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Values, Vision, Voice

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

9th Grade

The purpose of this course is to give students a general knowledge and appreciation of Sacred Scriptures.  Through their study of the Bible they will come to encounter the living Word of God as embodied in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. In the course they will learn about the Bible. They will learn how to read the Bible and will become familiar with the major sections of the Bible and the books included in each section. The students will pay particular attention to the Gospels, where students will come to better know and understand the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, and how his life and teaching can shed deeper meaning and love on their life today.

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the mystery of Jesus Christ as the living Word of God, and the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. In this course students will understand how Catholics understand Jesus the Christ, as the ultimate Revelation to us from God. In learning about who he is, the students will also learn who he calls them to be.

Every religion in the world has service as a key component of its mission. For many, helping others is a natural extension of her lifestyle. No “requirement” is necessary. For others, especially those who are unfamiliar with this component, or who have not participated in a formal religious education program, this requirement allows the student the opportunity to apply her learning in a concrete and practical way. Therefore, to have a religious education program without a service component would be an injustice to learning, since learning, by its definition, requires application.

Preston Freshmen are required to perform 20 hours of service at home or within the family, including grandparents and extended family members.

 

10th Grade

The purpose of this course is to help students better understand all God has done through his Son, Jesus Christ and the Incarnation. Through this course of study, students will learn what Catholics believe has been won through Jesus Christ: namely, eternal life and salvation. Students will also grapple with the Christian understanding of Jesus the Christ as the one and only Son of God in the context of a religiously pluralistic world. They will also be introduced to what it means to be a disciple of Christ and what life as a disciple entails.

In the Church course, students study the beginnings of our Church as described in Acts of the Apostles and the Letters of St. Paul.  They come to an understanding of the Marks of the Church – One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. Students gain an understanding of the workings of the present day Catholic Church – its hierarchy, its evangelical counsels, and the place Church has in the lives of every practicing Catholic.  

Every religion in the world has service as a key component of its mission. For many, helping others is a natural extension of her lifestyle. No “requirement” is necessary. For others, especially those who are unfamiliar with this component, or who have not participated in a formal religious education program, this requirement allows the student the opportunity to apply her learning in a concrete and practical way. Therefore, to have a religious education program without a service component would be an injustice to learning, since learning, by its definition, requires application.

Preston Sophomores are required to perform 20 hours of service at school. This can be at Preston, their former grammar school, another school or their parish.

11th Grade

Christian 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. Each student is encouraged to recognize God's work in her life, and live out this life of service and love.

In Catholic Social Teaching (CST), 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.  The students' understanding of the principles of CST, then, helps to inform their understanding of Christian Morality. 

Every religion in the world has service as a key component of its mission. For many, helping others is a natural extension of her lifestyle. No “requirement” is necessary. For others, especially those who are unfamiliar with this component, or who have not participated in a formal religious education program, this requirement allows the student the opportunity to apply her learning in a concrete and practical way. Therefore, to have a religious education program without a service component would be an injustice to learning, since learning, by its definition, requires application.

Preston Juniors are required to perform 40 hours of Christian Service in the outside community.  This may be done at day care centers, schools, CCD programs, medical sites, and community centers. Service at this level asks for the student to step out of her comfort zone at home in school, to serve the greater community.

12th Grade

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.

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.

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 affect us immediately (e.g. How do you know you are not just dreaming about Senior electives? Can I prove Sr. Loretta and/or God exist? What makes an action worth 6 demerits and a detention?).

Psychology and Faith 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.

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