The deacon is described as "a minister of Word, Altar, Charity and Justice." In this online seminar course, an exposition of the official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church will bring to light the dogmatic foundations of the Diaconate. By researching the liturgical and social history of the Order, students will be encouraged to develop theological descriptions of the Diaconate that are consistent with the official teachings of the Magisterium.
A review of the theological and historical development of the Church. Particular attention is paid to the history of the Church in the United States. Study of the important issues, controversies and persons in the history of the Church and their impact on the present view of the Church’s mission and vision.
The early Church Fathers addressed fundamental questions about the Church in their writings. Included are texts on Christology, the Trinity, the sacraments and other topics. Writings from the Eastern and Western Fathers will be read so as to understand better how the Church currently “breathes with both lungs.”
Catholic Social Teaching (CST) may well be the Church’s “best kept secret.” CST is rich in political insight. Yet, Catholics in recent years have had considerable difficulty reconciling their faith, including the explicit teachings of CST, with the political choices offered in American politics. This course introduces Catholic Social Teaching, its place within Catholic doctrine, and its response to contemporary challenges of society, politics, and economy. It also considers Catholic Social Teaching’s relation to contemporary American ideologies. The course is designed as a core intellectual component of deacon formation. However, any deacon candidate, deacon, or colleague in ministry may find this course useful for ongoing formation in Catholic teaching. Facilitator: Deacon Clarke Cochran, PhD
This course guides the students though an exploration of the many facets of a person who is grieving. Completion of this course will allow the participant to identify with those who bereave a loss and allow the student to experience a methodology of counseling to apply in their ministry.
The student will explore the attitude that we have toward loss, death; define what grief and bereavement mean; identify factors that influence different reactions to grief; examine different grieving scenarios; consider cultural differences among various religions; explore the healing process through counseling; learn how to develop a good grief group; and list professional organizations and helpful resources for grieving and those who help them.
In addition, each student will be assigned the role of acting as a student to another student who will play the role of a grieving person, thereby allowing the students to gain practical insight into the theoretical basis of the course. Students will be required to give a weekly report on the progress of their assigned client and provide feedback on their assigned counselor.
Completion of the course does not certify the student to act as a licensed or certified grief counselor but serves as an introductory level course that will help the student understand the grieving process and successfully conduct individual or group grief counseling sessions.