The Creed

We Believe...

Course Description

Created by Reverend Joseph Weiss, SJ, a former Notre Dame Theology Professor, the purpose of this course is to explore the basic teachings of Christianity as presented in the Church's two classic confessional statements: the Ecumenical Creed promulgated by the Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D., known as the Nicene Creed, and the Apostles' Creed whose roots can be traced back to ancient Rome. The Creed provides a structure for investigating the foundational beliefs of the Catholic Church and the areas of theology that correspond to those beliefs. Participants in the course will gain knowledge of the history and development of the Church's beliefs. They will also obtain a deeper understanding of what we are professing and how the faith stated in the Creed both informs and challenges living the Christian life today.

*Note: Participants in this course must have their own copy of Berard Marthaler's The Creed (Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications). Any edition of this text is acceptable.

Course Content

Unit 1: Introduction to the Creed

  1. Why study the Creed?
  2. Origin and development of the creed
  3. The Christian Doctrine of the Trinity

Unit 2: Article One

  1. Belief
  2. God the Father
  3. One God the Almighty
  4. God the Creator

Unit 3: Article Two (part one)

  1. Names and Titles of Jesus
  2. The Christological Debates
  3. Marianology
  4. The Passion and Death of Jesus

Unit 4: Article Two (part two)

  1. He descended into hell
  2. The Resurrection
  3. Exalted in Glory
  4. The Second Coming

Unit 5: Article Three

  1. I Believe in the Holy Spirit
  2. One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic
  3. I believe in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.

Course Format

  • Created by Notre Dame Theology Professor.
  • Six weeks in duration, with one week for orientation.
  • Typically 15-20 students in each course.
  • In addition to assigned readings from The Creed, additional lecture material provided online as text and via video lecture (webstreaming).
  • Supplemental readings are provided to encourage further exploration of topic, internet links provided for all readings.
  • Weekly written assignments (150-200 words) required.
  • Weekly facilitator moderated chat sessions with students in course.

Required Texts

  • Participants in this course must have their own copy of Berard Marthaler's The Creed (Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications). Any edition of this text is acceptable.

Participation Requirements

  • Weekly reading or viewing of lecture text.
  • Participation in class discussion using discussion area (minimum 2 comments, questions or responses weekly.)
  • Weekly written assignment (150-200 words.)
  • Weekly chat session with other students in course (3 required throughout course.)
  • Course evaluation.

Time Expectations

4 to 6 hours a week (time varies from student to student depending on your learning style and schedule.)

Course Certificate

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

Meet the Developer

Rev. Joseph Weiss, S.J.

Rev. Joseph Weiss, S.J.

A member of the Society of Jesus, Rev. Weiss was born and raised in Omaha, NE. He has served as associate pastor at parishes in Lexington, Massachusetts and Pine Ridge, South Dakota, Omaha, Nebraska, and Mishawaka, Indiana. He has been a consultant for liturgical renovation projects throughout the mid-west. In 1994 he was appointed liturgical consultant to the NCCB commission on liturgical inculturation for Native Americans. Rev. Weiss served as chair of the Worship Commission of the Omaha Archdiocese. He is a member of Societas Liturgica and the North American Academy of Liturgy. This course was developed when Rev. Weiss was a professor in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, and he presently is a pastor at a parish outside Minneapolis/St.Paul. Rev. Weiss has written on pastoral issues in the area of liturgy, spirituality, and sacramental theology.

MDiv, Weston; MA, Notre Dame; PhD, Notre Dame, 1993