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Religion Curriculum

The mission of the Hill-Murray Religious Studies Department is to provide adolescents with the best Catholic religious education possible to help students grow in knowledge, understanding, and love of God, neighbor, and self. We value:

  • The teachings and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church
  • The teachings and spirit of Vatican Council II
  • The importance of touching the heart as well as informing the mind with the Good News of Jesus
  • Showing respect for every person and for all God's creation
Click below to view course offerings.

Religious Studies 9: The Bible And Jesus

Full Year, 1 Credit each semester - 2 Credits total
Required for grade 9
The Bible
The purpose of this course is to give students a general knowledge and appreciation of the Sacred Scriptures. Students will learn how to read the Bible and become familiar with the major sections and themes of Scripture. Through their study of the Bible, students will come to encounter the Living Word of God. In this course, they will learn about the Bible and the people of faith throughout our history, culminating in the person and story of Jesus the Christ.
From the inspiration of Sacred Scripture to present day, the mystery of Christ is continually being revealed. The purpose of this course is to introduce the students to Jesus, the Living Word of God, and the progression of the story of Christ. In this course, students will gain a deeper understanding of who Jesus is and who He invites them to be.

Religious Studies 10: Paschal Mystery And The Church

Full Year, 1 Credit each semester - 2 Credits total
Required for grade 10
Paschal Mystery & the Church
This course continues to explore the ministry and mission of Jesus and challenges students to make choices consistent with Christian discipleship. Sources studied include: Sacred Scripture, early church writings, the documents of Vatican II, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Topics include: Jesus the Messiah, salvation history, and the Paschal Mystery.
The Church
This course examines various ways to understand and live out the mission of the Church today. Scripture, traditional scholarly sources, and the works of contemporary theologians will be utilized in this class. Topics include: the marks, morality, and prayer life of the Church.

Church History

1 Semester, 1 Credit
Required for grade 11
This course examines the history of the Catholic Church from Jesus’s time to the contemporary era, Church History incorporating readings and works from contemporary theologians, church fathers, and the Catholic Catechism. This class is primarily chronological in its format. However, this course also devotes time to specific topics as diverse as Catholic ideas of war and peace, American Catholicism, and women in the church.

Personal Ethics And Social Justice

1 Semester, 1 Credit
Required for grade 12
This course explores what it means to be a Christian in the world today living as a disciple of Christ. Personal ethics and social justice will be studied in the light of the primacy of personal conscience and Catholic Social Teachings. Students will examine moral development and study moral concepts in the Catholic tradition. Students will also investigate significant contemporary justice issues through social analysis. Topics include: protecting human life, promoting economic justice, pursuing peace, and caring for creation.

Ecumenism and World Religions

1 Semester, 1 Credit
The course will cover similarities and differences between Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, and Evangelical Churches with the Catholic Church. The Catholic approach to ecumenism and the accomplishments of modern ecumenical dialogue will be examined. The course will also focus on interreligious dialogue between the Catholic Church with Native American, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist beliefs.

Spiritual Awakenings

1 Semester 1 Credit

The goal of this class is to prepare students for the transitions of human life. The fundamental question we will ask is: How does one engage the world as a disciple of Jesus Christ as a sacred person with a sacred mission? We will specifically look at the periods of societal, cultural and personal transitions one encounters along life's path. We will examine the themes of identity, initiation, vocation/career choice, lifestyles, leisure activity, prayer, discipleship and death. We will also explore the rites of passage that accompany the various changes we encounter throughout our lifetimes. 

Contemporary Faith Perspective

1 Semester 1 Credit

Elective 11-12

This course examines ecumenical and interreligious dialogue between the Catholic Church and Orthodox, Protestant, Evangelical, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu traditions.  Emphasis is placed on understanding the similarities and differences between faiths. This course draws from the documents of Vatican II and subsequent religious dialogues.  Students will compare and contrast Catholic approaches to current moral and ecclesial issues with other religious traditions.

Honors Introduction To Theology

1 Semester, 1 Credit, optional PACC through Saint Mary's University
Prerequisites: Minimum GPA of 3.0; recommendation of your English instructor in junior year; permission of Introduction to Theology instructor. Open to grade 12 only.
This course is an honors level senior elective that provides an overview of the fundamental theological themes covered in an undergraduate college level introduction to theology course. Students who take this course at Hill-Murray may also be eligible for 3 college credits through the Program for Advanced College Credit (PACC) TH260: Foundations in Catholic Theology sponsored by Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Christian Service Learning

1 Semester, 1 Credit
Prerequisite: permission of CSL instructor
This course focuses on the value of community service as an important part of our Christian faith. Students are guided through a process to discern their gifts and talents and seek out a placement in the community to offer service. In addition to their service placement, students are required to coordinate one community service project that is open to all students and staff. This course meets over the lunch hours and students serve at their placement three times a week at that time. Two days a week will be spent with the class processing their experiences of service. Note that this course may also be taken during the summer for a limited group of students.

Liturgy and Sacraments

1 Semester 1 Credit

This class focuses on introducing the Catholic approach to prayer and liturgy, with emphasis on sacramental theology, the principles of sacraments, mediation, and communion. Students will learn about the Liturgical year, roles of the assembly, presiders, and various Liturgical ministries, and various forms of prayer. Students will learn about the history and development of Catholic worship and the role of the faithful during worship as set forth in the Second Vatican Council. Students will learn about the Liturgy of the Hours and the celebration of Eucharist in depth. The history, theology, and importance of the seven Sacraments as aids to salvation will also be examined.

© 2011 Hill-Murray School  |  2625 Larpenteur Avenue E.  |  Maplewood,  MN 55109   |  T: 651-777-1376
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