Philosophy and Goals
The human spirit must be cultivated in such a way that there results a growth in its ability to wonder, to understand, to contemplate, to make personal judgments, and to develop a religious, moral, and social sense.
-Vatican Council II, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, No. 59
During their years at SHP, students study religion from the perspective of the Goals and Criteria of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools, which provide the philosophical base for the curriculum. We teach from a framework that is distinctively Catholic-Christian with a commitment to an inclusive curriculum: all courses are ecumenical and interfaith in content and perspective. Students are given the opportunity to explore their own religious traditions, to understand and appreciate diversity in other traditions, and to examine the importance of religion in a rapidly changing world. The department is also committed to an integrated, interdisciplinary curriculum as an instructional principle, as well as a value in our complex world. Skills objectives, writing and research assignments coordinate with the standards of the school. Some courses include fine arts and art history components.
A variety of teaching methods and styles are used by our faculty, including seminar discussion, small group projects, student presentations, lectures, and library research projects. Some courses may include internships and/or field trips. In each course, students are evaluated on the basis of their mastery of objective content. Students engage in the more affective issues of personal faith primarily through in-class prayer experiences, journal writing and discussion.
Sacred Heart Prep requires the completion of seven semesters of Religious Studies for graduation. All offerings are semester courses. Introduction to Catholicism and The Hebrew Scriptures are required during freshman year. The Christian Scriptures and Personal Ethics are required during sophomore year. One semester of Social Ethics is required during junior year. Two additional semesters of Religious Studies electives are required during junior and senior years. Students are required to have the New American Bible (New Catholic Translation) for all seven semesters.
Reading comprehension, vocabulary building, and critical-thinking skills are part of each course.