Religion Department

The Religion Department is committed to the religious development of their students and the philosophy, objectives and goals of the school.  The religious program has an organizational structure which balances both the academic requirements and opportunities to live what is learned through service projects and activities beneficial to the individual, the school, the Church and the surrounding communities.  The total religious program is complemented by the presence of a full-time chaplain and a full-time campus minister from the Felician Sisters.

Department Chairperson: Mrs. Sue Williamson | 732 549 1108 x643

Religion I (200)

Credits: 5
Grade Level: 9th

Semester 1  - Old Testament/Judaic History

Students will study important Scripture stories and passages with particular emphasis on the Pentateuch.  Careful examination of major themes, such as creation, covenant and community helps students realize the relationship between Judaism and Christianity.

Community Service - A required component of this course which is equal to 10% of the course grade.

Semester 2 - Foundations of Faith

This course encourages student understanding of the customs, practices and beliefs of the Catholic Church.  Students will be presented with the fundamentals of the Catholic faith from the Creed to the Catechism.

Community Service - A required component of this course which is equal to 10% of the course grade.

Religion I Honors: Journey through the Old Testament / New Testament (202)

Credits: 4
Grade Level: 9th
Prerequisites: Placement determined by the High School Placement Test

This full year course provides an overview of the Hebrew Scriptures.  This foundation of the sacred stories of all Hebrew Scriptures integrates the religious roots of Judaism as they unfold in Christian New Testament studies through varies projects and researched topics.  

Community Service - A required component of this course which is equal to 10% of the course grade.

Religion II (220)

Credits: 5
Grade Level: 10th

Semester 1 - Christology

This course gives the student a clear presentation of the life, ministry and message of Jesus.  The student builds from the initial study of the historic backgrounds to a later discussion Jesus' message, death and resurrection.  This course offers reflection on the theological understanding of the role of Jesus of history and of the Christ of faith.

Semester 2 - Sacraments

This course allows students to gain a greater understanding of sacramental awareness through the study of symbolism, ritual and prayer.  Special emphasis is given to the Sacraments of Initiation, Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist.  This course guides students to recognize how sacraments relate to their daily lives.

Religion II Honors: Church History (222)

Credits: 2.5
Grade Level: 10th
Prerequisites: Only offered to students enrolled in Western Civilization II; "B" average in both Religion I Honors and Western Civilization I

This semester-long course presents the major developments of and the key figures of the Church.  Emphasis is given to the Church as a world shaping force profoundly influenced by the message of Jesus and the actions of the Church.

Religion II Honors: Christology and World Religions (232)

Credits: 5
Grade Level: 10th
Prerequisites: Required course for Global Honors students only

Semester 1 - Christology

This course looks at the Jewish historical, religious and cultural world into which Jesus was born.  Using the Gospels as the primary source, students will explore Jesus' birth, early life, ministry, death and resurrection.  Students will be challenged to create individual and group reports.

Semester 2 - Exploring World Religions

This course examines how questions and issues of life are addressed by the major religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism.  The creed, code and culture of each religion are examined and contrasted.  Students will also discuss and explore other contemporary religions.  The course encourages students to develop respect and tolerance for other faiths.  Course study will be enhanced through speakers, trips and research.

Religion III - Christian Morality (240)

Credits: 5
Grade Level: 11th

Semester 1 - Christian Morality

Christian morality occupies a central place in the curriculum of a Catholic high school.  The emphasis in this course is on the development of an informed conscience based on Catholic teachings.  The students learn the importance of human needs, faith and critical reflection as a basis for making moral decisions.

All juniors in the 240 class will study Christian morality during the first semester.  Their area of concentration for the second semester (World Religions or Human Sexuality) will be at the discretion of the teacher.

Semester 2 - World Religions

This course presents the five major religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism.  Students fain a greater understanding of the worship, beliefs and practices of these religions while the note similarities, and respect differences.  Multimedia projects and research are assigned.

Semester 2 - Human Sexuality

A course based on the teaching of John Paul II's revolutionary Theology of the Body.  Students will discover the purpose of existence and the answers to questions about life, relationships and sexuality.

Religion III Honors: Christian Morality (242)

Credits: 5
Grade Level: 11th
Prerequisites: "B" average in Religion II Honors; department approval

This course follows the outline of Religion III with an emphasis on an in-depth application of principles to contemporary moral issues.  This is accomplished through personal research, group work and formal presentations.

Morality-Ethics (244)

Credits: 5
Grade Level: 11th
Prerequisites: "B+" average in prior Religion classes; department recommendation only

This course is a study of the principles of moral and ethical decision-making as it is influenced by culture, media, business and government policies along with religious and personal morals.  Students will attempt to answer the questions: What does Jesus have to do with ethics and what moral and ethical significance does he have for Christians today?  How does Roman Catholicism influence our moral and ethical decision-making?  Students will be required to prepare research papers both individually and in groups and present their findings in oral presentations.

Religion III Honors: Morality-Ethics (252)

Credits: 5
Grade Level: 11th
Prerequisites: "A" average in prior Religion classes

This course follows the outline of Morality-Ethics with an in-depth appreciation of the study of moral and ethical decision-making.  Students will be expected to actively participate in class discussions and debates.  A formal research paper is required, followed by an oral presentation to the class.  Students in this class will train for and participate in the New Jersey Ethics Bowl, which will require an after-school time commitment.  Class size is limited to 12 students.

Religion IV: Christian Life Choices (260)

Credits: 5
Grade Level: 12th

This course explores various Christian lifestyles focusing on the single, religious and married vocations with their respective opportunities and challenges.  Additional topics include: choices and commitments, work and money, communication, friendship, dating, love and human sexuality.  The course encourages personal reflection and discussion through autobiographies, journals and projects.

Religion IV Honors: Christian Life Choices / Sacraments

Credits: 5
Grade Level: 12th
Prerequisites: "B" average in Religion III Honors; department approval

This course follows the same outline and description as Christian Life Choice, but includes the sacraments, with an emphasis on matrimony and the sacraments of initiation.

Religion IV: Christian Life Choices / Service Option (263)

Credits: 5
Grade Level: 12th
Prerequisites: Approval of the Department Chairperson

This course follows a condensed Christian Life Choices curriculum covering the developmental aspects of life choices including the spiritual, emotional, psychological and cognitive preparations for those choices.  Students are prepared for and encouraged to volunteer in local hospitals, shelters, nursery schools and nursing homes.  They may support the BGA community working on special projects.  Students have the opportunity to attend out-of-school service sites or remain in school during this period.  A total of 25 service hours per quarter is required.