Introduction to Practical MoralityCourse Level: Intermediate

Course Summary

This course is designed to provide participants with knowledge of the foundations of moral theology and conscience formation. A focal point for the course will be an understanding of the human being's relationship with God who created us in His image and likeness and what that means for moral living. The sacred and social and dimensions of being human will be explored. Participants will learn a process for moral decision-making and will practice applying the process in practical life situations.†

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

General Course Objectives

  • Participants will expand their knowledge and deepen their understanding of Moral Theology and the foundations of morality in the context of Sacred Scriptures, Church Tradition and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This knowledge and understanding will lead the participants to more responsible moral action.
  • Participants will learn a process for moral decision-making and will practice using the process to acquire and enhance the skills required to make responsible moral decisions in specific life situations.
  • Participants will continue to mature in their Catholic Christian formation and life of discipleship as they study and reflect on how the Commandments and the Beatitudes affect conscience formation.

Course Materials

  • Required Book: Gula, Richard M., S.S. Reason Informed by Faith Paulist Press, 1989 ISBN: 0809130661; ISBN-13: 978-0809130665
  • Required Book: Conners, Russell B. Jr., PhD. Christian Morality: In the Breath of God ISBN: 0829417222; ISBN-13: 978-0829417227
  • Required Book: USCCB National Directory for Catechesis ISBN: 1574554433; ISBN-13: 978-1574554434

Course Structure and Highlights

  • Week 1: Introduction to Catholic Morality
    • Participants will deepen their faith in God who created human beings out of love, formed them in Godís own image and likeness and who endowed them with the ability to freely respond to Godís love.
    • Participants will expand their knowledge and deepen their understanding of moral theology as they learn the foundations and basic principles of Christian morality.
    • Participants will learn how their human dignity empowers them to use their reason and free will in making moral choices as well as the responsibility involved in making decisions.
  • Week 2: Types of Laws
    • Participants will develop a working knowledge of law in general. They will develop an understanding of the differences among Natural Law, Moral Law, Civil Law and Ecclesiastical Law.
    • Participants will reflect upon the counter-cultural aspects of living as disciples of Jesus Christ by using the Commandments and the Beatitudes as guides for moral living.
    • Participants will identify basic moral principles and apply these to assess the morality of human actions in a moral decision-making process.
  • Week 3: Conscience Formation
    • Participants will learn a process for making moral decisions.
    • Participants will realize the necessity of having both a formed and informed conscience in order to freely make moral decisions in everyday situations.
    • Participants will understand how the practice of the Theological and Cardinal Virtues assists them in their efforts to live as moral human beings.
  • Week 4: Case Study Method for Moral Decision-Making
    • Participants will reflect on the challenge of living a life of discipleship in a pluralistic society with cultures that conflict with their belief system.
    • Participants will appreciate that they are social as well as sacred human beings capable of making moral decisions that have a positive affect on a social order that is counter to Christianity.
    • Participants will practice the process of moral decision-making in specific life situations using
  • Week 5: Godís Love Invites Conversion
    • Participants will discuss sensitive life situations in an open, respectful environment.
    • Participants will apply what they have learned during this course through an analysis of a specific life issue of their choice.
    • Participants will understand that sin is part of our fallen nature and that ongoing reconciliation and conversion are essential to their growth in discipleship.