Catechism Level 6: Living in Christ

Ongoing Enrollment

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.

Click here to view the scope and sequence of our Liberal Arts and Catechism Curricula.

Objective

Grow in love for God and His Church through deeper knowledge of Theology, Scripture, Saints, History, and Spirituality in order to live and share these truths.

Overview

This is a year-long advanced Catechism guided reading and seminar on The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Revised Edition, by St. John Climaus. Each class will consist of a prayerful atmosphere in the classroom, a brief welcome 2-3 minutes, a prayer2-3 minutes, then a “spiritual reflection” presentation by a student and any discussion that follows 5-7 minutes, “house keeping”(reminders and questions regarding administrative issues) lead by the teacher3-5 minutes, a “synopsis presentation” (overview of the reading and a kick off question) by a student5-7 minutes, a discussion lead by the instructor45 minutes, an introduction to next week’s reading2 minutes, a time for free Questions and Answers15 minutes, and then a closing prayer1-2 minutes. I’ll be available for office hours following class and by appointment. Students commit to keeping the fasts and feasts, praying morning and evening, participating in the sacraments of confession and communion carefully and regularly, read the Holy Scriptures daily, share with parents and other family members the reading and discussions of the class, and keep a spiritual journal. Also, pray for me and for each other. These activities are not part of the evaluation but are the most important part of the class.

 

Students commit to:

  • keeping the fasts and feasts
  • praying morning and evening
  • participating in the sacraments of confession and communion carefully and regularly
  • reading the Holy Scriptures daily
  • sharing with parents and other family members the reading and discussions of the class
  • keeping a spiritual journal.

Also, students are asked to pray for Fr. Noah and for each other. These activities are not part of the evaluation but are the most important part of the class.

 

Syllabus

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*Required Materials:

  • The Ladder of Divine Ascent.

    It is very important to get the Holy Transfiguration edition which is a superior translation to other editions and also has clear versification which we will utilize extensively in our discussions and assignments…

    It is an expensive volume but an essential piece in an Orthodox library and a very generous gift to your child, one that will be cherished for a life-time and, God willing, for many generations!

 

*Required materials are not included in the purchase of the course.

Father Noah Bushelli is grateful to be married to a living saint, Khouria Elizabeth, who homeschools their seven marvelous children. He is an archpriest in the Antiochian Archdiocese and was received into the Orthodox Church in 1994. He met his wife at a vespers service in Alaska and still remembers the joyous and awkward moment. After graduating from University of Alaska Anchorage with a BEd in 2000, they moved to St. Vladimir’s Seminary. He graduated with an MDiv in 2004, with his thesis exploring St. John Chrysostom’s notion of the Church as a spiritual hospital. After serving St. Nicholas in Bridgeport, CT, for three years, he moved to St. Philip in Souderton, PA, in 2006. He is grateful to raise his family in this warm, generous, faithful, and vibrant community and is working very hard to meet the demands of parish life as well as to focus on “the one thing needful.” He spends his downtime taking walks, reading theology, changing diapers, telling stories to his children, and playing a little guitar. He is grateful for the success of St. Raphael School and Scholé Academy, excited to share his love for God and the Church with students, and looking forward to stretching his teaching skills into cyberspace. He thanks you for your prayers for him, his family, parishioners, and students! You can reach Fr. Noah at nbushelli@gmail.com.

Fr. George Dahdouh was born in Sudan, Africa from an Egyptian/Syrian father and an Italian mother. He grew up in the Roman Catholic Church and was active in the ministries from his teen years. He traveled with priest and nuns on several mission trips in the Nuba Mountain of Sudan. When he finished high school, he left for Italy to attend Gregorian University of Rome with the goal to become a missionary in the Catholic Church. He also studied at the Studio Theologico Fiorentino, Florence, Italy focusing on philosophy and theology.  Afterwards he went to Kenya for two years for his novitiate and worked among the Pckot tribe. In December 1986 he married his wife of blessed memory, Manal (Mary/Mimi). They have two adult children Andrew and Mary Magdalene. Within their married life, they came to the Orthodox Faith, but continued to work in secular positions.  Fr. George worked for 10 years in banking and his wife and him owned their own catering business. In 1995, after finishing his my Bachelor in Christian Education from Felician University in NJ, he went on to graduate from St. Vladimir Orthodox Seminary in 1998 with an M.Div. He currently holds Doctor of Ministry Degree from Pittsburgh Theologian Seminary, class of 2013. He was ordained to the Diaconate on Pascha of 1997, and in July 6, 1997, he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood. He has been a parish priest for a few Antiochian parishes and now lives in Houston, Texas where he attends St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church.frgeorge2207@gmail.com

Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.

Red checkmarkHigh-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.

Red checkmarkWebcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer.

Red checkmarkHeadset: 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.

Red checkmarkZoom: 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.

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To download Zoom:

  1. Visit zoom.us/download.
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.

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First, read the available course descriptions, noting prerequisites, target grades, and course objectives. If you think your student is prepared for the course, go ahead and register. After registration, a placement assessment may be provided to students, depending on the course and the student’s previous enrollment with Scholé Academy. Registration is finalized when the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.

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