The Catholic Tradition

ECTS Value: 5 ECTS


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

In this module learners will be expected and invited to focus their attention on the person of Jesus Christ who is at the heart of the Catholic identity and Tradition, and whose teachings deeply affect the everyday life of his disciples worldwide. The learners will explore the teachings and miracles of Jesus and understand how these reveal His mission of Teacher and Healer. They will reflect upon the great significance that the life, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus had for the early Christian communities, and how through the sacraments Jesus extends his mercy, forgiveness, kindness and compassion towards humanity in all ages and cultures. Consequently, learners will understand the true and full meaning of a sacrament, as a visible and tangible sign of God’s love to us in the world that connects us both to God and to each other. Through these signs God sustains human beings in the difficulties and challenges they encounter in the journey of life and pours over them His Spirit who empowers them with His gifts. Learners would be able to explore how such influence and guidance of the Holy Spirit was already present and powerfully experienced in the first Christian communities. Learners will also reflect upon the significance of the Mystery of the Holy Trinity that is central to the Christian faith and living that transpires out of it. They will explore its unique characteristics, namely communion, love, mutual respect and dialogue, and how these can be put into the practice of daily living. Learners will be led to an understanding and appreciation of the meaning of Tradition in the Catholic Church. They will have the opportunity to explore how the Catholic Church fulfilled its missionary role since its conception, and understand how the Church’s prophetic mission was always integral to its identity. Moreover, they will reflect on how each person, including themselves, can contribute to this mission.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Be responsible for the teaching and transmission of the basic tenets of the Christian faith to students in the classroom and outside it;
b. Guide students in a gradual process of exploration of the Christian faith and especially of the person of Jesus Christ;
c. Advise SMT members as to how religious activities could be organized within the school setting and outside it so that students and staff members have opportunities to practice their Christian / Catholic faith if they want to;
d. Ensure that students have possibilities to explore how the tenets of the Catholic faith could lead to a better life that transpires from living the values of the Gospel, such as forgiveness, compassion, mercy and justice;
e. Guide students in exploring the real meaning of the Catholic Church as a prophetic missionary community, and create opportunities for them through pedagogical creativity to reflect on how they could personally contribute in and to this community of the Church.


a. Describe the most significant events in the life of Jesus Christ, especially his passion, death and resurrection;
b. Define the identity and mission of Jesus Christ as they were already upheld by the first Christian / Catholic communities in the Apostolic Tradition;
c. List several miracles performed by Jesus and describe some of them in detail;
d. List the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, and the sacraments that are also upheld by other Christian churches;
e. Describe the sacraments as rites of passage and ways through which God sustains Christian living
f. Define each and every sacrament, and describe its specific impact and effects on Christian living;
g. Define the ‘Kingdom of God’ preached by Jesus and list its characteristics;
h. List the Beatitudes that Jesus preached to the people in His ‘Sermon of the Mount’;
i. Identify individuals and communities that were in the past and are in the present witnesses to the Gospels and to God’s love in and to the world.


a. Demonstrate how Jesus’ teachings and miracles revealed His dual mission of Teacher and Healer, and how this still occurs today;
b. Use their knowledge of the life of Jesus to understand how it affected significantly the lives of so many other people, in all times and cultures across the globe;
c. Construct systematic research into how the passion and resurrection narratives of Jesus were constructed on the basis of living witnesses and powerful personal experiences of and encounters with Jesus by several Christian disciples in the first communities;
d. Demonstrate understanding of the spiritual healing that occurs through the power of the sacraments as extensions of Jesus’ actions in the world;
e. Apply knowledge of the sacraments to gradually learn how and acquire the courage to show mercy, compassion, forgiveness and justice towards everyone, especially those who are different and those who are marginalized by society;
f. Show how the Kingdom of God was manifested in the time of Jesus and through Him, and is still being revealed in today’s world and changing cultural contexts.

Mode of Delivery

This module adopts a blended approach to teaching and learning. Information related to the structure and delivery of the module may be accessed through the IfE Portal. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures found on the Institute for Education’s website.

Assessment Methods

This programme adopts continuous and summative methods of assessment including assignments, online tasks, reflective journals, projects and video presentations. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
1. McGrath, A.E. 2011. Christian Theology: An Introduction. UK, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
2. McGrath, A.E. 2011. Theology: The Basics. UK, Wiley-Blackwell: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
3. Migliore, D.L. 2014. Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Theology. 3rd edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
4. Ford, D.F. 2013. Theology: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.
5. Higton, M. 2008. Christian Doctrine. SCM Press.
6. Lumen Gentium, Constitution of Vatican Council II.
7. Gaudium et Spes, Constitution of Vatican Council II.
8. Evangelii Gaudium, Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis.


Supplementary Reading List
1. Green, L. 2009. Let’s Do Theology: Resources for Contextual Theology. Continuum International Publishing Group, London.
2. Lane, T. 2013. Exploring Christian Doctrine. Great Britain.


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