Theology Department

At Canterbury, we believe in promoting the application of Christian principles through student engagement in the study of theology. Theology classes at Canterbury invite students to learn about the scriptures and traditions of major world religions while challenging them to consider the meaning and purpose of life and the effect of behavior and action. Theology teachers are active in the Campus Ministry program outside of the classroom. Students are required to take 1/2 credit of theology each year.

Theology courses range from a study of world religions to a course on mystic visionaries, or a semester-long study of Catholicism The Third and Fourth Form curriculum is standard and theme-based; Fifth and Sixth Formers choose from a number of electives.


  • A deeper appreciation of your own religious tradition.

  • An understanding of the origin and tenets of the major world religions.

  • An awareness of how our image of self is formed.


  • On the lives of such figures as Thomas Merton, Mother Theresa, and Dorothy Day.
  • On the role of spirituality in your own life.
  • On how to redress social and economic disparities.


  • The influence of world religions on contemporary issues and international situations.

  • The importance of engaging with ethical issues and social justice.
  • The moral responsibilities that come with a Christian worldview.



This course introduces students to the concepts of morality and social conscience. Students will use Canterbury’s Five Values as a framework to explore the aspects of the development of character and its influence on decision making as well as our relationship with God, self, and others. For Third Formers.


This course introduces students to various methods of reading sacred Scripture with a primary focus on the Holy Bible. The first semester is devoted to the Jewish Scriptures with a particular emphasis on the concepts of creation, call, and covenant. The second semester focuses on the Christian Scriptures and Jesus Christ. The year ends with an application of Biblical teachings to contemporary social justice issues. For Fourth Formers.




This is an introductory study of past and present world religions. Looking through a chronological lens, students begin with the development of religion as a way to interpret and understand the primitive world. In the first semester, students will study the earliest indigenous traditions as well as Hinduism and Buddhism. In the second semester, students go beyond the eastern traditions and explore the monotheistic traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Added to our historical and doctrinal study is a review of the ethical stance each religion takes on the contemporary issues of peace and justice. For Fifth or Sixth Formers (if space allows).


Grief and Loss is an exploration into the different aspects of grief, death, and life. Students will explore common misinformation about grief, as well as the different types of loss other than death. Other topics covered are different cultural perspectives on death, the survivor’s experience of grief, and different cultural and religious beliefs about life after death. We also explore near-death experience and conclude the course by reading the book The Shack. The goal of the course is to introduce students to loss in a way that is informative and give them tools to help navigate this experience in the future. For Fifth or Sixth Formers (if space allows).


Ever wondered if God exists? If you have free will? If life has meaning? What makes an action intrinsically right or wrong? What does it mean to be happy? Should you fear death? What is Truth? This introductory course is an opportunity to study philosophy in order to develop your ability to understand and evaluate your own beliefs and values, as well as those of others, so that you can become an open-minded, respectful, thoughtful adult and responsible citizen. In this course, students learn how to inquire into complex problems and begin to formulate a personal philosophy. Students learn effective methods of inquiry, logic, analysis, and criticism while being introduced to philosophical problems. Finally, students learn how to approach these issues from a number of important philosophers, from the ancient Greeks to modern thinkers. For Fifth Formers or Sixth Formers (if space allows).


Students in this course will explore social justice issues, the foundational principles of Catholic social teaching, and apply their knowledge and faith to their experiential service work by engaging in an ongoing community service project. This course requires students to engage in learning about the organizations and communities they serve, the challenges they face, and issues of social justice on a local, national, and global level. While students engage in their service projects independently, they meet as a group to examine the theological foundations of social justice, discuss readings, current events, and to share reflections on their experiences. The coursework includes assigned readings, a reflection journal, and culminates with a final project presentation or research project. For Fifth Formers or Sixth Formers (if space allows).


This full-year course combines the study of Scripture, tradition, and cultural issues. From exploring the books of the Old and New Testaments, to studying the works of the Apostolic Fathers and Apologists, the class examines the history of the Church and its mission. The course offers the opportunity to study the lives of the saints and an in depth study of the philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas in a context that relates to the students’ experience. For Sixth Formers.