Compelling Conversations in the Faith – Wed. 3:00 PM with Fr. Patrick Cardine (2024-2025)

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Required Text/Books: Orthodox Study Bible

Please note course update: The classes “Compelling Conversations” and “Know the Faith” will now be combined into a single class entitled “Compelling Conversations in the Faith”. 

The subject matter covered in these classes is essentially the same, just presented from slightly different perspectives. After some consideration I believe combining the classes will be an overall improvement and of benefit to the students. 

Because this class consists of dynamic and probing discussions of profound subject matter and not simply covering set material- repeating the class will be of benefit to the students.

Summary:  This class is intended for 9th/10th-grade students. Fr. Patrick will guide teenagers on a group discussion about the basic tenets of the Orthodox faith and how to articulate them. The subject matter will focus solely on what Orthodox Christianity is and how to explain the faith at a high school level. This is not an evangelism/outreach class, but rather a catechesis of teenagers so that they may articulate their faith confidently. All students are required to verbally participate. At the end of each semester, an oral report is required as the final exam.

The goal of the class is:

  • To ground students in their faith and prepare them for the pressures they will face in the world.
  • To help them know what they believe and why.
  • To help them develop an Orthodox world view.
  • To prepare them to be able to articulate their faith in a meaningful and compelling way.
  • To be able to defend their faith and answer objections.

The class is catechetical but in a very dynamic and exploratory mode. In our discussions we will address the big and difficult questions of life with a concentration on challenges they will face in modern society and among other traditions. 

Everything discussed will be rooted in the doctrines of our Orthodox faith as expressed in the Scriptures, our liturgical life, and the writings of the Fathers. The approach will be creative, probing, and stimulating, using metaphysics and philosophy to help them grasp and then articulate what they believe and know to be true. Looking at the faith through a metaphysical lens has been very effective in stabilizing our youth in the Church and helping them be better witnesses.  

The original concept for the class came out of a concern for our young people who are leaving the faith at alarming rates especially after they leave the home. The ultimate goal is not just to inform or deposit data but to so ground them in the Truth that they will remain stable in their Orthodox Faith and participation in the Church

Students are expected to engage in the discussions and have their video camera on.