Religious Studies

The Religious Studies Department leads each student through an examination of faith issues that begins with universals and moves toward particulars, from broad concepts and ideals toward questions of individual choice and commitment to religious values.  Referring to the person of Jesus Christ and to the model of St. Ignatius, students gain a better understanding both of the tenets and values of the Catholic Church and of the philosophy of the Society of Jesus.

Framed against a student’s human development and his religious journey, the course of study in religion is designed to help students understand the importance of making healthy moral choices and establish and articulate a framework for decision-making.  Religious Studies offer students the basic skills for the proper interpretation of Scripture and provide students with the opportunity to reflect upon their own call to be Christians, especially with regard to their future adult lives. Courses in religion are required in each of a student's years in the Upper School.

Available Courses

Items with (*) are electives

Grade 6

Religion 06: "Creed"

This course begins a student's journey into a better understanding of faith as a response to the divine revelation of God. In this course, students focus on the creed or what we believe as a people of faith following in the tradition of Sacred Scripture, Apostolic Tradition, and the model of Jesus Christ. Who am I? What do I believe? What do others believe? These questions are the principle factors for our students and the foundation for our curriculum. This course also gives students an introduction to St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits.

Grade 7

Religion 07: "The New Testament"

This course provides students with the opportunity to encounter the person of Christ in the New Testament, studied within the overall context of God's revelation in both Scripture and Sacred Tradition. It moves from an examination of the nature of Scripture itself into a study of Jesus'; life, death and resurrection and of the early Christian community. Students are invited to examine the place of Scripture in their own lives.

Grade 8

Religion 08: "Church History"

Beginning with the apostolic age and the age of persecution, students are introduced to the accomplishments of men and women of faith throughout the centuries. The successes and difficulties that the Church has faced, both within and without, are studied, but always with a view to help our students of today face the challenges of their own time. Students share in prayer experiences and individual and communal service projects that enable them to experience a clearer identity of themselves as well as enrich the Church through their faith and service.

Available Courses

Items with (*) are electives

Grade 9

Religion 09: "Morality"

As part of the student's religious journey and human development, this course is designed to help students understand the importance of making healthy moral choices. Students are introduced to a model of moral decision making that recognizes them as created by and in relationship with God and others. Adolescence is a period of dramatic changes, questions concerning this important time will be discussed. Jesus and St. Ignatius of Loyola, in particular, are studied as central models for the moral dimension of a life of faith. Students are challenged to evaluate the moral goodness of their own decisions and beliefs as well as the moral goodness of the world in which they operate.

Grade 10

Religion 10: "Path Through Scripture"

This course offers students basic skills for the intelligent interpretation of the Bible, which is covered in its entirety. Students become skilled in accessing and consulting the Scriptures, understanding basic historical and other contextual tools of interpretation, recognizing the great biblical metaphors that speak to our faith journey, identifying the scriptural roots of Catholic social teaching, and learning to pray and meditate with scriptures.

Grade 11

Religion 11: "The Quest for the Divine"

This junior elective course offers students a chance to examine some of the crucial questions confronting man and his quest to understand or experience the Divine. The questions and concepts presented allow the student to further develop his personal belief system. In the context of their life at Loyola, including academic, social, extra-curricular and personal endeavors, students are given an opportunity to assimilate their views concerning God. Step-by-step, students consider the essential questions concerning the existence of God, the nature of God, and a personal relationship with God. Students have the opportunity to read, write, and articulate their thoughts and beliefs about God.

Religion 11: "Introduction to Philosophy"

This Junior elective investigates the classic areas of philosophic thought. The nature of philosophy is about inquiry, and students are challenged to examine certain areas of philosophy. The classroom should become a place where students are able to ask and answer one another's questions. This course attempts to allow basic philosophic thought to be accessible to the high school thinker. This study includes exposure to the greatest thinkers in the history of human thought. The ultimate goal is to enhance the student's journey towards faith development through an expansion of his worldview.

Religion 11: "Catholic Social Thought"

This course investigates the areas of our world that are often avoided or left hidden away, such as hunger, poverty, ecological issues, war and violence. These issues are studied using the seven principles of Catholic Social Thought. As students become familiar with the social teaching of the Catholic Church, they apply the seven principles to real-world problems and propose solutions to these problems. This process encourages genuine reflection about justice in our world today.

Grade 12

Religion 12: "World Religions"

A brief scanning of the daily news headlines demonstrates the fact that we live in a global village. Not only at the level of international affairs, but also at the very local and interpersonal level, we encounter more and more persons who hold religious beliefs different from our own. Understanding these religions is a crucial factor in establishing and maintaining the peace and harmony so necessary for life on our planet in the 21st century. This course equips the student with a knowledge of several major world religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Islam and Christianity. It provides an insight into the very nature of religious traditions, including an examination of those religious questions which are ultimately human questions (e.g. What is the human condition and how do we transcend it, attaining salvation? What is our destiny? What is the nature of the world? What is ultimate Reality and how is it revealed?).

Religion 12: "Understanding Our Ethical Decisions"

The focus of this course is two-fold. The first is to assist, challenge and support the student in his struggle for living in light of the Gospel. The second is to equip students with a systematic approach to making ethical decisions. To this end, there is a heavy emphasis on several areas: the process of self-discovery, the philosophical genesis of Ethics (Aristotle, Plato, and Kant, among others), the investigation into the nature of human beings (good vs. evil), the nature of sin and the discussion of the development of one's conscience in both personal (sexual ethics, drug & alcohol use, life- choices) and communal ethics (bioethics, abortion, business ethics, war).

Religion 12: "Ignatian Spirituality"

Along with an extensive study of St. Ignatius of Loyola, this course investigates the history of the Society of Jesus and Ignatian Spirituality. Ignatian tradition is discussed and examined through the contributions of the Jesuits in areas such as the arts, the sciences, education, and history. Different perspectives will be offered through a variety of guest lecturers. Students will be invited to an experience in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. This is a unique opportunity to expand and challenge a student's personal faith development.

Religion 12: "The Spirituality of Competition"

When you play touch football with your friends or watch the Dons play on Hargaden Field or go to a Raven's game are you participating in a Religious Ritual? You are, and you may never have realized it. The fact that you love it so much is a hint that something special is going on. So why are sports a Religious experience? They are Religious experiences partly because of the wonderful virtues being celebrated whenever you give yourself to a game. Virtues such as beauty, excellence, imagination, intelligence, teamwork, and discipline are all present when sport is at its best. These virtues are the things we are meant to live by, the things that are meant to grow in our souls. Playing sports can help to make them thrive within us. This course will explore how and why this takes place whenever we are lost in the game.



Department Chair

Joe Mohler




John E. Ames, Jr.
B.A., Loyola University Maryland; M.S., University of Baltimore

J. Howard Ford (2001)
B.A., LaSalle University

Benjamin P. Horgan (2011)
B.A., Bates College

William R. Kennedy (1986)
B.A., Towson University; M.A., St. Mary’s Seminary

R. Patrick Maggio (1999)
B.A., University of Maryland Baltimore County; M. Div., Christian Bible School & Seminary (Missouri)

Joseph Michini, S.J.
Chaplain; M.A., Fordham University; M. Div., Weston School of Theology

Joseph P. Mohler (1991)
B.A., Salisbury University; M.A., Boston College

Amy L. Philipp (1997)
B.A., Dunbarton College of the Holy Cross

Sebastian R. Price (2010)
B.A., Wheeling Jesuit University

Frederick H. D. Wise (2001)
B.A., St. Hyacinth College and Seminary; S.T.B., La Pontificia Facolta San Bonaventura (Rome); D.Min., Graduate Theological Foundation (Indiana)