ConscienceCourse Level: Basic

Course Summary

Helping the student see morality as a response to the universal call to holiness and as a response to the invitation of eternal life with God, this introductory course relies heavily on the Scriptures, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and Richard Gula's Moral Discernment to explore the theology and the process of moral decision-making.

Successful completion of this course earns 2.5 CEU's. Click here for more information about CEU's.

General Course Objectives

  • Name and identify the steps used to make a moral decision
  • Understand the role of the Church, natural law and Scripture in making moral decisions
  • Describe and identify the role of the super-ego and the ideal ego in forming a conscience
  • Come to a deeper understanding of the nature of sin
  • Name and define social sin
  • Identify three interests people use to approach moral decision-making

Course Materials

  • Required Book: National Directory for Catechesis USCCB Publishing ISBN: 1574554433; ISBN-13: 978-1574554434
  • Required Book: Gula, Richard SS. Moral Discernment Paulist Press, Mahwah, NJ. 1997 ISBN: 0809137348; ISBN-13: 978-1574554434

Course Structure and Highlights

  • Week 1: What is a Conscience and How Do I Form My Own
    • Distinguish between super-ego and conscience
    • Identify the process of making a moral decision
    • Identify the goal of morality
    • Understand how a conscience is formed
  • Week 2: Making Moral Decisions: Foundations and Resources
    • Understand the basics of reasoning when making a moral decision
    • Understand the role Scripture has in making a moral decision
    • Understand the role Natural Law has in making a moral decision
    • Understand the role the Church has in making a moral decision
    • Understand the role of non-religious sources in making a moral decision
  • Week 3: Sin, Individual and Social
    • Define "sin"
    • Reflect on the reality and nature of social sin
  • Week 4: The Conscience Overcoming Sin and Securing the Good
    • Understand the God-given nature and destiny of human beings
    • Understand how God’s grace heals and helps us in our freedom to repent from sin and choose the good and a path to virtue and holiness
    • Understand how the above, coupled with respect for the human person and solidarity, overcomes social sin
    • Gain a general idea of the human process of moral decision making applied generally to any situation
  • Week 5: Concluding Pastoral Questions
    • Conduct an overview of the essentials of pastoral moral guidance
    • Understand the content and importance of the Sacrament of Reconciliation