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Catechism

The purpose of the Catechism course is to help students “grow in their love for God and the Church through deeper knowledge of Theology, Scripture, Saints, History, and Spirituality.” Although Catechism only meets one day per week, students will receive assignments which invite them to spend time during the week in prayer, writing, and study. 

Level 7 Catechism - 2017/2018 Full Year Course

St. Raphael -62.jpg
St. Raphael -62.jpg
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Level 7 Catechism - 2017/2018 Full Year Course

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Meets Fridays, 9:45am - 11:15am CST

Class Dates

  • Fall 2017: September 5 - December 15
  • Spring 2018: January 15 to May 4
  • Breaks: Thanksgiving (Nov. 23-24), Holy Week and Bright Monday (April 2-9)

Recommended for 11th and 12th grade students

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Course: Theology

Teacher: Fr. Michael Shanbour

Topic: Dogmatic Theology

Text: Know the Faith, A Handbook for Orthodox Christians, by Fr. Michael Shanbour

To absorb and appreciate the fundamental teachings of the Holy Orthodox Christian Church with a special emphasis on learning to communicate to those outside the Church and to compare/contrast the teachings of other Christian faiths.

 

Overview

This will be the first semester of a two-part, topical catechism focusing largely on aspects of faith and life that often differ with Roman Catholic and/or Protestant views.  The class will seek to explore the uniqueness of Orthodox theology and practice compared with later views developed after the Great Schism.  The student will be equipped with scriptural and patristic material that should aid him or her in defending the positions of the Orthodox Faith.

The Exclusive Text is “Know the Faith: A Handbook for Orthodox Christians and Inquirers,” Fr. Michael Shanbour, Ancient Faith Publishing.

Evaluation

Students will be evaluated based on their meaningful participation in class and their comprehension of the material as conveyed by the following:

Each Week:     A 100-200 word summary of the assigned reading, written in the form of a letter (“Dear _____) to a fictitious RC or Protestant friend – to be completed prior to each class.

                        + Memorize one scripture verse that witnesses to the topic in question.

Each Month:    Write a 500-700 word essay written in the form of a “letter to the editor” of the Religion section of a newspaper – A title followed by explanatory content.  See Topics below:

 

                        October:   “What is Grace in Orthodox teaching as compared with the Protestant conception?”

November:  “How do the underlying assumptions of the Orthodox view of salvation differ from

that of RC and Protestantism?”

                        December:  “Why is Tradition the standard for the truth and not the Scriptures alone?”

Semester:        -     Make a list of 3-5 friends you will commit to pray for daily, asking God for an opportunity to

speak to them about the Orthodox Church and/or to invite them to church.

-          Make an appointment with your priest to discuss one topic after reading the chapter.  Make a presentation to the class on that discussion.

 

Extra Credit Options

1.      Read the Conversation between St. Seraphim of Sarov and Motovilov.

2.      Memorize 10, 20 or more scripture verses in “Know the Faith.”

3.      Write a report on a conversation you have on some topic of faith with a non-Orthodox Christian.

4.      Find Scripture verses not included in “Know the Faith” that are relevant to a particularly topic.

 

I appreciate your patience with me as this is my first time teaching for St. Raphael (although I taught teens in a Home School Coop years ago in Topeka, KS).  If you have questions, concerns, or special consideration don’t hesitate to contact me.  Parents and Students: Please check your Canvas account regularly to remain updated on the grades being given

 

Reading Assignment Schedule

From “Know the Faith”

9/08 – Introductions & Discussion on St. Cornelius the Centurion (Read Acts 10 – entire chapter) as it relates to sharing the Orthodox Faith and knowing the Orthodox Faith.

9/15 – KTF: Chapter 1, The Church, pp 15-26.

9/22 – KTF: Chapter 1, The Church, pp 26-38.

9/29 – KTF: Chapter 1, The Church, pp 38-45.

 

10.06 – KTF: Chapter 2, Grace, pp 47-56.

10.13 – KTF: Chapter 2, Grace, pp 57-67.

10.20 – KTF: Chapter 2, Grace, pp 67-68 (Discussion on the “nous” + teachings of St. Seraphim of Sarov).

10.27 – KTF: Chapter 2, Grace, pp 72-84.

October Essay: Due 10/23

 

11/03 – KTF: Chapter 4, Salvation, pp 85-92.

11/10 – KTF: Chapter 3, Salvation, pp 92-97

11/17 – KTF: Chapter 3, Salvation, pp 98-119.

11/24 – Thanksgiving Break

November Essay: Due 11/20

 

12/01 – KTF: Chapter 5, Justification by Faith, pp 121-133.

12/08 – KTF: Chapter 5, Justification by Faith, pp 133-147.

12/15 – Last Class.  No readings, unless make up.  Discussion on the Life of Christ symbolism in the Divine Liturgy

December Essay: Due 12/18