Diocese of Ogdensburg

The Roman Catholic Church in Northern New York

Required Courses:

Communication & Collaboration Moral Theology
Ecclesiology Christology
Scripture Sacramental Theology
Spirituality Social Justice

Communication and Collaboration

Introduction to basic communication skills and their integral role in lay ministry performance.  Specific skills will be introduced with opportunities for questions, discussion and practice.


This course presents an understanding of the Church as found in Vatican II’s “Dogmatic and Pastoral Constitution on the Church.”  It includes current theological models of how the Church sees itself and how such views supports and challenges the pastoral minister today.


This course is an introduction to biblical studies and the composition of the Old Testament.  Emphasis will be on the tools of biblical study and their application to the books of the Old Testament.  Major themes of the Old Testament will receive special attention. This course is an introductory study of the composition, literature, and theology of the New Testament; its origin in early Christian communities and literary forms.  Participants will be introduced to methods of New Testament criticism fostering a textual study which will nourish the life of faith in the light of the Second Vatican Council’s “Dei Verbum.”  Special emphasis will be given to the Gospels and selected Pauline literature where redaction of the Word to historical situations in the first century will be correlated with challenges of Christian living today in personal and communal contexts.


The course will explore the meaning of true Christian ministerial spirituality and some of the ways it has been viewed and lived in Christian history.  It will consider the vocation of the lay minister, prayer, sacramentality and the integration of prayer and action as well as the centrality of spirituality in family, work and community.  Suggestions for supports, techniques and approaches will be made and all of this will be applied, through theological reflection in each session, to the present and future life experience of the lay pastoral minister.


Moral Theology

This is an introductory study of the principles and themes found in a Catholic understanding of moral living.  Personal as well as systemic issues in morality will be discussed.


The purpose of this course is to investigate the person of Jesus the Christ.  We do this by asking who he is in Sacred Scripture and Christian Tradition, who he is in the celebration of the Church’s sacramental life, and how his teachings affect our moral lives and commitments.  The approach is both historical and theological with special attention to the unity of the so-called “Jesus of history” and the “Christ of faith.”

Sacramental Theology

This course is designed to assist you to a better understanding of Catholic worship as expressed in the Church’s liturgical rites, particularly the celebration of the sacraments.  After a brief introduction to the ideas of worship and liturgy in general, an overall theology of the sacraments as the focus of the Christian’s faith life within the Church will be offered.  An outline of the historical and theological developments of each of the seven sacraments will be presented as a background to understanding the sacramental rites as reformed by the Vatican Council II, especially the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist.  The impact of this understanding for programs of sacramental preparation and the celebration of the sacraments in today’s parish will be a central concern.

Social Justice

This course will examine the commitment of Christianity to enable spirituality to be operative in the framework of social action necessary in our day.  Participants will reflect upon the biblical understanding of the relationship between Christian love and the meaning of justice, between eschatological hope and human liberation.  The Church’s call to Social Justice will be studied through a brief survey of catholic Social Teaching sine Pope Leo XIII, focusing on issues of equality and human rights, economic justice, pacifism and just war theory.  Finally, reflection on the roles of the Church, Church ministers, and individuals today will be expressed through integrating papers on: conversion and transformation of consciousness, specific issues relative to contemporary experience today.