Course Offerings


Course Catalog

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Note that all courses can be accessed online for those who are out of state and/or outside the Rochester or Albany areas. For details on our Distance Learning Program, click below.
Distance Learning & Online Education Program

Summer 2020 Courses

ALB (Albany Campus) | ROC (Rochester Campus)

Session I - early May to end of June, 2020 (Note, our add/drop deadline is May 21st)

Session II - early July to mid August (Note: our add/drop deadline is July 10th)

C330 – The Gospel of Life: Life Issues and Contemporary Challenges (Matthew Kuhner, Ph.D)

After beginning with an overview of theological anthropology (centered upon key sources in Scripture and Tradition), the course then addresses moral issues concerning the beginning of life, its end, and each stage in between. These issues include, but are not limited to: abortion, contraception, violence and war, economic injustice, and euthanasia. The general aim of the course is two-fold: (1) to grant the student proficiency in engaging these challenges and (2) to identify the Church’s teaching on each issue, as well as the foundation of each teaching in the Gospel of Life.

Thursdays, 6:30-9:30pm, 7/2-8/13 - Online via Zoom

B/C491 - Political Theology, Religious Freedom, and the Second Vatican Council (Matthew Kuhner, PhD; Taylor O'Neill, PhD)

What is the relationship between Christianity and politics? How should we understand the interplay between the authority of the state and the authority of the Church? In what way can a definition and a proper exercise of religious freedom be articulated, particularly in our contemporary context? With these questions in mind, this course will engage in a theological exploration of the history, the foundations, and the disputed questions of political theology. The Second Vatican Council's Declaration on Religious Freedom, Dignitatis Humanae, will be a touchstone for the course. The investigations into various dimensions of political theology will yield frequent opportunities to reflect upon contemporary political, cultural, and theological developments.

Tuesdays, 6:30pm - 9:30pm, 7/7-8/18, Online via Zoom

CP612 – Medieval History of Philosophy (Alexandra T. Romanyshyn, MA)

A survey course beginning with St. Augustine, through the rise of Scholasticism, and to its end. Emphasis is placed upon the thought of St. Augustine, Boethius, St. Anselm, St. Bonaventure, St. Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham. The relations between faith and reason, and metaphysical, anthropological, and ethical teachings will be emphasized as they develop the thought received from the ancient Greek philosophers and prepare the way for the rise of modern philosophy.

Thursdays, 6:00-8:00pm, 7/9-8/20 – Online via Zoom

Fall 2020 Courses

August 20th - December 10th (Note: our add/drop deadline is September 18th)

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

C215: Orientation to Theological Studies

This course orients students to the various aspects of Catholic theological studies and the
way Catholic theology functions in the faith community. Key issues such as faith, revelation,
Scripture, tradition, the magisterium, and theological method are explored with an eye as to how
they are integrated into the entire discipline of theology. The course will assist the student to
develop a framework in which to understand how one engages in theological reflection.
Specific theological terms will be defined and discussed. The course will use various methods to
assist students in the process of learning: lecture, class discussions, group work, use of
technology and media. There are no pre-requisites for this course.


C217: Moral and Social Teachings (Charles Hughes Huff, Ph.D.)

Introduction to the fields of moral theology and Catholic Social Thought: their purpose in the life of the Church; their methods, their problems. The content of the course is a thorough treatment of methodological issues rather than analysis of specific moral or social dilemmas, though specific issues and cases are used for purposes of illustration and assisting students in developing skills of application to practical situations. Among the topics to be addressed: sin and conversion, moral growth and development, sources of moral wisdom, methods of moral decision making, conscience and discernment, and the development of Catholic Social Thought.


C226: Worship and Sacraments (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.


C228: Theology of Church and Ministry (Matthew Kuhner, Ph.D.)

Historical and theological overview of the Christian understanding of church and ministry, with the Second Vatican Council (especially Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes) as a primary point of reference. While the western and Roman Catholic context is central to the presentation, global and ecumenical considerations characterize the treatment of such topics as diversity in the early church(es)’s understanding of its mission, the development of ecclesial structures within their historical and cultural contexts, centralization to the papacy and the magisterium, the church as local/universal, the priesthood of the faithful, ecumenical dialogue, and the origin, function, and evolution of ordained and lay ministries.


C/D460: Faith, Fiction, and Film: The Drama of Belief (Matthew Kuhner, Ph.D.)

"Every genuine art form in its own way is a path to the inmost reality of man and of the world. It is therefore a wholly valid approach to the realm of faith, which gives human experience its ultimate meaning" (Pope St. John Paul II, Letter to Artists, 6). This course will explore how the art forms of fiction and film approach the realm of faith, reverencing its mystery and disclosing its richness. Beginning with a theological discussion of the relationship between Catholicism and art, the course will move to enjoy and reflect upon recent examples of fiction and film that have explored the drama of belief. Works of fiction by Flannery O'Connor, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Graham Greene, and films by Karen Blixen and Xavier Beauvois will be explored.


CP613: History of Philosophy: Modern and Contemporary (Matthew Pietropaoli, Ph.D.)

With regard to the modern era, this course will survey the main philosophers of the rationalist, empiricist, and Kantian traditions, from Descartes through the nineteenth century. This will introduce the student to the authors of the 19th and 20th century studied in the contemporary era who respond to the major themes/positions of the modern era. It is with regard to the latter that this course explores the two major schools of philosophy in the contemporary era, namely analytic philosophy, on the one hand, and phenomenology and existentialism, on the other.


CP614: Epistemology (Stephen Loughlin, Ph.D.)

This course will consider the nature of knowledge; whether the human mind can know things as they really are; the twofold nature of human cognition (normative and empirical/rational and sensual); the relationship between the human person’s empirical and normative knowledge; the different kinds of knowing as well as their degrees; the different approaches to truth, belief, and error; and the metaphysical underpinnings of different approaches to the aforementioned concerns.


CT672: Sacred Scripture (Charles Hughes Huff, Ph.D.)

This course will present a survey of the books of the New Testament as the fulfillment of the old covenant epoch, including the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the Pauline Corpus, the Catholic Epistles, and the book of Revelation. It should also equip students to interpret and access the New Testament for the purposes of preaching, catechesis,
and personal spiritual development.


D211: Discernment and Formation for Ministry (Nancy Hawkins, IHM, Ph.D.)

Within the Biblical tradition, God continually speaks to humanity, calling them to the holiness of life. Recognizing the lifelong development of Christian spiritual formation, this course guides the beginning student in the practice and art of spiritual discernment. Based on the great spiritual masters of the Catholic tradition, this course will help those attempting to discern how God calls and to what ministry within the baptized assembly one is called.


D214: Spiritual Formation (Nancy Hawkins, IHM, Ph.D.)

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.


D217: Pastoral Care (Ian Buterbaugh, LCSW)

This course is designed as a beginning course in pastoral care and serves as an introduction to understanding its basic principles and methods. The course addresses the traditional and changing definitions of pastoral care and the various issues that have emerged. In the broadest sense, pastoral care includes liturgy, administration, catechesis, as well as visitation and counseling. This course will look at the varying roles for both clergy and laity, while especially focusing on interpersonal skills and effective communication skills, particularly empathy.