ConscienceCourse Level: Basic

Course Summary

What does the Church require of us? How is our conscience formed? This basic level course helps students perceive morality as a response to the universal call to holiness, a response to the invitation of eternal life with God. Using selected readings from Church documents and accomplished authors, we will explore the theology and 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

  • Learn to differentiate authentic conscience from the superego
  • Gain appreciation for the formation of conscience
  • Explore the Process of Conscience in Christian Morality
  • Consider conscience in documents of the Catholic Church
  • Understand the work of the Holy Spirit in matters of judgment and conscience

Course Materials

  • No books required. All readings are online.

Course Structure and Highlights

  • Week 1: What is Moral Conscience
    • Learn and differentiate what is meant by moral conscience and the superego
    • Gain an appreciation for the sanctity of personal conscience as opposed to the superego
    • Gain an understanding of what moral conscience is in the theological tradition.
  • Week 2: Formation of Conscience
    • Consider relevant factors and reasoning that go into making a sound moral judgement
    • Gain an understanding of sources for the development of moral wisdom
    • Gain an appreciation for the development of character as it applies to making right moral judgements
  • Week 3: Christian Morality and the Process of Conscience
    • Gain an understanding of conscience as a capacity, a process, and a judgment
    • Gain an appreciation for what the word conscience means
    • Gain an understanding of practical steps to take when discerning a moral question
  • Week 4: Hierarchical Church Teaching on Conscience
    • Learn what the Church says about the dignity of moral conscience and the excellence of freedom
    • Gain appreciation for the “judgment of conscience”
    • Learn what the Church says about Conscience and Truth, in Veritatis Splendor
  • Week 5: Conscience and the Holy Spirit
    • Understand conscience as human
    • Understand conscience as a judgment about oneself and the truth of one’s being in the world, as one understands that truth
    • Gain an understanding of how the Holy Spirit works with us in arriving at truth in judgment