Religious Studies Department
The mission of the Department is “to inspire students to find God in all things through study, reflection and action within the Roman Catholic tradition.” To that end the Religious Studies curriculum challenges each student to grow in his respect and appreciation not only of his own faith and values, but also of the faith and values of others. As students gain knowledge in the history, beliefs and moral standards of the Catholic tradition, they are assisted by the faculty in developing their own religious identity based on their personal convictions and free response to God’s grace which leads toward greater love and service to others.
Freshman Year: Faith & Revelation
The first year of the Religious Studies curriculum fosters the search for a greater understanding of what it means to both believe in God and be in relationship with God.
1st Semester: Christ in Scripture
As new members of a community of faith, students explore what it means to be in relationship with God. Students receive a general knowledge and appreciation of sacred scripture, and through their study of the Bible they encounter the living word of God, Jesus Christ. Students are also aided by an examination of the life of St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, and explore central concepts of Ignatian spirituality that they apply to their personal faith life and the life of the Fordham Prep community.
2nd Semester: Christology: Who is Jesus?
Students are introduced to the mystery of Jesus Christ, the living word of God, the second person of the Trinity, and grow to understand that Jesus Christ is the ultimate revelation to us from God. In learning about who Christ is, the students, like St. Ignatius before them, also learn who Christ calls them to be.
Sophomore Year: Christology & Sacramental Theology
The sophomore curriculum focuses on the person of Jesus Christ in Scripture and Sacrament. The course opens with Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?” and then offers students an opportunity to answer that question through a faith-filled and scholarly study of the Gospels. The second semester explores the issue of how the risen Christ remains present in the church community through sacraments. The student is introduced to the concept of sacrament in general, and then led through a study of the symbols and rituals, history and essential human experiences at the heart of the Catholic Church’s seven official sacraments.
Junior Year: Church History
The junior curriculum is designed to give the student a deeper understanding of Catholic identity through an examination of the history of the Roman Catholic Church from the Acts of the Apostles to the present. The course explores that identity through a study of various models of the church; the development of the church’s creed, cult, and code; key events and personalities; the relationship of the church to the modern world; and ecumenical issues. Special emphasis is given to the history, spirituality and mission of the Society of Jesus.
Senior Year: Faith & Morality
The senior-year curriculum attempts to synthesize the three-year foundation in Scripture, Christology, Sacraments and Church History by focusing on the journey of life in faith. Seniors study the relational aspects of the Christian vocation in three specific areas: the response in love to self (psychology), the response in love to others (morality) and the response in love to God (spirituality). Each section views this common core through a particular lens. The areas of concentration offered in 2012-2013 are listed below. One concentration is required of each senior.
- Christian Quest for Social Justice
- Introduction to Philosophy
- The Quest for the Male Soul
- Seminar Honors
- World Religions