Each of the four Theology Online courses by Fr. Joseph Fessio is a 'stand-alone' course, which means the four courses may be taken in any order. Each course has been recommended for three college credits by the American Council on Education. However, because some are more difficult, and there is a logical order to them, we do recommend that they be taken in the following order: Fundamental Theology: Revelation and Christology; Fundamental Theology: The Creed; Biblical Theology: Jesus of Nazareth; Ecclesiology: The Liturgy. If you wish to apply to transfer any of these courses for college credit, please make sure you are taking the correct / recommended course for that purpose at that particular college or university. Please feel free to ask us concerning any questions you may have.

Course Objective: This 3-college credit course consists in a careful reading of three texts. C.S. Lewis’ Miracles provides a philosophical propaedeutic to the theological understanding of Divine Revelation. It addresses the preliminary questions of whether Revelation is possible and what the criteria are for evaluating the Christian claim that God has revealed himself in Jesus Christ. The Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation presents an authoritative expression of the Church’s self-understanding of Revelation and its relation to Tradition, Magisterium, and Scripture. G.K. Chesterton’s masterpiece The Everlasting Man offers a broad historical-theological overview of man’s place in nature and Christ’s place in history.

Course Objective: This 3-credit hour course in theology will take as guide the foundational work of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity. This text examines the principal elements of the Christian Creed: belief in the triune God, in Jesus Christ, in the Spirit and the Church. It does this making explicit reference to post-Enlightenment skepticism in faith and the supernatural. Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton will serve as an apologetic preparation for this: how one man, himself steeped in this post-Enlightenment mentality, was came to accept the Creed.

Course Objective: This 3-credit hour course explores the central figure of Biblical revelation, Jesus Christ, in the light of two complementary exegetical approaches: historical-critical method and canonical exegesis. The former focuses on the historical author and his intended meaning within his historical context. The latter focuses on reading the texts within the totality of the one Scripture, and this includes the author’s being part of a living community to which God has spoken. The primary texts are Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth, Books 1 and 2.

Course Objective: This 3-credit hour course responds to the questions: What is the Liturgy? How did it develop historically? What is its relation to space, time, music, art, and the body? The primary text is Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s The Spirit of the Liturgy, which will be supplemented by substantive magisterial documents, especially the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium), the detailed historical context of which is provided in The Organic Development of the Liturgy by Dom Alcuin Reid.