Distance Learning Program for the Diaconate

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Summer 2014 Semester
May 12 - August 2, 2014

BI 510 DE - Pentateuch

PA 951 DE - Parish Administration

PA 631 DE - Principles of Catechetics

MO 844 DE - Topics in Moral Theology

DO 511 DE Fundamental Theology

BI 611 DE Synoptic Gospels/Acts

DO 841 Philosophy for Understanding Theology

PA 931 DE Health Care Ministry

BI 512 DE Pentateuch
The purpose of this course is to introduce the content and structure of the five books of the Torah. An historical overview of methodology used for the study of the Pentateuch will be presented, as well the relation of the Pentateuch to the rest of the Old and New Testaments.

A student who successfully completes this course will be able to describe the five books in the Torah, their relationship to Old and New Testaments and be prepared to incorporate the Pentateuch in reflection, study and preaching.  

PA951 DE Parish Administration
This course provides priests, deacons and parish administrators with a comprehensive overview of civil, legal and financial issues which may be encountered in a parish setting. It also provides a structured overview of various scenarios likely to be present in a parochial setting, and does so in both the context of civil and canon law. Topics addressed include: overview of civil law, contracts, negligence and premise liability; land use and zoning, employment law, worker’s compensation and unemployment compensation; civil law regarding marriages and families, festivals, Bingo and games of chance; casinos, game-nights and liquor liability, tax exempt status, confidentiality and privileged communication; protection of children, and financial management. This course has been developed and reviewed  by experienced attorneys, accountants, and pastors/ deacon administrators of wide and varying experience. This course is particularly recommended for those who do not bring a strong business-management background to a pastoral setting, as well as for newly-ordained or newly-assigned priests, deacons and pastoral administrators. Although offered under the sponsorship of the Institute for the Formation and Ministry of the Diaconate, enrollment is not restricted to Permanent Deacons.

PA 631 DE Principles of Catechetics
As person of faith and a deacon, you continually catechize all of those around you. This course assists both new and experienced deacons to raise this catechesis to the conscious, thoughtful level. Our focus for this twelve-week course will be the realization that the authentic and on-going growth in knowledge and faith for all of those entrusted to the catechetical care of the Church is paramount. This course looks at how to both form and inform God’s faithful in the Catholic faith – engaging both the head and the heart. We explore the balance struck toward this goal over the history of Christianity. The readings, forums, and deliverables are particularly designed to allow deacons to find that balance for themselves and for their ministry. Course outcomes include:

1. Familiarizing and enabling deacons to understand and use the long and rich history of catechesis in the Church to ensure effective catechetical ministry in a modern setting. 

2. Differentiating various means and tools of catechesis.

3. Discussing the most recent ecclesiastical pronouncements and resources of the Church regarding catechesis.

4. Explaining catechesis and the catechism of the Catholic Church more effectively to the faithful, using the images and religiosity of widely disparate faith traditions while remaining faithful and supporting the magisterium. The facilitator for this session will be Father Patrick Manning, Dean of the School of Theology at Walsh University.

MO 844 DE Topics in Moral Theology
This course includes the study of the interaction of the theological traditions of East and West, both today and throughout history, with emphasis on a particular theme or set of questions in Christian ethics. This course introduces the deacon to the foundational principles of Christian ethics from Eastern and Western considerations of basic themes:  1) the relationship between moral theology and Christian ethics; 2) God as source of the moral life; 3) the nature of the human person; 4) the problem of evil and the experience of sin; 5) conscience and moral decision-making.

This course provides the deacon with an opportunity to engage interactively with other deacons from various dioceses in critical reflection on selected moral topics as treated by the Eastern and Western Christian traditions: sexuality and marriage, bioethics from conception to death, and other life issues (globalization and poverty, war and peace, environmental ethics). 

DO 511 DE Fundamental Theology
Fundamentals of Theology will be a course that explores many of the subsets of theology that will help understand the broad dimensions through which we have come to know that God exists and how God has revealed Himself to us.  This revelation of a transcendent being we call God has been accepted by us through faith. 

Our desire to understand our existence and the purpose of life begins deep within ourselves as we search for meanings.  This search is what directs us to believe in something more powerful than what we can see or feel.  The earth, the universe and all this is contained in creation itself, is beyond our grasp of reason.

As we are introduced to the way God has revealed His presence to us in nature, and through scripture, we will also become aware that revelation shows us the light of faith, which overshadows the darkness of the unknown.  These diametrically opposed forces help us to recognize that we live in a dualistic world of God’s presence in God’s light of goodness as opposed to the darkness of evil. 

As our relationship grows with God, we begin to examine the Christian view of ourselves and explore our role in this relationship.  We will see how the development of the historical church survived through to the twenty-first century.  The traditions established by the early Church provide us with a well thought about and discussed Creed; the core beliefs of the Catholic Church.  This Creed is fostered by the teaching arm of the Church, the Magisterium, which acts as a servant of God in the apostolic tradition handed down to us.

From its humbling beginning of the twelve apostles and a small band of their followers, the Church of Jesus Christ grew exponentially to where it is one of the largest religions in the world. As Theology looks at the Ecclesiology of faith, we will begin to see the communal celebrations of the Church especially the Eucharistic Celebration we call the Holy Mass.   The establishment of the Sacraments offered a systemized way of receiving special graces, which God offered to His baptized followers.  The Church of today offers many opportunities for all the faithful to partake in the body of Christ, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 

From the first yearning that resonated within us, inspiring us to search for something beyond reason, to the journey we are now on, interest works with reason to build faith.


BI 611 Synoptic Gospels/Acts
Sacred Scripture, the soul of theology, provides an essential foundation for understanding one’s ministry. This course consists of an examination of the three synoptic Gospels:  Matthew, Mark, and Luke, including a consideration of the interrelationships among the three Gospels, as well as an investigation of the Acts of the Apostles. 
Specific attention will be given to the questions of authorship and theological purpose, audience, dates and significant themes in each individual Gospel and Acts. Various interpretive methods, some classical and others more modern, will be employed. 
Three major points that will be addressed are the Pentecost, the first apostolic evangelizations and the Missionary letters of St. Paul.

DO 841 Philosophy for Understanding Theology
This course explores the relationship between philosophy and Christian theology from the perspective of the deacon and in particular those who are studying to become deacons or those who are already ministering as deacons.  Students are introduced to the influence that key philosophers have had throughout the centuries in shaping Christian theology in both its understandings and forms of expression.  The course covers not only the ancient philosophers but also post modernism in relation to truth and moral philosophy.  The course uses as its pretext the contention of the author of the textbook used in the course that "Everyone needs to know some philosophy in order to understand the major doctrines of Christianity or to read a great theologian intelligently."  The goal of the course is for the deacon or deacon candidate to understand theology a little better by appreciating the philosophical underpinning of all theology.

PA 931 DE Health Care Ministry for the Deacon
This course is designed to introduce participants to the role of the hospital chaplain. The job of the hospital chaplain is discussed in relation to the six major roles performed by the hospital chaplain. Basic responsibilities and day-to-day tasks are discussed in detail.
Modules of study include how to visit the sick; death, bereavement, and end of life issues; cross-cultural chaplaincy; hospice and palliative care; behavioral care, crisis ministry, and professionalism.

Participants are required to visit a hospital, work with a chaplain, complete assigned tasks relating to clinical visits, read assignments, complete reflection papers, and participate in objective assessment. Recommendations are made on how to become a professional chaplain and resources for further study are given. This course is appropriate for any Deacon, regardless of current parish assignments. The novice will gain much insight for future pastoral care, and the veteran will share his experiences and have an opportunity to reflect on how closely reality and theory have met.

Distance Learning Program for the Diaconate
The Pontifical College Josephinum
7625 North High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43235
1-877-9DEACON (toll free)