The Religion Department seeks to educate the whole student – intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. We believe students enrich their education when theological exploration is part of their experience and when they engage their minds and imaginations. The department's curriculum provides a theological foundation to better inform the student’s faith experience.
Religion Department Goals
List of 5 items.
Commit to the Justice and Peace
To commit onself to the pursuit of justice and peace
Deepen One's Spiritual Life
To deepen one's spiritual life through scripture and prayer
Discover the Mystery of God
To discover the mystery of God in your life and in the lives of the greater community
Live an Ethical Life
To develop one's character by asking what it means to live an ethical life.
Pursue Meaningful Relationships
To pursue meaningful relationships, both in and out of the classroom
The freshman religion curriculum reflects the content of the Catechism of the Catholic Church by introducing students, both cognitively and affectively, to the most important themes of the Judeo-Christian religious tradition: (a) understanding our personal identity in response to God’s call to a personal relationship with Him and with our neighbor; (b) our Faith which finds its basis in God’s Revelation and its goal in our Covenant friendship with all persons of good-will; (c) the unique reality of Jesus’ humanity and divinity, especially as he brings us life through his life, death, resurrection and ascension; (d) our vocation to be sharers in the great community of the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit; (e) the role of Scripture as the inspired Word of God, and the role of Tradition in handing on a living Faith to us in our own times; (f) the sacredness of our own lives which is brought to greater fullness in the Sacramental life of the Church, especially in the celebration of Eucharist; (g) the awareness that the sacredness of our own identity is also a call to living a moral life that is sustained by prayer and a commitment to a personal spirituality. Assisted by Campus Ministry, students will have a service requirement during each marking period. The freshman year essentially and integrally introduces the major themes for the full four-year program of religious education.
The aim of the honors course complements the freshman academy curriculum in providing additional enrichment, especially regarding the relationship between the 21st century student and the great themes of the Catholic religious tradition. It is expected that students will take advantage of available technology to research four topics related to their study, and complete four mini-research projects related to each for inclusion in their portfolio or presentation to the class, in this instance working alone or with others.
During sophomore year, the student is more fully involved in the scriptures of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Divine Revelation is seen as undergirding this study, and both the desire to know God and true knowledge of God is understood in terms of Grace. Primary emphasis rests on the person and teachings of Jesus: the Incarnation, Redemption, and the Paschal Mystery. The miracle and mystery of Jesus Christ himself, true God and true man, permeates our human history and constitutes the history of our salvation. Our study of Jesus is rooted in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Scriptures. Thus, Creation, the stories of human sin, the Exodus experience, the challenge of the Prophets, and the Prayers of the Psalms are intimately related to this history of salvation that continues in the power of the Holy Spirit, who enlivens our understanding of Jesus in our Study of the Gospels, and our encounter with him in our Sacramental celebrations. Integral to this and complementing the reflective elements introduced in the freshman curriculum, and again with assistance from Campus Ministry, students will have the opportunity to become more personally involved in the following: (a) an understanding of the gospel in terms of Call and Commissioning which involves the student in a spirit of prayer and recollection, as it challenges him or her to seek after that Call to his or her life and find opportunities to live that Call; (b) to understand that the Gospel Message and the Mission of the Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools which involves a concern for the poor and a response by projects of service; (c) an understanding that students are writing their own life parables, as they see the biblical message in the context of modern life and living. Assisted by Campus Ministry, students will have a service requirement during each marking period. The sophomore curriculum prepares students for junior religion which applies the message of Jesus to the mission and teaching of the Church which grew following His life and continues today. The sophomore research paper is a course requirement.
The aim of this honors course is to complement the sophomore academy curriculum by providing additional enrichment that relates Old and New Testament themes to the material being studied in other disciplines, especially literature, language, and social studies, so that students may gain a greater appreciation for the relationship of faith knowledge to the wider scope of learning. Students will use available technological resources to research and complete four mini-research projects for inclusion in their portfolios. One specific enrichment opportunity enables students to engage in social justice issues as they are set forth in the Sermon on the Mount. In addition, a larger sophomore research paper is a course requirement.
The junior year maintains continuity with the freshman and sophomore curriculums as students are challenged to discover how the Covenant, first articulated in the Hebrew Scriptures, and renewed in the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, continues in the mission and witness of the Church. The junior year study then will have two components. First is a study of the Church. The course will encourage the students to participate in the Catholic Church in order to have a real and living encounter with Jesus Christ. The Church is the living Body of Christ, with both human and divine elements. In this course, the students will learn about key events in the Church’s human history, but always with an eye to her divine mission. Secondly, the course is a study of morality and the personal challenge to develop a conscience, to understand the teaching of the Church on a variety of issues, and to understand that this finds articulation in their commitment to moral life and living. Students will be assisted by Campus Ministry in preparing for participation in the CHIPS soup kitchen as part of the Junior Retreat.
The aim of this course is to complement the junior academy curriculum by providing additional enrichment that relates to Church issues and moral issues today so that students connect faith-knowledge to the wider scope of learning, this, often within a global perspective. Specifically, there will be greater emphasis on higher-order thinking and writing skills; students will have an opportunity for more in-depth reflection, especially on social justice, its principles and the bases of Church teaching on this subject, especially as this is found in sacred scripture and the major documents that are part of the continuing magisterium of the Church as it attempts to assist the needs of the local and world community.
This course will explore the intersection of history and religion in order to better understand your own faith and develop a greater appreciation for the significant role the Catholic Church has played throughout history in shaping culture, tradition, and world views. The class will begin with the period of history in which Jesus lived and in which the Gospels and other New Testament writings were created. From here, students will explore different periods of history and examine the role the Church has played throughout the world, and later in the year, the focus will shift to its role in American culture. The history covered in this course will be explored through different focus questions which will help you think about your own faith and how it relates to others across the world and throughout time. Some of these questions include: Why Christianity? Can we trust the Gospels? What is the afterlife like? How has the Church responded to Vatican II? And, how do you experience your faith today?
In a multicultural city, pluralistic country, and globalized world, understanding cultures and religious traditions is a key skill within government, business, and society. This course is a critical introduction to the study of world religions, exploring the beliefs, rituals, and ethical ideals of representative religious manifestations of past and present.
In the twenty-first century, strong leaders are needed throughout society. Within this course, students will study examples of leadership within and outside the Catholic tradition, theories of leadership, as well as look to develop their own leadership skills. Students will examine the prophetic tradition both within scripture and modern-day society and additionally recognize the impact that their own leadership can have on the world day.
This course aims to, in the words of the First Vatican Council, show how the human mind can discover God’s existence and His basic divine attributes independently of His self-revelation in Scripture. As students transition from high school to college, they often encounter philosophical and metaphysical questions. For the most part, modern and contemporary philosophy is deist if not outright atheistic. Students who have never studied philosophy may not know that the existence of God can be known through human reason, often resulting in a crisis of faith. This course will introduce students to philosophy as a science and from there focus heavily on philosophers who aim to know the existence of God. While students will be introduced to deist and atheist philosophers, the focus will be on not necessarily studying them for their own sake but rather using God’s gift of reason and theist thought to refute them.
In an examination of our current times, this course promotes the Christian teachings and provides seniors an opportunity to synthesize the various aspects of Catholic theology that they have encountered in their first three years. This course incorporates "an introduction to Christianity highlighting belief statements, practices, scripture, rites, theological writings, artistic expressions, and other discourses manifesting and expressing the Christian faith in its various traditions through its development" (St. John's University).
This course will explore the Scriptures using historical, literary, and theological tools to help students understand God’s relationship with His people. It will also prepare students to better understand the New Testament and the Church.
Students will explore the New Testament and develop their understanding of Jesus Christ. Building upon knowledge of the Old Testament from 6th grade, students will learn about the social, historical, and cultural background of Jesus as His apostles knew Him when He walked the earth. Through reading the four Gospels and supplemental material, students will learn Jesus’ teachings and deepen their understanding of his identity as the Son of God. They will research and discuss ways that the messages of the New Testament are relevant to their lives in today’s world.
Students will explore the social teaching of the Catholic Church and understand how integral living out these lessons is for their Catholic identity. Drawing upon knowledge from 6th and 7th grade, students will connect themes of social justice to foundational concepts from the Old and New Testaments. They will research historical documents and “case studies” on social justice issues of the past and debate and discuss with their classmates those topics as well as current events.
During the freshman year, the students study the Ancient and Eastern religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Shintoism, and Zoroastrianism. The goal is to help students further their understanding of religions outside their experience.
A course for sophomores designed to give them a solid foundation in the Western religions - Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The information will be disseminated through the use of film, internet research, art, and the text Religions of the World. Students will learn about ancient sacred texts, as well as the various traditions from ancient through modern times. The goal is to help students gain an understanding and tolerance of the main religions that have made the United States one of the world's most dynamic societies.
This course runs in conjunction with the United States History curriculum. The impact of religion and religious groups is looked at, as well as various ethical issues that have impacted the lives of Americans. Students use American film, literature, music, and the internet to deepen their understanding of their inter-relatedness of history and culture.
Religion Department Members
List of 12 members.
Religion Department Chairperson
(718) 836-7100 x101
Bryan Amore 80
(718) 836-7100 x803
(718) 836-7100 x179
Patrick Drexler 05
Assistant Director of Campus Ministry
(718) 836-7100 x843
Charles Johnston 72
(718) 836-7100 x795
(718) 836-7100 x816
(718) 836-7100 x825
(718) 836-7100 x889
James Schreiner 04
(718) 836-7100 x188
(718) 836-7100 x892
Salvatore Tinervia 97
(718) 836-7100 x812
Established in 1957, Xaverian is one of thirteen schools nationwide sponsored by the Xaverian Brothers.