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Online Learning

Course Number: STD 520
Course Title: INTRODUCTION TO SPIRITUAL THEOLOGY
Term: Summer 2014

Professor

Name Fr Augustine Ibok, SMP

Email: ibokaugustine@gmail.com

Phone: 636-575-8333

1. COURSE DESCRIPTION

The first part of this course will go through the beginning of the spiritual journey as expressed in the scriptures and the various periods in the life of the Church. It will also seek to study how these various schools of spirituality have built a solid foundation for the spiritual journey. All these however will be based on our beautiful Catholic tradition and patrimony. The second part of this course will place the schools of spirituality in perspective by showing how seven Doctors of the Church lived and journeyed through the spiritual life. This course will end by highlighting the various means we have in making the spiritual life today, and how these will help to shape our lives hereafter. This course is being taught simultaneously on the undergraduate and graduate level. While the content is the same for both levels, the assignments have been adjusted to meet the competencies of each level.

2. ENVISIONED LEARNING OUTCOMES

  1. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the Biblical and historical basis for the spiritual journey.
  2. Students will demonstrate an understanding of various schools of spirituality.
  3. Students will demonstrate on a practical level how the interior life is necessary for Communion with God and the various means we have in our Catholic Tradition to attain this union.

3. COURSE SCHEDULE

Week 1: Introduction to the Course: Old and New Testament foundations for the Spiritual life

The Biblical basis for our interior life with God

Readings:

  • Jordan Aumann, Christian Spirituality pages 3-16, Catechism of the Catholic Church art.1691-1698.

Grad Activities:

  • Post on the discussion board in 250-300 words a reflection on either an Old or New Testament figure whose spiritual journey has made an impact on your life. Please follow the rubric provided on pages 7 and 8 and have your post made by midnight on Thursday evening. Please then respond to one other post 50 words to one other post for both a New Testament figure and one Old Testament figure.

UnderGrad Activities

  • Complete and submit the attached worksheet for week 1.
  • Post a response in 75-100 words to one of the postings made by a graduate student

Week 2: Spirituality in the early Church -- and its immediate Challenges

The Apostolic Fathers and their contribution.

Readings:

  • Aumann pages 19-34, Catechism art. 1701-1715

Grad Activities:

  • Post a 250-300-word reflection on one of the apostolic fathers and respond to at least two other postings. Please follow the rubric provided on pages 7 and 8.

UnderGrad Activities

  • Complete and submit the attached worksheet for week 2.
  • Post a response in 75-100 words to one of the postings made by a graduate student.

Week 3: Monastic Life in the East and its development

The Cappadocian Fathers – Sts Basil, Gregory Nazianzen, and Gregory of Nyssa.

Readings:

  • Aumann pages 35-56

Grad Activities:

  • Post a 250-300-word reflection on any two of the Cappadocian fathers and respond to at least two other postings. Please follow the rubric provided on pages 7 and 8.

UnderGrad Activities

  • Complete and submit the attached worksheet for week 3.
  • Post a response in 75-100 words to one of the postings made by a graduate student.

Week 4: Monastic Life in the West and its development

John Cassian, St Augustine and St Benedict and the Irish Monks

Readings:

  • Aumann pgs 57-79, Catechism art.1716-1729. Read St Augustine’s Confessions [Book One, Chapters 1-15] online,
  • Or The Rule of St Benedict [On obedience, The Spirit of Silence, and On Humility] online [If you have access to the hard Copies of these works that will fulfill this requirement]

Grad Activities:

  • Post a 250-300-word reflection on either the Confessions of St Augustine or The Rule of St Benedict and respond to at least two other postings. Please follow the rubric provided on pages 7 and 8.

UnderGrad Activities

  • Complete and submit the attached worksheet for week 4.
  • Post a response in 75-100 words to one of the postings made by a graduate student.

Week 5: St Benedict’s Masterpiece: His Spirituality

The Carthusians, the Cistercians, St Bernard, Nuns and Lay Brothers

Readings:

  • Aumann, pages 80-108

Grad Activities:

  • Post a 250-300-word reflection on either the Confessions of St Augustine or The Rule of St Benedict and respond to at least two other postings. Please follow the rubric provided on pages 7 and 8 and give one practical example.

UnderGrad Activities

  • Complete and submit the attached worksheet for week 5.
  • Post a response in 75-100 words to one of the postings made by a graduate student.

Week 6: The Development of Spirituality in the middle Ages

St Dominic, St Francis and their spiritual sons: St Thomas Aquinas and St Bonaventure

Readings:

  • Aumann, pgs 109-143

Grad Activities:

  • Post a 250-300-word reflection on either St Dominic or St Francis and respond to at least two other postings. Please follow the rubric provided on pages 7 and 8 and give one practical example.

UnderGrad Activities

  • Complete and submit the attached worksheet for week 6.
  • Post a response in 75-100 words to one of the postings made by a graduate student.

Week 7: The Development of various forms of Devotions and Writings

Eckhart, St Catherine of Siena and the Imitation of Christ

Readings:

  • Aumann, pgs 144-177

Grad Activities:

  • Review the various reading assignments and prepare for mid semester exams next week.

UnderGrad Activities

  • Complete and submit the attached worksheet for week 7.
  • Post a response in 75-100 words to one of the postings made by a graduate student.

Prepare for mid semester exams next week.

Week 8: New forms of Religious life/ Mid Semester Exams

Readings:

  • Aumann, pgs 178-216

Grad Activities:

  • Mid semester Exam: Summarize and post a 4-page reflection on three Schools of Spirituality and how they exemplify the lives of their founders.
  • Post your response by Friday 6pm and respond to one other posting.

UnderGrad Activities

  • Mid semester Exam: Summarize and post a 4-page reflection on any three Schools of Spirituality – examples of Schools of spirituality include; the Augustinians, the Benedictines, the Dominicans, the Franciscans, and how they exemplify the lives of their founders.
  • Post your response by Friday 6pm and respond in 50 words to one other posting on either Dominican Spirituality or Franciscan Spirituality.

Week 9: Spirituality during the period of Reformation

Sts. Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross and Francis De Sales

Readings:

  • Aumann, pgs 218-260, Read St Francis De Sales “Introduction to the Devout Life,” Part 3 Counsels concerning the virtues of Humility, Patience, Obedience, Purity, and on Poverty of Spirit.

Grad Activities:

  • Post a two-paragraph reflection on St Francis De Sales Introduction to the Devout Life – choose any two virtues and how they facilitate our journey towards God. Respond to two other postings

UnderGrad Activities

  • Complete and submit the attached worksheet for week 9.
  • Post a response in 75-100 words to one of the postings made by a graduate student.

Week 10: The Saints of our Time

Readings:

Grad Activities:

  • Post a 200-word reflection on your thoughts about the little way of St. Therese and respond to two other postings.

UnderGrad Activities

  • Complete and submit the attached worksheet for week 10.
  • Post a response in 75-100 words to one of the postings made by a graduate student.

Week 11: Prayer and Conversion

The journey towards God and its various means: the Purgative Way

Readings:

  • Martin, Fulfillment pgs 71-178, Catechism art. 2559-2565

Grad Activities:

  • What has been your experience of prayer?
  • Do you think temptations and trials contribute to your growth?
  • Post your 250-300 word response and make a comment to at least one other posting.

UnderGrad Activities

  • Complete and submit the attached worksheet for week 11.
  • Post a response in 75-100 words to one of the postings made by a graduate student.

Week 12: Stability and Progress on the Journey of Union

Deeper Purification and recognizing God’s will: the Illuminative Way

Readings:

  • Martin, pgs 251-370

Grad Activities:

  • How do you react to God’s will when you experience some form of purification like suffering or sickness?
  • Post a 250-300-word reflection on your thoughts and respond to at least one other posting.

UnderGrad Activities

  • Complete and submit the attached worksheet for week 12.
  • Post a response in 75-100 words to one of the postings made by a graduate student.

Week 13: “Our Hearts are Restless until they Rest in God”

The Union we desire and its fruits: the Unitive Way

Readings:

  • Martin, pgs 375-413, Catechism art.2656-2658

Grad Activities:

  • Is union possible in this life according to St Teresa of Avila in her mansions?
  • Can you identify with St Bernard’s thoughts on union?
  • Respond to at least one posting after you make your 250-300 word posting.

UnderGrad Activities

  • Complete and submit the attached worksheet for week 14.
  • Post a response in 75-100 words to one of the postings made by a graduate student.

Week 14: The Sacraments and Sacramentals

Outward sign of inward grace

Readings:

  • Catechism art. 1114-1134

Grad Activities:

  • Review various lessons from weeks 10 to week 14 and make a 300-word posting on your reflections. Please also respond to at least one other posting.

UnderGrad Activities

  • Complete and submit the attached worksheet for week 15.
  • Post a response in 75-100 words to one of the postings made by a graduate student.

Week 15: Summary and Conclusions

Grad Activities:

  • Final Paper: Write a four-page summary on the Three Stages of the Spiritual life and the sacramental means to attain union in the Church. Post your paper on the discussion board and make at least one response to another post. [All postings are to be made by Saturday 12pm]

UnderGrad Activities

  • Final Paper: Write a four-page summary on the three Stages of the Spiritual life as highlighted by Ralph Martin in his Book “The Fulfillment of All desire.” Post your paper on the discussion board and make a 50-word  response to at least one post. [All postings are to be made by Saturday 12pm]

4. COURSE REQUIREMENTS

  • Discussion Postings – 60% (Grads only)
  • Worksheets – 40% (Undergrads only)
  • Responses to Grad Students – 20% (Undergrads only)
  • Midterm Paper – 20% (both Grads and Undergrads)
  • Final Paper – 20% (both Grads and Undergrads)

5. REQUIRED READINGS and RESOURCES:

  • Jordan Aumann, Christian Spirituality in the Catholic Tradition, ISBN #089870068X.
  • Ralph Martin, The Fulfillment Of All Desire, ISBN #9781931018364.
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church, ISBN #0819815187.

6. SUGGESTED READINGS and RESOURCES:

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

Grading Rubric for the Papers and Discussion Board Postings

4 pts. – Paper
1 pt. – DB Posting;

8 pts. – Paper
2 pts. – DB Posting;

12 pts. – Paper
3 pts. – DB Posting;

16 pts. – Paper
4 pts. – DB Posting;

20 pts. – Paper
5 pts. – DB Posting;

CONTENT

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

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

 

COMMUNITY INTERACTION (responses)

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:

  • 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 to be in class 3 hours a week and prepare for class discussions 4.5 hours a week. Expect to devote at least 7 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

My name is Fr Augustine Ibok. I am a priest of “The Society of Our Mother of Peace.” I was ordained a priest on the 14th of May 2007. I had my college training in Nigeria and with the invitation of my Religious Superior came to the United States to continue my formation while studying at Kenrick School of Theology, St Louis, MO. I have a M. Div. and an M. A. in Theology. I live in High Ridge, MO and occasionally travel to Nigeria to support our new Foundation there. I am presently the Superior of our House of Studies in Nigeria.

(860) 632-3010