era, considered as the first Christian theologians, called “Fathers of the Church”. Consequently, the analysis and reflections in this course are carried out considering the entirety of the texts written by them or their followers.
Service or Pastoral practice
An integral part of the process of diaconal formation is the required service or pastoral practice under the supervision of the pastor or a person designated by him, in the tasks of catechesis, reflections on the Word, preparation for the sacraments, liturgy, and other ministries of charity (Distribution of food, visits to the sick, or imprisoned, etc. ).