How can I study theology without going to a Catholic University to study it?

#21

18 credits would be a minor in philosophy. OK, that’s one answer. That’s helpful. Thanks.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

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#22

Actually it was a combination of theology and philosophy courses. That was the requirement of all students in the university I went to.

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#23

Holly,
Just because you have a low IQ does not mean that you will not be able to learn theology in a Catholic College. There are plenty of places to apply and even on line universities. The most important part of college is hard work and study. A high IQ helps, but it takes more heart than head to study theology. WHat do you want to do with it? You can participate or lead many ministries at the parish level with a diocesan certification. If you wanted to teach at a Catholic school, for instance, and you recieved a degree in education from a catholic colloege then the core classes would include theology.
anyways, the point is that there is no reason in the world you can’t do this at a college (maybe not Harvard, but hey, that’s alot of us)
also, there are usually diocesan sponsored or parish sponsored classes. or you could audit classes at the seminary- you wouldn’t get credit toward a degree, but it would help alot in learning.
hope this helped.

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#24

Holly,

I’m not sure which IQ test you took. If you took the WAIS (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale), the WAIS was designed to measure three things: the strength of your verbal skills: reading, writing, listening, speaking, organizing word ideas; the strength of your performance skills: sequencing, organizing, memory, completing incomplete ideas, predicting, deducting, inducting; and mathematical skills: computation, prediction, interpretation of data, organization of quantitative information, use of said information, and numeral sequencing.

The other reliable test around is the Bender. The Bender measures your ability in two areas: self-help skills: starting a task, completing a task, performing in an organized manner, applying information to a situation; language skills: communicating ideas in a logical order, undestanding inferrences, reading between the lines what people don’t say or don’t write, but they mean, and actual reading comprehension; mathematical skills: these are pretty much the same as the WAIS above.

What these tests do is that they tell you where your strengths and weakness on theses taks are in relation to others who took the test and in relation to the population that was used to create the test. In other words, it compares you to others who have gone through these tasks. The tests are not designed to predict whether you will do well in school or not. They are not achievement tests. They were not designed to do that.

Let’s say that someone does poorly on the verbal part of the test. One can assume that verbal tasks in school are going to require more work for this person. That’s all that the test predicts. It does not predict that the person is going to fail. Success or failure is going to depend on the effort of the student and the quality of the teacher combined. I have adminstered colleges, high schools and middle schools and worked with these tests for more than 30 years. They are predictors of how hard you may have to work at some tasks or how much easier other areas are going to be for you. They do not predict whether you’re going to pass or not.

I’ve seen students with horrible math scores on these tests pass philosophy classes in the seminary. A person who has difficulties in math is going to have difficulties in philosophy. Let’s face it, math and philosophy are in the same family. However, these same students passed philosophy with extra work, support from their teachers, and trying different techniques of learning by doing such simple things as classifying everything with colors so that they know what idea belongs with which other. I even helped a student once set up a huge board in his room with all of the major philosophers that we were studying in the seminary. Under each philosopher he would place index cards with key ideas. Then he would highlight the edges of the index cards that had similar ideas. This way, when he was asked to compare Descarte to Sarte, he could say that they agreed on these three points and disagreed on these five other ones. How did he do this? The three that were the same color were the ones that repeated themselves in both philosophers, everything else was unique to each one.

My point, as a professor of many years, a low IQ is purely an indicator of what areas you’re going to have to take your time with and get help. It does not suggest that you are going to fail. You only fail if you don’t do your best and you don’t demand that your teacher do his/her best., plus a little help from study groups or tutors doesn’t hurt either.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

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#25

One of the things I learned years ago in one of my graduate classes on educational assesment is that the SATs mean nothing in the long run. Yes, people who score high are smart but that doesn’t mean that people who score low cannot do the work. I never scored high on the SATs yet I was able to go on to graduate school and eventually for a doctorate. On my GRE I scored well below the requirement in math for the graduate school I was applying to, but my educational background showed that I was quite capable of doing the work and I was accepted into another graduate program at a prestigious school and graduated with nothing less than an A- in coursework. If I were to let my lower SAT or GRE scores stop me from persuing what I wanted I would still be working in my uncle’s Italian resturant rather than in full time ministry. Hard work makes up for lower scores in a majority of cases. And, as someone once told me, you don’t always have to get an A…Bs get degrees…and often Cs do too.

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#26

Ah ok! Thanks everyone for your help and advice! It is greatly appreciated! :thumbsup:

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#27

The Navarre Bible. It is a wonderful way to study the bible. The complete set is about $450.00, but you can get one book at a time.

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#28

I think everyone who’s posted has given good advice, and I don’t have anything to add along those lines. I do want to say though, that you shouldn’t let your low IQ get you down; St. John Vianney had an incredibly hard time with his studies, but went on to become an incredibly insightful priest and confessor, and now he’s the patron of this Year for the Priests.
In Theology, a love of God and sincere desire to understand is far more important than any test score.
Best of luck!

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#29

The Knights of Columbus have a Catechism and a Catholic Theology (it branches out into everything non-negotiable for Catholics) course. They’re free. You can even choose to put the answers in online or offline, or use the audiobook versions of the e-books. The obvious advantage of e-books is that you can make them larger in size rather than relying on normal-printed books. Of course, they do allow offline study too, but I’d think they ask you to pay for dirt-cheap shipping. The link for those studies is:
kofc.org/eb/en/publications/cis/courses/index.html

and of course Salvation History by Scott Hahn has many courses there. Someone’s already mentioned Catholic Distance University (CDU) which might be fun, though I don’t know if you can afford it. I know I can’t. :o

Believe me, there’s all kinds of free studies online, but it takes time to find them all. If you need help, just private message me or email me and I’ll help you Google for everything you might choose from. That offer is open to all, not just you.

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#30

Hi there! There is a Catholic seminary near our village (Salesians of Don Bosco) which offers a 3-year, once-a-week, whole day civil degree in theology, specifically, Master of Religious Studies (MRS). It’s for lay catechists and doesn’t require prospective students to take up a philosophy course. Although I’m an Evangelical, I’m considering enrolling after I graduate from the course I’m currently taking up, which is masters in public administration (MPA). Since it’s just once-a-week, I’ll try if I can take it simultaneously with a doctorate in education (Ed.D.). Moreover, one of the faculty members, Fr. Stephen Placente, is my friend. However, he is in Jerusalem now teaching a semester of Sacred Scripture. After that, he’ll proceed to Rome to finish his doctorate in Sacred Scripture.

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closed #31
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