In addition to our flagship Biblical and Catechetical School programs, the Lay Division of St. John Vianney Theological Seminary offers several year-long Enrichment Courses. These Enrichment Courses do not require homework or tests, do not have small groups, and have no prerequisites, so everyone can enroll. They do not yield a certificate of completion. They run for 30 weeks from September through May/June. We also offer several other Short Courses (4-8 weeks) regularly throughout the year and registration for those courses will be posted as they are scheduled.
Cost for Enrichment Courses: $475 ($450 tuition + $25 registration fee)
Discounts available for Seniors, Active Military/Veteran/First Responders, Parish Volunteer Catechists and Full-/Part-Time employees of Catholic ministry/Diocesan office/Catholic school.
Who can enroll in an Enrichment Course? Because Enrichment Courses are lecture-based and run for only one year, these courses are open to Colorado students, as well as out-of-state students! All are more than welcome to sign up for an Enrichment Course!
See below for course descriptions.
DANTE'S DIVINE COMEDY: A GUIDE TO SALVATION, with Dr. Seth Fabian
This course, developed and taught by Dr. Seth Fabian, teaches the student to read the Divine Comedy as Dante intended us to: as a work of practical literature for Christians striving to be more Christ-like: literally a guide to salvation. We will follow Dante’s footsteps and see how pride and selfishness create chaos on Earth and lead to Hell (Inferno), how the human soul purifies itself by learning to desire and to love rightly (Purgatorio), and how our journey ultimately leads us back to our origin in the shared vision of our Creator (Paradiso). Lectures will focus on Dante’s portrayal of human desires and the consequences for good and ill of our daily choices.
Above all, the class will examine a Catholic poet and his Catholic poem. The beauty of Dante’s poetry, the uncanny realism of his psychology, and his awesome descriptive powers are always in the service of his ultimate purpose: demonstrating Truth as revealed in the lived experiences of the souls he encounters in Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. The Divine Comedy is a call to conversion that demands a response from its audience– this response will be the focus of our discussions. Let us use Dante as a lens to examine our daily choices and life-long aspirations.
The 2021-22 class will meet for 1.5 hours/week on Thursdays, 6:30pm-8:00pm.
Text for the class: The Portable Dante (Penguin Classics) [translated by Mark Musa]. ISBN 978-0142437544 (paperback) Please purchase before class starts from your preferred retailer.
ICON: AN EXPLORATION OF CATHOLIC ART & CULTURE, with Dr. Jared Staudt
The Catholic Church has inspired the greatest art in the history of the world. Drawing upon the Incarnation of the Son of God, the Church has inculcated a sacramental imagination used to express faith tangibly in visual art, architecture, literature, and music. This new class offering, developed and taught by Dr. Jared Staudt of the Archdiocese of Denver, will explore 2,000 years of Christian art, tracing its stages from its foundation to the early Church, to the splendor of the Middle Ages and the Baroque, and its decline through the secularism of modern culture. The course will look at the major artists and masterpieces of Christian culture, as well as the historical and spiritual movements that shaped them.
The 2021-22 class will meet for 1.5 hours/week on Tuesdays, 7:00pm-8:30pm.
THE WISDOM OF THE SAINTS: THE ONE THING NECESSARY, with Mr. Daniel Campbell
The Scriptures exhort us to “be holy as the Lord your God is holy.” But what does this look like and how can we attain it? In this class, developed and taught by Mr. Daniel Campbell, we will study God’s plan for our holiness. We will study how God uses His law (the eternal law, the natural law, the human law, the Old Mosaic Law, and the New Law of Christ) to teach us His plan for our holiness and how His grace assists us in a life of holiness, especially through prayer and conversion. We will study the different kinds of prayer (unceasing, vocal, and mental prayer) and how we are to pray – how to put oneself in the presence of God, the method of meditation, how to deal with difficulties in prayer (distractions and aridities, consolations and desolations, and other obstacles). We will also study conversion, the ordinary growth of union with God in the life of the baptized as we are drawn through the “three conversions” – justification, by which we enter the “Purgative Way,” the dark night of the senses, by which we enter the “Illuminative Way,” and the dark night of the spirit/soul, by which we enter the “Unitive Way.”
The 2021-22 class will meet for 2.0 hours/week. Students choose from the following two sessions: Wednesdays, 9:00am-11:00am or 6:30pm-8:30pm.