Theology Department Feature

In Theology, Saint Joseph's students immerse themselves in the rich intellectual tradition of the Church.

By Mr. Nicholas Astle
Theology Teacher
October 2021

At Saint Joseph's, we strive every day to prepare students for academic success in college. The Theology Department challenges students to think deeply about faith, to pursue substantial answers to difficult questions, and to immerse themselves in the rich intellectual tradition of the Church. Through a variety of courses, students become familiar with a wide range of topics and are equipped to explain and defend the faith as they go out into the world.

Nicholas Astle, Theology Teacher

Beginning with the classical definition of Theology as "faith seeking understanding," the department hopes to lead students into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and knowledge of Divine Revelation. We keep in mind the words of Pope Benedict XVI: "Our starting point is a person, not a program."

Great Adventure Timeline
Freshmen begin their course of study with a year that focuses on Sacred Scripture. They are aided by the Great Adventure Bible Timeline. The Great Adventure Bible Timeline divides salvation history into twelve distinct eras, punctuated by seventy key events. Using the Timeline helps students to see the underlying narrative that runs through Scripture. Far from being a confusing jumble of stories, the Bible tells a story: the story of God's covenant family.

Model Church Simulation
Sophomores spend the spring semester exploring ecclesiology, the study of the Church. For part of this course, students engage in the "Model Church" simulation. The Model Church was inspired by the Model UN, a popular simulation of the United Nations General Assembly. In the Model Church, each student role plays as the bishop of the diocese of their choice. After designing their episcopal coat of arms, the new bishops research their dioceses to learn about their flocks. As the simulation continues, the bishops become members of the various congregations of the Roman Curia, a College of Cardinals is appointed, and those cardinals meet in Conclave to elect a pope. The simulation culminates with the bishops and cardinals gathering with the pope to hold an Ecumenical Council. The simulation allows students to engage with the structure of the Church and explore the roles of bishops, cardinals, and popes.


Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy

901 Boalsburg Pike, Boalsburg, PA 16827
(814) 808-6118