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Online Learning

Course ID: LIT 621
Course Title: Baptism, Confirmation and RCIA
Term: Fall 2014

Professor

John P. Joy, S.T.L.

jjoy@holyapostles.edu

(219) 814 – 2614

1. COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course aims to lead students to a deeper understanding of the theological truths pertaining to the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation and to a greater knowledge of and appreciation for the liturgical celebration of these sacraments and the preparatory rites leading up to them. (The Holy Eucharist is also a sacrament of Christian Initiation, but since Holy Apostles offers other courses devoted exclusively to the Eucharist, our focus will be on Baptism and Confirmation in particular.) The primary sources of theological inquiry in this class are the writings of the Church Fathers, the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, and the documents of the magisterium of the Church. The liturgical rites of baptism and confirmation, both for children and for adults, are studied in the ordinary and extraordinary forms of the Roman Rite.

2. ENVISIONED LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • Students will demonstrate theological insight into the Church’s doctrine concerning the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.
  • Students will demonstrate familiarity with the tradition of the liturgical celebration of these sacraments in the Roman Church.
  • Students will demonstrate a practical working knowledge of the Rites of Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.) as practiced historically and celebrated currently.

3. COURSE SCHEDULE

Week 1: St. Augustine against the Donatists

Readings

  • St. Augustine, On Baptism against the Donatists, Book I.

Assignments

  • Introduce yourself to your professor and fellow students on the Populi discussion board.
  • Contribute to discussion of the text on the Populi discussion board.
  • Submit a short written summary of the text via e-mail.

Week 2: St. Augustine against the Pelagians

Readings

  • St. Augustine, On Merit and the Forgiveness of Sins, and the Baptism of Infants, Book I.

Assignments

  • Contribute to discussion of the text on the Populi discussion board.
  • Submit a short written summary of the text via e-mail.

Week 3: St. Thomas Aquinas on Baptism and Confirmation

Reading

  • St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae III, qq. 66-72.

Assignments

  • Contribute to discussion of the text on the Populi discussion board.
  • Submit a short written summary of the text via e-mail.

Week 4: The Magisterium on Baptism

Reading

  • Council of Trent, Decree on Original Sin; Decree on Justification; Canons on Baptism.
  • Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction on Infant Baptism Pastoralis actio (1980).
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church, §§1210-84.

Assignments

  • Contribute to discussion of the texts on the Populi discussion board.
  • Submit a short written summary of the texts via e-mail.

Week 5: The Magisterium on Confirmation

Reading

  • Council of Trent, Canons on Confirmation.
  • Pope Paul VI, Apostolic Constitution on the Sacrament of Confirmation Divinae consortium (1971), in Rites, pp. 472-78.
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church, §§1285-1321.

Assignments

  • Contribute to discussion of the texts on the Populi discussion board.
  • Submit a short written summary of the texts by e-mail.

Week 6: Canon Law on Baptism and Confirmation

Reading

  • Code of Canon Law, on Baptism (849–878); on Confirmation (879–896).
  • Alvaro Corrada, Bishop of Tyler, TX, Pastoral Reflection on the Sacrament of Confirmation.
  • Samuel J. Aquila, Bishop of Fargo, ND, Pastoral Letter on the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Assignments

  • Contribute to discussion of the texts on the Populi discussion board.
  • Submit a short written summary of the texts by e-mail.

Week 7: Ordinary and Extraordinary Rites of Baptism

Reading

  • Rituale Romanum, editio typica 1952, trans. Philip Weller, 1964: Rite for the Baptism of Children; Rite for Baptism of Adults.
  • Rite of Baptism for Children, editio typica 1969, in The Rites, vol. 1, pp. 361-407.

Assignments

  • Contribute to discussion of the texts on the Populi discussion board.
  • Submit a short written summary of the texts by e-mail.

Week 8: Ordinary and Extraordinary Rites of Confirmation

Reading

  • Rituale Romanum, editio typica 1952, trans. Philip Weller, 1964: Rite for Confirmation.
  • Rite of Confirmation, editio typica 1969, in The Rites, pp. 469-515.

Assignments

  • Contribute to discussion of the texts on the Populi discussion board.
  • Submit a short written summary of the texts by e-mail.

Week 9: The Ancient Catechumenate

Reading

  • Yarnold, pp. 1-40, 55-59.

Assignments

  • Contribute to discussion of the texts on the Populi discussion board.
  • Submit a short written summary of the texts by e-mail.

Week 10: Ancient Mystagogy I

Reading

  • St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Sermons 1-5, in Yarnold, pp. 67-97.
  • St. John Chrysostom, Baptismal Homily II, in Yarnold, pp. 150-164.

Assignments

  • Contribute to discussion of the texts on the Populi discussion board.
  • Submit a short written summary of the texts by e-mail.

Week 11: Ancient Mystagogy II

Readings

  • St. Ambrose, Sermons 1-6, in Yarnold, pp. 98-149.

Assignments

  • Contribute to discussion of the texts on the Populi discussion board.
  • Submit a short written summary of the texts by e-mail.

Week 12: Ancient Mystagogy III

Readings

  • Theodore of Mopsuestia, Baptismal Homilies 2-5, in Yarnold, pp. 165-250.

Assignments

  • Contribute to discussion of the texts on the Populi discussion board.
  • Submit a short written summary of the texts by e-mail.

Week 13: RCIA – Precatechumenate and Catecumenate

Readings

  • The Rites, pp. 35-107 (§§ 1-137).

Assignments

  • Contribute to discussion of the texts on the Populi discussion board.

Week 14: RCIA – Purification, Enlightenment, and Mystagogy

Readings

  • The Rites, pp. 108-169 (§§ 138-251).

Assignments

  • Contribute to discussion of the texts on the Populi discussion board.

Week 15: Rites for Particular Circumstances

Readings

  • The Rites, pp. 170-286 (§§ 252-504).

Assignments

  • Contribute to discussion of the texts on the Populi discussion board.
  • Submit 8-10 page term paper.

4. COURSE REQUIREMENTS

  • Weekly Discussion Postings – 78 points (approx. 28.5%)
  • Weekly Short Summaries – 96 points (approx. 35%)
  • Term Paper – 100 points (approx. 36.5%)

5. REQUIRED READINGS and RESOURCES:

  • The Rites of the Catholic Church, vol. 1. Collegeville MN: Liturgical Press, Pueblo Books, 1990. $34.95. ISBN 0-8146-6015-0
  • Yarnold, Edward. The Awe-Inspiring Rites of Initiation: The Origins of the R.C.I.A. 2nd ed. Collegeville MN: Liturgical Press, 1994. $21.95. ISBN 0-8146-2281-X.

6. SUGGESTED READINGS and RESOURCES:

  • Denzinger, Enchiridion Symbolorum, 43rd ed. (Ignatius Press, 2012).
  • Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (Roman Catholic Books, 1995).
  • Maxwell E. Johnson, The Rites of Christian Initiation: Their Evolution and Interpretation (Liturgical Press, 2007).

7. EVALUATION

Basis of evaluation with explanation regarding the nature of the assignment and the percentage of the grade assigned to each item below. Students who have difficulty with research and composition are encouraged to pursue assistance with the Online Writing Lab (available at http://www.holyapostles.edu/owl).

GRADING SCALE:

A 94-100; A- 90-93; B+ 87-89; B 84-86; B- 80-83; C+ 77-79; C 74-76; C- 70-73 60-69; F 59 and below

  • Discussion board postings are required at least once a week. Each week’s posts will be graded on a scale of 1-5. Students should respond directly to the question posted, or to the comments or questions of another student or other students. These entries are an important part of the grade, and should not be taken lightly. They must be coherent, demonstrate knowledge of and insight into the readings, and be written with acceptable grammar, spelling, and style.
  • Short written summaries (1-3 pages) of the readings are also required almost every week, and will be graded on a scale of 1-8. These should summarize the main points of the readings clearly and concisely together with some personal thoughts or reflections.
  • One major term paper (8-10 pages) is required by the end of the semester. This will be graded on a scale of 1-100. See separate assignment page for details.

Grading Rubric for Short Summaries, Discussion Board Postings, and Term Paper

2 pts. – SS

0 pts. – DBP

50 pts. – TP

4 pts. – SS

1 pt. – DBP

60 pts. – TP

5 pts. – SS

2 pts. – DBP

70 pts. – TP

6 pts. – SS

3 pts. – DBP

80 pts. – TP

7 pts. – SS

4 pts. – DBP

90 pts. – TP

8 pts. – SS

5 pts. – DBP

100 pts. – TP

 

CONTENT

Absence of Understanding

Analysis shows no awareness of the discipline or its methodologies as they relate to the topic.

Lack of Understanding

Analysis seems to misunderstand some basic concepts of the discipline or lacks ability to articulate them.

Inadequate understanding

Analysis is sometimes unclear in understanding or articulating concepts of the discipline.

Adequate understanding

Analysis demonstrates an understanding of basic concepts of the discipline but could express them with greater clarity.

Solid Understanding

Analysis demonstrates a clear understanding and articulation of concepts with some sense of their wider implications.

Insightful understanding

Analysis clearly demonstrates an understanding and articulation of concepts of the discipline as they relate to the topic; highlights connections to other concepts; integrates concepts into wider contexts.

 

RESEARCH

Missing Research

Paper shows no evidence of research: citation of sources missing.

Inadequate research and/or documentation

Over-reliance on few sources; spotty documentation of facts in text; pattern of citation errors.

Weak research and/or documentation

Inadequate number or quality of sources; many facts not referenced; several errors in citation format.

Adequate research and documentation but needs improvement

Good choice of sources but could be improved with some additions or better selection; did not always cite sources; too many citation errors.

Solid research and documentation

A number of relevant scholarly sources revealing solid research; sources appropriately referenced in paper; only a few minor citation errors.

Excellent critical research and documentation

Critically selected and relevant scholarly sources demonstrating extensive, in-depth research; sources skillfully incorporated into paper at all necessary points; all citations follow standard bibliographic format.

 

WRITING & EXPRESSION

Incomplete writing

Analysis is only partially written or completely misses the topic.

Writing difficult to understand, serious improvement needed

Analysis fails to address the topic; confusing organization or development; little elaboration of position; insufficient control of sentence structure and vocabulary; unacceptable number of errors in grammar, mechanics, and usage.

Episodic writing, a mix of strengths and weaknesses.

Analysis noticeably neglects or misinterprets the topic; simplistic or repetitive treatment, only partially-internalized; weak organization and development, some meandering; simple sentences, below-level diction; distracting errors in grammar, mechanics, and usage.

Acceptable writing, but could use some sharpening of skill

Analysis is an uneven response to parts of the topic; somewhat conventional treatment; satisfactory organization, but more development needed; adequate syntax and diction, but could use more vigor; overall control of grammar, mechanics, and usage, but some errors.

Solid writing, with something interesting to say.

Analysis is an adequate response to the topic; some depth and complexity in treatment; persuasive organization and development, with suitable reasons and examples; level-appropriate syntax and diction; mastery of grammar, mechanics, and usage, with hardly any error.

Command-level writing, making a clear impression

Analysis is a thorough response to the topic; thoughtful and insightful examination of issues; compelling organization and development; superior syntax and diction; error-free grammar, mechanics, and usage.

 

COMMUNITY INTERACTION (50-word response)

Inadequate response

Response merely provides laudatory encouragement for original post, e.g., “Excellent post! You really have thought of something there.”

Poor response

Response misses the point of the original posting.

Weak response

Response summarizes original posting to which it responds.

Acceptable response

Response makes a contribution to the posting to which it responds.

Individually-conscious contributory response

Response makes a contribution to the posting to which it responds and fosters its development.

Community-conscious contributory response

Response makes a contribution to the learning community and fosters its development.

 

8. DISABILITIES ACCOMMODATIONS POLICY

Holy Apostles College & Seminary is committed to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunities and full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities who qualify for admission to the College. Students enrolled in online courses who have documented disabilities requiring special accommodations should contact Bob Mish, the Director of Online Student Affairs, at rmish@holyapostles.edu or 860-632-3015. In all cases, reasonable accommodations will be made to ensure that all students with disabilities have access to course materials in a mode in which they can receive them. Students who have technological limitations (e.g., slow Internet connection speeds in convents) are asked to notify their instructors the first week of class for alternative means of delivery.

9. ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY

Students at Holy Apostles College & Seminary are expected to practice academic honesty.

Avoiding Plagiarism

In its broadest sense, plagiarism is using someone else's work or ideas, presented or claimed as your own.  At this stage in your academic career, you should be fully conscious of what it means to plagiarize. This is an inherently unethical activity because it entails the uncredited use of someone else's expression of ideas for another's personal advancement; that is, it entails the use of a person merely as a means to another person’s ends.

Students, where applicable:

  • Should identify the title, author, page number/webpage address, and publication date of works when directly quoting small portions of texts, articles, interviews, or websites.
  • Students should not copy more than two paragraphs from any source as a major component of papers or projects.
  • Should appropriately identify the source of information when paraphrasing (restating) ideas from texts, interviews, articles, or websites.
  • Should follow the Holy Apostles College & Seminary Stylesheet (available on the Online Writing Lab’s website at http://www.holyapostles.edu/owl/resources).

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:

Because of the nature of this class, academic dishonesty is taken very seriously.  Students participating in academic dishonesty may be removed from the course and from the program.

10. ATTENDANCE POLICY

Even though you are not required to be logged in at any precise time or day, you are expected to login several times during each week. Because this class is being taught entirely in a technology-mediated forum, it is important to actively participate each week in the course. In a traditional classroom setting for a 3-credit course, students would be required, per the federal standards, to be in class three 50-minute sessions (or 2.5 hours a week) and prepare for class discussions six 50-minute sessions (or 5 hours) a week. Expect to devote at least nine 50-minute sessions (or 7.5 quality hours) a week to this course. A failure on the student’s part to actively participate in the life of the course may result in a reduction of the final grade.

11. INCOMPLETE POLICY

An Incomplete is a temporary grade assigned at the discretion of the faculty member. It is typically allowed in situations in which the student has satisfactorily completed major components of the course and has the ability to finish the remaining work without re-enrolling, but has encountered extenuating circumstances, such as illness, that prevent his or her doing so prior to the last day of class.

To request an incomplete, distance-learning students must first download a copy of the Incomplete Request Form. This document is located within the Shared folder of the Files tab in Populi. Secondly, students must fill in any necessary information directly within the PDF document. Lastly, students must send their form to their professor via email for approval. “Approval” should be understood as the professor responding to the student’s email in favor of granting the “Incomplete” status of the student.

Students receiving an Incomplete must submit the missing course work by the end of the sixth week following the semester in which they were enrolled. An incomplete grade (I) automatically turns into the grade of “F” if the course work is not completed.

Students who have completed little or no work are ineligible for an incomplete. Students who feel they are in danger of failing the course due to an inability to complete course assignments should withdraw from the course.

A “W” (Withdrawal) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the first week of a semester to the end of the third week. A “WF” (Withdrawal/Fail) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the third week of a semester and on or before the Friday before the last week of the semester.

12. ABOUT YOUR PROFESSOR

Professor Joy studied theology as an undergraduate at Ave Maria College in Michigan and then lived for five years in Austria while earning master’s and licentiate degrees in sacred theology. He is currently working on a doctorate in theology with the University of Fribourg in Switzerland while teaching philosophy and theology at a boarding school in Northwestern Indiana where he lives with his wife and four children.

(860) 632-3010