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Course Sequence & Catalog

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All students are required to successfully complete four years of religious education for a total of 2 credits. 80 hours of Christian Service are also required for graduation.

9th Grade 10th Grade 11th Grade 12th Grade
Religion 9
Revelation of Jesus Christ (Bible) & Who is Jesus Christ?
Religion 10—Mission of Jesus Christ (Paschal Mystery) & Jesus Christ's Mission Continues in the Church
Religion 11— Sacraments & Christian Morality
Religion 12—Becoming a Woman of Mature Faith/World Religions
Service to Family—20 Hours
Service to School—20 Hours
Service to Community—40 Hours
Introduction to Philosophy—Elective
Psychology & Religion—Elective

Course Catalog

1010 Religion 9: Foundations of Catholicism
This course sets the context and foundation for the rest of the religion course sequence. It provides students with basic knowledge of Catholic beliefs, traditions, and practices. Students also analyze and evaluate fundamental and significant questions concerning human existence. Students are further introduced to basic biblical exegetical skills (critical reading of Bible texts and passages, as well as critical writing). Through prayer, meditation, journal writing and a variety of other practices, the students also explore the various spiritual lifestyles within the Catholic tradition. In addition, students evaluate the role of Jesus' teachings and the significance of religion in their lives. As they dialogue and react to the course's content, students will improve their reading, writing, and research skills.

2010 Religion 10: The New Testament
This course gives the students an understanding of Jesus' personal, historical, cultural and religious effects. The Incarnation is studied to enable the students to articulate their understanding of Jesus as human and divine. They discover that Jesus' mission is to establish a kingdom of love and service. They are invited to participate in this mission through their course work and service requirements. Students also explore Jesus' passion, death and resurrection and correlate human dying and rising to the Paschal Mystery. The class enables students to respond to Jesus Christ as risen and living among us-- in the Spirit, the Church, the Word, the sacraments (especially the Eucharist), prayer, and other human beings. As a result of investigating these themes, students grow in both her personal relationship to Jesus and her knowledge of Him.

3000 Religion 11: Catholic Social Teaching and Christian Morality
This course has a two-fold purpose. First, the students are introduced to the main key themes of Catholic Social Teaching (CST). The students learn about the body of thought and work of the Catholic Church that encourages individuals to recognize and affirm the dignity of every person, to respect all creation, and to speak out against injustices and to take action to help create a more peaceful and just world. Secondly, the students' understanding of the principles of CST helps to inform their study of Christian morality. Morality as a subject deals with the rightness and wrongness of human actions. This course seeks to help each student become more aware of the moral choices they face on a daily basis and to develop clarity in their decision-making process. Students also have an opportunity to add to their existing knowledge about and to discuss issues such as sexuality, abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, and cloning.

3050 Service 11: Christian Community
Each junior is expected to perform forty hours of service in the community. This service should be person-centered. During the service period, the student is expected to keep both a log of her hours and a journal of her field experiences. In addition, she is expected to attend a class meeting once a cycle, where issues relating to social justice and peace are discussed.

4010 World Religions
This one-semester course studies the great religions of the world (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism) with the intention of exploring how to be authentically rooted in one's faith tradition while also being open to the wisdom of the religious other. The reality of our pluralistic, postmodern world is framed as both ‘promise and problem' where students explore the challenges of interfaith dialogue in a suffering world. The course takes a project-based approach where students are challenged to develop their critical reading, writing and thinking skills by creating authentic, problem-based projects that highlight their specific interests and learning styles. It is hoped that such an approach can deepen students' realization that developing different religious perspective can enrich one's own faith life.

4010 Becoming a Woman of Mature Faith (Formerly Alpha and Omega)
This required, semester-long senior Religion course explores the meaning and form of a mature, adult faith in the context of a pluralistic, secular world. Christian and Jewish scriptures are examined for wisdom on how to live one’s everyday life. These traditional guides are further put in conversation with contemporary social, psychological, and educational literature to gain a deeper understanding of adulthood and human religious and moral development. The themes of vocation and the Paschal Mystery are central governing metaphors meant to highlight the nature of journeying towards a mature, meaningful faith life. Prevalent societal attitudes about these themes are also critiqued while various images and attitudes about life, suffering, and deaths are explored.

4050 Philosophy, Senior Elective
This course is an academic college preparatory course which will introduce students to some of the greatest thinkers and ideas in Western history. Due to its scope and content, this course demands intellectual openness, honesty, responsibility and determination. We will examine excerpts from texts stemming from a variety of historical periods and philosophical traditions (e.g. Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, St. Aquinas, Descartes, Locke, Hobbes, Kant, Nietzsche…) as well as questions that effect us immediately (e.g. How do you know you are not just dreaming about Senior electives? Can I prove Sr. Laura and/or God exist? What makes an action worth 6 demerits and a detention?).

4060 Psychology and Religion, Senior Elective
Psychology and Religion is a senior elective within the Religion Department. It is an academically rigorous course challenging students to develop a better understanding of how modern psychological theory can inform and enrich their appreciation and understanding of religious experience, doctrine, belief, and ritual. The course further looks into how Jewish and Christian Scripture can provide valuable perspectives on basic psychological theory. While insights from certain non-Christian religions are brought into class discussion, the focus is on the Christian religious experience. Finally, the course aims to suggest how both psychological theory and a basic religious perspective, whatever particular faith tradition, can provide new understanding into the nature of human suffering and development.

Campus Ministry
The activities of Campus Ministry foster the spiritual development of the PHS community and thus fulfill the school’s mission. Campus Ministry members organize daily prayers, special liturgical celebrations, and monthly prayer services/communal reflections. Campus Ministry also oversees the annual off-campus retreats for all students and the Emmaus retreats for juniors and seniors. All Prestonites are encouraged to share their faith and thus enrich the entire community. All students, of any religious denomination or background, are invited to join Campus Ministry to serve the PHS community as lectors and altar servers and to live lives of compassion.