Theology

Engaging today’s teens with biblical truths

Debating the challenging questions in true Jesuit fashion, welcoming all people in God's kingdom, and relying on the fundamentals of Catholic doctrine, our theology department walks alongside young men from various faith backgrounds to explore the nature of God, Church, society, and their own moral development.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 

Finding God in All Things

Students are challenged in their Theology classes to develop their understanding of God in the world around them through study of the philosophy of God and applying the knowledge to situations in the world.

Close up of student holding a tall candle and waiting to walk into Mass.

Giving Thanks through the

Eucharist

Students are introduced to the Sacraments and shown how the Eucharist is the central act of Gratitude in the Catholic Church.

Image of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Ignatian Spirituality

Using different techniques of prayer and reflection based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, students take a deeper look at themselves as they grow as a Man for and With Others.

Picture of candles in shape of a cross

Pray with us

Students experience many different forms of prayer while at De Smet Jesuit.  Check out our prayer page for prayers from students, faculty, staff, and more.

Pray with us

Theology Curriculum

All students take theology classes at De Smet Jesuit.  The freshman theology classes are designed to introduce all students, regardless of faith and educational background, to the teachings of the Catholic Church.  Sophomore, junior, and senior courses are also designed to make connections between different faiths and the Catholic Church to show the shared history and tradition of faith. 

Freshman Year

  • Catholicism and the Jesuits
  • Sacraments and Scripture

Sophomore Year

  • Scripture
  • Morality
  • Sophomore service hours

Junior Year

  • Ecclesiology

  • Catholic Social Teaching

  • Junior service project

Senior Year 

  • Contemporary Discipleship

  • Christ & Faith

  • Ignatian Vision
  • 1818 World Religions (credit through SLU)
  • Senior service hours
  • Insignis Capstone Reflection

Theological & Ignatian Themes Developed Over 4 Years of Theology

Theology Faculty

Howie Place

Howie Place

Teacher, Department Chair, Assistant Ultimate Frisbee Coach, Insignis
MA, Theology/Religious Education, St. Louis University
BA, Theology & Economics, Loyola University-Chicago
Jim Burshek

Jim Burshek

Teacher, Campus Ministry
MA, Divinity, Regis College, Toronto School of Theology
BA, Classics, St. Louis University
Alex Hall

Alex Hall

Teacher, Campus Ministry
BA, Religious Studies, Loyola University-New Orleans
BA, Spanish, Loyola University-New Orleans
BA, Philosophy, Loyola University-New Orleans
John Hawkey

John Hawkey

Class of 1996
Teacher, Junior Service Projects
BA, St. Louis University
Lisa Knabe

Lisa Knabe

Teacher, Sophomore Service Projects
MA, Religious Education, St. Louis University
BA, Education, Eastern Illinois University
Mike O'Brien

Mike O'Brien

Teacher, Work Grant Director, Outdoor Club Moderator
MA, Secondary Education, University of Missouri-St. Louis
BA, Philosophy, St. Louis University
Tony Plein

Tony Plein

Teacher
MSE, Curriculum & Instruction, University of Kansas
MA, Theology, University of Notre Dame
BA, Theology, St. Louis University