Newman Theological College
Undergraduate Moral/ Pastoral/ Spiritual Theology Courses

Core Courses

MPS 100 Introduction to Pastoral Theology

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

MPS 120 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.

MPS 122 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.

MPS 130 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.

MPS 139 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 on the B.Th. program in order to schedule for an assessment and ministry placement.

Students have three options:

  • MPS 139ab – 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 (MPS 139b) 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 Registrar in order to receive transfer credit for MPS 139a which accounts for the practicum component of Field Education.
  • MPS 139P – To take a full pastoral internship year at the parish with supervision followed by a Theological Reflection Seminar (MPS 139b) in the following Fall semester. This option is available to seminary students. Students register for MPS139P for the Fall of internship year and then MPS139b in the following Fall.

Registration for all three options of MPS 139 requires formal approval by the Field Education Director.

MPS 170 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.


Elective Courses

MPS 225  Bioethics: Moral Issues from the Life Sciences

(Prerequisite: MPS 120 Recommended: SYT 187)

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.

MPS 229 Married Love and Sexuality in the Christian Tradition

(Recommended: SYT 187)

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.

MPS 233 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.

MPS 235 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.

MPS 236 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.

MPS 240 Christian Religious Education

3 Credits
Religious and faith development in 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.

MPS 245 Selected Topics

3 Credits
Varied course description.

MPS 266 Marriage: Canonical Issues

(Prerequisite: MPS 235)

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.

MPS 269 Classic Christian Spiritualities

(Prerequisite: MPS 170)

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).

MPS 274 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 and20th century philosophical and theological works that influence the notion of faith, and works toward a view that incorporates the important insights of each.

MPS 275 Spiritual Direction

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

3 Credits
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.

MPS 279 Contemporary Spiritualities

(Recommended: MPS 170)
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.

MPS 280 The Practice of Christian Ritual

(Prerequisite: SYT 110 or SYT 114)
3 Credits
Theological and pastoral principles for presiding within the liturgical assembly. A practicum for presiding at sacramental liturgies and other cities.

MPS 281 Theology and Practice of Preaching

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

MPS 282 Ritual in the Anglican Tradition

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

MPS 283 Preaching in the Anglican Tradition

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

MPS 284 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.

MPS 286 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.