Course of Studies

The seminary offers a six year course of studies and comprises these classes:

Philosophy is taught during the first two years of the seminary. The following are the different branches of philosophy:

Logic – correct thinking

Criteriology – certitude of our thoughts

Cosmology – the material world

Theodicy – God, His Nature, Attributes, and Activities

Ontology – being

Ethics – morality of human conduct based on reason

Sociology – man in society

Psychology – living bodies and the human soul

Dogmatic Theology – (6 years): the study of Divine Revelation

Moral Theology (4 years): morality based on Divine Revelation

Sacramental Theology – Administration of the Sacraments and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

Sacred Scripture – (2 years): the Old and New Testaments

Canon Law – (2 years): the legislation of the Church

Latin and Greek – (4 years) *

Ecclesiastical History – (2 years)

Ascetical Theology – (2 years): the spiritual life

Liturgy – (3 years)

Ecclesiastical Chant – (2 years)

Homiletics – (1 year): preaching

Patrology – (1 year): teachings of the early Fathers of the Church

* Latin and Greek are the two ecclesiastical languages studied. At the end of an entire six year seminary course, a seminarian will have four years of Latin and two semesters of Greek.

Course Description for Mater Dei Seminary

First Year

Introductory Dogmatic Theology I 

This course covers Divine Revelation, Faith. The attributes of God, the existence of God, creation, and the creatures of God: man and angels.

Philosophy:

A) Dialectics (Logic) 

The study of correct thinking. This course covers, the idea (description and definition), it expressed and explained. It covers the judgment itself and when expressed in its propositions. It also covers the reasoning and its expression in syllogisms, its laws, figures, and moods.

B) Criteriology 

The most fundamental of philosophical sciences, the certitude of cognition. This course investigates knowledge in general, sense knowledge, and intellectual knowledge. It covers the nature of truth, the different states of mind and the criterions of truth. It also covers the nature of certitude and its existence.

C) Ontology 

The science of being. This course covers the idea of being, and the primary determinations of being (real being, logical being, actuality, potentiality, essence and existence) The properties of being (oneness, trueness goodness, beauty and perfection). The classification of being: categories, substance and accidents, causes- intrinsic and extrinsic.

D) Cosmology 

Philosophical study of created things. This course covers the character of bodies, and their constitution: (Monism, Atomism, Dynamism and Hylomorphism) It covers the Creation and development of the world, the final casuality and ultimate end of creation, as well as nature with her laws and miracles.

Latin I 

This course covers basic vocabulary, the five declensions of nouns and their use.

It also covers the four conjugations of verbs, the use of verbs, present, past, future tenses, indicative and subjective moods, active and passive voices

Sacred Scripture I  

Introduction to the Bible. This course covers biblical inspiration: a) existence b) nature c) extent and d) effects. The Biblical Canon, the history of the Old Testament, the New and the Apocryphal books. The texts and versions of the Bible. The interpretations of Holy Scripture (Noematics – various senses, Heruistics – discovery of the sense. Prophoristics- the explanation of the text) History of Exegeses, Sacred Antiquities, Archaeology and Geography of the Holy Land

Ascetical Theology I 

The spiritual life. This course covers man’s relation to God, the perfection of the Christian life, and the duty of tending to perfection and its general means. The purgative way, the illuminative way and the unitive way.

Ecclesiastical History I 

This course covers the Apostolic Age (AD – 1500), expanding Christianity, its political background, its persecutions, establishments, doctrine and councils, heresies of the ages, art and its development, worship, writers, saints and missions.

Ecclesiastical Chant I

This course covers the characteristics that distinguish Sacred Chant, and the rules that have guarded the ancient melodies. It learns the principle forms of the notations, and the rules for interpretations. It teaches the modes, the choice of pitch as well as the reading and pronunciation of liturgical Latin.

Second Year

Dogmatic Theology I 

Apologetics /Defense of the Faith against Atheists, Agnostics, Pantheists, Polytheists, etc. Shows that the Catholic Religion may be investigated by the unaided mind of man, is reasonable, right and true, that the arguments used against the claims of the Catholic Religion are unwarranted, unreasonable and fallacious. Study of the religions of the world

Philosophy:

Ethics

Philosophical study of morality and natural laws. This course covers human acts, its ends, the law and conscience. The morality of human acts, its properties and consequences. Individual Ethics studying man’s duties toward God, himself, and his neighbor. Social Ethics toward the family, the state, work, church and the world family of nations.

Sociology 

The Philosophy of human society. This course studies the fundamental principles of God and the soul of man. It covers the structure of society, the family, a natural imitation of God and its social functions, proper order and harmony of society.

Psychology 

The science of life and its manifestations This course covers life (vegetal, sentient and origin of species), it covers human life, sentiency (nature and kind, sensation, appetition and locomotion), intellect, and will (nature, interaction of the intellect and will, free will ).

Theodicy 

Philosophical study of God. This course studies God’s existence, The nature of God in His Essence and Attributes as well as the operations of God shown in the immanent and the transient .

History of Philosophy 

A general overview of the philosopher and the philosophies of ancient times, medieval times and modern times.

Latin II

This course follows an intensive review of forms and elementary syntax as well as making translations of Caeser’s Gallic Wars.

Sacred Scripture II 

In depth study of the Old and New Testaments, the doctrinal, moral and prophetical aspects of Sacred Scripture.

Ascetical Theology II 

This course covers the study of the practice of Christian Virtues. Christ, the source of our supernatural life, our incorporation into Christ, devotion to Mary, the sharing in the priesthood and sacrifice.

Ecclesiastical History II 

This course covers the history of the Church from 1500 to the present time. Protestant Reformation, secularization of Europe, the Enlightenment, Democracy, etc. the political background, its opposition, doctrines and councils, heresies of the times, art and its development, liturgical worship and its development, writers, communities established, saints and missions begun.

Third Year

Moral Theology I 

This course defines Moral Theology, studies the nature of human acts, and its determinants. It covers the law- its promulgations, obligations, interpretations, dispensations, Epeikeia and customs. It covers sin – conditions, species, capital and contrary virtues. It covers virtues- infused and acquired.

Part II covers the ten commandments its precepts and particulars, as well as the precepts of the Church.

Dogmatic Theology II 

This course studies God, His Knowability, Essence and Attributes The Holy Trinity in unity or the threefold personality of God, the study of Creation as a Divine act, Dogmatic Cosmology and Anthropology and Christian Angelology. The Constitutive elements of Christ, The Hypostatic Union and its effects. The work of Redemption and the three offices of the Redeemer. The Divine Maternity, Mary’s special prerogatives and the invocation of the saints.

Canon Law I 

This course covers the Law in General and particular. The sources of Canon law, the history, the councils, the Greek and Ancient Latin collections, Commentaries on the Code for Ecclesiastical Laws, on customs, reckoning of time, rescripts, privileges and Dispensations.

Patrology I

This course studies the rules and principles which help determine the authority of the Fathers and their authenticity, right, use and application of their works in theology.

Latin III 

This course looks at the history of Roman Oratory and the four great periods in the development of the Roman language and oratory: (Roman period, Greek period, Ciceronian period, and Imperial period) It studies the types and outlines of an oration, translating them from Latin to English or vice versa.

Sacred Liturgy I

Studies chief sources of our knowledge of Liturgical Laws, the decrees of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, the technical expressions, the customs and writings of the rubricists.

Ecclesiastical Chant II

Study of the Official Musical Text. The Solesmes Method, Principle Masses and chants.

Fourth Year

Moral Theology II 

This course studies the Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Indulgences, and censures in generals and particulars of obligations and principles.

Part II covers in all its particulars: Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, Marriage, the Clerical state, the Religious state and the duties of certain classes of laypeople and the particular obligations for the proper fulfillment of each.

Dogmatic Theology III 

This course covers actual grace, sanctifying grace, the sacraments in general, Baptism, Confirmation, The Holy Eucharist, Penance, Extreme Unction, Holy Orders, and Matrimony, showing history, proofs and speculations. Also Eschatology – the study of the last things.

Canon law II 

This course studies the general norms of Canon Law, extending to persons, things, procedures, crimes and penalties.

Patrology II

This course studies all the great Apostolic Fathers, the Greek Fathers- Apologists, Controversialists and commentators as well as the Latin Fathers and Writers. It looks at the full growth and then the decline of Patristic Literature.

Latin Scanlon I-II

This course studies the Latin grammar, vocabularies, and exercises in preparation for the reading of the missal and breviary. Also studies irregular declensions, cardinal and ordinal numerals, the four regular conjugations complete and the conjugations of the common irregular verbs. Passive voice, adverbs, gerunds, conjunctions, infinitive, subjunctive, prepositions, impersonal verbs, and clauses.

Fifth Year

Moral Theology III 

This course studies a collection of actual cases in Moral and Pastoral Theology.

(Three volumes)

Dogmatic Theology (Ecclesiology) IV

This course studies the scientific Analysis of Religion considered abstractly, the truth of the Christian-Catholic Religion, the Church viewed from the outside (Apologetics), the Church viewed from the inside (dogma), The sources of Revelation, the objects and acts of Divine Faith

Canon Law III

This course is a concise presentation of the current disciplinary norms of the Church.

It covers not only theoretical expositions of legal principles but also its practical application.

Sacramental Theology I

This course covers the proximate moral principles and canonical norms directing and guiding the sacramental ministry. A very practical help for the administration of the sacraments.

Sacred Liturgy I

This course studies the General Rubrics of the Roman missal, the rite of Celebration of a Low Mass, the special forms of Low Mass, the serving of it and special cases. The rite of High Mass and sung Mass, some special forms and special cases at a High Mass.

Greek

This course studies the Greek alphabet, the verbs, the three declensions, word order and revisions, its nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions, consecutive clauses, indirect statements and questions, and of course Greek vocabulary.

Sixth Year

Moral Theology IV

This course studies a collection of actual cases in Moral and Pastoral Theology.

(Two volumes)

Pastoral Psychology

This course studies the soul, the differentiation of the sexes, the differentiation according to life stages. It studies the personal dispositions according to the predominant passion, the temperaments,Physical states and dispositions, Character types, and differentiations according to occupations or professions. It classifies and studies Psychopathic and Neuorotic disorders. It studies the special forms of psychopaths or behavior disorder.

Homiletics

This course studies the manner of preparing and delivering sermons. It studies the acknowledged masterpieces of pulpit oratory of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Sacramental Theology II

This course studies human acts, conscience, law, sin, virtue, the theological virtues, the commandments of God, precepts of the Church, the Clerical state, the sacraments and censures.

Latin Ecclesiastical Treatises IV

This course translates various treatises of the Fathers of the Church such as St. Robert Bellarmine and St. Thomas Aquinas.

Sacred Liturgy II

This course is a review and an in depth study of the rite of the Mass, both Low and High, as well as the different rules governing its celebration.