As a prerequisite for theological studies and for admission to the theologate, The Program of Priestly Formation (2006) of the U.S. Bishops requires 30 credits in philosophy (#186) and 12 credits in religious studies (#187). St. Patrick's Seminary & University offers these pre-theology courses, as well as a range of other preparatory experiences to seminarians in a two-year pre-theology program.
St. Patrick's Seminary & University's Pre-Theology Program includes classes, addressing topics concerning spirituality and the integration of Philosophy, Theology and the Humanities. The principal goals of the Pre- Theology intend to achieve the following:
? a solid foundation for doing graduate theological work
? the development of a philosophical habit of thought
? the development of critical thinking and communication skills
? an introduction to the full range of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition
? basic cultural competence that is theologically grounded
Course of Studies for Pre-Theology
First Year Pre-Theology
|PH-101||History of Philosophy I/II||6|
|TH-102||Catholic Doctrine I||3|
|SS-107||Introduction to Sacred Scripture||3|
|PH-207||Philosophy of Nature||3|
|TH-101||Prayer in Christian Tradition||1|
|PH-102||History of Philosophy III/IV||6|
|TH-103||Catholic Doctrine II||3|
|PH-207||Philosophy of Nature||3|
|TH-106||Introduction to World Religions||3|
Second Year Pre-Theology
|PT-104||Introduction to Spirituality||3|
|PH-111A||Selected Philosopher I||3|
|PH-111B||Selected Philosopher II||3|
Course Descriptions (Undergraduate)
PT-104: Introduction to Spirituality
This semester experience will focus on developing the basic components of a priestly life and spirituality, such as apostolic service, prayer and an increased knowledge of the Catholic spiritual tradition
PH-101: History of Philosophy I/II
This six-unit course will trace the development of philosophy from the Classical era (Plato, Aristotle) to the end of the medieval period. Special attention will be given to the thought of St. Augustine and the perennial philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas.
PH-102: History of Philosophy III/IV
This six-unit course continues to study the development of philosophy from Descartes to the contemporary philosophies of the 20th century (e.g., existentialism). Emphasis will be placed on classical modern philosophies and on the Church's relationship to the discipline of philosophy.
Logic studies the rules of valid reasoning. In this course the student examines Aristotelian logic, which served as the foundation of medieval and Thomistic theology. The fallacies, the syllogism and the valid form of argumentation will be studied. Modern symbolic logic is compared to Aristotelian logic to show the student the development of logic in the modern era.
This class discusses the classical metaphysical questions surrounding being, ontology, and the ultimate nature of existence. Focus is placed on the metaphysics of St. Thomas Aquinas, its influence on Catholic dogma, and the challenges, which are raised by the Kantian critique.
This course examines the ethical teachings of various philosophers throughout history. Questions to be discussed include: What is good? What makes a good life? How does one make ethical judgments? Special attention is given to the role of the virtues in the philosophy of St. Thomas.
This course reviews the key questions surrounding human knowing, such as, what is knowledge? How does knowledge arise, and what modes of knowledge are valid? It examines the various answers given in the history of philosophical thought.
PH-107: Philosophy of God
Natural theology determines what can be known of God and the world by the light of natural reason. This course asks such questions as: What can we know about God and the Spiritual by reason unaided by divine revelation? Questions to be asked are: What are the arguments for the existence of God? Can we be certain that spiritual agents, such as angels, exist? Does the human being have a soul? Did the world have a beginning in time? St. Thomas Aquinas's philosophy is studied closely in this course.
PH-108: Philosophical Anthropology
This course discusses various answers to the philosophical question, Who is the human person and what is his/her relationship to God? Emphasis will focus on the traditional Christian understanding of this question and the challenges raised by post-Enlightenment philosophy.
This class discusses the classical metphysical questions surrounding being, ontology, and the ultimate nature of existence. Focus is placed on the metaphysics of St. Thomas Aquinas, its influence on Catholic Dogma, and the challenges, which are raised by the Kantian critique.
PH- 111: Selected Philosopher
In this course an individual philosopher is studied in detail. Each year a particular philosopher will be chosen for his influence on Catholic thought, theology and life. Such thinkers as St. Augustine, William of Ockham, Immanuel Kant, William James, Jacques Maritan, Martin Heidegger, and Ãtienne Gilson will be studied.
PH-113: Philosophical Novel
In this course the student will read a select number of novels, which focus on philosophical or cultural issues such as human freedom, atheism, God, evil, crime and religion.
PT-204: Catholic Fiction
In this course several classic Catholic novels are read. The conversations, theology and spirituality of the authors are examined to help the students interpret the fictional texts. Such themes as the priesthood, spirituality, temptation, and the modern Church are covered. The students are encouraged to discover the implicit theology in the various Catholic novels studied.
PH-207: The Philosophy of Nature
The Philosophy of Nature follows metaphysics by asking, "What is the nature of natural phenomena and the creation?" This course examines the Aristotelian and Thomistic tradition on the notion of being and natural substance.
SS-107: Introduction to Sacred Scripture
This course is designed to give students the basic tools for understanding the study of Sacred Scripture. Topics to be covered include: the senses of scripture, the development of the canon, the historical critical method, magisterial teaching since Pope Leo XIII on the study of God's word, and the basic structure of the Old and the New Testaments.
TH-102: Catholic Doctrine I
This class is the first of a two-part course introducing students to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This class will cover Parts I, The Profession of Faith, and Part IILife in Christ, which familiarizes students with the basic principles of Catholic faith and morals.
TH-103: Catholic Doctrine II
This course covers Parts II, The Celebration of the Christian Mystery, and Part IV, Christian Prayer, of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This course will deal with the public and private expression of the Catholic faith in the sacraments and in the life of prayer.
TH-106: Introduction to World Religions
This class is the part two of a two-part course introducing students to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This class covers Part III, "life in Christ," which familiarizes students with the basic principles of Catholic moral thought.