DO 841 Philosophy for
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 641 Better Homilies
for the Deacon
This course will explore
good homiletic creation and delivery by first
exploring what makes a good homily. The difference
between a homily and a sermon will be discussed.
Students will be shown how to bring the scriptural
readings to life by using everyday-day examples that
will motivate and inspire parishioners. In addition,
student will be shown how to perform an exegetical
probe into the cultural, historical, grammatical and
contextual meaning of the particular periscopes that
will provide a scholarly background for sermon
preparation by using standard commentaries. The use of
insights, anecdotes, quotations and references to
current events that dovetail with the sermon material
to bring out the preaching point will be emphasized.
Different examples of preaching styles will be
explored as well as different occasions such as
preaching at children liturgies, funerals, weddings,
Sunday liturgies, and so on. Prayers, responsive
readings and hymns relating to the Scripture theme
that help create a worship experience that tie
seamlessly with the homily will be considered.
Finally, peer participation in analyzing and
critiquing homily creation and delivery will help each
student to learn from one another to develop the best
possible homily your parishioners have ever heard.
Listeners will be moved, inspired and awestricken by
your new-found homiletic skills.
PA 990 DE: Introduction to Grief Counseling
This course is designed to allow the participant to explore the many facets of a person who is grieving the loss of someone close to them. Completion of this course will allow the participant to identify with those who bereave and allow the participant to experience a methodology of counseling that will be healing and helpful to the bereaved. The deacon will explore the attitude that we have toward death; define what grief and bereavement mean; identify factors that influence different reactions to grief; examine different bereavement scenarios; identify memorial and funeral services used to heal the bereaved and bring closure; consider cultural differences among various religions; explore the healing process through counseling; learn how to develop a good grief group; and list professional organizations and helpful resources for the bereaved and those who help them. He also will be assigned the role of acting as a counselor to another participant who will play the role of a bereaved person, thereby allowing the participants to gain practical insight into the theoretical basis of the course. Participants will be required to give a weekly report on the progress of their assigned counselee, and each counselee will give a weekly report on the work of their assigned counselor. This class will be facilitated by Deacon Bob McCormick, a retired educator and deacon of long service as a hospital chaplain of the Diocese of Rochester, NY.
883 DE Counseling of Marriage and Family
Based upon the requests of deacons who have taken the course in the past and asked that the course be updated to include components of counseling, the designed course will include components on the following:
Marriage preparation in the parish
Dignity of life
Pre Cana defined and explained
The value of FOCUS before and after the wedding
Common causes of marriage difficulties
Parish counseling versus professional counseling (we are NOT professionals)
The annulment process and other methods of declaring a marriage invalid
A happy marriage and family life – the ultimate goal of every marriage in the Church
Finally, the courses emphasis the need for the development of sound spirituality in the context of the Church and emphasizes the need for, and spiritual benefits of ongoing integration of spiritual reading, personal prayer, private devotion, liturgical worship, and pastoral practice throughout a deacon’s ministry to the faithful.
PA 868 DE: Pastoral Counseling for the Deacon
This course presents basic counseling theory, processes and skill development, focused on assessment, listening, and goal setting. This course briefly outlines various emotional/mental disorders which may assist the non-professional counselor to make appropriate assessment and professional referral. This course is specifically designed for those deacons in pastoral settings who have come from other disciplines, and aims to introduce students to a variety of tools, strategies, and methodologies. Special emphasis will be placed upon helping the deacon recognize some common issues and problems which they are likely to encounter. Personal counseling styles will be addressed as a means of enabling each participant to understand his or her own strengths and weaknesses in a pastoral care setting. This course will permit the deacon to identify the critical differences between pastoral care and professional counseling, particularly as it relates to the nature and limits of the pastoral counseling task. This course will also assist the deacon in understanding the elements of the counseling process and gain experience of elementary counseling interventions through practice and role-play, and to help learners to understand their own personal style of relating and its influence on the counseling process. This course will also introduce deacons to a wide range of helpful resources relating to pastoral care and counseling.
DO 725 Sacramental Theology
presents a comprehensive study of the theology and
rites of the Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church.
For each sacrament, we will examine the biblical
foundations, the way that the Church has understood
and practiced its life of prayer and sanctification
throughout history, and the way that the Roman
Catholic Church currently celebrates the Rites of the
An emphasis is placed on a
personal integration of materials studied; developing
one’s ability to clearly communicate the meaning of
the Sacraments in a ministry setting; and studies of
the current Catholic Rites preparation of a teaching
approach applicable in one’s ministry. Weekly
readings, postings, and specific assignments will
guide students through this process.
The course is designed to provide
students with a better understanding of the historical
development of each sacrament celebrated in the Roman
Catholic Church; an opportunity to study the
liturgical texts for each sacrament; an understanding
of how symbols and rituals function in everyday life,
in society, and in religion; a background knowledge
applicable to a pastoral setting; an appreciation of
the relationship between liturgical worship and
Christian living; an application of this understanding
in catechesis; and an insight into some of the
pastoral and catechetical issues surrounding the
sacramental preparations, celebration of Rites and
BI 611 Synoptic
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.
BI 944 Book of
Love of the Word of God
involves becoming ever more deeply informed about its
origin, meaning, and application.
This course is designed to give the participant
an appreciation of the Book of Revelation by a careful
study of the text as Sacred Scripture and how we
approach its use as preachers and as a Church.
A study of Revelation will require careful
thought about the pastoral problems caused by popular
In addition, the participant will learn how it
has influenced Christian thinking about worship,
justice, witness, and the linkages that must exist
The course will cover the entire Book of
Revelation and draw upon the disciplines of pastoral
theology, moral theology and church literature.
Students will be expected to participate in
small-group discussions with collaborative effort
among the group.
Distance Learning Program for the Diaconate
The Pontifical College Josephinum
7625 North High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43235
1-877-9DEACON (toll free)