Graduate Certificate in the Sanctity of Life - St. Bernard's

Graduate Certificate in the Sanctity of Life

Graduate Certificate in the Sanctity of Life (GCSL)

“Thus the deepest element of God's commandment to protect human life is the requirement to show reverence and love for every person and the life of every person” – Pope St. John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 41

“Loving another person involves the joy of contemplating and appreciating their innate beauty and sacredness” – Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitiae, 127

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a Gospel of life. Through his ministry and his redemptive sacrifice, Jesus reveals the great truth that our lives have an unimaginable and inestimable dignity. This tremendous act of love is an invitation into the eternal life of Trinitarian communion; it expresses the desire in the heart of the Father to be with us forever, so that we might “have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

This Graduate Certificate in the Sanctity of Life offers an integrated approach to the gift of human life, with a focus on:

  1. The origin of human life in the sanctity of God, as well as the high calling of human life to eternal communion with God
  2. The moral demands and challenges that accompany “the primacy of the human person and the defense of his or her dignity beyond every circumstance” (Pope Francis, Laudate Deum, 39)

This program strives to provide its students with an introduction to the Catholic Church’s teachings on the sanctity of life from conception to natural death. As an integrated course of study, it offers an interdisciplinary overview of issues across the spectrum of human life and death, providing a competency in engagement that will serve the person in a variety of contexts. Such study can play a crucial role in the context of advocacy, schools and universities, as well as faith communities. School teachers, campus ministers, lawyers, employees of advocacy organizations, catechists, as well as parish and diocesan employees/leaders, are well served by this Graduate Certificate.

It is comprised of five courses (15 credit hours), with the option to include one elective. These courses are available online either synchronously (in real time when the courses occur) or asynchronously (at a later time that works best for you).

The required courses are:

  • C217 – Fundamental Moral Theology
  • C/D329 – The Gospel of Life: Life Issues and Contemporary Challenges
  • B/C310 – Catholic Social Teaching
    • Two approved electives, such as the following:
    • C/D331 – Contemplation and Cultivation: Towards an Integral Ecology
    • C/D365 – Theology of the Body: Sexuality and the Sacred
    • CP661 – Philosophical Ethics
    • C/D333 – Catholic Bioethics at the Beginning of Life
    • C/D334 – Catholic Bioethics at the End of Life

If for some reason any of these courses are not offered in a given semester, the Graduate Certificate Program Director will be in touch with you to work on a course substitution. Details on pricing can be found here.