Theology–sacred doctrine, the study of God, the queen of the sciences. Theology is more than simply a study about God; it comes from God and leads to God. Each of these statements shapes how WCC teaches theology.
About God. Theology is a true science; it is systematic and comprehensive. Class time attends to all the great mysteries of the Catholic faith, taken up in a carefully reasoned order. One cannot understand moral theology before the grace of the sacraments, nor the sacraments apart from the Church, nor the Church before the Incarnation, nor the Incarnation before the Trinity, the centermost mystery of Christianity.
From God. Although theology reasons about the mysteries of faith, it receives those mysteries from God’s revelation, which comes to us through Scripture and Tradition as interpreted by the Church’s Magisterium. At WCC, this means relying on primary sources. The entire first year students dwell with the Scripture, the very soul of theology. Every semester includes readings from Scripture, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and ecumenical councils of the Church or papal encyclicals. Following the Magisterium, WCC takes St. Thomas Aquinas as chief among the Doctors of the Church.
To God. True theology is pursued for the sake of union with God; it depends, therefore, on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, God’s own Word and perfect image. For this reason, again, freshmen dedicate their first year to meeting God through the inspired word of Scripture discussed in class, heard at mass, and prayed through lectio divina. As foretaste of the Beatific Vision, theology conforms the mind to God’s reality. Eternal life is “to know you the only true God” (Jn 17:3). In theology, the Word dwells in our minds through the Holy Spirit’s power.
Following the teaching of the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum of the Second Vatican Council, the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains that Scripture stands at the heart of both theology (the contemplative study of divine things) and catechesis (the handing on of the content of the Faith). Since theology begins with knowledge of the saving deeds of God in Jesus Christ, who is Lord of history from the creation of the world to its consummation, the first and fundamental year of theology at Wyoming Catholic College familiarizes students firsthand with the history of salvation as God tells it to us in the words He Himself inspired. The first semester focuses on the Old Testament as background to and promise of the New.
|Scripture||Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, Ezra, Nehemiah, selections from the prophetic writings (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel), 1 Maccabees|
Continuing the history of salvation, the second semester enters into the New Testament, whose very completion of the Old Testament furnishes a pattern for Christian life and thought, passing from shadows to images to realities. Accordingly, this semester also takes up questions of the inspiration, inerrancy, and interpretation of Scripture as containing many “senses” or levels of meaning and investigates how theology is built on the foundation of the Word of God, how this Word is handed down to us in Scripture and apostolic Tradition, how faith is related to reason, and how theology differs from other disciplines in its role as queen of the sciences.
|Scripture||Gospel of Luke, Acts of the Apostles, Romans, Hebrews, Revelation|
|St. Vincent of Lerins||Commonitory for the Antiquity and Universality of the Catholic Faith|
|St. Augustine||On Christian Doctrine|
|St. Thomas Aquinas||Summa theologiae I.1|
|Vatican I||Dei Filius (optional)|
|Leo XIII||Providentissimus Deus, Satis Cognitum (optional)|
|Vatican II||Dei Verbum|
Having viewed salvation history as a whole through the inspired record of that history and having considered how the science of theology emerges and develops from divine revelation given in both Scripture and Tradition (THL 101–102), we are ready to begin a more systematic study of the Catholic faith. Since God is the source and goal of everything else, the present course focuses on the existence and attributes of God Himself, leading into the central mystery of our Faith, the Most Holy Trinity. With the Gospel of St. John as our portal, we enter into God’s disclosure of His inner life: the Divine Persons and their missions.
|Scripture||Gospel of John, 1 John|
|Arius||Thalia, Letter to Eusebius of Nicodemia, Letter to Alexander of Alexandria|
|Alexander of Alexandria||Letter to Alexander of Thessalonica|
|Church Councils||Council of Antioch, Ecumenical Councils of Nicea I, Constantinople I, Florence; Athanasian Creed|
|St. Gregory Nazianzen||Theological Orations III – V|
|St. Thomas Aquinas||Compendium theologiae 1–56, Summa theologiae I.43.1|
|Leo XIII||Divinum Illud Munus|
In this course we strive to understand God as the origin and goal of all creatures and their sovereign ruler. We ask about the meaning of “creation” and explore the creation of the invisible world of the angels, the visible cosmos, and especially man, the summit of the material world because he is made “unto the image and likeness of God.” Particular attention is given to the manifestation of God’s goodness in the perfections of creatures, and especially in the gift of sanctifying grace and the theological virtues to men. Also taken up is the question of evil in the perspective of Divine Providence.
|Scripture||Genesis 1–3, Psalms 8, 33 and 104, Wisdom of Solomon, Job|
|St. Thomas Aquinas||Compendium theologiae 68–77, 96–147; Summa theologiae I-II, qq. 62, 109–110|
|Church Councils||Council of Carthage, Synod of Orange|
|St. Augustine||On the Grace of Christ|
This course treats of the fall of the human race in our first parents, sin and its effects (particularly death), resurrected beatitude as man’s ultimate end, and Jesus Christ as the sole mediator between God and man who brings redemption and renewal to the whole of creation. The plight of fallen man as well as its only remedy are illuminated by readings from both Testaments, leading to profound reflection on the reasons why “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us”—“for us men and for our salvation.”
|Scripture||Genesis 1–3, Leviticus, Ecclesiastes, Gospel of Mark, Colossians, Philippians, Hebrews|
|St. Athanasius||On the Incarnation|
|St. Anselm||Why God Became Man|
|St. Maximus the Confessor||On the Lord's Prayer|
|St. Thomas Aquinas||Compendium theologiae 148–201|
|St. John of the Cross||Romances on “In the beginning”|
This semester meditates on the mystery of the Incarnation, towards which the whole of creation is ordered as its crown and upon which the entire economy of grace and salvation hinges. The Christological debates of the early Church reveal to us the radiant face of Jesus Christ, true God and true man, while the unsurpassable synthesis of St. Thomas assists us in pondering His eternal and incarnate being, His grace and wisdom, His salvific suffering and death, His glorious resurrection and ascension, and finally, His kingship over creation.
|Scripture||Gospel of Matthew|
|Church Councils||Ephesus, Chalcedon, Constantinople III, Nicaea II|
|St. Cyril of Alexandria||On the Unity of Christ|
|St. Leo the Great||Letter to Flavian (Tome of Leo)|
|St. Maximus the Confessor||Ambiguum V|
|St. John Damascene||In Defense of the Holy Images, Treatise I|
|St. Thomas Aquinas||Compendium theologiae 202–246; Summa theologiae III.8 q. 8|
This course treats of the Church—the Mystical Body of Christ, His immaculate bride, the new Israel, the “universal sacrament of salvation” born from the Lord’s wounded side. Inseparable from the Church on earth are her seven sacraments and liturgical life, through which she expresses her inmost nature as a continuation of the mystery of the Incarnation. Through these visible means, our Savior applies the power of His Passion to our bodies and souls, building up His Church, sanctifying her members, and uniting the faithful to one another and to God in the sacrifice of charity.
|Scripture||Ephesians, 1 Corinthians|
|St. Ignatius of Antioch||Letters|
|St. Cyril of Jerusalem||On the Christian Sacraments|
|St. Augustine||On the Gospel of John X. 10–11|
|Pius XII||Mystici Corporis, Mediator Dei|
|St. Thomas||Summa contra gentiles III. 119: IV, 56–77|
|St. John Paul II||Ecclesia de Eucharistia (optional)|
|Vatican II||Lumen Gentium; Sacrosanctum Concilium|
|Catechism of the Catholic Church||Readings on liturgy and the sacraments|
This course addresses itself to profoundly practical questions about how we are to live a redeemed and sanctified life in the world around us, as individuals and as members of communities. Such a life is founded upon the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity; it is given a certain structure by vocations within the Church. The Christian way of life both separates us from “the world” (the world of unbelief) and impels us to evangelize it in imitation of our Lord. The contrast between true and false freedom and the central role played by culture are major themes of the semester.
|Scripture||Florilegium of New Testament texts|
|Anonymous||Epistle to Diognetus|
|Constantine & Licinius||Edict of Milan|
|Theodosius||Codex Theodosianus excerpts|
|Gelasius I||Duo Quippe Sunt|
|Boniface VIII||Unam Sanctam|
|Locke||A Letter Concerning Toleration|
|Leo XIII||Immortale Dei, Libertas Praestantissiumum, Sapientiae Christianae, Au Milieu des Sollicitudes, Longinqua Oceani, Rerum Novarum, Diuturnum Illud|
|Pius XI||Quadragesimo Anno, Casti Connubii, Quas Primas|
|Pius XII||Ci Riesce|
|Vatican II||Dignitatis Humanae|
|St. John Paul II||Veritatis Splendor, Evangelium Vitae, Centesimus Annus|
|Benedict XVI||Deus Caritas Est|
|St. Thomas Aquinas||On the Perfection of the Spiritual Life|