Fall 2020 Courses

Registration for fall courses closes September 14th. Classes for both the Graduate Theology program and the Liberal Arts program begin September 21st. Classes are held weekly at the times noted below (all times are Pacific Time). See the Academic Calendar for more information about breaks, papers, and final exams.

Liberal Arts Classes

Humanities 101: Gods and Heroes in Ancient Greece

M/W 12:00pm – 1:20pm PT (3 Credits)

Jason Baxter

Homer, Hymns, Iliad, Odyssey
Sophocles, Oedipus the King, Antigone
Euripides, Bacchae
Plato, Symposium, Phaedrus

In the works of the ancient Greeks, the Western mind achieves its first comprehensive self-understanding centered in the paradigmatic choices of the hero. Achilles in the Iliad and Odysseus in the Odyssey reveal two different versions of human excellence, one characterized by fearless openness and honor, the other by effective intelligence and the uses of deception. Through Socrates, a new kind of hero, Plato explores the “epic” dimensions of philosophy and reason’s relationship to myth. The Greek heroes reveal the perennial tensions between fate and freedom, family and city, heroic duty and common happiness, death and the desire for immortality, that shape the classical tradition and that echo powerfully even in the modern soul.

Philosophy 101: Tools of Philosophy

M/Th 5:00pm – 6:20 pm PT (3 Credits)

Jacob Terneus

Aristotle, Categories; On Interpreta­tion; Prior and Posterior Analytics (selections)
Plato, Alcibiades, Cratylus, Meno
Porphyry, Isagoge

This course introduces students to the science of logic, the fundamental prerequisite to the study of philosophy. The chief part of the semester is devoted to the three acts of the intellect: apprehension, assertion, and deduction. Students consider the nature of the intellect’s act in grasping concepts and naming them, and the distinction of univocal and equivocal speech that follows upon this, treating at some length the equivocity of being and its highest genera through a study of Aristotle’s Categories. Next, the act of assertion or predication is considered, and then the formation and use of syllogisms and deductive reasoning, dialectic inquiry, the formation of definitions, and sophistic refutations.

Theology 101: Salvation History I

T/F 8:00am – 9:20 am PT (3 Credits)

Vincent DeMeo

Readings for this semester are taken exclusively from Scripture:
1 & 2 Samuel
1 & 2 Kings
1 Maccabees

Since theology begins with knowledge of the saving deeds of God in Jesus Christ, who is Lord of history from the creation of the world to its consummation, the first year of theology familiarizes students firsthand with the history of salvation as God tells it to us in the words He Himself inspired. The first semester focuses on the Old Testament as background to and promise of the New (second semester).

Graduate Theology Classes

Theology 511: The Book of Job

Sat 9:00am – 11:30am PT (3 Credits)

Nathan Schmiedicke

St. Gregory the Great, Moralia in Iob
St. Thomas, Commentary on Job

The Book of Job has fascinated and perplexed readers for millennia. It presents a just man whom God permits Satan to afflict, in order to test him. Job’s friends comfort and counsel him, but in reality they accuse him repeatedly of sinning, which Job denies. When God appears in a whirlwind to speak to Job, He vindicates his innocence and yet rebukes him. In what consists Job’s righteousness, and in what consists his fault? In what ways are his friends’ speeches right, and in what ways are they wrong? The book presents us with a sustained meditation on Divine Providence, the evil of guilt and the evil of suffering, the limits of human understanding, and the need for redemption. Two of the West’s greatest theologians, St. Gregory the Great and St. Thomas Aquinas, wrote unsurpassed commentaries on this book. In this course we will study Scripture in their classroom, reading a representative portion of St. Gregory’s commentary, and the entirety of St. Thomas’s.

Theology 512: Existence and Attributes of God

(3 Credits)


John Mortensen

St. Anselm, Proslogion
St. Thomas, Summa theologiae I, qq. 1–19

In order to understand the mystery of the three Divine Persons, the mystery of creation flowing from the Triune God, and the mystery of salvation in Christ, we must first understand something about God in Himself—the “divine essence”; and to do this requires a careful investigation of the nature and attributes of God such as we can know them. Many ancient and modern errors about the world have come either from the careless application of limited human words and concepts to God, or the transference of divine attributes to created things. In this course, after two classes on the nature of sacred theology (the opening question of the Summa), we will discuss the existence of God, His attributes (simplicity, perfection, goodness, infinity, omnipresence, immutability, eternity, unity), His Names, His knowledge and ideas, His life, and His will.

Theology 513: Church Fathers I

M/W 9:00am – 10:20am PT (3 Credits)

Michael Foley

St. Clement of Rome, First Epistle
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epistles
St. Polycarp, Epistle to the Philippians
Anon., The Martyrdom of Polycarp
Anon., The Epistle to Diognetus
Anon., The Didache
St. Cyprian, On the Unity of the Church
St. Augustine, Confessions, On Christian Doctrine
St. Gregory Nazianzen, Theological Orations
St. Basil, On the Holy Spirit
Pseudo-Dionysius, The Divine Names

This course introduces students to some of the most important figures in the history of Christian theology: the Apostolic Fathers Clement, Ignatius, and Polycarp, the Latin Fathers Cyprian and Augustine, and the Greek Fathers Gregory Nazianzen, Basil, and Pseudo-Dionysius. Of the vast wealth of patristic literature, these works have been chosen to illuminate the mystery of the one true God, in Trinity of Persons, as the source and exemplar of the one true Church of Christ: one Body with many members, united by a common faith and charity. The Fathers bring out with special clarity the inseparability of theology in its original sense, that is, the doctrine of God (Gregory, Basil, Dionysius); economy or how God works in creation and in each man’s life (Augustine); ecclesiology or how the Church comes from and leads to God (Clement, Ignatius, Cyprian), and morality or the life we should lead in response to God’s gracious revelation. In addition, the study of these authors provides a solid foundation for the more systematic treatment of these topics in St. Thomas’s Summa theologiae.