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 Curriculum, Course Descriptions & Faculty | Faith Formation Trips | Library

 

 

INSTITUTE OF CATHOLIC STUDIES
 

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“'Faith Seeks Understanding': it is intrinsic to faith that a believer  desires to know better the One in whom he has put his faith, and to understand better what He has revealed; a more penetrating knowledge will in turn call forth a greater faith, increasingly set afire by love.” - CCC, #158

 
The Institute of Catholic Studies provides Mason and NVCC students with the opportunity to grow deeper in their intellectual understanding of the faith. Through college level courses, study trips, apologetic speakers and access to a faith library, students at a secular campus can round out their education with a serious look at the Catholic intellectual tradition.
 


 

CURRICULUM AND CATECHETICAL CERTIFICATION

Each semester, we will hire dynamic professors to teach a 6 week course specifically designed to challenge the student without interfering with their University course load. The class size will be kept to 15-20 students to foster discussion. A commitment to attendance and participation is expected for acceptance.
Some students who are interested in taking courses through ICS may want to consider working towards catechetical certification. This certification is helpful in preparing students for working or volunteering for the Church at the parish or in a Catholic school setting. The student must complete 50 hours of course work in order to receive a certificate. All students are certified by the bishop of the Diocese of Arlington.

 

 

Core courses (24 hours):

 Faith Foundations and Apologetics – PART I

 Faith Foundations and Apologetics – PART 2

  

Elective courses (24 hours):

Philosophical Foundations, Christian Morality, Old Testament, New Testament, Theology of the Body, Liturgy and Sacraments, others as offered and Faith Formation trips can also be used toward fulfilling elective requirements.

 

Lectures (2 hours):

 

The final two hours needed for certification can be earned by choosing Thursday Night Supper talks or other diocesan lectures that fit ICS requirements.  

 

 


 

Current Course Description:

Spring 2014: Faith Foundations & Apologetics - Part 2
______Time: Fridays, 3 pm – 5 pm, February 28; March 7, 21, 28; April 4, 11
______Location: HUB 1&2
______Application: Due Thursday, 2/20/2014

 

Course Description:

In this course we will explore the Sacraments. Topics will include: What is a Sacrament? What role do the Sacraments play in the Church and in the economy of salvation?; Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist; Sacraments of Healing: Penance and Reconciliation, and Anointing of the Sick; Sacraments at the service of communion and the mission of the faithful: Holy Orders, Matrimony; sacramentals, blessings, and religious symbols. In addition to lectures, the class will also be divided into small groups for apologetics discussions. This course is the second part of a two-part course.

Faculty:

 

ICS Stephen P. White Stephen P. White has been a Fellow in the Catholic Studies program at the Ethics and Public Policy Cente in Washington, DC since 2011. His work addresses the application of Catholic social teaching to a broad spectrum of contemporary public policy debates.  His essays and articles have appeared in National Review Online, The Huffington Post, First Things, The Washington Times, and Magnificat.  He has made a wide variety of media appearances including Fox News, BBC World News, and NPR.  Mr. White studied politics at the University of Dallas and philosophy at the Catholic University of America. He lives in Falls Church, VA with his wife and daughters.
Sister Clare Hunter Sister Clare Hunter, F.S.E., is a member of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist. Sister is the Director of the Respect Life Office for the Arlington Diocese. She has a bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communication and Media, from Southern Connecticut State University; a Masters in Theological Studies from the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, in Washington, D.C.; a Masters in Education Administration from the University of St. Thomas, in Houston, TX.

 


 

Previous Course Descriptions and Faculty:
 
Fall 2013: Faith Foundations & Apologetics

 

In this course we will use the Creed to study the fundamental doctrines of the Catholic Church.  It will be a broad survey course covering the following topics: Creation, the Fall, the Incarnation and Redemption, the Church, Discipleship, and the Four Last Things. The course will equip students to explain their faith to others and will be geared towards answering common questions, e.g. ‘Why is there evil in the world?’; ‘What’s up with evolution?’; ‘How can the Pope be infallible?’; etc. This course is part I of a two part course.
 
Faculty:
ICS Stephen P. White Stephen P. White has been a Fellow in the Catholic Studies program at the Ethics and Public Policy Cente in Washington, DC since 2011. His work addresses the application of Catholic social teaching to a broad spectrum of contemporary public policy debates.  His essays and articles have appeared in National Review Online, The Huffington Post, First Things, The Washington Times, and Magnificat.  He has made a wide variety of media appearances including Fox News, BBC World News, and NPR.  Mr. White studied politics at the University of Dallas and philosophy at the Catholic University of America. He lives in Falls Church, VA with his wife and daughters.

 


 


Spring 2013: Christian Marriage

The institution of marriage is a basic pillar of every society in history, yet today there are few institutions more controversial or contested. What does the Church teach about marriage? What does the culture believe? What should the state do? And how do all these pieces fit together? This course will examine contemporary marriage issues in three parts: 1) The fundamentals of Church teaching on marriage, including a discussion of the ends of marriage and what it means to say marriage is natural, and marriage is a sacrament. 2) A look at the current debate over same-sex marriage and its importance for politics, society, and culture. 3) A personal and vocational look at marriage, including a shared discussion of how to address difficult marriage issues in our contemporary culture settings.

Faculty:

___Stephen P. White   

 


 


Fall 2012: Theology of the Body

This course will provide an overview of Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. The course will use various texts including selections from Theology of the Body, Catechism, Scripture and Summa Theologiae. Discussion topics include: liberty and freedom; sexuality and gender; reproductive technology; art; and happiness. The course seeks to equip students with the tools to foster an adequate Christian anthropology in order to engage the “Culture of Death” and provide a “defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15)

 
Faculty:

silva
Deacon Marques Silva speaks and teaches frequently on topics related to Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body as well as Christian Leadership and Evangelization. He graduated with a BS from the Franciscan University of Steubenville and completed his diaconal studies through Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College. He is currently the Catholic Diocese of Arlington Director for Child Protection and Safety and assigned to St. Mary of Sorrows parish in Fairfax.  He is married with four children and has vast experience in youth and college outreach and evangelization ministry.

 


 
Fall 2011: Faith Foundations & Apologetics, Part I

In this course we will use the Creed to study the fundamental doctrines of the Catholic Church. It will be a broad survey course covering the following topics: Truth, Trinity, Creation, Evil, Incarnation, Church Authority, Salvation, Mary & the Saints. The course will equip students to explain their faith to others and will be geared towards answering common questions, e.g. ‘Why is there evil in the world?’; ‘What’s up with evolution?’; ‘How can the Pope be infallible?’; etc. This course is part one of a two part course.

Faculty:

Dave Glasow, PhD candidate

 


 


Spring 2012: Faith Foundations & Apologetics, Part II

In this course we will study the fundamental doctrines of the Catholic Church. It will be the a broad survey course covering the following topics: Baptism, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, Eucharist, Confession, Holy Orders, Marriage, Four Last Things.   The course will equip students to explain their faith to others and will be geared towards answering common questions, e.g. “Why do you have to tell your sins to a priest? Why do Catholics baptize babies? Why can't women be priests?" This course is part two of a two part course.

 Faculty:

daveglascow Mr. Glasow is a doctoral candidate at the Catholic University of America. His specialty is systematic theology with a concentration in Christology and Soteriology. He graduated with an MA from the Franciscan University of Steubenville and a BS in Political Science from James Madison University. Mr. Glasow currently teaches theology at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, VA. He is a member of the Youth Apostles Institute and has vast experience in youth and college ministry.

 


 

Spring 2011: Catholic Morality: Path to Happiness

In this course we will study the eight articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that teach on the dignity of the human person (#1699-1876).  The following topics will be covered: Imago Dei and happiness; freedom and intentionality; virtue; passions; conscience; sin.

Faculty:

william mattison 

Dr. Mattison was born in Brooklyn, NY and grew up in Long Island. After earning degrees at Georgetown University and Weston Jesuit School of Theology - and spending two years as a Catholic elementary school teacher - he pursued doctoral studies at the University of Notre Dame. During these years he was fortunate enough to study Thomistic moral theology under Dr. Jean Porter, and spend a year on a Fulbright Fellowship in Fribourg, Switzerland doing dissertation research under the guidance of Fr. Servais Pincakers, O.P. After obtaining his degree, he spent two years teaching at Notre Dame, and another two at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg, MD before his appointment at the Catholic University of America.Dr. Mattison researches and teaches in the area of fundamental moral theology, with a focus on virtue and the work of St. Thomas Aquinas. He is the author of the recently published Introducing Moral Theology: True Happiness and the Virtues (Brazos Press, 2008). He has articles in several peer-reviewed journals (including Theological Studies and the Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics) and chapters in several books. He is currently working on two books: Virtue, Happiness, and the Sermon on the Mount and Anger and Christian Ethics.

 


 

Fall 2010: Christian Philosophy 101

In this course we will discuss some of the most influential philosophical ideas of Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Boethius and St. Aquinas, and learn how their thoughts support our Catholic Faith.  Brief readings (3 pages per class) will be required, along with a willingness to discuss the texts and the reasons why we believe.  Topics covered include the nature of truth, proofs for God’s existence, the foundation of morality, and the relationship between faith and reason.  Come join the search for wisdom!

Faculty:

mike-miller Dr. Miller earned his Ph.D. in 2000 from Boston College, where he completed a dissertation In Defense of the Reconciliation of Divine Will and Human Freedom According to St. Thomas Aquinas.  His research continues to focus upon questions that investigate the nature of God, metaphysics, and human nature.  In addition to his published articles he edited Doing More with Life, a collection of essays from the perspective of various disciplines about the meaning of vocation.  Dr. Miller very much enjoys teaching the department's core courses, as well as various electives, including Medieval Philosophy, Metaphysics, and Islamic Philosophy, a Now-West course in the Curriculum.  Dr. Miller currently holds the Monsignor Robert R. Kline Chair of Philosophy.  He joined the department in 2002.

 


 

Faith Formation Trips:
 
We’ll be driving to Washington, DC to stay at Centro Maria, the convent of the Religious Sisters of Mary Immaculate, which is situated behind the Dominican House of Studies and near the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.  We will be exploring Catholic culture through history lectures, art, chant, food, liturgy, prayer and community life.  We’ll also have fun, relaxed evenings, lively discussions, and plenty of hang out time. Here is a link to all our Alternitive Spring Break trips.
  
 
Previous Faith Formation Trips:
 
2011 & 2012 Community of St. John, Princeville, IL
We’ll drove to Princeville, IL to enter into the life of the Community of St. John. The brothers and sisters will be hosting us during our faith formation week which will include classes in philosophy and theology, prayer throughout the day, and fellowship. And had the opportunity to enter into the timeless beauty of religious life, joining the monks in daily prayer, chanting and an atmosphere of silence. We also had fun, relaxed evenings, lively discussions, plenty of hang out time and a day trip to local attractions. I invite you to check out the Community of St. John website so you can get a better sense of the community we will be staying with: http://www.communityofstjohn.com/.