• Schedule is subject to change. Please check the priory website, dhspriory.org, for the latest information.
  • Monday - Friday

    7:00am Mass & Morning Prayer
    12:00pm Rosary & Midday Prayer
    5:30pm Office of Readings & Evening Prayer
    9:00pm Compline (Monday - Thursday)
  • Saturday

    8:00am Mass with Morning Prayer
    12:00pm Office of Readings & Midday Prayer
    5:20pm Rosary
    5:40pm Evening Prayer
  • Sunday

    8:30am Office of Readings & Morning Prayer
    11:15am Mass
    5:20pm Rosary
    5:40pm Evening Prayer
    9:00pm Compline
  • Friday, September 15, 5:30PM

    Tolkien’s Perilous Beauties: Philosophy and Aesthetic Danger

    Flannery O’Connor’s Postmodern Apologetic

    Prof. David’ O’Connor (Notre Dame)

    MIT, Building 3, Room 270

    Co-sponsored by the Thomistic Institute and the Tech Catholic Community

  • Monday, September 18, 7PM

    Hollow Pursuits, Fulfilling Pursuits, and Ultimate Satisfaction: A Philosophical Look at Our Quest for Happiness

    Prof. Candace Vogler (University of Chicago

    Tulane Unversity, LBC Stibb Conference Room 203

  • Tuesday, September 19, 7PM

    Myths and Realities: Reason and Faith in the History of Science

    Dr. Lawrence Principe (Drew)

    Mountcastle Auditorium, Pre-Clinical Teaching Building (PCTB), JMHI

    Hosted by the Hopkins Thomistic Institute

  • Monday, September 25, 7PM

    Science & Religion: The Myth of Conflict

    Dr. Stephen Barr (University of Delaware)

    St. Mary’s Church, New Haven, Connecticut

  • Tuesday, September 26, 7PM

    The Virgin Mother of God: Mary in the Bible and Church Teaching

    Prof. Joshua Benson (CUA)

    St. Charles Borromeo, Arlington, Virginia

  • Friday, September 29 - Saturday, September 30

    Thomistic Circles: “On the Holy Spirit”

  • Monday, October 2, 6PM

    Catholicism in the 21st Century

    Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P., discusses his new book, The Light of Christ: An Introduction to Catholicism

    Comments and conversation with Mary Eberstadt and Robert Royal

    Catholic Information Center, D.C.

  • Thursday, October 5, 12:30PM

    How is God Jealous? A Christian Response to Richard Dawkins

    Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, O.P. (Providence College)

    Harvard Medical School, TMEC Room 250

    Sponsored by the Thomistic Institute, Christian Medical and Dental Association, and the Catholic Students Association

  • Monday, October 9

    Columbus Day

    No Classes; Offices and Library Closed

  • Tuesday, October 10

    Administrative Monday (Monday Classes Held, No Tuesday Classes)

  • Friday, October 13


    Last Day to Submit Work for Incompletes from the Previous Semester

    Last Day to Withdraw from Classes with 50% Refund

  • Saturday, October 14, 12PM-4PM

    Christ Healing and Perfecting: Sacraments in the Christian Life

    Fr. Dominic Legge, O.P. (PFIC)

    The Catholic Center at NYU

  • Wednesday, October 16, 6PM

    Saved in Hope:

    The Christian Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis

    Philip Zaleski (Smith College)

    Catholic Information Center, D.C.

  • Friday, October 20

    Grades Due on Incompletes from the Previous Semester

  • Tuesday, October 31

    7:30 PM - Vigil of All Saints, DHS Chapel

  • Friday, November 3

    Last Day to Withdraw from Classes with a “WD” Grade

  • Wednesday, November 8, 6PM

    The Drama of Grace:

    Sigrud Undset and the Narrative of Conversion

    Fr. Raymund Snyder, O.P. (Thomistic Institute)

    Catholic Information Center, D.C.

  • Saturday, November 11, 1 PM

    “Angels, Demons and Aquinas”

    The Catholic Center at NYU

  • Monday, November 13 - Friday, November 17

    Registration for Spring 2018 Classes

  • Wednesday, November 22 - Friday, November 24

    Thanksgiving Recess

    No Classes; Offices and Library close at noon on Wednesday)

  • Tuesday, December 5 - Monday, December 11

    Course Evaluation Week

  • Friday, December 8

    Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

    No Classes; Offices and Library Closed

  • Monday, December 11

    Reading Day

    No Classes; Offices and Library Open

  • Tuesday, December 12, 4PM

    The Rational Mystery: The Promise of Catholicism in the 21st Century

    Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P. (PFIC)

    Alexander Reading Room, Baylor University

    Sponsored by the Thomistic Institute and the Baylor University Honors College

  • Tuesday, December 12 - Friday, December 15

    Final Examination Period

  • Friday, December 15

    Semester Ends

  • Monday, December 18 - Wednesday, December 20

    Special Exam Period

  • Thursday, December 21

    Library and Offices Close at Noon for Christmas Break

    PFIC reopens on January 2, 2018

  • Saturday, April 14, 6 PM, 2018

    Eighth Annual Dominican Spring Gala

    Cloister of the Dominican House of Studies

  • Monday, May 7, 2018

    Annual Save the Rare Books Golf Tournament

    Westfields Golf Club, Clifton, Virginia

« Spring 2015 Course Descriptions | Main | Spring 2014 Course Descriptions »

Fall 2014 Course Descriptions


LT 501 - Elementary Latin I (3)

This course focuses on mastery of the morphology and syntax of classical Latin in order to provide students with a solid basis to read classical, patristic, medieval, and Renaissance Latin literature of all genres.

LT 701 -  Introduction to Medieval Latin Language and Literature I (3)

An introduction to the Latin language and literature of the medieval period with emphasis on the close reading of selected philosophical and theological texts.   Designed primarily to equip students to read medieval Latin texts with an appreciation of their characteristic vocabulary, syntax and style, and secondarily to introduce them to the principal areas of medieval Latin scholarship, including bibliographies, collections, and repertories of sources, and lexica and other reference aids for the study of Latin works composed in the Middle Ages. Generally the first semester (not necessarily a prerequisite for the second) is devoted to the study of Latin words written before A.D. 1000. Prerequisite:  LT 502 - Elementary Latin II or equivalent. 

PH 501 - Introduction to the Life and Works of St. Thomas Aquinas (3)

This survey course will introduce the student to the life and works of St. Thomas Aquinas. To this end, we will read Jean-Pierre Torrell’s Saint Thomas Aquinas: The Person and His Work and examine closely samples of Aquinas’ works. So as not to depend on a single author as our guide, we will also consult Joseph Pieper’s Guide to Thomas Aquinas, and miscellaneous articles or selections from other publications. We will note the different kinds of works Aquinas produced, the dates and context of their composition, as well as Thomas’ own spirituality and the evolution of his thought on particular points.

PH 511 - Ancient Philosophy (3)

This is the first of a four-course sequence that studies the historical development of Western philosophy.  This course first explores the contrast between what may be called the scientific and theological investigations of the Pre-Socratics versus the mytho-poetic view that preceded them.  It then follows the more intentionally public pursuit of philosophy as undertaken by the Sophists; within this context a proper study can be undertaken of the enigmatic figure of Socrates.  The bulk of this course is devoted to the achievements of Plato and Aristotle, with particular attention given to those insights which served as the basis for subsequent historical epochs.  As time permits, attention is give to some of the more important philosophical movements of the Hellenistic era: the Epicureans, Stoics and neo-Platonists.

PH 513 - Modern Philosophy (3)

This course follows the continuing development of the Western philosophical tradition as it progressed from the Renaissance through the French Revolution (1400-1800).  Particular emphasis is given to the manner in which the results and methods of the Scientific Revolution replaced the Aristotelian world-view.  Following this paradigmatic shift, the course’s main focus is directed to the two main philosophical movements: Rationalism and Empiricism, each of which developed competing appropriations of modern science.  It concludes with the resolution of these two strands of thought effected by Immanuel Kant’s critical philosophy. 

PH 521 - Logic (3)

This course studies three types of formal logic.  First, it treats Aristotelian, or “term,” logic as it pertains to: 1) categorical propositions, with the various inferences that are generally associated with them, and 2) categorical syllogisms as appreciable in terms of conditional and unconditional validity.  Second, it studies propositional logic in terms of the argument forms and equivalences from which various conclusions may be drawn.  Third, it takes up predicate logic, both a self-contained system and as it affords the means of comparing the two systems first studied in this course. 

PH 523 - Philosophy of Nature (Cosmology) (3) 

This course will offer an Aristotelian-Thomistic consideration of natural philosophy, the science that studies nature in general.  The course will begin by identifying the subject matter and scope of this science, and it will then proceed to examine the principles, causes, and elements of natural things.  Topics to be addressed include the phenomenon of change, the constitution of material things in general, the relationship between the soul and the body in living things, and the structure of time.

PH 551 - Philosophy of Being (Metaphysics) (3)

This course offers a Thomistic consideration of metaphysics, the science that studies being in general.  The course begins by identifying the subject matter and scope of this science, the nature of being, its attributes, its divisions, and its causes.  Topics to be addressed include the problem of the one and the many, the analogous nature of being, participation theory, and the existence and attributes of the first being, vis., God.  The course presumes that students have a basic familiarity with Aristotelian natural philosophy (supplementary readings will be provided for students who do not).



SS 581 - Elementary Greek I (3)

First course in a two-semester sequence giving intensive grounding in the forms, vocabulary, and syntax of Attic and New Testament Greek; frequent exercises in reading and writing Greek.

SS 611 - Pentateuch (3)

An introduction to the first five books of the Bible and to the ways the Old Testament has been interpreted in Catholic tradition. Special attention will be given to the history of the interpretation of the Pentateuch in Judaism and Christianity.

SS 632 - Wisdom Literature (3)

An introductory survey of the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, including Proverbs, Job, Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes),  Sirach, and the Book of Wisdom, as well as a consideration of wisdom traditions elsewhere in the Bible (e.g., Deuteronomy, the Psalms, the Song of Songs, and the New Testament). Prominent themes to be discussed include fear of the Lord, suffering, the problem of evil, and the personification of wisdom.

SS 640 - Synoptic Gospels (3)

This course provides an introduction to the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  Following introductory considerations including the nature of a gospel, critical methods, and the Synoptic Problem, each synoptic gospel will be studied in terms of its historical context, literary style, and theological aspects including Christology, soteriology, and discipleship.  Select passages will be considered through a close exegetical study to illustrate the unique aspects of each gospel.  Finally, the Acts of the Apostles will be studied as a continuation of Luke’s Gospel. 

SS 754A - Readings in Biblical Hebrew:  Deuteronomy (3)

This is an intermediate Hebrew course on the Book of Deuteronomy with exegesis of selected passages and an introduction to the reception and interpretation of Deuteronomy in the Septuagint and the New Testament.

SS 765 - Catholic Letters and Letter to the Hebrews (3)

The focus of this course concerns the letters of James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, Jude, and Hebrews (note that 1, 2, and 3 John are considered among the Catholic letters but will not be treated here, since they are included in the Johannine Writings course). For each letter issues of dating, authorship, audience, and genre will be considered, with the main emphasis on the theological and historical context of each letter in early Christianity. The Letter to the Hebrews will be featured given its complexity and significance. Some patristic commentaries on the letters will also be included.



ST 601 - Nature and Method of Theology (3)

A study of the nature of theological thinking as an intellectual inquiry, arising from faith and having God himself and his promises as its proper subject matter. The course presents an interpretation of significant current trends in the light of the history of theology, with emphasis on medieval and modern theology. Shaped by Thomas Aquinas’s conception of theology as sacra doctrina, the course advances proposals about such topics as revelation, scripture and tradition, faith and reason, the use of philosophy in theology, the nature of doctrines and their development, and the role of authority.

ST 611 - Creation and the Human Person (3)

Divine gratuity is the point of reference for this theological study of the spiritual material and spiritual-material orders in their relation to God and to each other.  In particular, the gifts of cosmos and the human person provide the axes for an inquiry into the meaning and purpose of creation, divine Providence, a theological appraisal of the cosmos, the problem of evil, and the nature and origin of the human person as image of God.  St. Thomas Aquinas serves as master guide who himself provides principles for extracting the perennial from the passing in a theological domain where a balanced fidelity to the perduring and responsiveness to the contemporary are especially mandated.

ST 621 - Basic Elements of Christology (3)

A systematic approach to Christology guides this course’s review of key historical moments in the Church’s theological elucidation of the mystery of Christ. After situating it within the larger theological domain and clarifying its nature, Christology is examined from the perspectives of a Catholic reading of Sacred Scripture, its development in the controversies and councils of the early Church, and St. Thomas Aquinas’s synthesis in the Summa Theologiae’s tract on Christ. Finally, modern developments and questions are critically addressed with an eye toward outlining an adequate Christology for the future. Prerequisites: ST 601 - Nature and Method of Theology, ST 604 - Triune God and ST 611 - Creation and the Human Person.

ST 631 - Sacraments: Theology and Initiation (3)

An introduction to general sacramental theory by tracing various sacramental teachings from their biblical, patristic, medieval, and contemporary perspectives. The course will also address the scriptural, historical, and dogmatic developments of the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation and the implications for contemporary ecumenical discussion

ST 638 - Sacrament of Orders (3)

This course will examine the theology of the sacrament of Holy Orders, including the episcopacy and the diaconate, but focusing particularly upon the priesthood. Attention will be given to the historical origins of the three-fold hierarchy, to classical theologies of Holy Orders (particularly in the Thomist tradition), and to the spirituality of the priesthood. Modern magisterial teachings of the Church and contemporary questions and controversies will also be considered theologically. 

ST 641 - Liturgiology (3)

A basic historical-theological study of the liturgy of the church: the development of the liturgical rites of the early centuries; a consideration of such topics as ritual, symbol, environment, music; a review of the current liturgical discipline and documentation of the Church.

ST 733 - The Filioque (3)

This course will examine the question of the Holy Spirit’s procession from the Son, from the Cappadocian Fathers to the most recent magisterial documents of the Catholic Church. The goal will be to understand the doctrine as well as the disagreement that has arisen with the Orthodox on account of the introduction of the filioque into the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed by the Latin liturgy.

ST 754 - Theology of Mary and Joseph, Wife and Husband, Parents of Jesus (3)

This course is designed to synthesize two traditional branches of theology:  Mariology and Josephology.  What brings them together is the marriage between Mary and Joseph and their common end of preparing Jesus for his mission; Mary herself is aided for her mission by Joseph on account of their marriage.

ST 800A – Contemporary Christology and Trinitarian Thought (3)

This course will examine the Christological and Trinitarian writings of various contemporary theologians (Protestant and Catholic).  Among the Christological issues to be discussed are: The Incarnation – its conception and expression; the human consciousness and knowledge of Jesus; the redemptive mystery – the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus; Jesus and religious pluralism.   Among the Trinitarian issues to be discussed are: The Trinity – its conception and expression; the filioque; the suffering of God; the immanent and economic Trinity.  Among the authors that will be examined are:  K. Rahner, K. Barth, W. Kasper, C.M. LaCugna, R. Haight, R. Jensen, J. Galot, D. Griffin, T.J. White, T.G. Weinandy, Benedict XVI, The Pontifical International Theological Commission.   

ST 823 – St. Thomas and the Thomists: from the Medieval to the Baroque (3)

This course examines the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas among his followers from the 15th to the 17th century (e.g., Capreolus, Cajetan, de Vitoria, Soto, Bañez, and John of St. Thomas, among others) in their attempt to understand and develop it, in order to pass on its wisdom and to use its resources in response to the questions and problems of their age.  Subjects of particular interest include: the debates with Franciscan theologians; the advent of nominalism; questions about grace and the de Auxiliis controversy; the Reformation, the Council of Trent and its implementation; and the rise of casuistry, probabilism and Jansenism.  Reading knowledge of Latin is required.

ST 851 - Faith and Reason: The Place of Thomistic Metaphysics in Theology (3) 

This seminar examines the relationship between faith and reason within the domain of speculative theology.  What are the metaphysical presuppositions that are required for a sound approach to Catholic systematic theology?  The subject matter is treated from an essentially Thomist perspective, while also engaging other perspectives.  Particular attention is given to the argumentation of the “five ways”, the doctrine of God, the ontology of the hypostatic union, and the metaphysics of the Eucharist.  Readings in Aquinas, McInerny, Turner, Te Velde, Sokolowski, Lindbeck.

ST 881 - Thomistic Seminar I (3)

This seminar will consider the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas in dialogue with the 21st century. We will undertake our investigation by considering Aquinas’ understanding of theology as wisdom over against the post-Enlightenment tendency to interpret religious experience in terms of practical ends. A central question to be treated in our study will be the place of metaphysics in theology. The Summa Theologiae will serve as the text of first recourse to Thomas’ own thought. In accord with the seminar format, class time will be devoted to discussion rather than lecture, and each student will submit a research paper at the end of the semester. The papers will be presented by the students in class toward the end of the semester.



MT 601 - Principles of Christian Moral Life I (3)

A two-semester exploration of the Catholic moral tradition from scriptural, doctrinal, historical, and systematic perspectives. The doctrinal part is supplemented by a continual reference to Scriptural moral teachings; the historical survey probes the specific contributions of the various Christian ages to Catholic morality; the systematic treatment uncovers the foundational moral teachings of St. Thomas as expressed in the Summa Theologiae along with their metaphysical, anthropological, and theological roots. Happiness and human ends, actions and passions, and sin and virtue are placed within a moral setting enclosed within the larger domain of divine grace penetrating human nature.  Contemporary theological approaches are examined in order to assess their contributions and shortcomings.

MT 611 - Theological Virtues (3)

This class examines in depth St. Thomas Aquinas’s teaching on the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity as expressed in the Summa Theologiae. Textual analysis will serve to uncover the systematic power of the treatise on the theological virtues as well as the treatise’s role within St. Thomas’s larger theological vision. Attention is given to the Scriptural roots of this teaching on the theological virtues and the placement of these virtues within the Catholic theological tradition.

MT 700A - The Making of Catholic Spirituality in the New World (3)

This course will explore the major factors that shaped the spirituality and piety of the Catholic faithful in the United States.  Moving from the early Spanish missions to the mid-twentieth century Second Vatican Council, the course will focus on the interplay between history and theology that found expression in the religious and devotional life of ordinary Catholics.  Lectures, readings and discussion. 

MT 730 - Spiritual Theology According to St. Thomas Aquinas (3)

To enlighten the student about the nature, laws and experiences of the spiritual life. It is meant to aid future formation directors of religious communities, preachers of retreats for laity, religious and priests alike. There are certain values of the spiritual life which are true for all, while other more advanced persons may have to be given differing words of advice. Above all, the spiritual director needs to discern whether or not the directee is a beginner, advanced or even relatively perfect in the life of the spirit.

MT 732 - The Inner Way: Understanding & Practicing Eastern & Western Spiritual Direction (3)

Spiritual direction was born in the Christian East, later developing its traditions in both East and West.  Its history, methods, and contemporary application will be studied and discussed.  Themes to be studied will be man / woman as image of the Divine Icon, growth in the likeness of God, the role of the Spiritual Mother and Father as “charismatic individual,” the attainment of purity of heart and intent, inner peace and healing, Sacraments and direction, the elder as gift bearer.  Skills needed to engage in spiritual direction will be looked at.  Topics to be discussed: growth in divinization, prayer, metaonia of heart, joyful-sorrow (penthos), the Jesus Prayer and the need of a personal desert, what constitutes a true orthodox spiritual director.



HS 501 - Early and Medieval Church History (3)

Emergence of the Church in the early centuries, its maturity in the Christian Roman Empire, the formation of Christendom in the western Middle Ages to AD 1450. Particular attention will be given to the reading of primary sources and a familiarization with secondary sources.



HT 700A - St. Bonaventure’s Hexaëmeron:  Philosophical, Theological, and Mystical Synthesis

Bonaventure’s Collations on the Six Days of Creation is his last great work, and is widely regarded as a masterful theological synthesis, covering what the human being can know in the light of nature, the light of faith, the light of Scripture, and the light of contemplation.  Students will study the entire work in its translation from the Quaracchi edition.  The text will be treated both as an integral work of theology in its own right, and in relation to other texts of Bonaventure that shed light on the same topics.  Latin desirable—-for comparison of the Quaracchi edition with the untranslated Delorme edition—-but not required.

HT 700B - Readings in Early Christian Greek

An introduction to Greek Patristic literature with selected readings in the Didache, the Apostolic Fathers, and later Patristic authors. The texts chosen offer a variety of style and syntax in order to increase facility in reading and in textual analysis. Particular attention is given to a review of morphology and syntax. Prerequisite: Elementary Greek II or the equivalent.

HT 820 – Aquinas and the Fathers: St. Thomas’s Engagement with His Patristic Sources [3]

St. Thomas Aquinas could be called the leading patristic researcher of his day. This seminar considers select studies of the presence of early figures (such as Augustine and John Damascene) and of early controversies (such as Arianism and Nestorianism) in the works of Aquinas. By uncovering Aquinas’s interest in early Christianity, the course also considers how Aquinas can assist in the renewal of theological method today, especially in finding the deep underlying unity between patristic-ressourcement and scholastic approaches to theology. 



PS 601 - Introduction to Pastoral Ministry (3)

An introduction to Christian ministry with attention given to both methods and models of ministry. A focus on the theology of ministry will be integral along with an introduction to the skills of theological reflection and pastoral communications. Students will be helped to use class discussions as a way of drawing together methods, group dynamics and theological themes in the exercise of ministry. A supervised pastoral placement in an approved setting is required.

PS 621 - Introduction to Church Law (3)

This course introduces basic concepts concerning law in the Church, how it is made and interpreted, and how it is applied in various situations. It also examines the status of persons in general, the computation of time, and the law on sacraments and temporal goods. Requirements in this course include active class participation, required readings, assigned cases and studies, and a final written examination.

PS 622 - Book II: The People of God in Church Law (3) 

This course introduces Book II of the Code of Canon Law, on the People of God.  Topics covered include the rights and obligations of the Christian faithful, the organization of official ministry, the selection, training, ministry, and life of deacons and priests, and the hierarchical constitution of the Church.  Theological-canonical reflections on the Petrine office, the Roman Curia, the structures and nature of the particular church, the office of bishop, the office of pastor, and the structure of the parish.  The course concludes with a study of institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life, with contemporary applications.  Requirements in this course include active class participation, required readings, assigned cases and studies, and final written examination. 

PS 661 - Ministries Practicum (1)

A practicum taken in preparation for the ministries of acolyte and reader. History and offices of these ministries, the lectionary, public proclamation, and service at the altar.

PS 662 - Deacon Practicum (2)

Taken in the semester before ordination to the diaconate, the practicum includes instruction in tasks of ministry which the future deacon will encounter in his summer and school year ministry.

PS 802 - Teaching and Learning: Theory and Practice (3)

This introductory course begins with an examination of basic principles of Catholic educational theory for various educational contexts: adult catechesis, secondary education and collegiate teaching. Students will be introduced to effective teaching practices through topics such as styles of learning and teaching methods suited to those styles, preparing and delivering class lectures, teaching observations, Lectio Coram presentations, and other practical methodologies. During the practicum component of the course, students will offer class presentations and teach in a pastoral setting.

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