Pontifical School of Theology

Bachelor of Arts in Theology

151 credits
For students entering the program at the Sophomore level
(holders of a recognized Baccalaureate or Freshman diploma - equivalent to 30 credits)


Common Core
PHI458Contemporary philosophy I : The phenomenology
3 credits
PHI210Greek Philosophy
3 credits
This course focuses on the major ideas of ancient philosophy, taking a closer look at the issues and philosophical questions of the time, with particular emphasis on the great figures of antiquity: Plato and Aristotle. Not only did these two philosophers influence medieval philosophy (Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas), but also modern and even contemporary philosophy. The course also covers Plotinus, who had a major influence on the Church Fathers.

The aim of this course is to introduce students to philosophical thought in antiquity, which constitutes the basis and starting point of philosophy, and to familiarize them with philosophical concepts and major philosophical issues.
3 credits    |    Pre-requisite: PHI210
This course is intended as an introduction to the various theories of interpretation, tracing the major milestones in hermeneutic thinking with a view to developing the relationship between the production of meaning and interpretation, and the latter’s links with understanding.

To this end, it offers an in-depth study of the main figures of hermeneutics, such as Schleiermacher, Dilthey, Heidegger, Gadamer, and Ricœur, focusing on their contribution to the transition from methodological to philosophical hermeneutics.
The course also investigates the link between hermeneutics and biblical exegesis, by studying Luther's Protestant contribution and his influence on the Catholic interpretation of biblical texts from Vatican I to Vatican II.
PHI201Introduction to Philosophy
3 credits
This course introduces students to philosophical thinking and practice. It presents, on the one hand, the main philosophical currents, highlighting their specificity and creative contribution, and, on the other hand, the most representative authors in the history of philosophical reflection.
Rather than treating these themes separately, the program aims to show the correlation between them and fundamental human issues, with a view to highlighting their impact on certain worldviews that continue to challenge us in our contemporary societies.
  • Recognize the basic vocabulary of philosophy.
  • Interpret the multiple approaches to an existential question from a philosophical perspective.
  • Discover that philosophy is concerned with questions raised by and for humankind.
  • Develop a personal reflection on a given issue.
PSY201Introduction to Psychology
3 credits
This course aims to give students an overview of psychology, a discipline now considered essential to the understanding of human life. It starts by exploring the history and development of this science, then presents the different schools and theories that explain human behavior, as well as cognitive, emotional, and interpersonal processes. This approach is designed to help students assimilate the basic concepts of psychology, thereby facilitating their academic and relational development. Subsequently, emphasis is placed on developing the practical skills of theology students, through case studies and tests among others, to help them gain a better understanding of themselves and others, and thereby foster their personal development.

These skills are particularly useful in their future pastoral work. Topics covered include psychological disorders and illnesses, protective factors for mental health, and psychotherapy in general. The overall aim of the course is to equip students with the necessary tools to address the psychological aspects of their ministry in an informed and compassionate manner.
SOC201Introduction to Sociology
3 credits
The course aims to introduce theology students to the social components of religion through the appropriate schools of thought and sociological concepts.

In addition to analyzing contemporary social phenomena related to religion, it offers an analytical assessment of the sociocultural influence of religion in Lebanon and adopts an analytical approach to the constituents of religious and pastoral practice in the country.
PHI420Logic and Philosophy of Knowledge
3 credits    |    Pre-requisite: PHI333
This course begins with an overview of language as an object of study, showing how a large part of 20th-century philosophy developed as a “philosophy of language (analytical philosophy). In the second part, it deals with the general theoretical framework of argumentation as a discursive act, based on the theory of speech acts pioneered by philosophers John Longshaw Austin and John Searle. The third part tackles general subjects relating to logic, including the key notions of induction and deduction, truth, and validity. The ins and outs of formalization are briefly discussed, and the formal approach is exemplified in the analysis and evaluation of simple deductive arguments, known as syllogisms.
PHI301Medieval Philosophy
3 credits    |    Pre-requisite: PHI210 or PHI210
The aim of this course is to analyze the main points of the philosophical and theological thought of Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas Aquinas, and Master Eckhart.

By analyzing Saint Augustine’s experience of truth, it seeks to gain an in-depth understanding of the problem of knowledge, the metaphysics of inner experience, self-certainty based on divine truth immanent to our interiority, temporality and eternity, and the unitive, tripartite constitution of the soul, which is identical to the constitution of the Holy Trinity’s life in God.

A critical reading of Saint Thomas’ writings leads this course to exploring the themes linked to his understanding of Aristotle’s legacy, the question of nature and grace, his anthropological and ethical vision, the issue of analogy, and the problem of knowledge.

Similarly, the course develops a contemporary reading of Master Eckhart’s mysticism, which has greatly contributed to the emergence of German philosophical speculation. The research focuses on Eckhart’s understanding of the unitive structure of knowledge and life underlying the primordial relationship between God and humankind.
3 credits
This course invites students to reflect on the meaning and significance of their own being, as well as that of the universe, and attempt to answer questions on the meaning of all things. This approach aims to satisfy, as radically as possible, the human spirit’s ultimate need for understanding. As “primary philosophy”, metaphysical reflection addresses the knowledge of the primary causes of being and the basis underlying human thinking.

This reflection covers two metaphysical aspects: firstly, an ontological approach that concerns being per se, and relates to man’s being in his search for ultimate meaning; and secondly, a theodicy approach dealing with the possible relationship between man and God, by defining the field of application of philosophical reason to the concept of God.

The course then analyzes the conditions of a possible objective relationship between man and God, as well as the relationship between reason and faith, and the criteria for man’s recognition of God. This approach culminates in an analysis inspired by Karl Rahner’s Hearers of the Word, which addresses the notion of the luminosity of being.
PHI333Modern Philosophy
3 credits    |    Pre-requisite: PHI210
The aim of the course is to introduce students to two currents in modern philosophy, starting with its precursor Francis Bacon: rationalism (Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza), and empiricism (Locke, Condillac, Hume), which pave the way for Kant’s philosophy of knowledge, or critical rationalism, on the one hand, and phenomenology on the other.

The aim is to provide students with a better understanding of the issues at stake in hermeneutics, introduce them to a critical understanding of the mechanisms involved in the production and operation of theological language, and demonstrate the philosophical roots of hermeneutical theories in current exegesis. Ultimately, the course aims to help students reflect on the hermeneutical foundations of theology as the “intelligence of faith” in the current situation of the Church.
PHI447Moral and Political Philosophy
3 credits    |    Pre-requisite: PHI210
The aim of this course is to reflect on the foundations and meaning of democracy with a view to rediscovering the place of morality in politics, given that the concepts of “morality” and “politics” are more often understood in separation than in conjunction. This approach helps understand the great debates in moral and political philosophy from the Greek era – particularly with Plato and Aristotle – to the modern and even contemporary times. Based on an approach to these two concepts, the course mainly examines the need for both interaction and separation of morality and politics. Students explore these questions in depth, drawing on texts by classical and modern philosophers, such as Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, Max Webber, Hannah Arendt, and Julien Freund, who have pondered this topical issue.
PHI327Philosophical Anthropology
3 credits    |    Pre-requisite: PHI210 or SOC210
The question “What is man?” lies at the heart of philosophical inquiry. Drawing on the necessary anthropocentrism of philosophy, the course begins by exploring the meaning of the question concerning man’s nature and his place in the world (Plessner, Gehlen, Scheler) throughout history, right up to the challenges imposed by posthumanism.
It examines the difficulties of defining what it means to be human in the face of the current mutations, based on a dual reflection on the body and the person.
The course then goes on to analyze the concept of being-in-relation and discuss its implications, with reference to the contemporary thinkers on otherness, such as Levinas, Buber, and Marion.
PHI326Philosophy of Nature
3 credits
This course starts by outlining an ontological approach to nature as an object of philosophical study for pre-Socratic philosophers and the ancient Greeks in general, as well as its development and meaning in modern times, evolving from an essentialist representation to a mechanistic view, and finally to a dynamic representation.

Next, the focus shifts to nature as an environment. Are there one or several conceptions of nature today? What values are derived from each conception? In this regard, key concepts, such as biodiversity, ecology, and ecosystem, introduce students to epistemological questions about the environmental sciences. This is followed by an ethical examination of the environment, based on the various models of relationship between human beings and nature-environment, namely biocentrism, anthropocentrism, and the sustainable development model. Key notions are developed within these models, such as utilitarianism, the philosophy of human rights, deep ecology, and the intrinsic value of nature.
MTR222University Working Methodology
3 credits
The aim of this course is to introduce students to a working methodology that initiates them to research. Students learn to choose a subject in a given field, raise an issue, develop hypotheses, choose and apply an appropriate working technique, and communicate results in the form of a clear, rigorous, and scientific text. Emphasis is placed on the design, writing, and presentation of a research project. The course includes an ethical component and a technological component, enabling entry-level students to master the epistemological and ethical dimensions of research, as well as the know-how required to integrate ICT into research work to avoid plagiarism and become autonomous. The course mixes both theory and practice.
THEO205Biblical Greek
3 credits
The course helps students learn New Testament Greek by teaching them the necessary linguistic foundations. The gradual approach aims to teach a translation method allowing to understand biblical texts. Based on Bible texts, the course covers the Greek alphabet and its distinctive features (diphthongs, accents), the cases in the Greek language (nominative, vocative, genitive, dative, and accusative), the article, nouns, prepositions, adjectives, and pronouns, along with verbs and verb tenses.

The objectives of the course include:
  • to familiarize students with the Greek text of the New Testament.
  • to teach students how to read a biblical text.
  • to acquire a basic vocabulary for translating a New Testament text.
  • to be able to understand Greek syntax.
THEO202Biblical Hebrew
3 credits
The aim of this course is to help students in their second year of theology (undergraduate studies) to read, translate, and parse texts from the Hebrew Bible in preparation for biblical exegesis. The course is based on the study of Hebrew grammar (morphology and syntax) using selected full texts from the Bible.

In the first level, Hebrew I, grammar is limited to morphology and noun properties, whereas in the second level, Hebrew II, grammar focuses on verbs. Practical exercises are given in class to deepen the students’ grammatical knowledge and enrich their vocabulary.
2 credits
Life technologies have revolutionized our personal and social lives. These advances concern all living beings, but this course focuses on human health, reproduction, genetics, life, and death, addressing some lingering questions: Is what is possible desirable? How can we agree on the ethical choices to be made and actions to be undertaken? Does science not run the risk of reducing human beings to objects?

This course aims to analyze the stakes and consequences of these advances for mankind, promote interdisciplinary research, and explore the main ethical issues raised by medical practice, striving to illustrate theory with practical examples. Philosophical and theological reflection is required to avoid basing behavior on purely scientific factors or on any specific circumstances. The course analyzes the position of the Catholic Church, which appreciates and encourages biomedical research when it aims to prevent and cure disease, alleviate suffering, and promote human well-being, and which is not blind to the dramatic complexity of painful human situations.
THEO365Canon Law I: Norms and The Individual
3 credits
THEO420Canon Law II: Persons
2 credits
Under the title “persons” (323-583), the Canon Law II course covers three categories of Christian believers: the clergy (323-398), laypeople (410-583), and hermits and other monks and members of institutes of consecrated life (410-583). It begins by discussing the legal status of each of these three categories to better understand their rights and duties. The aim of this course is to study the organization of relations at administrative and pastoral levels, and to understand monastic organizations and their relations with the Church hierarchy, particularly with relation to caring for the souls of the faithful.

To serve this objective, this course presents new perspectives for better cooperation among the three categories of Christian believers for the greater good of the Church.
THEO435Catholic Letters
1 credits
After a general introduction on Catholic letters and their introduction into Church canon, this course tackles the eight Catholic letters, presenting for each of them the author, recipients, place and date of writing, and literary affinity with other biblical and non-biblical writings. Special emphasis is placed on their individual doctrinal and theological significance.

The course uses a pragmatic, communication-based approach to study a few selected texts.

Far from merely passing this course with a good grade, the aim is to introduce students to biblical hermeneutics by proposing a “pragmatic” approach to exegesis, allowing for a new perception of reality, and appealing to their moral action.
THEO431Christian Anthropology
3 credits
Christian archeology is a multi-disciplinary science, the aim of which is to discover and study buried monuments and treasures related to the Christian faith, and which can be divided into places of worship (such as baptisteries, churches, monasteries, cemeteries, or catacombs), liturgical objects or instruments (tools, vestments, furniture, minor arts), and their restoration and preservation for future generations (museology).

It requires knowledge of scriptural sources (paleography and epigraphy) and familiarity with the various visual religious representations in the fields of architecture, painting (iconography and sacred images), sculpture (such as ceramics, marble, and alabaster), metallurgy (such as mints), and various Instrumentum Domesticum from the early Christian era to the contemporary world.

This global vision of Christian archeology encompasses the main traditions (habits and customs) and rituals of Western and Eastern Christians. The course aims to take a closer look at the various monumental and minor artefacts found in the excavations of various Christian places of worship and used in liturgical celebrations and daily life.
3 credits
Christology is the core and foundation of the Christian dogma. It presents, develops and explains the fundamental profession of Christian faith: "Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of God, our Lord and Savior." It is the principle of the whole Christian theology, and the short word of faith. The course is based on four main movements. The first is devoted to listening to the Word of God, the standard and basis of all Christological thoughts. After a brief introduction on historical research on Jesus, we will explore the original experience of the New Testament communities, seeking to present their testimony on Christ following its chronological and thematic development. The second movement follows the development of faith in Jesus in the living Tradition of the Church, through the thought of the Fathers and the most important dogmatic decisions of the ecumenical councils. The third movement deals with contemporary Christology developed through a surprising variety of Christological movements which express, each in its own way, the present status of faith and the main place occupied by Christ in the life of Christians and every human being. Finally, in the fourth movement, Christology is reflected through soteriology which shows that personal communion with Jesus through faith achieves the aspiration of people for salvation and deification.
THEO360Eastern Churches and Oecumenism
3 credits
THEO425Eastern Mysticism Spirituality
3 credits
3 credits    |    Pre-requisite: THEO 220
This course is an introduction to Catholic ecclesiology found in the documents of the Second Vatican Council, particularly in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, its ultimate expression and the fundamental source of renewing the concept of Church in fidelity to the Bible and to Tradition. After a brief biblical introduction of the word "Church", we will first explore the Trinitarian foundation of the Church where the latter proves to be at the same time the People of God, Body of Christ and Temple of the Holy Spirit. In the second part, we will discuss the four Church attributes as mentioned in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, namely unity, holiness, catholicity and apostolicity. We will conclude by studying the Church's relationship with the world, from the perspective of the expansion of the reign of God in Jesus Christ. The theme of the Christian presence in Lebanon and the Middle East will also be highlighted.
2 credits
Eschatology now occupies a central place in theology. Even theology itself has become eschatological. Christian eschatology, writes Rahner, is “the doctrine of man as a being open to the absolute future, to God himself”, with the essential precision that what is at stake is “the future of man in all his dimensions”, both “as a unique, irreducible individual” (individual eschatology) and “as a member of a community” (collective eschatology). It is clear, as Laubier notes, that “eschatology is a question for everyone”, even though it has become, in Balthasar’s words, “the cornerstone of theology” since theology itself has become eschatological. This is why Barth went so far as to assert that “A Christianity that is not wholly eschatology and nothing but eschatology has absolutely nothing to do with Christ”. For Barth, “eschatology is a fundamental dimension for a correct understanding of the Christian mystery”.

Nevertheless, as Birmelé points out, eschatology must be cautious, aware of its limitations, coherent, and at the same time imbued with a sense of pastoral concern.
Students are encouraged to explore different areas of eschatology through a systematic approach based on theological phenomenology. This working method involves questioning the truth of our hope, a truth grounded in the mystery of the Holy Trinity’s eternal love, which – according to Balthasar – “is so made in its very essence that its night, in the excess of its light, can only be glorified by adoration”.
THEO451Family Ethics, Sexuality, and Marriage
3 credits
In the light of the Second Vatican Council’s Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, especially numbers 47-52 dedicated to the “nobility of marriage and the family”, the Catholic Church pays particular attention to the reality and challenges of marriage and the family. This is evidenced by Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae (1968) and John Paul II’s series of Wednesday catechesis and his Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio 1981), as well as by the various documents of the Pontifical Council for the Family on issues proper to married and family life, the two Synods of Bishops (2014-2015) and Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (2016). All these events bear witness to the interest and concern shown by the Church in its mission with families. The pastoral character of these events is well highlighted by Pope Francis, who – while not neglecting the need to always announce the truth about marriage and the family – emphasizes the need to understand reality, to be open to difficult situations, and to abstain from easy, hasty judgments. This long-term pastoral process is “difficult and complex”, yet necessary to help families walk with the Church amid their difficulties and conflicts. This course is divided into three parts: marital ethics, sexual ethics, and family ethics, reflecting this pastoral approach with a view to raising awareness of the reality and the pastoral task before us.
THEO251Fundamental Moral Theology
3 credits
This Fundamental Moral Theology course deals with the Christian action in a rational process, while relying on the Holy Scripture, and placing Tradition, Magisterium and human sciences within a contemporary situation scenario. The course will particularly address: Biblical perspectives of moral theology, its creative evolution and fundamental principles, such as freedom, responsibility, will, the good and the bad in the act, conscience, law, sin, conversion, salvation and revelation, theological and human virtues, bliss as the end of all Christian actions. Following a careful reading of the Veritatis Splendor encyclical and the document of the International Theological Commission on the natural law, we will present some new perspectives for moral thoughts, illustrated and enlightened by two concrete examples.
THEO220Fundamental Theology
3 credits
This introduction to theological study examines the foundations of Christianism, divine revelation, and faith.

The course starts by explaining what theology is per se. Following a historical overview, it defines the nature, methods, purpose, and scope of reflection of theology, describing the various theological disciplines and focusing particularly on fundamental and dogmatic theology.

Next, the course emphasizes Revelation, faith, the study of the main theological concepts, including God’s Word, the living Tradition, and Church Magisterium, among others.
THEO273History of Antique Church
2 credits
THEO373History of the Church in the Middle Ages
2 credits
The Middle Ages lie between antiquity and modern times, spanning almost a thousand years. During this long period, the Church sought to unite the various peoples emerging in the West to form a united Europe. Enjoying a dynamic and youthful period with the Merovingians, its missionary activity was costly but fruitful.

The Church helped the Carolingians restore the Holy Roman Empire and create a “state” populated by Christians only to suffer the ravages of feudalism and the Reichkirche system between the 9th and 11th centuries, before liberating itself with the Gregorian Reform.
THEO473History of the Modern and Contemporary Church
2 credits
This course is an essay, or rather an attempt or historical approach to examining a prosperous and critical era of Church history, namely the modern time, spanning the 16th to the 20th century. This approach to a period that undeniably shaped the current structure of the Church is grounded in scientific, thematic, and sometimes event-based prospects.

The study of modern and contemporary history is full of lessons and experiences and remains a necessary tool today to understand the present in the context of the past and build a future based on solid experience or, to put it differently, on a collective historical consciousness.
THEO230 Human and Theological Virtues
2 credits
Today’s world is dominated by individualism and relativism, which lead human beings to seek their own personal good independently of the common good, thus alienating them from their fundamental vocation to love. It is therefore urgent to rediscover the teaching of virtue to ensure the proper development of the human conscience. This essential education enables students to distinguish between the real good associated with the realization of their call to love, and the love that translates into good. This course in fundamental moral theology aims to respond to this urgent need. Starting from the definition of virtue as “a habitual and firm disposition to discern and do good”, it strives to highlight the importance of these virtues, according to their nature and dynamics, for the realization of this fundamental human vocation to love. While explaining the difference and complementarity between theological virtues and human virtues, the course suggests ways of acquiring them and allowing them to guide daily human action.
THEO355Introduction to Sacramental Theology and Liturgy
3 credits
Following the Second Vatican Council and the Sacrosanctum Concilium constitution, this course explores the meaning of liturgy as the prayer of Christ and of the Church, with a view to understanding its inner significance to better live it or bring it to life. It focuses on the ritual and symbolic language of the liturgy to grasp its importance and its repercussions on our life experience.

The course also draws on the history of the liturgy, particularly in the early centuries and the Church Fathers’ period, as well as on the roots of liturgy in the living tradition of the Church. Starting with the liturgical movement, it helps understand the focal issues of the Vatican II reform.

By tackling some of today’s more sensitive notions, such as the relationship with the sacred, the relationship with liturgical norms, or even the place of different cultures, the course delves deeper into how liturgy sanctifies time on a daily, weekly, and yearly basis.
THEO213Introduction to the Bible
3 credits
The main objective of this course is to learn about the events constituting the history of salvation in their respective context (geographical, social, historical, religious…), to discover how this history reached us orally and in writing, and to understand why it was set in a definitive canon.
2 credits
This course provides theology students with a general knowledge of the other main religion in Lebanon. Focusing first on Islamic religious books, including the Quran, Quranic interpretations, and the life of the prophet Mohammad (Seerah), it moves on to analysis based on recent scientific studies on the emergence of Islam and the revelation of the Quran.

The objective is to offer students basic and accurate information on Islam to support a scientific and accurate Christian-Muslim dialogue.
THEO312Johannine Corpus
3 credits
This course is an introduction to the Johannine corpus, with particular emphasis on the 4th Gospel. It focuses on the texts as such, as well as on the various contexts in which they were written. To illustrate these testimonies of faith, the excerpts studied are placed in the historical context of their development and analyzed using the narrative and rhetorical strategies employed by the authors of a body of literature that is both communal and personal.
THEO336Patrology of the Eastern Churches
3 credits
A return to the roots: to a certain extent, this expression summarizes the content of this course, which acts as an introduction to the thinking and theology of Eastern Church Fathers between the 1st and 8th century. The lectures focus on key fathers of the Church, using texts as documentation.
THEO337Patrology of the Western Church
3 credits
THEO411Pauline Corpus
3 credits
After an introduction dedicated to methodological issues, the aim of the course is to bring to light the sources, originality, coherence, and possible evolutions of Paul’s thought within the framework of his Letters.
THEO211Pentateuch and Historical Books
3 credits    |    Pre-requisite: THEO 202 - THEO 210
This course examines the main themes of the Pentateuch and the historical books, drawing on other cultures (epic Mesopotamian poems) and disciplines (history and archeology). The texts are studied based on the narrative approach using the close reading method and the historical-critical approach.

The course aims, among others, to explain the various traditions found in the Pentateuch and historical books (the JEPD theory) and provide the tools needed to study any biblical text using the previously mentioned methods.
THEO305Priesthood, Penance, and Anointing of the Sick
3 credits
In the past, the faithful preferred to call the anointing of the sick “extreme unction”, as this sacrament was only administered to the dying. Practices have since evolved and another, more pastoral and lenient practice is now preferred by administering this sacrament to the sick and the elderly before they are on their death bed.
Today, in response to the pastoral needs of an ever-increasing number of sick people in our contemporary society, believers genuinely expect the Church to provide them with the grace of relief, attention, comfort, and moral and spiritual support in their illness.

However, the fact that anointing is no longer associated with the imminence of death has opened the way for new pastoral challenges, as some ask whether anointing is still related to death or whether it would be more appropriate to present it as a sacrament for illness in general, rather than for mortal illness. What is at stake eschatologically in this anointing? What is the true place of the body in the practice of this anointing? What is the place of grace and healing? The anointing of the sick remains a theological knot for the 21st century.

For this and many other reasons, this course begins with an analysis of the New Testament foundation for the practice of anointing the sick in the early Church, especially based on the Letter of Saint James (5: 14-15ff). This Scripture-based approach is then followed by a study of the history of the anointing process, both in the East and in the West. Students discover how theologians have interpreted Church praxis to understand its meaning. Concluding with an essential look at the Second Vatican Council and Pope Paul VI, this approach allows for a fresh look at the meaning given by the Church to the “dehumanizing” aspects within the Body of Christ, namely sickness, suffering, and evil.
THEO412Psalms and Wisdom Scriptures
3 credits
Biblical wisdom is the art of knowing how to live and act in accordance with God’s will. It is born of reflection on the great problems of life and asks divine revelation about them. The course studies selected texts from the Psalms and wisdom books, with a view to gaining an understanding of this wisdom.

Intended as a primary aid to the critical study of biblical wisdom, this course seeks to identify its essential characteristics and highlight its fundamental biblical themes.
THEO225Sacrament I: Baptism, Confirmation and Communion
3 credits
THEO436Sacraments III: Penance and Anointing of the Sick
3 credits
THEO351Social Ethics
3 credits
The field of social ethics encompasses all aspects of relations between members of the same society and between different societies. As a broad branch of moral theology, it covers a wide range of themes: How should we act, as believers, in the various sectors of social life? What moral values should we adopt to guide our behavior, reactions, and initiatives, among others, in society? How should we behave when faced with several alternatives? Which choice best reflects God’s will, as expressed in Sacred Scripture and tradition? The dignity of the human person created in the image and likeness of God, human rights, work as the key to the social issue, the universal destination of goods, the environment, the economy, peace (and wars in its various forms), politics (authority, the common good, democracy, the role of the State, its responsibilities and limits), and the place of the family in the social doctrine of the Church, among others.

The approach adopted is to reflect on man’s existence in society in the light of faith and ecclesial tradition, with a view to examining their conformity or divergence with the Gospel’s teaching on man.

The value of this course lies in the fact that it enables future priests to develop a pastoral strategy, providing guidelines for Christian behavior.
THEO212Synoptics and Acts of the Apostles
3 credits    |    Pre-requisite: THEO 201 - THEO 210
This course covers the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, noting that the latter is the first volume of a work completed by the Acts of the Apostles, which must be studied to better understand the thinking of the third evangelist.

Following a brief introduction to the synoptic issue and the adoption of the modified theory of the two documents, the course provides an overview of the Gospel according to Mark.

It then introduces the Gospel according to Matthew and studies the texts of its first two chapters, covering the narrative sections with extra focus on the five speeches of this gospel.

Studying the Gospel according to Luke and the Acts of the Apostles is of particular importance, since both books were written by this same synoptic evangelist. The course offers a brief presentation of Luke’s main themes before presenting his whole works and highlighting the unity between his two books.

The critical reading of the synoptic books points to the key literary and theological characteristics of each evangelist. The method used in this synchronous approach is the critique of composition, a feature specific to the critique of the author’s writing with a view to discovering his theological thinking.
THEO331The Holy Trinity
3 credits
The Holy Trinity is a mystery, the mystery of the living God who is One and Triune: Father, Son, and Spirit. This Trinitarian confession is the Christian hallmark of discourse on God. The specificity of the Christian faith is rightly expressed in the paradoxical and problematic appellation of Trinitarian monotheism. If belief in the triune God cannot be interpreted as a break with Jewish monotheism, then how can divine unity and uniqueness be thought of in coherence with the entirety of biblical revelation? If God’s unfathomability makes him immune to the rationalist reductions that would like to capture his essence, is it possible to give an account of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit other than in a credo quia absurdum? These questions involve biblical theology, the history of dogma, systematic theology, and patristic theology. Following an introduction designed to show the place of Trinitarian theology in Christian dogmatics as a whole and a preliminary chapter dealing with Christian monotheism, the course is divided into four parts: biblical, historical, patristic, and systematic. The purpose is to explore the ever-actual “sites” of Trinitarian theology on their own grounds.
THEO311The Prophets
3 credits
The course consists of an introduction to the prophetic movement, one of the major theological currents in the biblical tradition. Beginning with an in-depth examination of the main features of the prophet’s personality and activity, as revealed in the texts, the course examines the various prophet books, focusing on a few excerpts chosen to illustrate the different prophetic literary genres. Far from being exhaustive, the course aims to help students acquire a certain familiarity with prophetic language and thinking.
THEO465Theology of Saint Thomas
2 credits
“Nothing but you, Lord.” (Saint Thomas Aquinas)
Searching for God remains a form of rational asceticism supported by faith, lived in an action that adheres to the Gospel and is nourished by the Sacraments. Following in the footsteps of the “Doctor Angelicus” means responding to what Saint Paul VI once said: “All of us who are faithful sons and daughters of the Church can and must be his disciples, at least to some extent!”. This papal invitation sums up the reference to Saint Thomas Aquinas in philosophy and theology, as recommended by the Church, particularly in the Second Vatican Council and subsequently in the new Apostolic Constitution (Veritatis Gaudium) on Ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties.

Alongside the course on the philosophy of Saint Thomas, regarded by himself as the “handmaiden of theology”, this course follows in Thomistic footsteps, focusing on the Summa theologiae, starting with the search for God and culminating in the meaning of the beatific vision of God himself.
SEM211Compulsory Seminar Christian Archeology
1 credits
Christian archeology is a multi-disciplinary science dedicated to the discovery and study of buried monuments and treasures related to the Christian faith. These can be divided into places of worship (such as baptisteries, churches, monasteries, cemeteries, or catacombs) and liturgical objects/instruments (such as tools, vestments, furniture, and minor arts), as well as their restoration and conservation for future generations (museology).

The global vision of Christian archeology takes into account the main traditions (habits and customs) and rituals of Western and Eastern Christians, based on anthropological study. The course focuses on the various objects of monumental and minor art found in the excavations of various Christian worship structures and used in liturgical ceremonies or daily life.
1 credits
1 credits
1 credits
1 credits
1 credits
1 credits
1 credits
1 credits
THEO490AExamen De Universa
3 credits
1. The De Universa jury is composed of three members teaching respectively biblical theology, dogmatic/sacramental theology, and moral theology.
2. The ordinary session of the De Universa exam is usually held at the end of the last semester of the fifth year.
3. Any student who has not validated all the credits required to obtain the canonical baccalaureate is not entitled to sit for the ordinary session of the De Universa exam.
4. Each student must take the one-hour De Universa exam before a jury. They are required to give an explanatory, comprehensive, global, and logical oral presentation on the required theme (with a supporting outline if they so wish), and to answer questions on the theme as such or on the general theological knowledge which they are presumed to have already acquired.
5. The student reports to the school secretariat 48 hours ahead of the exam date to randomly draw a subject. Each subject is made up of three parts: biblical, dogmatic, and moral (with the option of drawing three subjects and choosing one).
6. The grade required to pass this exam is 70/100.
7. Any student who has taken this exam and scored less than 70/100, and who wishes to obtain the Canonical Baccalaureate in Theology, has the right to take this exam again, for one time only, in May of the following year. In this case, they must register with the school in the Spring Semester.


The Canonical bachelor degree in Theology is a five-year basic program. It aims to impart a solid philosophical education, which is a necessary propaedeutic for theological studies, and to offer an organic exposition of the whole of Catholic doctrine, covering a coordinated presentation of all the disciplines, along with an introduction to theological scientific methodology.

Program Educational Objectives

1. Graduates will acquire a deep understanding of the entire catholic doctrine grounded in divine revelation, which allows them to gain nourishment for their own spiritual life, and to announce and safeguard it in the exercise of the ministry.
2. Graduates will acquire a personal theological synthesis, a mastery of the method of scientific research and thus be able to explain sacred doctrine appropriately.
3. Graduates will be ready to fulfill pastoral ministry and other functions in the Church, especially in the administration of a parish, in catechetical and homiletic skills, in divine worship, and particularly the celebration of the sacraments.

Program Outcomes

a. Ability to understand major philosophical systems, especially those which exercise a greater influence in the region, and to discern what is proven to be true therein and detect the roots of errors and refute them.
b. Ability to understand the characteristics of the contemporary mind, and enter into dialogue with men and women of today.
c. Ability to read the Holy Scriptures in their original languages.
d. Ability to explain biblical texts according to a valid method of exegesis and in the light of a comprehensive view of the whole of Sacred Scripture.
e. Ability to announce in a suitable way the teaching of the Gospel and of the doctrine of the Catholic Church to the people of today in a manner adapted to their understanding.
f. Ability to exercise a pastoral ministry in the Church.
g. Ability to understand doctrine of non-Catholic Churches and non-Christian religions and enter into dialogue with them.
h. Ability to examine theological questions by their own appropriate research and with scientific methodology.
i. Ability to go on to the second cycle and pursue higher theological studies.
Holy Spirit University of Kaslik
Tel.: (+961) 9 600 000
Fax : (+961) 9 600 100
© Copyright USEK 2024
Subscribe to our newsletter