Course Offerings

The location of a course is designated below by one of four geographic areas, indicating the location from which the live course is taught. Students who are within commuting distance to that location are encouraged to attend class in person. All Catholic theology courses online can be accessed synchronously for those unable to attend in person or not in commuting distance. Live course times are listed in Eastern Standard Time (EST). Further details on distance learning can be found here.

Fall 2022 Courses

August 24th - December 16th

ALB (Albany Campus) | BUF (Buffalo Campus) | ROC (Rochester Campus)

A202: Old Testament (Charles Hughes Huff, Ph.D.)

Introduction to the Old Testament introduces exegetical methodology and theology of the Old Testament. Students will consider the fruits and the assumptions of exegesis, using and examining its methodologies both as helpful tools and as products of a particular era. Hebrew poetry and narrative, ritual and ethical instruction, prophecy, historiography, and novella will be analyzed as literature, and students will also examine the development of traditions within the texts of the canon. Since Sacred Scripture is double-authored, by both man and God, and interpreted in the context of the Catholic Church, A202 will also emphasize the theology of the Old Testament, with a special focus on the People of God, and will read spiritual readings of the Old Testament from the Church Fathers to present.

3 credits | ROC and Online


B/C380: Source and Summit: Reflecting on the Eucharist at the Heart of the Church (Siobhan Latar, S.T.D.)

Identified by the Second Vatican Council as the "Source and Summit" of the Christian life, this course will reflect on the nature and significance of the Eucharist in the life of the Church. Combining both an historical and thematic approach, we will examine the developing understanding of the sacrament of the Eucharist through time, as well as theological themes of Eucharistic spirituality, including: the significance of the Eucharist to Ecclesiology, the Eucharist and the Marian and Petrine dimensions of the Church, the understanding of the three-fold nature of the Body of Christ, the Eucharist as sacrament, etc. We will rely on the reflections of the Fathers, the Councils, recent papal encyclicals, among other texts.

3 credits | Online


C/D325: Vatican II as a Pastoral Council: The Memory That Generates the Future (Daniel Drain, Ph.D. [Cand.])

Pope St. John Paul II said that the Second Vatican Council was “the great grace bestowed on the Church in the twentieth century . . . [and] a sure compass by which to take our bearings in the century now beginning” (Novo Millennio Ineuente, 57). This course aims, first, to survey the breadth and plumb the depths of the teachings of Vatican II, in particular through a thorough reading of its four primary Constitutions (Dei Verbum; Lumen Gentium; Sacrosanctum Concilium; and Gaudium et Spes) in order to better appreciate - and thereby receive anew - that “great grace.”

The second fundamental aim of this course is to understand the uniqueness of the Second Vatican Council in terms of the “pastoral.” Relatively unique among all of the twenty preceding Ecumenical Councils of the Church, Vatican II was not convened to combat one particular heresy, or address an isolated controversy or claimant to teaching authority. Neither was it merely “pastoral” (i.e., not doctrinal, and therefore subject to error and not binding). Vatican II’s chief aim, according to its convener, Pope St. John XXIII, was for the Church to “reaffirm that teaching authority of hers which never fails . . . that the sacred heritage of Christian truth be safeguarded and expounded with greater efficacy” (Opening Address to the Council, 11 October 1962). To understand the sense in which the Council itself sees and implements this particular end in its Constitutions is to arrive at a concept of the “pastoral” which has the vitality, virility, and vivacity to thwart the lamentable divide in present ecclesial discourse between alternative hermeneutics of continuity or rupture, instead arriving at a hermeneutic of reform in continuity.

3 credits | ROC and Online


C/D333: Catholic Bioethics at the Beginning of Life (Jean Baric Parker, D. Bioethics)

Catholic Bioethics at its core is about guiding us towards making well-considered moral decisions in our everyday life that will ultimately lead us to the greatest possible happiness, as exemplified by a life that best glorifies and honors God. This course will describe foundational Catholic principles which have historically provided clarity and rationality to Church moral teaching and which continue to be relevant in today’s complex bioethical climate. Issues to be considered include abortion, in vitro fertilization, contraception, surrogate pregnancy, organ donation, stem cell research, gene editing, gender dysphoria, COVID-19 issues, and physician-assisted suicide. Catholic and secular bioethical ideologies will be compared. End-of-life directives (MOLST, POLST, Living Wills, etc.), will be analyzed in light of Catholic teaching. The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs) will be examined. Discussion will touch upon Theology of the Body doctrine, natural law, the role of conscience, human suffering, and cooperating with evil. This course will benefit health care professionals, clergy, chaplains, life science researchers, ethics and human subjects committee members, counselors, and those who are interested in learning more about applying Catholic bioethical principles to real-life situations.

3 credits | Online


C217: Fundamental Moral Theology (Charles Hughes Huff, Ph.D.)

This course introduces the fields of moral theology and Catholic Social Thought. Students will contemplate the purpose of moral theology and Catholic Social Thought in the life of the Church, their methods, and the problems they address. Topics will include sin and conversion, vice and virtue, methods of moral decision making, and the development and practice of Catholic Social Thought. (Formerly "Moral and Social Teachings")

3 credits | ROC and Online


C226: Liturgical and Sacramental Theology (Rev. Peter Van Lieshout, S.T.L.)

An historical, anthropological and theological investigation of Christian worship and sacrament with special attention to the Roman Catholic Sacraments of baptism and Eucharist; historical overview of liturgical practices, texts, and theology from Jewish and scriptural origins to the 20th-century Vatican II reforms; basic principles of liturgical and sacramental theology; and groundwork for interpreting liturgical documents and ritual texts from pastoral practice, multi/inter-cultural concerns, and ecumenical considerations. (Formerly "Worship and Sacraments").

3 credits | ROC and Online


C228: Ecclesiology and the Theology of Ministry (Carmina Chapp, Ph.D.)

A historical and theological overview of the Christian understanding of ecclesiology and ministry, with the Second Vatican Council as a primary point of reference. Topics include: the foundations of ecclesiology and ministry in the New Testament, the expressions of ecclesiology and ministry in the history of the Church, Apostolic succession, the nature of and relationship between the hierarchy and the laity, the local and the universal Church, and the Church and the world. Ecumenical engagement will also be addressed through the course. (Formerly "Theology of Church and Ministry").

3 credits | Online


C302: Christology and Trinitarian Theology (Rev. Anthony Barratt, S.T.L., Ph.D.)

This course examines and explores the nature of the Christian God as unity and Trinity. It focuses on God’s reality as creator, as redeemer in the person of Jesus who we proclaim the Christ, and as unifier and advocate in the person of the Spirit. Since the very nature of God implies “communion” the social implications of Trinity are a focal point for the course. The work of various theologians will be explored and there will be a focus on the early Ecumenical Councils of the Church. (Formerly "Theology of the Trinity").

3 credits | ALB and Online


CP601: Introduction to Catholic Philosophy (Marco Stango, Ph.D.)

This course centers the student upon the discipline of philosophy as it has been developed and practiced within the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. The methods particular to philosophical investigation will be examined as the philosopher seeks to articulate the nature of wisdom, how it can be attained, and especially incorporated into the entirety of one’s life. The student will understand the differences between philosophy, the sciences, and theology, as well as their respective complementarities, with a focus upon the supportive and illuminative role that philosophy plays in theological education.

3 credits | ALB and Online


CP611: Our Search for Meaning: The Beginning of the Greatest Conversation (Ancient Philosophy) (Stephen Loughlin, Ph.D.)

A survey course from the beginning of philosophy with the pre-Socratics, through Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and ending with the Cynics, Skeptics, Epicureans, Stoics, and Neoplatonism. In particular, those problems posed by Heraclitus, Parmenides, Socrates, and Plato that are important to the philosophical tradition will be considered, Aristotle’s philosophy will be surveyed as a whole, and the themes that are central to post-Aristotelian philosophy will be examined.

3 credits | ROC and Online


CP631: Metaphysics (Marco Stango, Ph.D.)

This course examines the basic concerns and principles that undergird the whole of reality and guide the way by which we think of the ultimate things to which the mind can aspire: existence, essence, the categories of being, the transcendentals, the analogy of being, and the existence and creative activity of God. This course acts as a capstone study to the whole of philosophy and is preferably engaged upon at the end of one’s certificate/degree studies.

3 credits | ALB and Online


D214: Spiritual Formation (Lisa Lickona, S.T.L.)

This course provides a broad introduction to the ways in which people appropriate the mystery of faith, the process entailed in that appropriation, and overview of the history of that process and the types of experience which have emerged in that history. The students can achieve reflective understanding of their own practice, develop it more consciously and be enabled to appreciate and assist others in this area of ministry.

3 credits | ROC and Online


D217: Pastoral Care (Jessica Cole, D.Min.)

This course examines a variety of issues surrounding pastoral care and ministry in the parish. We will examine the theology of pastoral ministry, as well as exploring stages of faith development, ministering to Gen Z, family ministry, Eucharistic affiliation, and the current USCCB Strategic Initiatives.

3 credits | Online


Summer 2022 Courses

May 9th - June 23rd (Session I) | June 28th - August 11th (Session II)

(Note: our add/drop deadlines are June 3rd [Session I] and July 8th [Session II])

ALB (Albany Campus) | BUF (Buffalo Campus) | ROC (Rochester Campus)

Session II

B/C450: Beauty, Liturgy, Glory: Towards a Philosophical and Theological Aesthetics (Matthew Kuhner, Ph.D.; Stephen Loughlin, Ph.D.; Rev. Peter Van Lieshout, S.T.L.)

In his Letter to Artists, Pope St. John Paul II draws upon the following statement by St. Macarius the Great: “the soul which has been fully illumined by the unspeakable beauty of the glory shining on the countenance of Christ overflows with the Holy Spirit... it is all eye, all light, all countenance” (§6). What does it mean for the soul to be illumined by the unspeakable beauty of the glory shining on the countenance of Christ? How can we begin to understand the relationship between divine glory and the more typical experience of earthly beauty? How does this encounter with beauty most sublime affect clarity and depth of sight and right regard (recta ratio) of the soul in relation to the whole of existence and to/of its summit in Christ Jesus? This course will gesture towards these mysteries by considering questions and themes relevant to philosophical and theological aesthetics. The nature of aesthetic experience, the relationship between truth, goodness, and beauty, and the role of beauty in liturgy will be explored. Sources for the course will include key philosophical and theological texts as well as examples of ancient, medieval, and modern art.

3 credits | ROC and Online

Wednesdays, 6 - 9pm EST, June 29th - August 10th

B301: The Gift of Meaning: The History of the Church (Siobhan Latar, S.T.D.)

“All those in history who have really done anything with the future have had their eyes fixed upon the past” (G.K. Chesterton). This course will provide a survey of Church history, tracking the Church of God across time and space from Pentecost to our present day. The course content will privilege a theological approach to history: it will investigate the historical unfolding of the Church’s doctrines, charisms, and spiritualities, and will assess the temporal development of the institutional Church. The investigations undertaken will be accompanied by a determined effort to learn from history for the sake of the present.

3 credits | ALB and Online

Thursdays, 6 - 9pm EST, June 30th - August 11th

C/D380: The Last Things: Death, Judgement, Heaven, Hell (Daniel Drain, M.T.S.)

This course seeks to unfold the Catholic Church’s rich teaching regarding the four “Last Things”: Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell. The course will reflect on questions surrounding the nature of death and sin, the relationship between finite freedom and providence, the relationship of time and eternity, the Last Judgment, Heaven, and the mystery of Christ’s descent into Hell on Holy Saturday. Its ultimate aim is to provide an overview of Catholic eschatology through a reflection on the meaning and substance of the theological virtue of Hope. The course will oscillate between a consideration of doctrinal and magisterial texts and representations of the eschatological questions in the popular imagination.

3 credits | ROC and Online

Thursdays, 6 - 9pm EST, June 30th - August 11th


C226: Liturgical and Sacramental Theology (Rev. Peter Van Lieshout, S.T.L.)

An historical, anthropological and theological investigation of Christian worship and sacrament with special attention to the Roman Catholic Sacraments of baptism and Eucharist; historical overview of liturgical practices, texts, and theology from Jewish and scriptural origins to the 20th-century Vatican II reforms; basic principles of liturgical and sacramental theology; and groundwork for interpreting liturgical documents and ritual texts from pastoral practice, multi/inter-cultural concerns, and ecumenical considerations. (Formerly "Worship and Sacraments")

3 credits | BUF and Online

Tuesdays, 6 - 9pm EST, June 28th - August 9th


CP430: Minding the Cave: The Call to Truth and Goodness in Plato’s Republic (Marco Stango, Ph.D.)

What is the good? What is truth? What does it mean that human beings are rational? What is wisdom and what does it have to do with human happiness? In reflecting on these questions, it is not difficult to see how very often the good is reduced either to individual taste or to the product of procedural agreement; how truth is identified with appearances and mere subjective opinions; how reason is misunderstood for a mere instrument for the accumulation of information and power; and how wisdom is usually understood as the pastime of few enthusiasts, often because happiness has been identified with some rudimentary form of pleasure. In his Republic, Plato brings up once again these questions – What is the good? What is truth? What is reason? What are wisdom and happiness? – and proposes to us a life-changing journey made of philosophical questioning, successful and unsuccessful arguments, illuminating dead-ends, puzzling irony, daring reflections on politics and art, and much more. In the Republic we find one of the most comprehensive expositions of Plato’s views on philosophy, which challenge beyond measure the contemporary assumptions on and reductions of the good and the true. If the horizon of our life is often vitiated by self-undermining prejudices and limiting views – the “cave,” as Plato says – what Plato offers is nothing else than a call to a renewed, liberating understanding of what genuine goodness and truth are. Thus, the aim of the course is to journey with Plato and ask once again what does it mean to be human through a reading of his masterpiece, the Republic.

3 credits | ALB and Online

Fridays, 6 - 9pm EST, July 1st - August 12th


D207: Canon Law and Ministerial Leadership (Rev. Peter Mottola, J.C.L.)

An introduction to Canon Law, especially as applicable to parish ministry. A particular focus will be given to the canon law of marriage. In addition to a brief summary of the history and development of Canon Law, and a brief survey of the structure of the Roman Curia, an overview will be given according to the organization of the 1983 Code of Canon Law:

I. General Norms (canons 1–203)
II. The People of God (canons 204–755)
III. The Teaching Function of the Church (canons 756–833)
IV. The Sanctifying Function of the Church (canons 834–1258)
V. The Temporal Goods of the Church (canons 1259–1310)
VI. Sanctions in the Church (canons 1311–1399)
VII. Processes (canons 1400–1752)

3 credits | ROC and Online

Tuesdays, 6 - 9pm EST, June 28th - August 9th