Newman Theological College
Graduate Moral, Pastoral, and Spiritual Theology Courses

Note: Newman Theological College courses are offered on a two year rotation. This means that not all courses outlined below are offered in each semester of each year. For further details see the specific course offerings for the current academic year. These Course Offerings Sheets are also available for pickup in the foyer of Student Services on campus.

The M.Div., M.T.S. and M.Th. programs are not designed to be taken as Distance Education programs.

Distance education courses at Newman Theological College are held to the same academic standards as on-campus courses.

Every distance education course shall be assessed through the same means as on-campus courses, including an opportunity for students to evaluate the course. All distance education courses include regular opportunities for substantive interaction between professors and learners and among learners. There are opportunities for interaction with the professor at least weekly as part of the course. Additionally, instructors make themselves available to distance education students for individual discussions on an as needed basis via Skype, telephone, etc. In some cases individual tutorials of this nature may be part of the course requirements. When these are mandatory it will be indicated on the course syllabus.

Up to date information on the skills and requirements for Distance Education at Newman Theological College is maintained on the College website under Programs.

Core Courses

STP 400 Introduction to Pastoral Theology

3 Credits
Biblical and historical roots; theological foundations; current understandings of pastoral/practical theology; initial exploration of a theology of ministry and study of specific ministries; introduction to theological reflection; formation for ministry.

STP 461 Introduction to Moral Theology

3 Credits
The basic elements of moral theology since Vatican II.  Biblical and theological themes that define the person in Christ. The Christian meaning of sin, virtue, conscience, law and moral discernment. The Christian experience of conversion and reconciliation in the way of discipleship.

STP 462 Introduction to Spiritual Theology

3 Credits
Definitions and understandings of spirituality. Examination of its biblical foundations. Development of spirituality as a discipline of theology. Theological and anthropological dimensions of Christian faith and spirituality. Introduction to the classical spiritual writers, schools of spirituality and contemporary forms of spirituality. The theology and practice of prayer, spiritual discernment and asceticism.

STP 463 Theology of Ministry

3 Credits
Origins of Christian community and relationship with the mission of the Church. The meaning and development of ordained ministry as well as history of lay ministry and the relationship between the two. Current issues and ecumenical initiatives. Contemporary models of collaboration in ministry.

STP 464  Practice of Ministry

3 Credits
The basic responsibilities, skills and attitudes of ministry today, particularly in the parish context. These include: understanding the parish reality today and its pastoring; working with Parish Councils and Finance Committees; sacramental preparation; collaborative ministry and team building; conflict resolution; spirituality for today’s ministry; pastoral approaches to today’s youth; self-care for ministers; and some other practical issues for today’s effective ministry in parishes.

STP 470 Theological Field Education

6 Credits
An introductory practicum consisting of a ministry placement under individual supervision, related classes, and theological reflection in groups on the experience gained. Students must meet with the Director of Field Education at the beginning of their 2nd academic year in order to schedule for an assessment and ministry placement.

Students have three options:

  • STP 470ab – To do a year-long ministry placement with a concurrent theological reflection session during the 3rd academic year.

  • To complete a Clinical Pastoral Education (C.P.E.)unit during the summer followed by a Theological Reflection Seminar (STP 470b) in the Fall semester of the 3rd academic year. Copy of the C.P.E. certificate must be provided to the Director of Field Education and the Registrar in order to receive transfer credit for STP 470a which accounts for the practicum component of Field Education.

  • STP 470P – To take a full pastoral internship year at the parish with supervision followed by a Theological Reflection Seminar (STP 470b) in the following Fall semester. This option is available to seminary students. Students register for STP 470P for the Fall of internship year and then STP 470bin the following Fall.

Registration for all three options of STP 470 requires formal approval by the Director.

STP 471  The Social Teaching of the Church

3 Credits
The roots of social justice in the tradition. Major themes in the social teaching documents of the Church. Social teaching in the Canadian/North American church. Social justice, ministry and evangelization. Liberation theology. Social analysis as a tool for Christian ministry.

Elective Courses

STP 536 Ministry Among the Suffering

3 Credits
The theory and practice of ministry among various groups of suffering people (e.g. the sick, the dying, the handicapped, those with addictions, victims of violence, and the homeless). There will be an emphasis on learning methods and techniques of caring. This will be achieved by means of case studies, role playing, and personal reflection.

STP 558 Selected Topics

3 Credits
Varied course description.

STP 565  Introduction to Church Law

3 Credits
Role of law in the Church today. The development of Canon Law. Ecclesiastical laws and the people of God. Revision of Church Law.

STP 566  Marriage: Canonical Issues

(Prerequisite: STP 565)

3 Credits
The place and importance of matrimonial legislation in Church law. General principles, laws governing preliminaries to marriage, impediments, consent, canonical form, time and place of marriage, effects. Convalidation. Separation of spouses. Second marriages. Pastoral care of the divorced and remarried.

STP 569  Classic Christian Spiritualities

(Prerequisite: STP 462)

3 Credits
Definition of Spirituality and its relationship to Theology. Examination of the biblical foundations including the Jewish context and the connection to the Greek contemplative ideal. Early period to include Origen, the Desert Tradition, early monasticism, Gregory of Nyssa, Evagrius Pontius, and Pseudo Dionysius. The spiritualities of the Middle Ages including Bernard of Clairvaux, the Franciscans, Meister Eckhart, and Julian of Norwich. The course will culminate in spiritualities of St. Ignatius (Ignatian), St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila (Carmelite).

STP 573  Christian Religious Education

3 Credits
In CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS EDUCATION, participants explore the religious and faith development of children, youth and adults with attention to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the General Directory for Catechesis and current catechetical programs. An introduction to teaching skills with emphasis on sacramental preparation, youth ministry and adult religious learning is presented and discussed.

In SPICE, teachers examine their shared purpose in Catholic Education through readings, discussions and observations offered and facilitated by a Keynote Speaker. In addition to their active participation in the three day program, participants are required to read assigned readings and a text as well as to complete a pre-reflection paper and a final essay.

In BLUEPRINTS, a Keynote Speaker directs and facilitates an extensive three day retreat for Administrators and Catholic Educational Leaders. In addition to their active participation in the retreat,participants are required to read assigned readings and a text as well as to complete a pre-reflection paper and a final essay.

In DIRECTIONS IN ABORIGINAL MINISTRY,participants of the Aboriginal Conference are invited to develop a strong theology of interculturation of faith and to explore a variety of subjects that are directly related to ministry, spirituality, forgiveness,and reconciliation. The course includes presentations and discussions on aboriginal ministry, spirituality and issues, successes, challenges and major issues facing the Aboriginal people of Canada today.

STP 574  The Concept of Christian Faith

3 Credits
This course begins with a consideration of a prevailing view of Christian Faith as separate from and opposed to human reason, the difficulties with this view and its historical background. The course then examines a variety of views of Christian faith found in Sacred Scripture and Christian tradition, along with 19th and 20th century philosophical and theological works that influence the notion of faith, and works toward a view that incorporates the important insights of each.

STP 575  Spiritual Direction

3 Credits
(A preliminary interview with the instructor is required for admission to the course.)

The course deals with the meaning, foundations and principles of spiritual direction in the Church’s tradition. It examines the Biblical foundations and historical development of spiritual direction and its relation to a person’s growth in faith, in prayer and in the Christian life. It will explore some practical aspects of the ministry of spiritual direction and look at the qualities required for those called to this ministry.

STP 576  Bioethics: Moral Issues from the Life Sciences

(Prerequisite: STP 461 Recommended: STD 452)

3 Credits
Basic human and Christian values at stake. The rapid development in medical technologies and the growing complexity of the moral issues involved. From extensive case studies, an attempt to develop adequate models for moral evaluation and pastoral counselling.

STP 578  Married Love and Sexuality in the Christian Tradition

(Recommended: STD 452)

3 Credits
The human dimensions of love and sexuality. The religious meaning of human sexuality in the Judeo-Christian tradition, with special reference to Christian marriage. Issues raised by the contemporary sexual revolution. Doctrinal, liturgical, moral, pastoral, sacramental and spiritual dimensions of Christian marriage.

STP 579  Contemporary Spiritualities

(Recommended: STP 462)

3 Credits
Fundamental notions of contemporary spirituality and faith. Biblical roots of Christian spirituality. Dimensions of an holistic spirituality. Contemporary spiritual figures and recent spiritual movements. Dimensions of contemporary spiritualities, both Christian and non-Christian. The spirituality of major contemporary theologians. The contributions of the pure and social sciences to spirituality. Prayer, conversion and discipleship.

STP 580  The Practice of Christian Ritual

(Prerequisites: STD 440 and STD 442)

3 Credits
Theological and pastoral principles for presiding within the liturgical assembly. A practicum for presiding at sacramental liturgies and other cities.

STP 581 Theology and Practice of Preaching

3 Credits
Theology of the Word of God. Theological and pastoral principles of preaching. A practicum for preaching.

STP 582 Ritual in the Anglican Tradition

3 Credits
Theological and pastoral principles for presiding within the liturgical assembly. A practicum for presiding at sacramental liturgies.

STP 583  Preaching in the Anglican Tradition

3 Credits
Theology of the Word of God. Theological and pastoral principles of preaching. A practicum for preaching.

STP 584 Theology and Spirituality of Icons

3 Credits
This course will explore the background to the Eastern Christian doctrine concerning icons, including the iconoclast controversy, the patristic writings in defense of icons, and the 7th Ecumenical Council. We will examine the symbolism and meaning of many of the most well-known icons in their details and investigate how icons are made use of liturgically and in our spirituality. The course will also explore the actual process of painting icons with a professional iconographer.

STP 586 Introduction to Pastoral Counselling

3 Credits
An introduction of the basic issues involved in the ministry of pastoral counselling. Emphasis on heightening the students' understanding of theory, skills, personal maturity and related ethical issues.

STP 663 Contemporary Christian Ethics

(Prerequisite: STP 461)

3 Credits
An ecumenical seminar approach to the field of Christian ethics in the last half century, including trends and shifts, new areas of concern and varying methodologies. Students will be expected to do a considerable amount of reading both within and outside their own Christian tradition. Student class presentations on contemporary authors, complete with basic bibliographies, will be required of all seminar participants.

STP 800 Selected Research Topics in Moral and Spiritual Theology

(Prerequisites: STP 461 or STP 462)

3 Credits
Study of a particular topic in Moral or Spiritual theology.