Undergraduate Courses

3 credit course

Old course number 106-3101

This course is designed as a study of the scientific principles of nutrition.  These nutrition principles apply to individuals and groups with application to meeting the nutritional needs throughout the life span from infancy through adulthood. Topics include learning about one’s own dietary habits, digestion, metabolism, and menu planning to achieve specific nutrition goals.

Upon completion of this course the student will:
Demonstrate an understanding of nutrition concepts throughout the life cycle.
Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between diet and health.
Identify appropriate food selections to meet the recommendations of health agencies.
Critically read and evaluate research articles and media nutrition information.
Compare different food items based on nutrition labels.
Plan meals and describe issues for the nutritional needs of designated individuals/groups.

This course accesses online interactive software, power point presentations,  written lecture notes, and online discussions.

3 credit course

Old course number 106-0503

Church History: From the Early Christians to the Middle Ages (formerly 106-0503) is the first of two undergraduate survey courses covering the whole of Catholic history. This first course examines the central themes and events in the life of the Church from the days of the Apostles to the end of the Middle Ages. Students will study the great events of the Church’s past, the development of Christian thought and belief, and the immense contributions of popes, saints, theologians, and common Christians to the progress of the Faith through the ages. Those who complete this course should be able to describe the key issues and topics related to the development of the Christian Church from the time of Christ to the end of the Middle Ages; explain the patterns of Church life from Pentecost to the start of the Renaissance and have a familiarity with the most important leaders, events, and writings; and build on the course foundation to delve deeper into Church history and to pursue other courses and seminars on specific topics related to the broader tapestry of Early and Medieval Christianity.

This course includes written lectures and online discussion.

3 credit course

Old course number 106-0504

Church History II is the second of two undergraduate survey courses covering the whole of Catholic history. The first course examined the central themes in the life of the Church from the days of the Apostles to the end of the Middle Ages. In this course, students will study the great events of Church history from the Renaissance, through the Protestant and Catholic Reformations and the Enlightenment and era of revolutions, to the tumultuous 20th century. We will meet extraordinary saints, popes, theologians, artists, and writers who have all helped to guide the progress of the Church across the globe.

This course includes written lectures and online discussion.

3 credit course

This course addresses the history of the Catholic Church in North America from the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492 to the present time. Students will be presented with a survey of the foundations of the Catholic faith in North America, the progress of the Faith in the 19th century, including the era of immigration, urbanization, and the Civil War, and the life of Catholicism in the modern era. Focus will also include the work of the Baltimore councils, the activities of the Church during the Great Depression and the two World Wars, the election of John F. Kennedy, the impact of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), and possible keys areas of concern for the Church in the 21st century and beyond.

This course includes written lectures, audio lectures, and online discussion.

3 credit course

Old course number 106-3201

This course will focus on economic definitions, concepts, and principles. There will be an overview of concepts such as: markets, supply and demand, opportunity cost, market structures, governmental economic influence, the monetary system, and the role of the Catholic Church in economics.

This course accesses online interactive software, written lecture notes, and online discussions.

This course provides an overview of the different types of academic essays and gives specific, guided instructions on how to develop essays and term papers for CDU courses. The course also includes an overview of theological terms, along with tips on applying these terms in online discussions and written work.  Assisted by the CDU librarian, students will learn how to access scholarly works and will also differentiate between plagiarism and correctly cited sources within an academic essay.  Students will complete five graded essays.  With the help of supplemental materials, students will also be expected to pass, to an 80% level of competency, a diagnostic grammar and usage quiz.

3 credit course

Introduction to Literature for Theology introduces students to a range of literary genres and forms and develops their understanding of the use of language to convey meaning through imaginative literature. Students will increase their knowledge of fundamental literary forms and techniques and develop their critical reading and writing skills by interacting with literary texts. Students who complete this course should be able to identify and analyze themes and ideas in literature from a Catholic perspective and express their conclusions clearly and effectively in writing.

3 credit course

Old course number 106-1803

This course is an introduction to the Greek language as it appears in the texts of both the Old and New Testaments. While emphasis will be on the basic morphology of nouns and verbs and most frequently used words in Biblical Greek, the students will also learn all the basic pronouns and prepositions, the three noun declensions, all the tenses in which finite Greek verbs appear, many of the basic rules of Greek syntax, and, finally, the commonly used Greek participle.

This course includes written lectures, audio pronunciation lessons, and online discussions.

3 credit course

Old course number 106-1804

This course builds upon the foundation of Biblical Greek I.  Students will receive reinforcement of basic Greek grammar and morphology learned in the first course. The practice of hearing and reciting paradigms and principal parts will be continued throughout this course.

This course includes written lectures, audio pronunciation lessons, and online discussions.

3 credit course

Ancient Civilization is the first of three undergraduate survey courses addressing the whole of Western history. This first course examines the central themes in the development of Western Civilization from the rise of the major cultures in the Near East to the End of the Roman Empire and the start of the Middle Ages. Students will study the great civilizations of Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Rome, the conversion of the Roman Empire, and the conversion of the West.

3 credit course

Christian Civilization is the second of two undergraduate survey courses covering the whole of Western and modern history. This second course examines the central themes in the development of Western Civilization from the flowering of the medieval epoch to the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. Students will study the remarkable features of the High Middle Ages — an era justifiably termed the Age of Faith —  to the start of the of the Renaissance, the shattering of Christian unity in the Protestant Reformation, and the time of the great explorations.

3 credit course

A Global Civilization is the third of three undergraduate survey courses covering the whole of Western history. This third course examines the central themes in the development of Western Civilization from the Enlightenment to the era of the war on terror and globalization in the 21st century. Students will study the emergence of Enlightenment and the Age of Absolutism to the French Revolution and Napoleon, the birth of the United States, the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression and terrible world wars, the Cold War, and the modern era that has brought such momentous change.

3 credit course

This course offers an introduction to Judaism and Islam, creating a framework for understanding these religions and their relationship to Christianity. The study of Judaism and Islam enables the student to examine how people formed in a different tradition answer the great questions.  It provides a frame of reference for speaking or studying about issues that are related to these religious traditions and an appreciation of their contribution to the world in which we live.

3 credit course

This course is an introduction to Sacred Architecture, its relationship to the Liturgy, and its importance in communicating the heavenly realm on earth. Questions regarding the history of Church Architectural Form, the role of Beauty in communicating the Transcendent, and the evaluation of church buildings and their contribution to the physical experience of the Heavenly realm on Earth will be explored.

3 credit course

Old course number 116-1801

Each lesson in this Latin course consists of a lecture (comprised of both a written and an audio component), vocabulary, and assigned exercises from the textbook.  Besides these requirements, the student is expected to memorize each paradigm as it is encountered. As new concepts are encountered, the lecture will provide detail not given in the textbook, as well as each concept’s application to both English and Latin.

This course includes written lectures, audio pronunciation lessons, and online discussions.

3 credit course

Old credit course 116-1802

The first eight lessons of this course consist of a lecture, vocabulary, and assigned exercises from the textbook. Besides these requirements, the student is expected to memorize each paradigm as they are encountered. As new concepts are encountered, the lecture will provide detail not given in the textbook, as well as each concept’s application to both English and Latin.

This course includes written lectures, audio pronunciation lessons, and online discussions.

3 credit course

This course is designed to enable students to more fully appreciate the truth of Galileo’s claim that “Mathematics is the alphabet by which God has written the universe.” In addition to stressing the beauty of math in the created order, the course also establishes math’s practical relevance in everyday living, even for those who do not work or intend to work in a scientific or technological field. This course is for students who need a mathematics course to satisfy the general education requirement in mathematics. The course will include an introduction to inductive and deductive reasoning, the nature of sets and their applications, the nature of logic and its practical uses, numeration systems old and new (their types and uses), the application of numbers in describing lengths and distances called measurement, algebra as the “universal arithmetic” and, finally proportions and shapes, commonly known as geometry.

Hear from our students

“I’m enjoying the approach taken in this course more than in any other math course I’ve taken. There’s a creativity to the presentation both in the discussions but also, surprisingly, in the textbook that has me engaged beyond just learning the “rules” and reapplying them to new problems. In short, it’s making me think and not just memorize. That’s a plus for someone who doesn’t normally enjoy math.”—Nicholas Labrie

3 credit course

This class is a philosophical exploration of human nature.  We begin with Socrates, who helps us understand what philosophical inquiry is.  Socrates also opens up the discussion of the meaning of and purpose of human existence.  Through the thought of Aristotle and St. Thomas, we will address two fundamental questions:  what is human nature, and what does it mean to be a human person?  At the end of the class, we will consider several contemporary challenges to the perennial Catholic thought on human nature and personhood.  Students who complete this course should be able to have a clear understanding of what philosophy is and how the Catholic intellectual tradition has come to understand human nature and personhood.

3 credit course

This course will introduce students of theology to the manner in which Plato and Aristotle sought to understand human nature, the world, and God through philosophical inquiry.  The focus will be upon the ideas and passages that were most influential in the development of Christian theology and on enabling students to read and discuss philosophical texts on their own.  Topics will include the nature of love, whether the human soul survives bodily death, whether God created the universe, and what is the best way to live.

When you complete this course you will be able to read the works of Plato and Aristotle on your own, to engage in philosophical thinking and writing, and better understand the influence Greek philosophy had on the development of Christian theology.

This course includes written lectures, audio lectures, and online discussions.

3 credit course

Ethics, or moral philosophy, studies concepts of the good as applied to human action and what it means for humans to live a moral life.  In this class we will read the primary texts of certain philosophical masters of ethics, including Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Kant.  We will also study certain modern challenges to the perennial tradition of realist ethics, including utilitarianism and moral relativism.

3 credit course

This course will introduce students to the philosophy of being by means of a thematic and historical approach. Topics include the following: the nature of metaphysical inquiry; Plato’s theory of forms; the basic categories of being; properties common to all beings; the analogy of being; substance, accident, essence, and existence; the problem of the one and the many; individuation; knowing God; and the nature of evil.

3 credit course

Old Course Number 106-0903

This course will provide a general overview of the nature of catechetics and the principles and methods that should govern the art of good catechesis. Students in this course will reflect upon the ways that  catechetical instruction should be directed towards an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ (CT 5, 20).  Using key catechetical documents and resources, this course will explore the nature, mission, and purpose of catechesis, with emphasis on biblical catechesis, development of doctrinal lesson planning, and the principles and methods that the Church has encouraged for a variety of catechetical roles.  Those who successfully complete General Catechetics for the New Evangelization should be able to effectively re-echo the teachings of Jesus Christ and his Church.

This course includes written lectures and online discussion.

3 credit course

Old course number 106-0404

This course will present the basic outline of the Old Testament and trace the progress of salvation history through the main events that it presents. The student will be able to explain the theology that emerges from the Biblical revelation, the main Semitic concepts that are employed, and the central characters and events of the text.

This course includes written lectures and online discussion.

3 credit course

Old course number 106-0406

This course will carry out a detailed analysis of the content and the theological meaning of the primary texts of the Church — i.e., the New Testament. The New Testament is the record of the definitive historical intervention of God in human history and the subsequent continuation of this incarnation by means of the Church.

This course will have four major emphases. The first area of study will examine the historical record of Jesus’ life through the three Synoptic Gospels, which will be supplemented by the theological analysis provided by the Gospel of John. The second area will be a study of the life of the early Church (Acts of the Apostles), which will examine the structures and self-understanding of the early Church as well as its fundamental grasp of the nature and work of Christ. The third area of study will be an examination of the epistles, especially their contribution to the development of Christology, soteriology, and ecclesiology. The final area will be on the apocalyptic book, Revelation, and its meaning for the Church. Through this course, the student will become familiar with the texts and theology of the New Testament, basic interpretations of key Biblical ideas, and their interrelationship.

This course includes written lectures and online discussion.

3 credit course

What is the key to understanding Scripture?  What is the relationship between Scripture and Tradition?  Where does the historical-critical approach fit into a faithful Catholic interpretation of the Bible?  This course is an introduction to a theological approach to reading Scripture that seeks to answer these questions. This course will approach Scripture as the inspired Word of God, paying particular attention to the unity of the whole story of salvation, which was revealed for the sake of drawing us into a loving relationship with God and neighbor.  Students will be guided by great Patristic and Medieval Saint-theologians, as well as the contemporary scholars who follow them.  Upon successful completion of the course, students acquire the basic tools for interpreting the Bible from the heart of the Church.

This course includes written lectures, audio lectures, and online discussions.

3 credit course

This 8-week multimedia course will be a journey through the Bible as the Catholic Church’s foundational narrative, beginning with the story of creation and the fall, through God’s promise to Abraham, the covenant with Israel at Sinai and Deuteronomy and the eventual collapse of the Davidic Kingdom under the Deuteronomic covenant.  The course will climax with the solution to the problems of the law in the Old Testament and the eventual fulfillment of God’s promises through the person and work of Jesus Christ and his Church.  Students will be introduced to critical interpretive issues and will be invited to wrestle with disputed questions as they learn various ways of making sense of the Bible as a unified and coherent story with profound implications for today.

3 credit course

Romans is the Bible’s most influential book in Church history but also the most controversial and difficult of St. Paul’s letters. Many central Christian doctrines are found here such as original sin, grace, election and predestination. But above all, the letter is St. Paul’s theological masterpiece, since he there explains how God, in the gospel of Jesus Christ, has been completely faithful to all of his promises to Israel given in the Old Testament. In this exciting eight week online course, we will approach Romans, therefore, as Paul’s interpretation and exposition of the story of the Jewish Bible, a story that has reached its climax in Jesus and the restored people of God.

This course on the Gospel of St. John is designed to help students gain a familiarity with the biblical text of the Fourth Gospel (in English). In particular, students will read and study the Gospel of St. John closely, examining its primary theological and literary characteristics.  Important secondary materials will guide our study.  In addition to employing the best of modern critical interpretation, the Gospel of St. John will be read here within the framework of the Church’s living Tradition.  Students who complete this course should be able to demonstrate a good understanding of the Fourth Gospel’s major theological themes, symbols, and literary techniques. This course includes written lectures and online discussion.

3 credit course

Applied Catholic Spirituality introduces the student to the classical “three ways,”or  stages of the spiritual life, and the practical skills by which one may embark on the Catholic spiritual life.  Beginning with the teachings of Christ as recorded in the Gospels, this course also offers contemporary insight into the experience of personal conversion from the magisterial teaching of St John Paul II.  Following the framework of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the lessons of this course offer a testimony to the rich variety of Christian practices, illustrated in the lives and teachings of the outstanding masters of the spiritual life. Students who complete this course should be able to describe the unique contributions of these masters and identify the common threads that constitute the authentic tradition of Catholic doctrine and life.

Old course number 106-0801

Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part I presents an organic synthesis of the essential content of Catholic doctrine as presented in the first two pillars of The Catechism of the Catholic Church. This course provides an overview of the content of the Profession of Faith and the Celebration of the Christian Mystery while at the same time giving students the essentials needed to present Catholic teaching using accurate language and appropriate documentation.  Students who complete this course should be able to explain the Catholic Faith as it is proclaimed in the Creed and celebrated in the Church’s Liturgy.

This course includes written lectures and online discussion.

3 credit course

Old course number 106-0802

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part II presents an organic synthesis of the essential content of Catholic doctrine as presented in the third and fourth pillars: Life in Christ; and Christian Prayer. This course then focuses on using the Catechism of the Catholic Church to transmit what the Church teaches regarding morality and prayer using accurate language and appropriate documentation.  Students who complete both courses: CCC, Part I and CCC, Part II, should be so familiar with the Catechism and its significance for catechesis and spirituality that they are able to integrate it into every aspect of their life and work.

This course includes written lectures and online discussion.

3 credit course

Formally titled Ethics and Morality

This undergraduate course introduces students to the morality and virtue-based Christian Ethics. Through an exploration of the life of the virtues found in the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, students will examine moral actions and the virtuous life.  This course will help students to understand happiness as the goal of every person and how moral and virtuous actions lead to true happiness.

This course includes written lectures and online discussion.

3 credit course

Foundations of Catholicism introduces the student to the teaching of the Catholic Church as it is rooted in Scripture and Tradition and faithfully proclaimed by the Church’s Magisterium (teaching office).  Besides a thorough introduction to Catholic doctrine, the course will also include some discussion of Church history, major figures and institutions, Marian devotion, Catholic life and theology.  Foundations of Catholicism will have a strong relational component as students will be encouraged  will be grounded in the Person and work of Jesus Christ.

3 credit course

Old Course Number 106-0101

An introduction to Fundamental Theology, this course examines the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church as contained in the First Article of the Apostles’ Creed — God the Creator, original sin, and the fall of man. Lessons include an introduction to the theology of Revelation, the relationship between Scripture and Tradition, the theory of the development of doctrine, the theology of the Trinity, Divine Providence, the Angels, Satan, forms of atheism, the origin and fall of man, and the dignity of the human person.

Length: 8 weeks

This course includes written lectures and online discussion.

3 credit course

Old course number 116-0102

An introduction to Fundamental Theology, this course examines the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church as contained in the First Article of the Apostles’ Creed — God the Creator, original sin, and the fall of man. Lessons include an introduction to the theology of Revelation, the relationship between Scripture and Tradition, the theory of the development of doctrine, the theology of the Trinity, Divine ProThis course examines the fundamentals of Christology as found in the Second Article of the Apostles’ Creed — Jesus Christ. Students will be able to readily describe the scriptural foundations of Christology and be able to explain the doctrinal and historical developments of the theology of the natures and Person of Jesus Christ in the hypostatic union, trace Mary’s role in salvation history, and explain the grace of the Holy Spirit as an application of Christ’s redemptive work. The course offers students insights on how to apply the reflections of this course to their own individual spiritual lives.

This course includes written lectures and online discussion.

3 credit course

Old course number 106-0603

The Second Vatican Council (1963-1965) was the major event in the Church in the twentieth century. It is also perhaps the most misunderstood event. This course will examine the four constitutions (the highest ranking documents issued by a council)-two on the Church, one on Divine Revelation, and one on the Sacred Liturgy.

The two constitutions on the Church deal with the way the Church works (People of God, Hierarchy, Laity, Religious and so on) and then the way that the Church carries the mission of Christ to the world. Students should be able to better explain one’s role in the Church and to exercise the mission given to all by their Baptism.

The Constitution on Divine Revelation takes up the way God reveals himself to us through the Sacred Scriptures and the Tradition of the Church. Faith is the response to God’s revelation so this is an important constitution and by the end of this part of the course students should be able to explain the role of Scripture and the role of Sacred Tradition and see how these impact each person.

The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy explains what the Church’s liturgy is, how a person participates in it, and what the norms are. Students should be able to describe the different elements of authentic participation in the Church’s worship of God.

This course includes narrated power point presentation, audio transcriptions, and online discussions.

Please note: Because this course uses audio and flash technology, it is highly recommended that students have a high-speed internet connection and a flash player such as Adobe Flash or the Safari flash plug-in (MAC). Most will find that they already have flash. Otherwise, it is freely available on the web at http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/. Download assistance is available.

Alternatively, a written transcription of each lesson is provided in the course room.

3 credit course

Old course number 106-0203

This course studies the sacraments within the context of liturgical celebration. It further explores the scriptural and doctrinal foundations of the theology of the sacraments. The course adopts a dynamic and comprehensive approach to the study of the sacraments. It presents the sacraments as dynamic realities, the richness of which is conveyed through the process of ritualization, symbolic expression, language, and pastoral sensitivity. Fundamental to the study of the sacraments, therefore, is the understanding of the concepts of sacramentality, ritual, symbol, sign, and language, and the vital relationship between the law of prayer (lex orandi) and the law of belief (lex credendi). Each sacrament will be studied within the wider context of the Paschal Mystery. Because the seven sacraments are sacraments of faith, they aim at providing a transforming encounter with the Risen Christ. In light of this, the course will exam the meaning and pastoral implication of the conciliar teaching on full, active, and conscious participation in the liturgy.

This course includes narrated power point presentation, audio transcriptions, and online discussions.

3 credit course

Old Course Number 106-0105

This course is a basic introduction to the thought of Saint Thomas Aquinas. By looking at the backgrounds of some of the concepts that he uses along with selected articles from the Summa Theologica, his most well-known work, the student will be able to glimpse how Aquinas developed the explanations and arguments in his thought. The course includes biographical material as well as the historical material that will help make the early medieval period more comprehensible. The lion’s share of the course, however, will be spent studying articles from the Summa on God, Man, Jesus Christ, and the Sacraments. In each case, we will look at St. Thomas’ way of thinking through a problem in a logical way. The object of the exercise is to watch a good theologian at work and to thereby learn something about the theological method.

This course includes narrated power point presentation, audio transcriptions, and online discussions.

3 credit course

Presenting the Faith in the Modern World: Dealing with the Hard Questions introduces the student to the more fraught and challenging applications of Catholic teaching to real life situations in contemporary Western society. The course is designed to prepare students for real engagement with both contemporary secular and religious views at odds with Catholicism. The course will equip those who hold teaching (or other public positions) with practical guidance on how to dialogue pastorally and constructively with persons who hold contrary viewpoints.

Beginning with man’s desire for happiness in God, this course will study the motives that drive one’s actions, the habits that form them, and the norms that guide them. Considering the sources of morality, students will gain an understanding of what defines a good or evil action. The course will explore man’s capacity and culpability for sin, as well as the generous gift of grace received from God. Students will contemplate how they each of these elements cooperate toward their final end, and seek to apply this knowledge into Christian living.

3 credit course

There is no better place to study the four canonical gospels than in the place where the drama of salvation was acted out.  The holy places in the land where the Savior walked speak so powerfully of the work of redemption that the land is rightly called “the fifth gospel.”  The learning in this course will primarily take place not online, but on site for ten days in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Galilee.  Prior to and subsequent to the trip, there will be some fascinating reading and online discussion which will be the basis for a term paper to be submitted at the end of the class eight week period.  The primary goal of this interdisciplinary course will be to give the student insight into the Bible that can only be captured by being in the land.  Secondarily, we will learn about the Fathers of the Church, including Origen, Eusebius, Justin, Jerome, and Cyril of Jerusalem, who lived and wrote in the Holy Land.  Finally, since travel in the Holy Land will bring us face-to-face with the Crusades and Muslim-Christian relations, we will learn about Church history and inter-religious dialogue.  This course will count as a theology, scripture, or church history elective, based on the topic which the student selects for his or her course paper.

3 credit course

While Christianity was born in the middle East, it was Italy that became, within a few decades after Christ’s resurrection, the Crossroads of the Christian world.  For two thousand years Christians from East and West, North and South, have come to Italy to serve Christ and his Church.  In this course, we’ll be examining the lives and work of many great Christians that spent part of their lives in central Italy.  The apostles Peter and Paul, the native Italians Sts. Benedict, Clare, and Francis, the Spaniard St. Ignatius of Loyola, the Greek missionaries Sts. Cyril and Methodius, the great artists Michelangelo and Raphael, all these and more will be the subject of our study.  Our learning will primarily take place not online, but on site for ten days in Rome, Assisi, Florence, and Orvieto.  Prior to the trip, there will be some fascinating reading and online discussion which will be the basis for a term paper to be submitted after the trip.  The goal of this interdisciplinary course will be to give the student an appreciation of the depth and breadth of the Catholic culture represented by the abundant monuments to faith to be found in central Italy.  It will count as a theology, scripture, or church history elective, based on the topic selected for the course paper.

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