of Sacred Science:
Theology Courses for Teachers of Religion
From a 1958 brochure
The Sacred Science
program was founded in 1939 with the goal of providing further instruction for
"Religious Brothers, Sisters and Lay teachers who are in charge of the
sacred duty of teaching Religion in our schools," according to a 1948
booklet about the program.
The students would take courses in a five summer cycle, with a new cycle beginning every sixth summer. Students chose one of three concentrations (Historical, Doctrinal, Practical) then chose a major advisor and a thesis topic. Their courses were then picked to center around their chosen concentration and thesis topic. Courses were offered in five groups.
1. Apologetics and Dogmatic Theology
2. General and Special Introduction to S[acred]. Scripture; Exegesis; Patrology
and Christian Literature; Course in Scientific Training
3. The History of the Catholic Church
4. Liturgy; Sacramental Theology; Canon Law for Religious
5. Moral Theology; Ascetical Theology; Catechetics
Students took fundamental courses during the first summer and were advised to start the program at the beginning of a cycle, however provisions could be made for students who needed to begin the program mid-cycle.
According to the June, 1942 Graduate Bulletin the purpose of the Sacred Science program was, "to afford teaching Sisterhoods and members of the laity an opportunity of broadening and deepening their knowledge of Religion and of acquiring a scientific and scholarly understanding of the teaching of the Church. For this reason it is designed to cover, in general outline and method, the traditional theological curriculum. While the general scope embraces every branch of theology, each course aims at concentrating upon specific subjects or theses."
Below is a list of classes for the first four summers of the 1958 cycle:
In 1958 Sacred Science students paid only $7.50 per credit hour. This was a 50% reduction of the regular cost per credit hour, because most students in the program were members of the Religious. Below is the fee list for 1958.
The Sacred Science Department saw quick growth in its first years and by the 1970s the program included about 130 students. Below is a pamphlet from 1971, advertising the Sacred Science program.