• 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
  • Tuesday, October 17, 6 PM

    Muslim Philosophers and the Christian Middle Ages

    Prof. Thérèse Cory (Notre Dame)

    University of Oklahoma, Nielsen Hall 170

    Sponsored by the Thomistic Institute at OU

  • Wednesday, October 18, 6 PM

    Evil: The Great Accuser of God’s Existence

    Fr. John Harris, O.P.

    University College Dublin, Room B101 in the Newman Building

    Co-sponsored by the Thomistic Institute and the Newman Society at UCD.

  • Thursday, October 19, 6 PM

    Understanding Nietzsche’s Postmodern Critique of Christianity

    Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P. (PFIC/Thomistic Institute)

    Harvard University, Emerson 108 in Harvard Yard

    Sponsored by the Thomistic Institute and the Harvard Catholic Graduate Student Chaplaincy

  • Thursday, October 19, 7 PM

    Blinded by Scientism? The Proper Role-and Limits-of Science in the Quest for Truth

    Prof. Edward Feser (Pasadena City College)

    U.C. Berkeley, Barrows 166

    Sponsored by the Thomistic Institute at UC Berkeley

  • Friday, October 20

    Grades Due on Incompletes from the Previous Semester

  • Friday, October 20, 12:30 PM

    Where Rights Come From and What They Mean for Healthcare

    Fr. Thomas Joseph White, O.P. (PFIC/Thomistic Institute)

    Harvard Medical School (final room location TBA)

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

  • 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

  • Monday, November 6, 3:30 PM

    Reading Between the Lines: Neglected Notation in Dominican Mass Manuscripts

    Dr. Eleanor Giraud (University of Limerick)

    Aquin Hall, PFIC

  • 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.

  • Thursday, November 9, 7 PM

    Does God Exist? An Argument for God’s Existence from Thomas Aquinas

    Fr. James Brent, O.P. (PFIC)

    JMHI Preclinical Teaching Building (PCTB)

    Sponsored by the Hopkins Thomistic Institute

  • 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

  • Saturday, December 9, 12 PM

    The Virgin Mary: Full of Grace and Mother of God

    Fr. Andrew Hofer, O.P. (PFIC)

    The Catholic Center at NYU

  • 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

« Fall 2014 Course Descriptions | Main

Spring 2014 Course Descriptions


LT 502 - Elementary Latin II (3)

 Students advance to the more complex syntax and irregular morphology of classical Latin as well as to the rudiments of rhetorical stylistics. Tools of historical linguistics are introduced so that students can master the changes in orthography that occur to the language between the classical and medieval period.

PH 512 - Medieval Philosophy (3) 

Beginning with what may be understood as the Christian neo-Platonic synthesis of the Patristic era, particularly as evident in the writings of St. Augustine, this course follows the gradual emergence of intellectual activity in the West as it followed upon the breakdown of the Roman Empire.  It then traces the emergence of Aristotelian-based alternatives as first suggested in the writings of Arab and Jewish commentators and culminates with a reading of St. Bonaventure and St. Thomas.  The course concludes with some of the more prominent alternatives that followed, particularly those of Scotus & Ockham.

PH 514 - Recent Philosophy (3) 

This course appraises the various intellectual developments that emerged in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries – an era that was marked by a declining confidence in achievements of human reason.  It begins with a careful overview of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, perhaps one of the last works in the Western canon to offer a synoptic overview of human experience and knowledge.  Though widely rejected in its scope and organization, several of its chapters served as the basis of some of the particular problems that drew the attention of later thinkers.  Thus, this course concludes with brief considerations of the various philosophical movements of later modernity: Existentialism, Phenomenology, Analytical Philosophy, Hermeneutics, Deconstructionism, Pragmatism, etc.

PH 524 - Philosophy of Knowledge (Epistemology) (3)

This course focuses on St. Thomas’ account of the human knowledge, not merely according to various “mechanisms of cognition,” but in terms of its underlying metaphysical bases.  Thus, the focus is not merely on how we know, but what we are able to know.  This course seeks to highlight the insights of Aquinas’ approach by contrasting it with some of the more prominent alternatives in the Western tradition, most notably those of Plato, Augustine, Descartes, Locke, Kant, as well as those that share something of the Aristotelian heritage, e.g., Avicenna and Averroes.  In its analysis of the details of Aquinas’ account of human knowledge, it also considers how this might be contrasted with his assessments of significant alternative, particularly those of divine and angelic types of knowledge.

PH 526 - Philosophical Anthropology (3)

This course will offer a philosophical consideration of human nature. We will begin with an Aristotelian-Thomistic consideration of what nature is in general and how nature differs from art and technology. We will then proceed to consider ancient, medieval, and modern views of what human nature is, focusing on such issues as the relation of the mind to the body, the purpose of human life, and man’s relation to technology.

PH 554 - Philosophical Ethics (3)

This course will provide an overview of major ethical theories as discerned by natural reason. We will examine four schools of thought: virtue (eudemian) ethics, natural law theory, duty (deontological) ethics, and utilitarianism.  For each of these schools, we will focus on its views regarding such issues as the nature of human actions, the standards of right and wrong, and problems of moral judgment. Special attention will be paid to whether and how each theory may be compatible with Christian ethics.


SS 582 - Elementary Greek II (3)

Second course in a two-semester sequence: frequent exercises in reading and writing Greek. Reading of selected portions of the Greek New Testament and Attic prose.

SS 621 – Prophets of Israel (3)

An introduction to the prophetic books of the Old Testament, focusing on the three Major Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel), and the twelve Minor Prophets (The Book of the Twelve: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi). The final part of the course will briefly introduce the Book of Daniel and aspects of the reception of the Old Testament prophets in early Jewish and Christian tradition. Introductory questions to be considered include prophecy in the ancient Near East, the Former Prophets, the extent and canonical shaping of the prophetic corpus, the prophetic vocation, the prophet as mediator, teacher, and watchman, and the typological interpretation of history in Israelite prophecy.

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 645 - Johannine Writings (3)

This course offers an introduction to the Gospel of John, the Letters of John, and the Book of Revelation. Following a consideration of theories of authorship, dating, genre, and community regarding these works, each of the Johannine writings will be studied in terms of its historical, literary, and theological contexts with an emphasis on Christology, soteriology, and discipleship. Patristic and Thomistic readings will also be considered..

SS 650 - Pauline Letters (3)

This course provides an introduction to the life and letters of St. Paul through the study of Paul’s letters, the Acts of the Apostles, and some noncanonical texts. Introductory issues include the conversion, missionary work, and martyrdom of Paul, as well as the rhetorical aspects of ancient letters. The main part of the course focuses on a close study of each of the letters attributed to Paul in terms of early Christian communities and key theological ideas such as Christian anthropology, justification, grace, and eschatology.   Patristic readings of some of the letters will also be considered, as well as later traditions of Paul in the early church.

SS 672 - Introduction to Classical Hebrew II (3)

The second semester of an introduction to Biblical Hebrew using Basics of Biblical Hebrew by Pratico and Van Pelt.  Attention will be given to  completing the introductory grammar and preparing for the transition to reading texts from the Hebrew Bible.

SS 782 - Intermediate Greek II (3)

Review of grammar and syntax. Selected readings in Attic and Hellenistic texts, including biblical authors. Special attention given to increasing facility in reading and interpreting the Greek New Testament. Prerequisite: SS 582 - Elementary Greek II or the equivalent


ST 604 - Triune God (3)

This three-credit core course will consider God as He is in Himself, by undertaking a close reading of St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae I, qq. 2-43. Qq. 2-26 treat God’s existence and what concerns the divine essence, and qq. 27-43 deal with what concerns the distinction of divine persons, who share the divine essence.

ST 614 - Theology of Grace (3)

A brief Scriptural, systematic and historical entry into the theology of grace is followed by a detailed examination of the setting and path of the Summa Theologiae’s tract on grace.  Topics include the relationship of grace to law, nature and freedom; the kinds and causes of grace; the necessity and gratuity of grace; the Trinitarian indwelling and Uncreated Grace; justification and saving faith; merit in the perspective of God’s saving power; and grace as the dynamic and liberating principle of the Christian life.  Pivotal moments in the theological development of grace are studied, particularly Trent.  The course concludes with a synopsis of contemporary approaches to the theology of grace.  Prerequisites:  ST 601 - Nature and Method of Theology, ST 604 - The Triune God and ST 611 - Creation and the Human Person.

ST 636 - Sacraments of Penance and Anointing (3)

Theology Section: An introduction to the Economy of Salvation is followed by the scriptural basis and historical development of the theology of reconciliation, stressing the Church’s realization of its own nature to counter sin. The section on Anointing then moves through the history of the sacrament to conclude with the theology contained in the new rite. Canon Law Section: The canons dealing with the administration of the sacrament of Penance, and sanctions in the Church, followed by a pastoral practicum.  Students are given opportunities to function as confessors for a wide variety of practical cases, stressing the healing nature of the sacrament.

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 664 - Ecclesiology (3)

This course will examine the history of ecclesiology and church order from the Catholic and ecumenical perspective, as well as the contribution of St. Thomas. It will discuss the images of one Church in Lumen Gentium; models and church structure; memberships and ecumenism; clerical, religious and lay roles and their complementarity according to pertinent documents of Vatican II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

ST 768 Documents of Vatican II (3)

This elective course will explore key theological and pastoral themes in the sixteen documents of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council (1962 - 1965).  The course begins with a discussion of the stated objectives of Vatican II drawn from the preparatory and opening speeches of the Council and concludes with a discussion of the implementation of those objectives over the past four decades.

ST 822 Early Thomism (3)

This course will consider the initial reception of the work of Thomas Aquinas in the context of the condemnations at Paris (1277) and Oxford (1277, 1284, 1286) and his subsequent canonization (1323). Of particular interest will be a few key theses the defense of which distinguished Thomists from their opponents: the real distinction between existence and essence, the unicity of substantial form, the pure potentiality of prime matter, and the immateriality of spiritual creatures. Among the supporters of Thomas’ views whose texts will be examined are Giles of Rome, Richard Knapwell, Thomas Sutton, William Macclesfield and Hervé de Nédélec. Among the opponents to be studied are Robert Kilwardby, John Peckam and William de la Mare.

ST 824 – Thomism in Modernity: from Leo XIII to the Present (3)

This course examines the major movements in Thomistic studies from Leo XIII’s Aeterni patris to John Paul II’s Fides et ratio.  Topics include the ascendancy of Thomism in the response of the Magisterium to the challenges of Catholic philosophy in the nineteenth century, the Modernist controversies, the relationship of Thomism to other varieties of Catholic scholasticism (esp. Scotism and Suarezianism), the debates concerning “Christian philosophy” in the 1930s, Thomism and la nouvelle théologie, the Thomistic ressourcement, and late-twentieth-century varieties of Thomism.

ST 882 - Thomistic Seminar II (3)

This two-semester, three-hour intensive introduction to the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas and the philosophy undergirding it is designed for those seeking a grounding in Thomistic thought. The Summa Theologiae serves as the basic textbook to help guide the student systematically through basic philosophical concepts, theological method, and the theology of God, creation, human person, the moral life, law and grace.



MT 602 - Principles of Christian Moral Life II (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 612 - Cardinal and Moral Virtues (3)

A study of St. Thomas’s presentation of the four major virtues — prudence, justice, courage, and temperance — and their refinements which enable the human person successfully to engage others, self, and the universe in both Christian and natural settings. Close textual analysis of the Summa Theologiae is coupled with systematic presentation and assistance from contemporary authors.

MT 622 - Catholic Social and Sexual Teaching (3)

This course is divided into two halves under the overarching themes of human dignity and the virtuous life.  The first section begins with an historic survey of the treatment of the virtue of chastity and views on marriage in the Christian life from the writings of St. Paul through the treatment of St. Thomas Aquinas.  The course then examines the causes and effects of the sexual revolution in the twentieth century.  The first section concludes with the presentation of a comprehensive view of sexuality that responds to the contemporary challenges.  The second section of the course focuses on the principles of modern Catholic Social Doctrine.  Students will be given an overview of the social encyclical tradition that began with Rerum novarum and will see how the principles of Catholic Social Doctrine are both derived from human dignity and related to the traditional divisions of the virtue of justice.

MT 640 - Medical Moral Theology (3)

After an overview of the moral framework that guides Roman Catholic medical ethics, this course will continue with a moral analysis of such issues as hospital ethics committees, abortion, tube feeding, treatment of defective newborns, reproductive technologies, human embryo research, homosexuality, euthanasia, problems of stem cell research and cloning human beings.

MT 840 – Counsel, Conscience, and Casuistry (3)

This seminar examines the ways in which moral agents come to grips with the particularities that provide the settings for their difficult moral choices. The methodical study of these particularities has come to be known as casuistry. The Seminar will both examine the history of casuistry in the Church and look at contemporary practitioners. We will take up the work of James F. Keenan, Thomas A. Shannon, Albert R. Jonsen, Stephen Toulmin, and Robert Maryks for historical perspective and will read portions of Germain Grisez’s Difficult Moral Questions for contemporary application.



HS 502 - Reformation and Modern Church History (3)

Events and ideas leading to the Protestant Reformation, special focus on the Reformation and French Revolution, discussion of the Church in the United States, of immigration and anti-Catholicism, and an examination of the Church in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

HS 751 Bridging East and West: The History of Russian Catholicism (3)

This course surveys the history and development of Catholicism [in its broadest sense] in the territory of the modern Russian state.  Beginning with a brief overview of the distinctiveness of Russian theology and spirituality, the course will also investigate the foundations of Catholicism in Russia, the relations between the Orthodox and the Catholic Church, the relationship between Church and State in Russia, and the place of the Catholic Church in Russia today. 



HT 741 - Patristic Christology (3)

This seminar examines texts from key figures of the early Church whose thinking has profoundly influenced the way Christians believe in and celebrate the mystery of Jesus Christ. Such thinkers include Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Athanasius, Gregory of Nazianzus, Cyril of Alexandria, Leo the Great, and Maximus the Confessor. The teachings of the ancient ecumenical councils on Christ are also considered. In addition to studying primary texts, students are to give background reports on pertinent secondary literature in the field. The seminar concludes with presentations of student research papers on topics within the broad field of patristic Christology..

HT 750 - Celebration of the Mysteries: Introduction to Byzantine Liturgical Life (3)

This course will be an over view about out the Byzantine tradition celebrates life, death, resurrection, Eucharist, and community. Eucharist, Feasts, Icons, and Mysteries (Sacraments) are conveyors of the Good News of man and woman’s salvation. The activities of celebration will be studies and celebrated.  We will see how time is sanctified by Blessings, Liturgy, Fasts, movements and art. The Funeral Service will be looked upon as a Service of canonization (Canon) and consolation.



PS 572 - Communicating God’s Word (3)

Oral communication of Scripture and Liturgical Texts. The course is designed to develop a theology, methodology, and skill in communicating religious, scriptural, and liturgical texts. The course includes (1) oral interpretation of these texts, using video equipment and critique by teacher and class; (2) reports on assigned readings; (3) development of greater awareness of the importance of imagination, body, voice, and speech through particular exercises; and (4) self-evaluation and reflection on understanding of readings.

PS 603 - Supervised Ministry (3)

This course is designed to facilitate the development of essential pastoral skills through lectures and student presentations. Students will deepen their ability to understand the context of ministry through social analysis. They will learn how to assess ministerial needs and develop a method in ministry through the use of verbatim and case study. Students will learn how to develop an effective pastoral plan incorporating their particular gifts in response to ministerial needs. Particular attention will be given to the emerging ministerial identity of the student and their developing habit of theological reflection. Students will learn professional ethics, pastoral goal setting, and program evaluation. Prerequisite: PS 601- Introduction to Pastoral Ministry.

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 663 - Priesthood Practicum (3)

This course, taken in the semester before ordination, prepares for the practical experiences of priesthood. The pastoral nature of priestly ministry is reviewed. The Rites of Anointing, Marriage, Reconciliation and Christian Burial are examined, with an exploration of the pastoral sensitivities needed. Special focus is placed on the experiences of the newly ordained. There are discussions of various aspects of priestly ministry including liturgy, preaching, ministry with youth, styles of interaction with parishioners and staff, and the need for healthy living habits and a personal spirituality for the priest.

PS 672 - Preaching: Preparation and Presentation (3)

A laboratory which gives the preacher practical experience in constructing and delivering sermons and homilies. Video-taping and playback. Limited to 8. Pre-requisite: PS 671 - Theology and History of Preaching or by permission of professor.



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