Coursework is aligned with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB )Doctrinal Elements of a Curriculum Framework.
Semester 1: The Revelation of Jesus Christ in Scripture
Semester 2: Who is Jesus Christ?
Semester 1: The Mission of Jesus Christ (The Paschal Mystery)
Semester 2: Jesus Christ’s Mission Continues in the Church
Semester 1: Sacraments as Privileged Encounters with Jesus Christ
Semester 2: Life in Jesus Christ
Christology– Jesus asked his disciples one of the most foundational, yet debated questions in Christianity: “Who do you say that I am?” (Mk 8:29). In this one-semester course, students will become aquatinted not only with the orthodox response to this question but the biblical, theological, and philosophical reasons for this response as well. In particular, students will study the New Testament and early Church Fathers in order to understand how Church doctrine was articulated and why some approaches ultimately failed and were deemed heretical (e.g. Gnosticism, Arianism, Nestorianism, etc.). Special emphasis will also be given to the Body of Christ as it relates to the Church, sacraments, and other ecclesial communities. Overall, students will gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the mystery of Christ in light of their faith.
Apologetics-This one-semester course will equip the student to more adequately explain the Catholic faith. The student will more deeply understand the cost of faith in a modern society. They will learn the basic teachings of other churches, both Christian and non-Christian. They will recognize teachings that are shared in common. When difficulties arise, the student will be able to articulate his/her belief in Jesus Christ as savior and redeemer, and the role of the Catholic Church in the economy of salvation.
LEADERSHIP: RETREATS AND LITURGY
This class focuses on Retreat Leader Training and Liturgy Development. Students will prepare, plan and implement the retreat program for the under-classes, and students will assist in planning and coordinating liturgies (school Masses, Reconciliation Services, Stations of the Cross, Rosary Services, Eucharistic Adoration, etc.) throughout the course of the school year. This class will serve also as an advisory group, making recommendations and proposals about how to successfully and more effectively involve students in various campus ministry activities and more intimately enter into the Christian mysteries. This is an academic and experiential course with an additional focus on the lives of the saints.
CHRISTIAN SERVICE INTERNSHIP
Every student at JPII will be required to perform a 40 hour Christian Service Internship each year he or she is enrolled at JPII. The school’s Director of Christian Service will organize internships in a number of charitable settings. A minimum of 30 hours will come from a pre-approved list of agencies needing volunteers such as Catholic Charities, Habitat for Humanity, the Campus for Human Development, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, amongst other organizations. Through a consistent involvement with a particular agency, the goal is that the students of Pope John Paul II High School will form relationships, work for justice, and recognize the call to live out the Gospel, not just hear it. The remaining 10 hours can be completed through one-time projects that must be pre-approved by the Christian Service Coordinator, such as Relay for Life or one of the service/immersion trips to the Gulf Coast, Appalachia, or Memphis. Please see the Christian Service Internship Agencies Page for more details. Through this new program, we hope our students will live out the Gospel values of faith, hope, charity, and justice.
All students attend Mass one day per week together. As Vatican II states, the Eucharist is the “source” and “summit” of our faith. Coming together as a school community once a week emphasizes the centrality of Christ in the life of Pope John Paul II High School. Daily liturgies will be available before school each morning. Students will be invited to lead prayer. The sacrament of Penance will be made available, especially during the seasons of Advent and Lent. On special occasions we will have Solemn Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction.
Each year, students will attend at least one retreat with their class. This time will allow the students to reflect upon their lives and relationship with God. Retreats will be limited to the school day. These retreats will be prepared by faculty and students working in cooperation. Many retreat talks will be given by student leaders.