The overall purposes and objectives of the Theology Department are to awaken young people to the beauty and relevance of the Christian message. This department, through its curriculum and methodologies, strives to present to students a more profound understanding of the Catholic Christian tradition and the role the Church is meant to play in today’s world. Theology classes strive to enliven and inspire students to respond to the Gospel message through personal reflection, prayer, and action and by applying Gospel values in the world in which they live.
By the time students graduate from Saint Mary High School the outcomes of the Theology curriculum should consist of an understanding, consonant with the age and experience of the students, of the Catholic Christian tradition, its relationship with the major religious traditions of the world, and the role of the Church in the work of salvation. More specifically, students would be expected to know how to:
- Apply the Gospel or Good News to their own lives;
- Critique social structures in light of Gospel mandates;
- Know the process of moral decision making consistent with the Gospel;
- Know the basic doctrines of the Catholic Church;
- View the created world as a revelation of God;
- See connections between culture, art, science, and technology in the service of understanding ourselves in relation to all of creation;
- Acknowledge these connections in personal reflection and communal prayer, liturgy, ritual, and celebration.
The Theology Department enhances the comprehensive college preparatory curriculum at Saint Mary High School. The “desired outcomes for the religious education in Catholic schools” issued by the Catholic Schools Office of the Diocese of Springfield are incorporated at each level. Growth in faith and spirituality are likewise nurtured in the classroom through prayer, faith-sharing, discussion, and creative expressions. The Theology Department along with the other academic departments within the school strives to foster an understanding of the Gospel message and its application to the lives and experiences of the students. Through participation in school and parish liturgical celebrations, class retreats, and service within the school and wider community, the mission of Saint Mary High School is further carried out.