Course Code: RGT3410HF 



Fall 2016
Tuesday 14:00 – 16:00



Course Description

This course will provide an introduction to the theology of the Church and the Church’s understanding of itself as a principal mediator of the mystery and grace of God in the world.

The approach of the course will be threefold: 1) a study of the historical development of ecclesial structures with special emphasis on understanding the ecclesiology of the second Vatican Council. This will include, a discussion of some pertinent issues arising from the Council such as the magisterium, collegiality, and ministry; 2) an understanding of the diverse ‘theologies’ of Church through some of the primary images and models in which it understands itself; and 3) an attempt to understand the ecumenical emphasis of Vatican II that has given rise to a renewed interest in interdenominational—interreligious dialogue, mission and inculturation, and the emergence of contextual approaches such as the feminist and liberationist methodologies.

Course Objectives

Basic Degree:

  • Students will be able to identify basic terms and themes in ecclesiology for students moving toward comprehensive exams and those wanting a basic introduction to the theology of the Church
  • Students will become familiar with some of the principle players in contemporary ecclesiological reflection
  • Students will be able to reflect critically on the foundations for a systematic ecclesiology
  • Students will be able to identify some of the methodological issues involved for a post-Vatican II theology of Church and the advancement of the social teaching of the Church



Advanced Degree:

  • Students will begin to understand the historical and theological underpinnings of the Church’s self-constitution, nature and mission
  • Student’s will be able to critically engage principal authors in ecclesiology
  • Students will creatively engage some of the tensions arising from this paradigm shift in the Church’s self-understanding at Vatican II
  • Students will learn various methodologies of some of the prominent ecclesiologies
  • Students will be able to write a book review and work towards a scholarly published research

Course Schedule

A detailed course schedule is available for download.

Week 1

Definitions, Introduction To Models Of Church, Towards A Systematic Ecclesiology

Week 2

The Church Of The New Testament – Models: Church As Sacrament

Week 3

The Church In The Early And Middle Ages – Models: Church As Mystical Communion

Week 4

The Divided Church: Eastern Schism/ Protestant reformation – Models: Church as Herald/ Trent

Week 5

The Authorative Church: Infallibility – Models: Church As Institution/ Mohler’s Two Ecclesiologies

Week 6

Vatican Council II: Lumen Gentium – Models: Community Of Disciples

Week 7

The Social Church: Vatican Council Ii: Church In The Modern World – Models: Church As Servant

Week 8

The Church As One And Many, Marks Of The Church

Week 9

The Charismatic Church: Ministry And Mission

Week 10

The Church in Dialouge: Foundations for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue

Week 11

Political Ecclesiologies: Feminist/Liberation

Week 12

Inculturation, Role of Mary and Finality of the Church