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Art and Faith: The Way of Beauty

  ZOOM & Site visits in person
The Allegory of the Triumph

“Christian art offers the believer a theme for reflection and acts as an aid to enter into contemplation in intense prayer, similar to a moment of catachesis…”

Pontifical Council for Culture, the ‘Via Pulchritudinis’, 2006, III.2C

Over time and across cultures, humans have always sought to express the ineffable – those phenomena and mysteries which, for centuries, have captivated man’s imagination.

What mysteries do their creations, in turn, conceal?

What may this incredible artistic heritage reveal about the evolution of human thought, belief, and the manner in which man related and reacted to the natural world and beyond?

Moreover, what insights, as Christians, may we attain and contemplate today, from a twenty-first-century perspective?

The course seeks to explore and address these questions by delving deeply into different forms of expression—religious or otherwise—and the myriad of ways these may be engaged with theologically.   

Course Aim:
  • to provide different tools to “read” into works of art and engage with them on a profound iconological, theological, philosophical, and cultural level; 
  • to re-evaluate the role of art and ritual within religious practice and experience; 
  • to present the story and evolution of art in relation to core Christian beliefs, dogmas and values; 
  • to hone observational and critical thinking skills in the encounter with different forms of art; 
  • to encourage the use of the imagination and the contemplation of art as a method of prayer; 
  • to gain confidence in approaching familiar or previously unknown artworks, reflecting upon them and bringing them into discourse among peers; 

Application Closes on 15th January 2022

People who wish to enrich their spirituality by learning how to read and meditate artworks

Introduction to the Course: Encounters with Beauty
Creation : Origins of Beauty

“When we contemplate with wonder the universe in all its grandeur and beauty, we must praise the whole Trinity.”

(St John Paul II, Catechesis).

With a particular emphasis on Genesis, we will explore ways in which ideas on art and beauty might emerge through a reflection on the first (and most recent) encounters of creation and humanity. 

Creation : The Matter of Beauty

In this lecture, we will seek to address questions on the relation between matter and beauty, on how matter may positively serve as a means of expressing and thinking about the divine.  

Spatial Encounters: Sacred and Secular

What do the terms ‘sacred’ and ‘space’ mean, and how do these meanings change when the terms are brought together? How are the senses and matter key players in identifying and animating sacred space? In this session, we will explore the origins and some of the earliest manifestations of sacred space. 

Spatial Encounters: Locations and Orientations 

How do sacred spaces interact with the landscapes in which they are located? What role do notions of design, geometry, cosmology, and technology, play in the construction and memorialisation of sacred spaces? Which parts of our domestic and communal spaces have the potential to participate in the sacred?  

Spatial Encounters: The Temple 

In this session, we will consider the Biblical roots to sacred space, the transition and cross-cultural adaptations in Judeo-Christian and Classical public, private and religious space.   

Origin, Matter and Spirit

Visit to Ħaġar Qim/Mnajdra 

Spatial Encounters: Adorning and Adoring 

What are the ways in which space could be prepared and adorned for the encounter with the divine? In this session, we will explore some early Christian and medieval sacred spaces, their architecture, and decoration as a reflection of the main beliefs and practices animating the encounter with the sacred.  

The Body: Embodying the Divine 

How can consider the human body as a category of analysis in the discourse on beauty? In this session, we will explore notions on how the body may be envisioned as a temple or as a sacred space.  

Sacred Space

Site Visit to St John`s Co-Cathedral

The Body: Becoming like the Divine

In this session, we will explore different ways of thinking about the relationship between icons and idols, particularly in light of Christian doctrine, apologetics, and theology. 

Violent Encounters: Worship and Destruction

In this session, we will address issues concerning iconoclastic reactions to the figurative representation of the divine and how violence and destruction may inform our notion of beauty, religious practice, and worship. A special focus will be given to Eastern Christianity, art, and architecture. 

Violent Encounters: Reconciling Beauty: the crucifix 

In this session, we will take a look at the central image, Eikon, of Christianity: the Crucified Christ, and how the portrayal of suffering—especially as expressed in Western religious imagery—may evoke a spirit of empathy and transformation in the beholder. 

Violent Encounters: Memory and Remembrance 

In this session we will consider the memorialisation of political violence through sacred (or pseudo-sacred) art, taking the city of Valletta as a departure point to reflect on the making of political, corporate, religious, and cultural identities.  

Violent Encounters

Visit to Valletta Streets

Violent Encounters: Revelation of Beauty

In this concluding we will reflect on how the rhetoric of violence, as expressed through the arts, may afford a unique space to contemplate central Christian notions concerning redemption, salvation, fraternal and divine love.  

Half-day retreat with class suggestions, class presentations and group reflection  
Last Lecture: Class suggestion 
Session Format
  • Fourteen lectures on Tuesdays between 17:30 and 19:30 (28 hours) with audio-visual presentations, complemented by group discussions and sharing based on individual observation and contemplation. – online on ZOOM
  • Three Saturday Site Visits (9 hours) – in person on site
  • Half Day Seminar (5 hours)
1st February 2022Introduction to the Course: Encounters with Beauty
8th February 2022Creation: Origins of Beauty
15th February 2022Creation: The Matter of Beauty 
22nd February 2022Spatial Encounters: Sacred and Secular 
8th March 2022Spatial Encounters: Locations and Orientations 
15th March 2022Spatial Encounters: The Temple 
Saturday 26th March 2022
10:00am-12:00pm
Site Visit: Origin, Matter, and Spirit
5th April 2022Spatial Encounters: Adorning and Adoring 
26th April 2022The Body: Embodying the Divine
Saturday 7th May 2022
10:00am-12:00pm
Sacred Space: Visit St John’s Co-Cathedral 
17th May 2022The Body: Becoming like the Divine
24th May 2022Violent Encounters: Worship and Destruction 
31st May 2022Violent Encounters: Reconciling Beauty: the crucifix 
14th June 2022Violent Encounters: Memory and Remembrance
Saturday 18th June 2022
10:00am-12:00pm
Violence: Visit Valletta Streets
21st June 2022Violent Encounters: Revelation of Beauty
Saturday 26th June 2022
9:00am – 2:00pm
Half-day retreat with class presentations and group reflection  
28th June 2022Class Suggestion

Assessment: 

  • (optional) a reflective journal, based on the prayerful contemplation of selected artworks; 
  • (compulsory): Based on a local work of art, sculpture or space, or an artistic work of their own making (literary/visual/audio-visual/music/film/etc), students will be asked to deliver a 15 to 20-minute class presentation on how the chosen work(s) might help “expand our gaze and ideas” on beauty, both in an aesthetic and theological sense.  While the presentation is intended to give the student an opportunity to elaborate further on one of the main themes touched upon in class, according to their own interests and artistic preference. It is also an opportunity to share ideas as well as receive feedback from peers. The students will also be encouraged to submit their work in written format (approx 2500 words). 

Final Award: Certificate in The way of Beauty: Discovering Faith through Art

Duration: One-year part-time course with two modules

Certification: A sealed Certificate together with a Certificate supplement after successful* completion of the course

To obtain a Certificate of Achievement a student must: attend a minimum of 70% of each module and Pass successfully the assignment

Every application will be considered on its individual merits. The Pastoral Formation Institute accepts a wide range of qualifications, and we always try to judge applications on the basis of academic potential. We do consider a very wide range of academic, vocational, and professional qualifications, as well as work and other appropriate experiences and skills.

Family Ministry

  Catholic Institute, Floriana

Licence Number: 2013-FHI-028

In our modern society, in which the traditional family is facing many challenges, the need to strengthen, provide a model for, and encourage Catholic families to live their vocation faithfully, has never been greater.

This course will equip participants with the knowledge and skills required in order to serve couples and their families through every phase of the life cycle. This is done through a two-fold programme that combines academic training as well as practical ministry application.

Application Closes on 17th December 2021
  • Adults who wish to learn more
  • Couples who which to learn more about the Church teaching on the vocation of marriage
  • Cana Couple Leaders (Koppji Mexxejja ta` Cana) – This course offers an indepth understanding of current issues couples and families

Modules:

Theology of the Family4 ECTS
Family Ministry4 ECTS

Topics

– Christian Anthropology with a focus on Love and Sexuality
– Church Teachings on Marriage and the Family – Part 1
– Church Teachings on Marriage and the Family – Part 2
– The Gift of Life and the Gift of Love
– Theology of the Body, John Paul II (Non-residential Weekend Seminar)
– Marriage in Scripture and Lectio Divina
– Sacramental Theology of Marriage
– Liturgical Theology of Marriage

Topics

– Pastoral Approach to Marriage and the family
– Psychological and Sociological Perspectives of Marriage and the Family
– Marital relationships and conflict management
– Family work-life balance, financial and time management
– Family Life-Cycle and Dynamics
– Bioethics and the family, formation of conscience and discernment process
– Intimacy in Marriage
– Child development; Communication with children; Children with disability
– Social challenges to the Family, such as alcohol, drug abuse
– Social Media: Challenges and Opportunities for the Family
– Separation; annulment; divorce; cohabitation
– Mental health, ill-health, Domestic violence
– Caring for the elderly and related issues
– The Spirituality and Mission of the Couple (Saturday Morning Seminar)

Nineteen lectures on Tuesdays between 18:30 and 20:30 from 11th January till 2nd July 2022 (38 hours)

One non-residential weekend 12th – 13th February 2022 (15 hours)

Morning Seminar on a Saturday 2nd July 2022 (5 hours)

THD5011: Theology of the Family

January11th, 18th, 25th
February1st, 8th
Non-Residential Weekend Seminar: Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th
15th, 22nd

THD5010: Family Ministry

March8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th
Easter Recess from29th March – 11th April 2022
April5th, 26th
May3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st
June14th, 21st, 28th
JulySaturday 2nd

Assessment: Written assignment for every module

Final Award: Higher Education Award in Family Ministry

MQF Level: Level 5

Duration: 1 year part-time (58 hours)

Certification: A sealed Certificate together with a Certificate supplement after successful* completion of the course

To obtain a Certificate of Achievement a student must: attend a minimum of 70% of each module and Pass successfully the assignment

Funding
Students completing the Higher Education Award in Family Ministry can apply for the Get Qualified Scheme which will enable them to benefit from a tax credit of 70% of the costs incurred (i.e. €175 will be refunded back for this course).

Every application will be considered on its individual merits. The Pastoral Formation Institute accepts a wide range of qualifications, and we always try to judge applications on the basis of academic potential. We do consider a very wide range of academic, vocational, and professional qualifications, as well as work and other appropriate experiences and skills

Funding
Students completing the Higher Education Award in Family Ministry can apply for the Get Qualified Scheme which will enable them to benefit from a tax credit of 70% of the costs incurred (i.e. €175 will be refunded back for this course).

Pastoral Care/ Chaplaincy in Schools

  Gonzi Hall 1st Floor, Catholic Institute, Floriana
Pastoral Care in Schools - team work

Licence Number: 2013-FHI-028

Pastoral Care/Chaplaincy in Schools is being considered as a bridge between faith(s) and culture(s) in the contemporary context. People involved in this mission are to be well prepared in order to be effective instruments of sharing the joy of the Gospel and Gospel values within schools in the current pluralistic society.

Course Aim:

This course gives participants the knowledge and practical skills needed to enhance effective Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy in Schools. The course assists participants to build a range of skills necessary for this ministry: reflective, analytical, critical and synthetic, leadership, collaborative, interpersonal, listening, planning, and implementation.

Application Closes on 17th December 2021

This course is open to all people involved in the educational sector or with an expressed interest to work in this area.

In this module, participants will be introduced to the concept of Pastoral Care / Chaplaincy in schools and prepare them for this mission. Participants will get the opportunity to discuss and learn how pastoral care/ chaplaincy can be a means to facilitate dialogue between faith(s) and culture(s) in our contemporary pluralistic society. In this module, we will articulate how to nurture a wholesome attitude towards life, different religions and cultures, and the whole of creation, founded on Gospel values and the teachings of the Church. 

This module offers the participants the opportunity to examine the richness and the challenges of a multicultural and multifaith environment within the school community in the context of Pastoral Theology. 

In the context of Pastoral Care/Chaplaincy,  Pastoral Theology enables the people involved in this ministry to nurture in their life and in the life of the whole school community the truth that;

“[t]he nature of the reign of God is the communion of all human beings between themselves and with God  

( Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio)

This theme will be discussed through selected Scriptural texts and texts from the teachings of the Church and early Church Fathers.

By the end of this module, participants will be able to identify various ways of fostering a relationship with the Transcendent/God through different methods of Prayer. Participants will be able to become more familiar with : 

  • the meaning of  spirituality,  
  • the spiritual development of the young (4-10 yrs.), youth (11-16yrs.), and adults (18+), keeping in mind contemporary culture/s.  
  • how to plan and conduct various spiritual encounters and activities with the young (4-10yrs), youth (11-16yrs) and adults (18+). 

The aim of this module is to enable participants to build resources to design and enrich liturgical and religious celebrations/activities in schools through exploring and adapting artistic expressions, media, and IT resources in the context of Pastoral Care/Chaplaincy. 

This module is divided into three parts; 

Part One: One-day seminar – This seminar will enable participants to relate various leadership models and collaboration strategies to Pastoral Care/Chaplaincy in Schools.  

Part Two:  Half-day spiritual retreat: where participants will have time to reflect on their own spiritual journey in the light of selected Biblical texts and spiritual literature.    

Part Three:  Online reading:  Four papers are going to be presented as online reading. These papers are related to all the modules and will enable participants to reflect on the different ways that Pastoral Care/Chaplaincy is expressed around the world. Participants will be asked to critically analyze and review these articles and use them to evaluate national experiences. 

 

Session Format

  • Twenty-eight lectures on Thursday between 17:00-19:15 (60 hours). The mode of delivery for these lectures will alternate between in-person and online. Please refer to the dates below for more information.
  • One day-seminar on Saturday 8th January 2022, between 9:00 – 17:00 ( 8 hours
  • Morning Retreat (5 hours)
  • Online learning (12 hours)

Calendar:


THM6021: Internalizing and Evaluating various perspectives of Pastoral Care/Chaplaincy in Schools. – Part 1
DateTimeVenue
Saturday 8th January 20229:00 – 17:00Rivotorto Retreat House, Birkirkara

THM6017: Pastoral Care/Chaplaincy in Schools: Promoting Human Dignity and Gospel Values in Contemporary Cultures.

Thursdays at 17:00 – 19:15

DatesMode of Delivery
13th JanuaryIn-person – Gonzi Hall 1st Floor
20th JanuaryOnline
27th JanuaryIn-person – Gonzi Hall 1st Floor
3rd FebruaryOnline
17th FebruaryIn-person – Gonzi Hall 1st Floor
24th FebruaryOnline
3rd MarchIn-person – Gonzi Hall 1st Floor
Public Holiday- 10th February
Carnival RecessFriday 25th February – Tuesday 1st March 2022

THM6019: Nurturing Spirituality through Pastoral Care / Chaplaincy in Schools

Thursdays at 17:00 – 19:15

DatesMode of Delivery
10th MarchIn-person – Gonzi Hall 1st Floor
17th MarchOnline
24th MarchIn-person – Gonzi Hall 1st Floor
7th AprilOnline
28th AprilIn-person – Gonzi Hall 1st Floor
5th MayOnline
12th MayIn-person – Gonzi Hall 1st Floor
Public Holiday: Thursday 31st March 2022
Easter Recess: Monday 11th April – Sunday 24th April 2022

THM6018: Pastoral Theology in relation to Pastoral Care / Chaplaincy in Schools

Thursdays at 17:00 – 19:15

DatesMode of Delivery
19th MayIn-person – Gonzi Hall 1st Floor
26th MayOnline
2nd JuneIn-person – Gonzi Hall 1st Floor
9th JuneOnline
16th JuneIn-person – Gonzi Hall 1st Floor
23rd JuneOnline
30th JuneIn-person – Gonzi Hall 1st Floor

THM6020: Practical ways of Enriching Liturgical Celebrations and Religious Activities in Schools.

Thursdays at 17:00 – 19:15

DatesMode of Delivery
15th SeptemberIn-person – Gonzi Hall 1st Floor
22nd SeptemberOnline
29th SeptemberIn-person – Gonzi Hall 1st Floor
6th OctoberOnline
13th OctoberIn-person – Gonzi Hall 1st Floor
20th OctoberOnline
27th OctoberIn-person – Gonzi Hall 1st Floor

THM6021: Internalizing and Evaluating various perspectives of Pastoral Care/Chaplaincy in Schools.
DateTimeVenue
Saturday TBA8:30 – 14:30Rivotorto Retreat House Birkirkara

Assessment: Written assignments. Each assignment will be handed for every module

Final Award: Higher Education Award in Pastoral Care in Schools

MQF Level: Level 6

Duration: 1 year part-time (84 hours)

Certification: A sealed Certificate together with a Certificate supplement after successful* completion of the course

To obtain a Certificate of Achievement a student must; Attend a minimum of 70% of each module and Pass successfully the assignment

Every application will be considered on its individual merits* and includes:

  • Full qualification at MQF Level 5 (Undergraduate Certificate/ Diploma) or equivalent
  • Proficient in English and/or Maltese language
  • Basic digital competencies (able to do research)
  • Expressed interest in Pastoral Care/ chaplaincy in state or non-state schools.

*sit for a short interview with the board of studies which would assess and consider alternative transferable skills, including proficiency in English/ Maltese – O level or equivalent.

*The applicant will be refunded if not eligible for the course.

The Jewish Roots of Christianity

  Ta` Mlit, Mosta

This course will introduce you to Jesus and the Apostle Paul as Jewish theologians.

The Church was birthed by Jesus the Jew. His Jewish and Gentile followers were rooted in Judaism and a Jewish understanding of God’s relationship to his people. Within this perspective, this course offers four modules:

  • The Beginnings of Christianity within First Century Judaism
  • Paul of Tarsus with his Jewish upbringing and learning as reflected in his handling of the Jewish Scriptures in his letters
  • Jews and Christians Reading the Passion Narratives
  • the Jewish roots within Christianity as they particularly stand out in archaeology and early Jewish and Christian Art.

Those who wish to better understand Jesus’ life in its Jewish context and correct any misunderstandings about him and his world.

Modules:

THD5025The Beginnings of Christianity within First Century Judaism2 ECTS
THD5026Paul handles the Jewish Scriptures2 ECTS
THD5027Jews and Christians Reading the Passion Narratives2 ECTS
THD5028Early Jewish and Christian archaeology and art2 ECTS

Session Format

  • Twenty-three lectures on Thursdays between 18:00 and 20:00 (2 hours)
  • Module 1 and 3 will be held online, through ZOOM.

Modules are self-standing and prospective applicants can apply for any one or more module(s) according to their preference.

Calendar:

Module 1 – The Beginnings of Christianity within First Century Judaism

Lecturer: Sisters of Sion & Jonathan Gorsky

October 202128th  (Thursdays)
November 20214th, 11th, 18th, 25th (Thursdays)
December 20212nd, 9th
Christmas Recess from19th December 2021 to 3rd January 2022

Module 2 – Paul handles the Jewish Scriptures

Lecturer: Fr Paul Sciberras

January 202213th, 20th, 27th (Thursdays)
February 20223rd, 17th, 24th (Thursdays)
March 20223rd
Public Holiday10th February 2022
Carnival Recess fromThursday 24th to Tuesday 1st March 2022

Module 3 – Jews and Christians Reading the Passion Narratives

Lecturer/s: Sisters of Sion & Jonathan Gorsky

March 202210th, 24th (Thursday)
April 20227th, 28th (Thursday)
May 20225th, 12th,19th (Thursday)
Easter Recess11th to 24th April 2022
Study PeriodThursday 27th February to 26th March. 

Module 4 – Early Jewish and Christian archaeology and art

May 202226th (Thursday)
June 20222nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th (Thursday)
July 20227th

Assessment: Written assignment or reflection paper for every module

Final Award: The Jewish Roots of Christianity; Jesus & Paul, Jewish Theologians

Duration: 1 year part-time (112 hours)

Certification: A sealed Certificate together with a Certificate supplement after successful* completion of the course

To obtain a Certificate of Achievement a student must; Attend a minimum of 70% of each module and Pass successfully the assignment

Every application will be considered on its individual merits. The Pastoral Formation Institute accepts a wide range of qualifications, and we always try to judge applications on the basis of academic potential. We do consider a very wide range of academic, vocational, and professional qualifications, as well as work and other appropriate experiences and skills.

Faith Foundations For Ministry

  Catholic Institute, Floriana

Licence Number: 2013-FHI-028

The course is intended to form and support adults who wish to become better acquainted with the basic tenets of the Catholic Faith, in view of their service to the Christian communities.

The introductory study unit (Module 1), will introduce participants to the basic theological notions underlying pastoral ministry. These include fundamental scriptural, dogmatic, ecclesiological and ethical concepts guiding the evangelising mission of the Church.

The second study unit (Module 2), will facilitate the application of such theological notions to the practical field of catechesis. The participants who complete this course will have the basic knowledge and skills required to serve as catechetical ministers

Want to learn more about this course? You can now watch the introductory webinar held on the 8th July 2021.

Adults who wish to serve as cathecists in their Christian communities.

Modules:

Faith foundations for ministry: basic themes4 ECTS
Catechetical Minsitry6 ECTS

This course is held on Tuesdays at 18:30-20:30, with alternating sessions of in-person meetings and online sessions.

Calendar:

Module 1 – Faith foundations for ministry: basic themes

Mode of Delivery: In person

19/10/2021Il-Missjoni tiegħi, il-vokazzjoni tiegħi
02/11/2021Il-Fidi u r-Rivelazzjoni + Il-Bniedem: Misteru li jiżviluppa tul it-triq tal-ħajja
16/11/2021Introduzzjoni Ġenerali għall-Kotba Mqaddsa
30/11/2021Il-Kelma ta’ Alla: Skrittura, Tradizzjoni u Maġisteru
14/12/2021Skrittura: Ħidma ta’ Alla u l-bniedem
18/01/2022Alla ta’ Ġesù Kristu
15/02/2022Il-Knisja, bennejja tas-Saltna
08/03/2022Il-ħidma tal-Ispirtu s-Santu: Spiritwalità u dixxipulat
22/03/2022Sagramenti u Liturġija
05/04/2022It-Tagħlim Soċjali tal-Knisja
03/05/2022Morali u Virtujiet

Module 2 – Catechetical Ministry

Mode of Delivery: Online

26/10/2021L-Identità tal-Katekeżi
09/11/2021Il-Katekist u r-rwol tiegħu fil-Knisja
23/11/2021Alla huwa mħabba. It-Testment il-Qadim. Pedagoġija ta’ Alla
07/12/2021Ġesú salvatur. Il-pedagoġija ta’ Ġesú
11/01/2022Aspetti diversi tal-Katekeżi
25/01/2022Il-Lingwaġġi tal-Katekeżi
05/02/2022SEMINAR – L-għarfien tal-persuni li se nakkumpanjaw. Perspettivi soċjoloġiċi u psikoloġiċi.
08/02/2022Il-Katekeżi u l-Liturġija
22/02/2022L-Ispirtwalità tal-katekist
15/03/2022Il-katekeżi għal tfal u adolexxenti
b’kundizzjonijiet varji
29/03/2022L-Inizjazzjoni Nisranija u l-Katekeżi għall-Adulti
26/04/2022Lesson planning
10/05/2022Safeguarding good practices
20/05/2022SEMINAR – L-era diġitali u l-katekeżi: Aspetti Prattiċi
24/05/2022Riżorsi li jistgħu jintużaw fil-laqgħat mat-tfal u adolexxenti

Assessment: 

Module 1: Written assignment

Module 2: Written and practical assignment 50% and a Reflective Journal 50%

Final Award: Award in Faith Foundations for Ministry

Duration: 1 year part-time (112 hours)

Certification: A sealed Certificate together with a Certificate supplement after successful* completion of the course

To obtain a Certificate of Achievement a student must: attend a minimum of 70% of each module and Pass successfully the assignment

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Every application will be considered on its individual merits. The Pastoral Formation Institute accepts a wide range of qualifications, and we always try to judge applications on the basis of academic potential. We do consider a very wide range of academic, vocational, and professional qualifications, as well as work and other appropriate experiences and skills.