Catechism Level 5: God’s Presence in His Saints
Term: Yearlong 2021–22, September 7–May 27
Target Grade Levels: 7+
Schedule: 1x / week, 90 min.
Section 1: F 1:30 p.m. ET with Fr. Daniel Bethancourt
Section 2: W 10:00 a.m. ET with Fr. Nikolai Meyers
While our courses are no longer available for purchase on the website, St. Raphael School is open to inquiries about enrolling in courses at any time during the year. If you wish to enroll in a Yearlong course for the 2020-2021 school year after the official add/drop deadline (September 21), you will need to contact us directly. We will consider each request on a case-by-case basis after considering several factors, including size of the class, the preparedness of the student, the willingness of the instructor to accommodate a late addition to the class, and the content of the course. If you would like to submit a request for enrollment in an ongoing course, please visit our Contact Us page.
Two-Year Rotation: Click for Details
We offer four levels of catechism classes, each on a two-year rotation. This allows students to take up to 8 years of catechism classes without repeating any material. Students who have only taken one year of a given level are welcome and encouraged to take the second year before moving on.
In Level 5 Catechism, we delve deeper into the Scriptures. Over 2 years, students will read significant portions of the Old and New Testaments. Our only text for the class is the Orthodox Study Bible. Students will have assigned reading to be completed before class, on which class discussion will be based. In class, we will read and discuss together patristic commentaries on the passages we have read. We will focus our attention on the saints found in the Old and New Testaments with an interest in how later saints understood their lives and imitated their faith.
Besides the assigned reading, each semester students will complete a short biography of one of the saints covered. There also will be an end-of-semester exam to gauge how much the students have retained.
Specific Objectives: In Level 5 Catechism we want the student to:
- Learn to read the Bible for spiritual growth
- Understand how the Church interprets the Bible
- See and begin to understand the common experience of God in the Bible and in the lives of the Saints
- Develop a devotion for several of the Saints in the Bible
- The Orthodox Study Bible
*Required materials are not included in the purchase of the course.
Fr. Nikolai Meyers is a native of Southern California. He holds a bachelor of arts in Bible and cross-cultural ministry from Manhattan Christian College, Manhattan, Kansas. He earned his master of divinity from St. Tikhon Orthodox Theological Seminary, in South Cannon, Pennsylvania. He was ordained Deacon in September of 2007 by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of the Antiochain Archdiocese at St. Tikhon Monastery in South Cannon, Pennsylvania, and to the holy Priesthood in July of 2008 by His Eminence at St. Andrew Orthodox Church in Riverside, California. He served 6 years as assistant pastor of St. John Orthodox Church in Memphis, Tennessee, and concurrently was the priest in charge of the St. Paul Orthodox Mission in Tupelo, Mississippi. From October of 2014 to July of 2019 he was the pastor of St. George Orthodox Church in New Hartford, New York, where he was also the spiritual adviser for Teen SOYO in the Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate New York. He now serves as the pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Topeka, Kansas. He is married and has 5 children. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fr. Daniel Bethancourt was born in Arizona. After several moves his family landed in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he graduated from high school and attended St. John’s College, receiving a BA in Liberal Arts. He met his wife, Presvytera Maria, when she visited his church in Santa Fe on a business trip for the Orthodox Christian Mission Center. Eventually they both ended up at St. Vladimir’s Seminary in Crestwood, NY. Fr. Daniel graduated in 2007 with an MDiv; they were married that summer and returned for another year at the seminary, where Fr. Daniel worked as director of recruitment while Presvytera Maria finished her degree. In June of 2008 Fr. Daniel was ordained to the holy priesthood by His Grace, Bishop BASIL, and was assigned to St. Nicholas in Shreveport, LA, beginning an adventure that continues to the present. Now Fr. Daniel has served at St. Nicholas for 12, and has been the SOYO spiritual advisor for the Diocese of Wichita for 7 years. He is currently in a PhD program in Orthodox Studies with the Antiochian House of Studies. Fr. Daniel is grateful to God for his dear wife and two children, his lovely parish family, and countless other blessings, none of which he deserves. email@example.com
High-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.
Webcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer.
Headset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class.
Zoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use.
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
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This registration will be finalized when the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.