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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

This course is an introduction to the mission and ministry of Preston High School, and the Catholic Church.  Students are familiarized with the Sisters of Divine Compassion, the founders of Preston, and the mission of living compassion to others.  The course will then cover the core beliefs, practices, and attitudes of Catholicism.  The students are given the opportunity to gain a deeper appreciation for how God reveals himself to humanity and how we can come to know God and His divine plan through reason and Revelation.  Special emphasis will be placed on discovering the importance of Scripture and Tradition in the process of coming to know God and His plan for our salvation.  The course provides for students to explore the meaning of faith and to investigate some of the fundamental statements of faith we acknowledge in the Apostles’ Creed.  Other topics to be examined are the communal, public, and official worship of the Catholic Church.  Prayer in the Christian tradition will also be explored.

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 that God has done for humanity throughout Biblical History.  From the Creation of humanity, and its separation from God in the Fall, student will trace the development of humanity's relationship with God throughout the four Old Testament covenants.  These will provide the foundation to appreciate the second Person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ - and all what His Paschal Mystery did to repair humanity's relationship with God in the New Covenant.  The course then continues into the Apostles' establishment of the Church and brings salvation history to the present time.  Students will be introduced to what it means to be a disciple of Christ and will gain an understanding of the workings of the present day Catholic Church - its hierarchy, its evangelical counsels, and the place the Church holds in the lives of practicing Catholics.

 

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.  Students will also be introduced to 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 Catholic Social Teaching then, will help 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

The World's Religions 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 world is framed as both ‘promise and problem' where students explore the challenges of interfaith dialogue in a suffering world.  It is hoped that in this class, students can deepen their realization that developing different religious perspective can enrich one's own faith life.  The course concludes with a shift in focus to maturity in one's faith  Students will explore the meaning and form of a mature, adult faith in the context of a pluralistic, secular world.  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, while prevalent societal attitudes about these themes will also be critiqued.

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.

PHS: Events!