The study of religion is at the heart of what makes us human, namely, our desire to know. Our thirst for knowledge and understanding leads us to ask the BIG questions about the nature of human existence, about the existence of God and the meaning of life. Humans have asked these questions since the dawn of time and through the millennia some of the greatest human minds have explored the issues without which we would be less than human. St. Anselm spoke of 'faith seeking understanding'. Victor Frankl, a survivor of the Holocaust, said that when God goes, everything goes. But how do we know that God exists and why does it matter? Join us to ask the really big questions!
The Religious Education and Theology Department provides a core programme for all pupils in S1-S6, which is inspired by This is Our Faith and the College’s Jesuit Ethos and that is informed by over four centuries of Ignatian Pedagogy. In keeping with the Characteristics of Jesuit Education the Department seeks to assist in the total formation of each individual by promoting sound intellectual formation, probing the meaning of human existence and creating a sense of wonder and mystery in learning about God’s creation. The Department works closely with the Christian Formation Team to provide pupils with both an intellectual and spiritual foundation in the Catholic Faith.
The Department includes three full-time specialist teachers, along with a number of generalist teachers who provide support in years S1, S2, S5 and S6. All pupils in the College study National 5 Religious Moral and Philosophical Studies (RMPS) in S3 and S4. Higher and Advanced Higher RMPS are offered in years 5 and 6. While courses in S1 and S2 provide a grounding in areas like scripture and the sacraments, S5 and S6 modules include a wide variety of topics, ranging from World Religions and Christian Social Justice to Relationships and Bio-Ethics.
The Department pioneered the use of web links in the College and pupils have the opportunity to liaise with experts in the field via the internet. The Department also regularly hosts speakers of international note through the College’s Centre for Social and Environmental Justice. Guest speakers in recent years have included Brother Guy Consolmagno SJ, Director of the Vatican Observatory, Former Chief Medical Officer Sir Harry Burns and Fr Greg Boyle SJ, Founder of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention programme in the United States. The Department also has long-standing links with a diverse range of local and national organisations and religious institutions including the Garnethill Synagogue, the Cardinal Winning Pro-Life Initiative, SCIAF and Jesuit Missions, to name but a few. The international scope of Jesuit works means that the Department has access to resources and experts from as far afield as Australia, South Africa and North America.
The Religious Education and Theology Department urges students to embrace the challenge of the Jesuit motto, ‘I was born for greater things’, by exploring their intellectual, personal, social and spiritual potential in the adventure of truly becoming men and women for others.
“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, humans will have discovered fire.” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ