MANILA, Dec. 16, 2015 – Over 60 lay men and women from the country’s various dioceses on Sunday, Dec. 13, went on to finish the first module of the theology crash course offered by the University of Santo Tomás Graduate School (USTGS) in line with the Catholic educational institution’s community outreach program.
“I’ve learned a lot because of the theo crash course. This is a big help to my apostolate as a campus minister and to my own religious education class,” shared Patrick Renz Pula of Pasig Catholic College (PCC) in an interview.
The crash course graduates, many of whom professionals who volunteer in their respective parishes either as catechists, lay ministers, or other church workers, received their first certificates in theology after completing the series of introductory classes in the subject under Dominican theologian, Fr. José Antonio E. Aureada, O.P., S.Th.D..
“This crash course enabled me to deepen my faith in God and to learn things I have missed when I was still a student,” said Gabriel Plegaria, a teacher from Binangonan Catholic College in Rizal.
According to Aureada, a person may be an “expert” in God and religion, but without faith his or her knowledge cannot be called theological.
“What sets a theologian apart from the sociologist of religion and the philosopher of religion is this: faith,” stressed the priest.
In her speech, Dr. Marilu R. Madrunio, Ph.D., dean of USTGS, congratulated the first batch for their commitment to what Aureada referred to as the “science of God,” and praised their zeal in learning more about their Catholic faith.
Manila and beyond
While most of the crash course students are from dioceses within Metro Manila and its immediate vicinity, others travel monthly to the UST campus in Sampaloc, Manila from places as far as Pampanga, Tarlac, Bicol, and General Santos City to take part in the sessions.
The next theology crash course is set to start on the third and fourth Sundays of February 2016 at the UST St. Thomas Aquinas Research Complex, and is expected to cover “Biblical Theology.”
For details, interested parties may contact (+63) 927-3967-776, (+63) 939-462-6733, and/or (+63) 906-410-0010. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)