Free Summer Audit Opportunity

St. Bernard's is delighted to offer the opportunity of auditing one of our summer courses for free. We are committed to featuring courses that enhance the truths of our faith, and as such, wish to share our offerings to as many people as possible.

Auditing allows one to attend courses without receiving graduate credit. This means you can enjoy the benefits of taking a graduate course without having to submit the required paperwork.

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.

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)

Complete the form below to begin your online application! Once submitted, check your email for next steps. For questions, please contact our Director of Admissions.

Apply Online

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 (Anthony Coleman, Ph.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

Complete the form below to begin your online application! Once submitted, check your email for next steps. For questions, please contact our Director of Admissions.

Apply Online