Saint John the Evangelist Seminary
504: Marriage and Holy Orders
In the Catholic tradition, marriage and holy orders have been treated
together as “sacraments of vocation,” while recent theological
reflection and church teaching have emphasized how both flow from the
call of baptism. This course introduces students to the history,
liturgical celebration, and current issues surrounding the sacraments of
marriage and holy orders. It presents marriage within the broader
context of Christian commitment and holy orders within the context of
Christian ministry and discipleship. Questions concerning church (What
is the role of community in our relating to God?), sacrament (What are
these realities imbued with the hidden presence of God?), and vocation
(Who am I in God's plan for me?) are raised throughout the course.
(1) To introduce students to the Catholic tradition of theological
reflection on and the liturgical celebration of the sacraments of
marriage and holy orders.
(2) To explore together in a constructive way the theological categories
of sacrament, vocation, baptism, relationship, and ministry.
(3) To improve students’ ability to think critically and communicate
The Rule of St. Benedict in English,
Joan D. Chittister,
Wisdom Distilled from the Daily (1990).
Michael G. Lawler,
Marriage and Sacrament: A Theology of Christian Marriage (1993).
Thomas F. O’Meara,
Theology of Ministry (1999).
expected to utilize Skype for all classes.
responses to the readings will occasionally be assigned.
Non-cumulative exams will be given RBA
One 6-8 page
research paper. Proposal due date to be determined once class has
COURSE SCHEDULE AND
2. Doing Theology
3. Introduction to the Sacraments of
Rule of St. Benedict
• Chittister, 208-212
Introduction to the Sacraments of Vocation II
5. God: The Starting Point
Part II: Marriage and Relationships
Marriage: Starting Point
Marriage as Sacrament I
Marriage as Sacrament II
Marriage in the
Bible ***Compare and Contrast
“Song of Solomon” Available online
Marriage in the Tradition
The Rite of Marriage I
Handouts provided by instructor.
The Experience of Marriage
8. Marriage and Sexuality
• Paul VI, Humanae Vitae [CP
• Richard McCormick, “Humanae Vitae
25 Years Later” [CP 63-70]
Issues: Divorce and Remarriage I
• Lawler, 75-97
Bring jurisdictional Canon Law of Marriage to class.
Issues: Divorce and Remarriage
II ***Research Proposal Due***
(Mid-Term Course Evaluation)
Part III: Holy Orders and Ministry
1. Ministry: Starting Point
2. Ministry in the Church Today
3. What Is Ministry?
4. Ministry in the
***Research Paper Due***
5. Ministry in the Tradition I
• O’Meara, 80-138
6. The Rite of Ordination
7. Experience in Ministry
8. Issues: Clerical Culture I
•Opening the Doors to the Table
-The Inclusification of the Priesthood
within the Autocephaleous Catholic movement
9. Issues: Clerical Culture II
Clerical Sex Abuse Scandal and Plague of Player Priests within the ACM
10. Ministry as Vocation
• O’Meara, 199-210