Theology

NDA is dedicated to providing an exceptional educational experience permeated with Gospel values.

We follow the Diocesan Theology course of study and provide a schedule block for strengthening Catechetical knowledge. Notre Dame Academy is recognized as a Silver Level Catholic Relief Services Global High School.  As part of that commitment, NDA implements school-wide events to support and participate in the annual Lenten CRS Rice Bowl program!

Faculty

Mrs. Bonnie Shambarger
Teaches 7th grade, 8th grade theology and seniors Faith in Action

Photo of Mrs. Bonnie Shambarger
Notre Dame College,B. Ed. English
Loyola University / New Orleans,M.A. Religious Education

Mrs. Rawaa Shikwana
Teaches freshmen (Revelation/Mission and Faith Basics)

Photo of Mrs. Rawaa Shikwana


University of Mosul, B.A. Science and Math
Lourdes University, M.A. Theology

Mr. Scott Kay
Teaches sophomore theology

Photo of Mr. Scott Kay

Freshmen

Jesus Christ: God’s Revelation (one semester) – This course gives students a general knowledge and appreciation of the Sacred Scriptures while encountering Jesus Christ.  Centering on our natural instinct to seek God, students will explore the wonderful work of Our Lord in forming a people, giving the Law, and preparing for the Messiah.  An overview of Salvation History, its doctrine, people, and events will provide a foundation for future Theology courses.

Jesus Christ:  Mission and Ministry (one semester) – While continuing the survey of Salvation History, this course focuses on the ministry and mission of Jesus Christ while presenting the Church’s teachings about God the Father, the Trinity, Mary, and the Holy Spirit.  Students will understand the call of discipleship and that it involves a life of grace and holiness with a share of God’s everlasting Kingdom.

Faith Basics (two semesters) – This course is designed for students who have had little or no exposure to Catholicism.  The content of the course is the same as God’s Revelation/Mission and Ministry, while the pace and depth will permit students to achieve a level of competence necessary to be successful in subsequent Theology courses.

Sophomores

Morality (one semester)

This course examines the complex problems of faith and morality in the modern world while moral decision-making, freedom and responsibility, conscience formation, imitating Jesus and living the Beatitudes are the foundation that is then empowering students to understand and live out the Church’s teachings. The moral act and applied to life situations and moral issues.

Theology of the Body  (one semester)

This course explores God’s plan for human sexuality in light of Catholic teaching. Because the body is a “theology,” it is meant to be a sign of God’s own life and love in the world. Theology of the Body challenges students to discover God’s call in their lives through an examination of relationships and dating, responsible sexuality, and discerning the vocation of single, married and religious life. This course integrates the practical aspects of becoming a responsible, mature adult with our call to holiness.

Juniors

Morality (one semester) – This course examines the complex problems of faith and morality in the modern world while moral decision-making, freedom and responsibility, conscience formation, imitating Jesus, and living the Beatitudes are the foundation that is then empowering students to understand and live out the Church’s teachings.  Morality is applied to life situations and moral issues.

Theology of the Body (one semester) – This course explores God’s plan for human sexuality in light of Catholic teaching. Because the body is a “theology,” it is meant to be a sign of God’s own life and love in the world. Theology of the Body challenges students to discover God’s call in their lives through an examination of relationships and dating, responsible sexuality, and discerning the vocation of single, married, and religious life. This course integrates the practical aspects of becoming a responsible, mature adult with our call to holiness.

Seniors

Faith in Action (Social Teachings) – The Christian understanding is that God desires a world in which all aspects of life are guided by justice and clarity. This course explores the implications of living in such a world through a discussion of the principles of Catholic Social Teaching as modeled by such persons as Dorothy Day and Mother Theresa. Emphasis is placed on how students can respond to justice through a service component where students may take part in service projects in the greater community.

World Religions – This course will explore the major religious traditions of the world. Basic elements of each religion such as doctrines, sacred writings, sacred stories, symbols, and rituals will be described and explained, giving students a rich overview of the faiths of the world. Also included will be the theological perspective the Catholic Church has on ecumenism and its relationship with other religions.

ELECTIVES (seniors must take at least one)

Discernment: What’s Your Decision? – This course is about the process of making sound decisions with confidence and clarity. How does one choose between trustworthy, attractive alternatives? What factors are most important? What does one do when one’s heart conflicts with one’s head? The course will include reading and discussing What’s Your Decision? based on the insights of Ignatius of Loyola and the Spiritual Exercises. Through reflection and prayer the student will come to understand that a God decision always precedes a good decision. The student needs to be comfortable with the conviction that God is active in their life and cares about their decisions.

Eschatology – This course investigates death and other loss issues in light of Church teaching on the redemptive value of suffering. Students will study various types of loss as it relates to their own lives and how to deal with these loss issues in life-giving ways. Students will learn stages of grief and bereavement and develop sensitivity towards others who may be experiencing loss in their lives. End of life issues will be examined as well as all aspects of dying, including burial and funeral traditions, history of the death industry, legal aspects of death, and how to minister to the sick and suffering.

Honors Bioethics (students must complete Morality before taking this course) – Bioethics is a study of the ethical and moral implications of biological discoveries and biomedical advances surrounding life issues from conception to death. This course examines these technological and scientific advances and their implications through the philosophical and theological lens of Church teaching. Topics include stem cells, cloning, in vitro fertilization (IVF), surrogacy, euthanasia , organ donation/brain death, hydration/nutrition at the end of life, etc. Students will be expected to read advanced articles and Church documents and to engage in thoughtful debate.