Encarnación, Pasión y Discipulado: Peregrinajes con la Samaritana

This course is available upon request by partner dioceses. Prior completion of the course "El Camino de la Fe" is recommended. For more information, contact Esther Terry.

Course Description

The course has three main focuses: the Incarnation and Passion of the Lord and the life of the discipleship He teaches us. Each theme is elaborated based on a personal encounter. The encounter with the Samaritan woman in the gospel of John chapter 4 is paradigmatic to the course and to the testimony of all Christians. That is, the image of the person as Jesus Christ offers an ideal example of the saving effect His personal presence can give. The testimony of the Samaritan woman exemplifies a challenge all Christians face: “Many of the Samaritans of that town believed in Him because of the testimony of the woman...”

The fruit of the encounter with the Lord is a gift of faith. This grace empowers us to give testimony. The goal of an educator in this process is the formation of witnesses and not just the study of texts. Rather, we will study texts in order to deepen our personal commitment to give testimony. The course will cover two parts of the Catechism, one dealing with the person of Jesus Christ and the other explaining the significance of his death. Additionally, during this course we will follow the figure of the Samaritan woman, because an essential dimension of the process is accompaniment.

Course Content

Unit 1: The Gospel - The Face of God and the Meaning of Biblical Encounters
Unit 2: Jesus Christ - Jesus in the Patristic era, the Middle Ages, and the Contemporary Church 
Unit 3: "He became flesh" and was "born of the Virgin Mary"
Unit 4: "He was crucified, died, and was buried" - The Passion and Christian Witness
Unit 5: Discipleship - The Following and Proclamation of the Incarnate Word and the New Evangelization

Required Texts

  • Copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (in Spanish Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica), available online
  • Catholic Bible
  • Brief texts and links to online materials will accompany each unit to round out the experience of course participants

Course Requirements

  • Weekly reading of assigned texts and materials
  • Participation in class discussions in the forums (minimum of two comments, questions or responses each week)
  • Written assignment (between 150 and 200 words)
  • Weekly chat session (minimum 4 chats)

Time Required

  • 4 to 6 hours per week (this varies from student to student depending on learning style and available study time) 

Course Certificate

  • A Certificate of Completion awarding 30 Contact Hours will be sent upon completion of all course requirements.

Meet the Developer

Dr. Peter Casarella

Peter Casarella

Peter Casarella has been an Associate Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame since 2013, where he currently serves as Interim Director of Latin American North American Church Concerns and area coordinator for the PhD program in World Religions World Church. He received his PhD in 1992 from Yale University. In 2005-2006 he served as president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians in the U.S. (ACHTUS). He has also taught at the University of Dallas, The Catholic University of America, and DePaul University, where he served as founding Director of the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology. Professor Casarella has edited or co-edited several volumes of essays, including: Cuerpo de Cristo: The Hispanic Presence in the U.S. Catholic Church; Christian Spirituality and the Culture of Modernity: The Thought of Louis Dupré; A World for All? Global Civil Society in Political Theory and Trinitarian Theology; Cusanus: The Legacy of Learned Ignorance; Witnessing: Prophecy, Politics, and Wisdom; and Jesus Christ: The New Face of Social Progress.

Course development made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.