Welcome to the Moreau Catholic Theology Department! Our philosophy is grounded in the values and traditions of our Catholic faith and our Holy Cross identity. To guide us, we look to the Gospels, and the educational philosophy of Blessed Basil Moreau, founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross:

•    The mind will not be cultivated at the expense of the heart;
•    Our students must not be ignorant of anything they need to know;
•    Our teaching will not be confined within narrow and unscientific boundaries;

Toward that end, the Theology program seeks to educate the mind in ways of higher order thinking and theological studies and methods, as well as to form the heart by nurturing faith and deepening spirituality.

With the recent release of a suggested curricular framework by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, our program is undergoing transition toward even greater alignment.  For the 2011-2012 school year:

•    Freshman will study Hebrew Scripture, Christology & the Sacraments, and the New Testament. 
•    Sophomores will study Christology and Moral Theology
•    Juniors and Seniors will continue to enjoy the range of upper division electives. 

Beginning in the 2011-2012 school year, sophomores will be introduced to Church History in the semester preceding Moral Theology. Frosh and Sophs will continue to enjoy their retreat and service learning immersion at St. Anthony’s Foundation in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, respectively. In addition, all seniors will close their MCHS experience with “Senior Seminar: Christian Spirituality & Service,” which will include the Kairos Retreat, a profound experience for our students. 

In addition to the development of a new course, “Catholic Church in Inter-Religious Dialogue,” inspired by the Bishops’ framework, we will continue to offer a range of dynamic upper division electives such as Bible as Literature, Apocalyptic Literature, Major Religions, Catholic Social Teaching, and Peace and Conflict Studies.
We here in the Theology Department look forward to learning and growing with you! Welcome, Mariners!

Senior Capstone Project

The Capstone Project is an innovative program that allows students to live out the charism of Holy Cross and “renew the Christian faith, to regenerate society, to 'bring about better times' by a constant response to the most pressing needs of the Church and society.”

     - Congregation of Holy Cross International Commission on Consecrated Life Rome, August 11, 2006).

The Capstone equips students with the independent research, collaborative teamwork, and communication skills that are increasingly valued by colleges. In this project, students investigate real-world problems through multiple perspectives, gathering and analyzing data from various sources in order to develop credible and valid evidence-based arguments.

The primary goal of the course it to help students realize: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.” In short, we want students to embrace their talents and use those talents to change and transform the world.

We define our holistic education by helping students develop readiness in four key areas: readiness for college; readiness for the careers of tomorrow; readiness for civic life; and readiness for life in the Catholic community. Blessed Basil Moreau articulates this well when he says: "We shall always place education side by side with instruction; the mind will not be cultivated at the expense of the heart. While we prepare useful citizens for society, we shall likewise do our utmost to prepare citizens for heaven."

A prerequisite of this readiness is the “soft skill” of agency. Agency is the capacity and propensity to take purposeful initiative—the opposite of helplessness. Young people with high levels of agency do not respond passively to their circumstances; they tend to seek meaning and act with purpose to achieve the conditions they desire in their own and others’ lives.

Department Members

Peter Shelley (Chair), Amy Armstrong, Father Bruce Cecil C.S.C., Ben Greenbaum, James Hannon, Patrick Landeza, Tony Rodriguez, Ann Tabora, Bryan Lorentz

Theology Courses:

Graduation Requirements*

40 units

Students who transfer to Moreau Catholic as sophomores are required to take 30 units, and those who transfer as juniors are required to take 20 units.


*(1 semester = 5 units)

331. Frosh Theology

Full year, 10 units (required), Grade 9

This course grounds students in the basic vocabulary and core concepts of Catholic Christianity. First semester introduces students to the tradition and charism of Holy Cross, adolescent development and the formation of personal identity and worldview, spirituality, ritual and sacred space, and Jewish history and scripture. Second semester focuses on Jesus and the Christian Testament, models of Church, and sacraments. Freshman will have also the opportunity to develop their skills in public speaking, as well as numerous applications of technology.

303. Christology

Fall semester, 5 units (required), Grade 10
“Who do you say I am?” This course invites students to explore the meaning of the person and message of Christ. Students learn about Jesus’ social world, his life and teachings, and the development of the early church. Emphasis is placed on the application and relevancy of the teachings of Jesus to our lives, both individually and collectively. To expand their repertoire of spiritual practices, students will be introduced to the practice of chanting, and will have the chance to deepen the practice of lectio divina. Building on the “art of speaking” practiced their freshman year, both semesters of sophomore theology will empower students in the “art of questioning,” including how and why to ask critical questions, as well as how to conduct an interview.

304. Church History

Semester, 5 units (required), Grade 10

The encounter of Jesus the Christ is deepened through the study and nature of the Church throughout history. Students will address the Church’s origin, foundation and mission throughout human history. Emphasis is on the development of the Church through particular time periods (Roman Empire, Middle Ages, Reformation, Modernity, World Church etc.), understanding seminal events (Council of Nicaea, Rise of Monasticism, Crusades, Trent, Vatican II etc.) and experiencing the prophetic history of the “People of God”.

307. Introduction to New Testament

Semester, 5 units, Grades 11-12
This course is a comprehensive introduction to New Testament studies, including content, historical context, and the processes used by Biblical scholars in their attempt to solve problems associated with understanding the New Testament.

153. The Bible as Literature

Semester, 5 units, Grades 11-12
Comment: This course meets the UC “b” English requirement.

Did you know that the Bible is the best selling literary text in the world? Have you ever read a good book or short story and noticed that the story bears a striking resemblance to the plot of Noah and the flood, the characters of Rachel and Leah, or the symbolism of the Passion of Christ? Bible as Literature explores the literary nature of Hebrew and Christian scriptures, and compares literary traditions of the Bible with American and English literature. Using biblical scholarship, students will apply literary analysis and interpretation to biblical characters, plots, themes, and styles such as myth, drama, and poetry

324. Peace and Conflict Studies

Semester, 5 units, Grades 11-12
“Peacemaking is not an optional commitment. It is a requirement of our faith. We are called to be peacemakers, not by some movement of the moment, but by our Lord Jesus” (The Challenge of Peace, #333). The Bishops’ statement echoes Jesus’ pronouncement, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” But what is peacemaking? How can we bring peace to the world unless we have peace within our communities and ourselves? Rooted in Catholic social teaching, this course will explore peacemaking from three perspectives: personal/spiritual, interpersonal/social, and global/political. Via various meditative arts, students will be supported in developing a personal spiritual practice. At the interpersonal level, students will learn conflict resolution skills of constructive, non-defensive communication. Finally, students will learn about nonviolent theory, human rights, child soldiers, human trafficking, genocide, humanitarian intervention, and efforts in disarmament, demobilization and reconciliation. This course is for students who wish to take seriously the journey of becoming an active, effective peacemaker.

315. Major Religions of the World

Semester, 5 units, Grades 11-12
Comment: This course meets the UC “g” requirement.

This course studies the world’s non-Christian religious traditions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Islam and Judaism. Topics covered include meditation, chanting, yoga, reincarnation, prayer and fasting. Emphasis will be on each tradition’s unique religious practices and on their common goal of understanding the meaning and purpose of life.

335. Christian Culture in a Changing World

Semester, 5 units, Grades 11-12

Comment: This course meets the UC “g” requirement.

This course will survey regional spiritual practices in Europe (Western & Eastern), Asia & the Pacific Islands, Latin America, Africa, and Native America with an integration of culturally specific art, music, and cultural expressions of the Sacraments. The course will also include "special topics," e.g., the interrelationship among Christian Scripture/Theology, ecological thought, and spirituality. The course will provide the historical foundation of modern Christian practices and rituals as well as experiential learning.

309. Prophecy and Apocalyptic Literature

Semester, 5 units, Grades 11-12
Comment: This course meets the UC “g” requirement.

This course will examine the apocalyptic genre of literature found in Jewish and early Christian writings. Major emphasis will be placed on comparing revelation as a literary response to varying religious/social/political responses throughout history. It will also focus on the continuing fascination of “end times” as demonstrated through art and cinematic media. Students will read and critique the apocalyptic texts of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, explore the themes of evil and sin, study the prophetic movement and discover the hopeful message of the literary genre.

319. Social Justice

Semester, 5 units (required), Grade 11

The course will introduce students to the major themes of Catholic social teaching. The principles of social teaching found in scripture (10 commandments; Beatitudes), modern encyclicals (Rerum Novarum), bishop’s conferences, will present Christ’s concern for others, the confrontation of sin and it’s social dimensions and the Church as a sign of charity and justice. The content of this course is the foundation for the Holy Cross Social Justice Capstone project. 

334. Campus Ministry Leadership

Full year, 10 units, Grade 12
Prerequisite: Interview process conducted by the Campus Ministry Director.

This course is offered to seniors who wish to play an active role of ministerial leadership in the Campus Ministry programs of MCHS.  Students will be responsible for working with the instructor in the planning, preparation and implementation of school-wide liturgies and smaller class collaboration liturgies. Students will also assist in other school ministerial endeavors such as retreats, mission collections, drives and service projects. In class, students will explore Christian spirituality, the history of Christian worship and the basic principles of liturgical worship. Students will be challenged to develop both personal and group leadership skills.

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