Clinical Pastoral Education
Areas of Study
The discipline of biblical studies is concerned with the Old and New Testaments as the inspired and normative foundation of the Christian faith. The Bible contains the story of divine revelation in human history. It has also profoundly influenced our culture throughout the ages. When you study biblical texts at CTC, you will examine the meaning and theology of the Bible from a variety of perspectives. You will discover the biblical message in its original historical context, and you will reflect on its significance for modern theology and culture. CTC offers two kinds of biblical units. Foundational units introduces students to the world of the Bible and to modern biblical interpretation. The foundational units are supplemented by more advanced studies of the literature of both Testaments. You can study the prophetic books or the Gospels as well as other types of biblical literature towards awards or for personal development. As a key foundation of theology, the biblical studies programme at CTC enables students to become better equipped at understanding the role of the Bible in every area of theological study.
Christian Spirituality opens up for us the treasures of the Catholic tradition from the earliest times to the present day – including such well-known and popular figures as Hildegard of Bingen, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross. Spirituality seeks to appreciate how the Spirit enlivens the Christian. The Spirit in-spires the individual, enabling one to become like Christ as a child of God. This inspiration can be experienced in the simplicity of a humble prayer and the profundity of mystical contemplation. The same process of inspiration takes place in the whole body of believers gathered in the liturgical assembly, as we become more like Christ, manifesting to others the fruits of his Spirit – ‘love, joy, peace …’ This is theology as a lived experience. In an age when spirituality is often understood as something eclectic and individualist, unrelated to Church, the study of spirituality at CTC opens some of the great treasures of the Christian tradition. Being able to move freely up and down the Christian centuries, one discovers something of the true freedom of the children of God. Enriched by this tradition, Christian Spirituality is not confined to personal growth, but issues forth in witness and service to others.
Specialised Spirituality Degrees
Christians believe they are called and enlivened by the Spirit of Christ. Church history studies how people have sought to put their Christian belief into practice, and is therefore concerned with spirituality as much as theology. The study of history has greatly shaped the expression of the Catholic teaching, the sacramental life of faith, diverse liturgical traditions and impacted ecclesiastical architecture and the built landscape of countries and cultures. Church historians gather and analyse evidence, so as to understand why people acted as they did, and how these actions have shaped our present. History is thus part of our collective memory and the historians task is to tell the story of faith throughout the ages. Gathering evidence and telling the story of faith is an act of historical imagination. At the opening of the Second Vatican Council in 1962, Pope John XXIII stated that ‘history is the teacher of life’. Thus Church history is an interesting and endlessly fascinating field of study. We meet towering figures such as St Augustine and other great pastors and teachers of the patristic era; St Catherine of Siena, monastic reformers, mystics and missionaries, great popes and influential thinkers such as St John Henry Newman. We explore our rich 2,000 year Christian tradition and examine particular periods such as Byzantium, the development of the Church in Australia and the role of Ecumenical Councils in the life of the Church.
Footsteps of Faith: Encountering the Christian Tradition Study Tour
The Humanities play a significant and supportive role in the study of theology. At CTC we focus on those disciplines that directly assist the theological task. Studying the Bible in its original languages of Hebrew and Greek can greatly enrich a student’s understanding of the biblical foundations of theology. Such tasks as reading the text in the language of composition, undertaking textual research, and deciding critically on the most appropriate English version of an expression can be stimulating and enriching. The student comes to a greater appreciation of sacred scripture as the inspired Word of God. The study of Latin enables the student to come to a more confident understanding of significant Church texts, from the works of Church fathers such as Augustine, to the documents of the Second Vatican Council and more recent Church pronouncements.
The whole of Catholic worship is directed to God with, in, and through Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. At the heart of our worship are the elements of praise and thanksgiving to God for all of God’s gifts and above all for the gift of Jesus Christ who is made present in the liturgy through word and sacrament. The liturgy is, of its very nature, both an encounter with the living God and an expression of the faith of the Church. In other words, what the Church celebrates in the liturgy (lex orandi) is also what it believes (lex credendi). As source and summit of the Church’s life, the liturgy is also the “fount” from which the Church’s power flows. A study of the Church’s liturgical practice and tradition reveals how those who engage in worship are not mere passive spectators but rather active participants in the work of redemption. The whole Church celebrates the liturgy for its own sanctification to the glory of God. Celebrating here on earth the mysteries of Christ, the liturgy is a foretaste of that heavenly liturgy in which we all hope to share. A theology of the liturgy enables students to see that a study of liturgy is not simply an academic or theoretical exercise but rather an opportunity to more fully understand the very nature of the liturgy as actually “doing theology.”
Moral Theology is the area of theology that explores questions about the implications of Christian faith for our lives. It has been claimed that if theology is ‘faith seeking understanding’, then Moral Theology is ‘faith seeking understanding as a way of life’. To this end the sources of Moral Theology include theological studies in fields such as Sacred Scripture, Christology, Theological Anthropology, Ecclesiology, and the resources of Philosophy. Fundamentally this discipline is concerned with Christian life: ‘our vocation in Christ and our obligation to bring forth fruit in charity for the life of the world’ (Optatam Totius 16). As such it offers students an opportunity to reflect critically on the challenges and obligations of Christian faith in the context of life and ministry.Specific areas studied explored include:
- Moral Conscience and its formation
- Marriage, Family and Human Sexuality
- The Social Teaching of the Church and its implications for our lives as Christians
- Bioethics and Healthcare in the context of the Christian Tradition
Graduate Certificate in Ageing
Navigating Ageing Project
Pastoral Studies is concerned with applying theological studies to teaching and ministry, and is particularly suited for students who are involved in or preparing for pastoral ministry. Dedicated units assist students to reflect on the psychological and anthropological aspects of ministry. In Religious Education units, students learn the theory of communicating faith, and the stages of faith development in an Australian ecclesial and social context.
Students can also apply for credit towards their studies for supervised pastoral practice in approved units of Clinical Pastoral Education.
Studying Philosophy will confront you with perennial questions about the human person, the world and God that have fascinated great thinkers for over 3,000 years. From the probing and enquiring mind of Socrates, to the lofty visions of Augustine and Aquinas – from the radical challenge of Descartes and Hume in the Enlightenment, to critique of Nietzsche and the unsettling postmodernism of Heidegger and recent continental thinkers in the last hundred years. The Philosophy program at CTC will introduce you to these figures, and the questions they continue to pose to us. It will enable you to engage in rational enquiry and reflection both on the Christian tradition, and on contemporary issues that confront us in our secular world.
Theology has been described as “faith seeking understanding” (St Anselm of Canterbury). Systematic Theology studies the great mysteries of the Christian faith, leading us to an ever-deeper appreciation and understanding of the person of Christ. Building on the solid foundation of Biblical Studies, Systematic Theology holds in creative tension a profound commitment to the Revelation of God made known to us in Christ, a deep sense of the living Tradition we have inherited, and an urgent commitment to proclaim the message of life to the world in which we live. In this way, we seek to understand our faith so that we can share this gift with others and contribute to the “building up of the Body of Christ” (cf., Ephesians 4:12). At Catholic Theological College, students of systematic theology are invited to enter into an exciting journey of discovery as they study the great themes of Christian faith, including: Creation, Revelation, the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Church, the Sacraments, and Eschatology. Along the way, students acquire skills they need to continue the journey with confidence, long after their formal studies are completed.