The Theology Department is a central and integral part of Alverno High School. We believe that people encounter God in their everyday activities; it is our goal as religious educators to promote the awareness of God’s presence and encourage the interaction of God’s grace and our free response. The Theology Department prepares the students to go forth as living examples of service, community building and faith. There is an ecumenical spirit in our Catholic school which serves those of different Christian denominations, Orthodox traditions, Islamic and other faiths.

Chair: Katharine Guerrero, M.Ed., Whittier College


Scripture (Ninth Grade): The purpose of this course is to give students a general knowledge and appreciation of the Sacred Scriptures. Through their study of the Bible they will learn its value to people throughout the world. This course introduces students to the Catholic Christian method of interpreting scripture. Students examine the sacred texts in the light of faith, history, literary style, and revelation. In so doing, students discover the beautiful story of the unfolding covenantal relationship between God and humankind, culminating in Jesus.

Christology (Ninth Grade): The purpose of this course is to continue a study of the person, ministry, and message of Jesus as it is disclosed in the Gospels. Emphasis will also be placed on the social implications and challenges of the Gospel as they relate to the Christian in modern society. We will examine some of the great theologians throughout Church history and how they viewed Jesus.

Spiritual Life (Tenth Grade): In this class, students examine the nature and practices of the Catholic Church and the importance of community in one’s faith development. Students encounter spiritual practices that will help them develop their faith and spirituality. This course introduces the art and science of Theology, particularly through an examination of women’s experience and relationship with God.

Ecclesiology (Tenth Grade):  We examine the way Jesus’ mission continues in the Church, and what it means to be a person of faith in the contemporary world. This class examines the structure of the Church and considers the lives of great people of faith in modern history.

Sacramental Theology (Eleventh/Twelfth Grade):  Students explore the theology and praxis of the Sacraments, especially the history of the Mass. This class includes an examination of the role of symbol and meaning and how sacred rituals are celebrated.

Morality and Social Justice (Eleventh Grade):  This course begins with a review of the basic concepts of Christian morality. Students then move on to a study of the social justice teachings of the Catholic Church, with an emphasis on recent church documents. Social justice teachings of other religions are also considered, in view of their role in solving current social issues. The Church’s role in providing moral leadership in society will be examined, both historically and in the present day.

Christian Lifestyles (Twelfth Grade):  This course challenges students to go forth in the world and make a difference by viewing contemporary life through various spiritual, philosophical, theological and psychological perspectives. Particular emphasis is placed on the role of relationships in the continuing development of the healthy human being.

World Religions (Eleventh/Twelfth Grade):  This study of the major World Religions focuses on developing a knowledge base and sense of understanding, leading to an appreciation for the diversity present in the world community. Approached from the Catholic perspective, which encourages dialogue with other faiths, we attempt to see how understandings of God, creation, good and evil, spirituality, and religious practice shape our perspectives and those of our neighbors. This course also focuses on an appreciation of religious art forms and the cultures they represent.

Campus Ministry (Elective):  Designed to increase student appreciation of Catholic faith and to help the student body have meaningful worship experiences, this course makes students responsible for planning and implementing school liturgies, prayer and reconciliation services, and community service projects. Students are trained in lectoring and proclaiming scripture through words and action. Students who have already been confirmed may be trained as Eucharistic ministers.  Prerequisites:  Application and Department Approval.

Christian Service (Elective):  This class is designed for students who are passionate about social justice issues and seek to serve others. Members of the class also organize service projects that the entire student body participates in and provides opportunities for off campus service as well. Prerequisites:  Application and Department Approval.

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