Reconsidering the Catholic curriculum

Andy Hudlow, Opinions Editor


As students at a Catholic school, we’re all used to taking religion classes. From Paschal Mystery to Morality to Christian Vocations, the theology department spans a wide range of topics. But for some students, these classes carry less weight than others. Everyone’s faith and spirituality is different, and that’s why we should give students who don’t consider themselves Catholic, or otherwise religious, the choice to opt out of taking theology classes.

28% of students at BSM are not Catholic, a significant minority. For some of these students it may be more beneficial to take other classes and explore other topics than it would be for them to take a class focused on the teachings of the Catholic Church. Not to say that those courses aren’t valuable, just that some might find greater opportunities for self-development and learning outside of the required theology classes.

By making religion classes optional students would be free to explore their passions more freely. They would be able to pursue courses they may have always wanted to take, but just did not have the time or space in their schedule to do it. Since the goal of any school is to help students discover their passions, this would be a great way to go about aiding that goal. We could all have the opportunity to take classes that interest us, while still offering religion classes to help those who are Catholic or otherwise religious develop their faiths.

For those at BSM to whom religion classes are important, nothing would change, only those who would gain from a freedom to choose would be affected.”

— Andy Hudlow

Those students who identify as Catholic, Christian or spiritual would of course still be drawn to religion classes. They could still learn, discuss, and discover new things about faith and religion, but at their own will to do so. A system of optional enrollment in theology courses wouldn’t harm those classes or students. The only foreseeable change would be smaller class sizes.

But even that may be a benefit. By letting students who are not invested in theology occupy their schedule with other courses, it would change the composition of the classes so that those who take them are fully invested in the religious topics at hand, leading to more focused class time and perhaps more fruitful discussions. For those at BSM to whom religion classes are important, nothing would change, only those who would gain from a freedom to choose would be affected.

Optional religion classes would not be part of a movement secularize to BSM. BSM is a Catholic school and it should remain that way. Mass, school-wide prayers, and other religious themes  should be welcomed and expected. What optional religion classes do, is make sure that every student has a chance to maximize the effectiveness and depth of their time at BSM.