Course Descriptions

Registration is open for students who have spoken with their advisors prior to registering.

For assistance in registering, contact the Seminary Registrar (for on-campus) at 412-321-8383 or online@bcs.edu for online registration questions.


Spring 2023 Online Courses

(Abouna Justin Rose)

The Melkite Greek Catholic Church is one of the five patriarchal Churches of Antioch. Melkite history is replete with stories of Apostolic zeal, Imperial Byzantium, Ottoman intrigue, and Latin missionaries. Described by some as an ‘Orthodox Church in communion with Rome,’ Melkites identify themselves along a spectrum between Orthodoxy and Latinization. Are Melkites bridge or window, church or rite? This course will look at the roots of the Church of Antioch from Apostolic times and the rich variety of Churches that claim Antiochian heritage with emphasis on the Antiochian Church(es) who follow the Byzantine rite. Readings, lectures, and discussions will examine the events that led up to the communion with Rome in 1724 and the Melkite role in Vatican Councils I and II, along with important personalities involved. In the last weeks, we will consider the history and growth of the Melkite Church in the United States to the present. Throughout the course, we will define and discuss Uniatism, Orientalism, Orthodoxy, Latinization, ecclesiology, self-identity, and ecumenism.

(2 hours; 1 semester)
(Dr. Jared Goff)

This course will encompass an historical and dogmatic study of Triadology, Christology, and Pneumatology until the Council of Chalcedon with special emphasis on the theological trends culminating in the Tome of Leo. Biblical, patristic, and conciliar texts, along with opposing heretical texts, will also be studied. Students will engage the following:

  • Pre-Nicene Triadology, from prefigurements in the Septuagint and Intertestamental literature to the New Testament.
  • Pre-Nicene Triadology from sub-apostolic authors to Nicaea.
  • Post-Nicene Triadology by recourse to primary authors such as Athanasius the Great, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory Nazianzen, and Apollinaris of Laodicea.
  • Trinitarian and Christological canons and decrees of all Ecumenical Councils up to and including Chalcedon.
  • The Pneumatology of authors such as Basil the Great and Gregory of Nazianzen.
  • Selections of primary texts from Diodore of Tarsus, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Nestorius of Constantinople, and Theodoret of Cyrus.
  • Primary texts of Cyril of Alexandria, of the Council of Ephesus 449, and of Augustine along with the adoption of his anti-Pelagianism at Ephesus 431.
  • The Tome of Leo and Christology of Chalcedon.
(3 hours;1 semester)
(Fr. David Petras)

This course is a survey of the theology of liturgy from a practical viewpoint. The rituals (gestures) and prayers (words) of the Divine Liturgy, the Presanctified Divine Liturgy, and Vespers with the Divine Liturgy are described in detail, as a corporate service of priests, deacons, servers, cantors, and congregation. The rationale of this ritual is then discussed from a theological and historical perspective. The student then can learn not only the “how to” but also the “why” of the words and gestures we use. The expected outcomes of the students are:
  • To enhance the service of priests, deacons, servers, cantors, and congregation.
  • To progress to a better integrated presence in the liturgical worship of the Byzantine Catholic Church in America.
(2 hours;1 semester)
(Marie Nester)

This introductory course is a practical introduction to religious education focusing on ministries of learning and teaching in Catholic communities. It explores the dynamics of individual and communal faith formation in diverse contexts, drawing on a range of perspectives from theology and the philosophy of education. Students will:
  • Identify the role of catechists as twofold – to help others grow in their knowledge and love of God and to recognize how they as catechists continue to grow in spiritual formation.
  • Apply teaching approaches appropriate to the Catholic faith.
  • Design educational strategies appropriate to the different age groups in the catechetical program.
  • Describe how to plan lessons that address the different learning styles and methods for different age groups.
  • Construct effective ways to use the Bible in catechesis.
  • Express how our encounters with Christ experienced through the Holy Mysteries help us become one with Christ.
  • Recognize that the goal of our faith development program is to help all of us become Christ-like in all that we do.
(2 hours;1 semester)
(Helenanne Hochendoner)

The course focuses not only on the basic content of the Pauline writings (Acts as well as 13 New Testaments letters attributed to the Apostle Paul) but also the skills required to read, interpret, discuss and critically assess these passages in a manner appropriate to intelligent people of faith. Students pay particular attention to Paul’s unique perspective on the nature and person of the resurrected Jesus in order to enrich our understanding of Jesus in the early church as well as today. The course is intended to foster the students’ development of a personal, loving relationship with God while at the same time providing a solid scriptural foundation for later pastoral ministry or academic study. Students in this course will develop the following skills:
  • Reading Pauline literature spiritually and historically as well as critically.
  • Understanding Pauline literature in its historical and theological context through an historical-critical lens as well as with the eyes of faith.
  • Reading critically and writing about important issues in contemporary Eastern Christian Biblical study.
  • Beginning to articulate the Catholic view of Pauline themes in the current context.
Prerequisite: SS 100

(3 hours;1 semester)
(Fr. Daniel Dozier)

This course surveys the content of the Pentateuch with special emphasis upon themes and passages of great historical as well as theological import. Comparisons of the life, laws, literature, customs, and institutions of Israel with those of the Ancient Near East will be made. The place of the Pentateuch in the religion of Israel, the totality of Scripture, and in current life will be discussed in light of historical-critical analysis, as well as current modes of analysis harmonious with the Catholic tradition and faith. Students in this course will develop the following skills:
  • Read the Pentateuch spiritually and historically as well as critically.
  • Understand the Pentateuch in its historical and theological context through an historical-critical lens as well as with the eyes of faith.
  • Critically read and write about important issues in contemporary Eastern Christian Biblical study.
  • Begin to articulate the Catholic view of Pentateuchal themes in the current context.
Prerequisite: SS 100

(3 hours;1 semester)
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