Summer 2018 Course Schedule


  • June 4-29, 2018
  • Classes will meet M-T-TH-F
  • Wednesday is a study/reading/rest day


Who is the Old Testament God?

Laszlo Simon, OSB | SSOT 468 / SPIR 468 | 1 credit
  • 8:00- 11:10 AM (M-T-W-Th-F)
  • June 4-8, 2018

The Bible speaks of God from the beginning to the end. This applies to the Hebrew canon as well as the Christian Bible. God, however, is not a “topic” of the Bible. He is the ground that enables the Bible to be written.  Furthermore, the Bible does not speak of God “per se”, but of what God says, how God acts and how God is experienced. The concern of the biblical traditions is always with God in his relationship to the world and to humans and quite especially to Israel. How to grasp the fragility and the resilience of these relations? No one can know what God is really like. People can experience God in different ways, and they bring these experiences to expression. God’s action is experienced by people in a wide range of ways. The texts of the OT speak of this. They bring these experiences to expression in their variety and also in their contradictoriness. So, talking of God in the biblical texts is anything but uniform. The OT could in fact be regarded as an invitation to reimagine our life and our faith as an on-going dialogue in which all parties are variously summoned to risk and change.

The course – apart from the study of selected passages – aims at helping students to learn how to read scholarly works critically.

Passions and Prayer: Early Monastic Insights into Human Psychology and Spiritual Practices

Columba Stewart,  OSB | MONS 468  / SPIR 468 | 1 credit
  • Class meeting time 8:00-11:10 AM (T-W-TH-F)
  • June 26-29, 2018

Modern Christians are astonished to find a wealth of psychological insight and spiritual wisdom in the writings of early Christian desert monks. This course will introduce their teaching on the eight “thoughts” that preoccupy us, a way of describing the passions that was later condensed into “Seven Deadly Sins.” The original system, diagnostic and non-judgmental,was a synthesis of ancient philosophy and the practical experience of those famous as “readers of hearts.” Their attention to the passions was designed to cultivate insight for sacred reading and freedom for prayer. We will follow the same trajectory, exploring the link between passions and prayer, and the way that monastic prayer has always grown from a close reading of Scripture.

Body, Being and Becoming: Explorations of the Body in The Rule of Benedict

Carmel Posa, SGS  | MONS 468  / SPIR 468 | 1 credit
  • Class meeting time 8:00-11:10 AM (M-T-TH-F)
  • July 2-6, 2018

The Rule of Benedict accounts for multiple bodies, both communal and personal, in both its prescriptive and descriptive detail. This unit will focus attention on the theological significance of these bodies, particularly in relation to the centrality of Christ in the Benedictine life and the importance of its incarnational approach to the Christian endeavour.

THREE WEEK COURSES - June 11-29, 2018

The Wisdom of God: Old Testament Wisdom Literature and its New Testament Reverberations

Laszlo Simon, OSB | SSOT  468 / SSNT 468  / SPIR 468 | 3 credits
  • 8:00- 11:15 AM 

‘Wisdom Literature’ is a term applied to the OT books of Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes, and sometimes to the Song of Songs.  In the Catholic tradition, it also includes the books of Sirach and the Wisdom of Solomon. 

The practice of referring to this heterogeneous collection as ‘wisdom writings’ calls for an explanation. Very few of these compositions can be called sapiential in the sense of imparting instruction or addressing themselves to broad issues of a philosophical or theological nature. What is the elusive quality called ‘wisdom’? What, following these biblical texts, does it mean to be wise?

As far as NT theology is concerned, the personification of wisdom as co-agent with God in creation turned out to be the most crucial step of OT wisdom speculations. Recent study of the NT has shown that this line of thought emerged very early in the history of Christianity. It can be detected in fragments of hymns embedded in some of the Apostolic letters and it is also recoverable in the Sayings Source: Jesus is represented not only as wise teacher but as personified Wisdom. Consequently, there can be no doubt that the wisdom of Israel, especially in its later developments, provided a major impetus to the formation of Christian theology and ethics.

The course – apart from the study of selected passages – aims at helping students to learn how to read scholarly works critically.

Dynamics of Spiritual Direction

Becky Van Ness | PTHM 418 | 3 credits
  • 8:00-11:15 AM
  • Prerequisite: SPIR 437 The Practice of Discernment in Prayer

The study of spiritual direction allows student to develop skills in guiding others to identify and articulate their relationship with God through the life of faith, religious experience, discernment, and prayer. Students learn various models of spiritual direction and the purpose and dynamics of peer and individual supervision.

Integrating Spiritual Direction

Eileen Flanagan | PTHM 428 | 3 credits
  • 8:00-11:15 AM
  • Prerequisites: Completion of the "Practicum for Spiritual Direction" and a recommendation from the Director of Certificate in Spiritual Direction

Capstone course for the Certificate in Spiritual Direction. Emphasis will be on integrating a theological understanding of spiritual direction with the experiences of practicum. This course will go more deeply into topics already introduced in the pre-practicum course, in addition to covering more advanced issues in spiritual direction. An exploration of Benedictine stability will support the on-going development of contemplative presence. Grading is satisfactory or unsatisfactory. 

Nature and Grace Controversies

Kristin Colberg and Shawn Colberg | HCHR 468 / DOCT 468 | 3 credits
  • 8:00-11:15 AM

The dynamic which exists between created nature and divine action has been expressed in diverse ways throughout the history of Christian thought, often as a central point of controversy and potential division in the Christian community.  This course will work through Patristic, medieval, Reformation, modern, and post-modern sources to explore the variety of ways in which Christian thinkers have expressed the relationship between "nature" and "grace" -- focusing on the way that specific constructions of the dynamic impact views of salvation, sacraments, the nature of the church, and the shape of Christian discipleship. 


The classes listed below start online, followed by a one-week intensive session on the Saint John's campus, and end with  online work. Plan to come to Collegeville for an amazing week of learning, community events, prayer, and the beautiful Minnesota summer experience!
  • May 15 Classes open with online components
  • July 15 Classes are completed with online work/submissions
  • Dates below the course titles are the on-campus meeting times determined by instructors. Plan on 5-6 hours per day, Monday-Friday.

Liturgy and Justice

Benjamin Durheim  | LTGY 468 | 3 credits
  • On-Campus June 4-8, 2018

This course examines the connections between practices of liturgy and justice.  The course will draw both from classical sources (such as Augustine, John Chrysostom, and Cyril of Jerusalem) and from contemporary texts.  The course aims to prepare students to articulate and critique theologies that connect (or disconnect) liturgy and justice, as well as to connect liturgy and justice in a parish setting.

History of Christianity I

Kevin Mongrain | HCHR 402 | 3 credits
  • On-Campus June 11-15, 2018

This course will examine the development of the Christian tradition, including the expression of seminal doctrines within the Christian church, from its origins to the eleventh century. The course will explore the main trends in the development of the institution and primary doctrines of the church within the larger philosophical, social, and political contexts of the first millennium, paying attention to the ways in which the lived experience of Christian peoples informs and shapes its thinking.

The New Evangelization in a Secular Age

Jeffrey Kaster | PTHM 401 | 3 credits
  • On-Campus June 18-22, 2018

The church is calling for a “new evangelization” as many baptized Christians have lost a living sense of the faith.  This course examines contemporary theologies and principles of the evangelization and catechesis; the current socio-religious context, theories of human and faith development; and effective strategies for evangelization and catechesis. Particular attention will be given to advancing skills in the “new evangelization.” 


Clinical Pastoral Education 

Barbara Sutton | PTHM 412 | 3 credits

Students participate in a basic unit of an accredited Clinical Pastoral Education program.

Practicum/Theological Reflection

Barbara Sutton | PTHM 459 01A- 09A | 1-6 credits

Students work with an organization, project, or parish in the area of their ministerial interest. The supervised experience requires students to integrate theological competence with pastoral practice in developing vocational identity as a public minister, exploring issues of leadership, power and authority; and gaining facility in articulating the Christian faith and in fostering the development of faith with others. Students will reflect on the practice of ministry in theological reflection groups.

  • Class dates TBA
  • 9:00 AM-12:00 Noon
  • + Three sessions Theological Reflection -- Schedule TBA


      • 01A General Parish
      • 02A Religious Education
      • 03A Social Ministry
      • 04A Liturgy
      • 05A Homiletics
      • 06A Pastoral Care
      • 07A Campus Ministry and Young Adult Ministry
      • 09A Ministry on the Margins


Summer lessons meet June 4-29, 2018.  One-hour lessons scheduled with instructor (maximum 7 lessons over the 4 weeks).

Applied Piano

TBA | LMUS 406 | 1 credit

Students will develop technical skills and knowledge of performance practices at the graduate level, including the ability to play a large variety of repertoire fluently and with understanding. Secondary organ students will develop sufficient techniques and familiarity with the instrument to play knowledgeably and/or coach others in parish settings.

Applied Organ

Kim Kasling | LMUS 407 | 1 credit

Students will develop technical skills and knowledge of performance practices at the graduate level, including the ability to play a large variety of repertoire fluently and with understanding. Major works of significant periods and schools of organ literature will be studied and performed. Secondary organ students will develop sufficient techniques and familiarity with the instrument to play knowledgeably and/or coach others in parish settings.

Applied Voice

Carolyn Finley  | Patricia Kent | LMUS 408 | 1 credit

Fundamentals of singing and vocal pedagogy (breathing, efficient use of voice, diction, etc.) addressing differing musical styles and their interpretation based on the performance practices of given periods in music history. Study and performance of significant bodies of solo repertoire. Technique and pedagogical skills appropriate to choral directors, section leaders, and coaches for cantors and song leaders.

Applied Composition

Brian Campbell | LMUS 409 | 1 credit

Introduction to Gregorian chant: historical development, notation, rhythm, modality, Latin pronunciation, editions and resources, use in the modern liturgy. Prior ability to read 5-line notation and some knowledge of the basics of music theory is expected.