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Christendom’s graduate school recently began a new venture to assist with the evangelization and education of members of the faithful in the Diocese of Arlington.  It has recently begun offering formation for local parishes in the form of mini courses and talks offered by graduate school professors. For the past fifty years, the graduate school has been offering a theological education which informs and renews through its roots in Church tradition, morals, philosophy, and Sacred Scripture. The education offered at the graduate school seeks not only to impact the life of the students, but to equip them to impact the lives of others.

These unique mini courses make the basic but fundamental aspects of this theological education available to the local church.  According to Dr. R.J. Matava, dean of the graduate school, “the courses have been met with a warm and enthusiastic reception by parishes and participants.”

The courses address topics which are relevant to the life of a lay Catholic and are intended to deepen understanding of the faith as well as promote spiritual growth. Topics such as “Laity and the Church,” “The Liturgy and Christian Life,” “The Existence and Nature of God,” and “The Moral Life” are covered in these courses, as well as in individual talks also given by the faculty.  Holy Trinity Parish in Gainesville, VA, and St. Charles Borromeo in Arlington, VA, are just a couple of parishes which have hosted some of these courses and educational talks.

The mini courses are usually three weeks long, with classes consisting of one hour of instruction for each of the three weeks. The professors welcome opportunities to stay longer to delve deeper into discussions or to answer questions about the topic, if the participants wish. The professors provide optional reading suggestions, as well, but in order to make the courses more accessible to those who may have little time, there are no required assignments.

The courses are taught by dedicated graduate school faculty, including Dr. Joseph Arias, professor of theology, Professor Steve Weidenkopf, professor in church history, and Dr. R.J. Matava, dean and professor of theology at the graduate school.

Arias has presented scholarly papers at meetings of the Thomas Instituut te Utrecht, Netherlands, the Mariological Society of America, the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, and the International Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy. He has also published articles in various journals and magazines such as Crisis Magazine. Weidenkopf has authored a number of books and written commentaries on Familiaris Consortio, Lumen Gentium, and Humanae Vitae, and Matava is the 2009 recipient of the Founder’s Award from the Society for Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy and has authored many articles for various publications, including a book on Divine Causality.

The excellent education offered by Christendom’s graduate school in these mini courses provides an opportunity for local parishioners to delve deeper into their faith and to better understand the traditions and teachings of the church.

For more information about the graduate school and to learn how catechists, Catholic school teachers, and Directors of Religious Education can save 50% off tuition, go here.


Contributed by Nuala Kelly (’19)

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