Catholic Core

Strengthen your personal faith understanding by starting with our core programming. Credits can later be applied to a Graduate Certificate, Diploma or Master’s Degree.

Teachers from CISVA and Congregational schools within the Archdiocese of Vancouver are eligible for the Archbishop’s Scholarship for Leadership in Catholic Education which will reimburse successful applicants their tuition fees upon completion of the Catholic Core courses.

Courses in theology, Christian morality and scripture provide core knowledge to deepen the religious basis of your life and work.

Program Pathways

Begin with the three Catholic Core courses, and build towards a Graduate Certificate and then to a Master’s degree. Credits earned at one level can count towards requirements of a higher level program.

After the three Catholic Core courses, take two more courses and receive a Graduate Certificate of 15 credits. Continue on to receive a Graduate Diploma of 24 credits, or a Master's degree of 39-42 credits.

Catholic Core Courses

Foundations of Theology (THEO 501)

Examine the importance of theology for the church and engage with aspects of moral and pastoral concern. This introductory course explores a variety of interrelated themes in theological method and reflection from a Catholic perspective, including: the nature of revelation, faith, tradition and theology; the relationship between faith and reason; the mediation of revelation in scripture, liturgy and the dogmatic traditions of the Church; and the nature and role of the magisterium, infallibility, the development of doctrine, and the sensus fidei.

  “As a Catholic educator seeking exposure to the work of Catholic theologians as a means of deepening my understanding of my faith, Theology 501 exceeded my expectations in almost every way. I came away from this course humbled by the incredible depth of intellectual understanding present in Catholic theology. I also appreciated the effectively curated content of the assigned readings, whose language I found to be quite accessible, as well as the logical flow of topics (faith & revelation, tradition & scripture and magisterial authority) that expanded on these pieces. For those looking for a faith formation opportunity or just to expand their knowledge about Catholicism, I highly recommend this course!”  

- Robert Kirkham, Educator 

Christian Morality (THEO 530)

Explore the sources, development, and history of moral theology. Particular attention is given to the “foundational” moral theology of the Catholic tradition and the call of the Second Vatican Council for renewal of this discipline.

Introduction to Scripture (SCRI 505)

Discover a basic introduction to Scripture for students without previous background in Scripture. This course covers both the Old and New Testaments in their own contexts, thematic parallels between them, and gives attention to how the Catholic intellectual tradition engages these textual traditions.

Upcoming Course Dates

In addition to the regular course offerings, there will always be a Catholic Core course offered in the summer and there will always be another Catholic Core course offered virtually during the regular school year.

Summer 1 2023

SCRI 505: Introduction to Scripture (Fr. Nicholas Meisl)

April - June
Thursdays, 6:00-9:00 pm (virtual)

Summer 2 2023

THEO 530: Christian Morality (Sister Carolyn Roeber, OP)

July 4 - 21, 2023
Week 1: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday mornings, 8:30am-noon (virtual)
Weeks 2 and 3: Monday, Wednesday, Friday mornings, 8:30am-noon (virtual)
with the course work to be completed in late August 

Fall 2023

SCRI 505: Introduction to Scripture (Fr. Nick Meisl)

September - December
Thursdays, 6:00-9:00pm

Winter 2024

THEO 501: Introduction to Theology (Dr. Nick Olkovich)

January - March
Evening - Schedule TBA

Summer 1 2024

THEO 530: Christian Morality (Sister Carolyn Roeber, OP)

April - June
Evening - Schedule TBA

Summer 2 2024

THEO 501: Foundations of Theology (Dr. Nick Olkovich)

July 2-19, 2024
Week 1: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday mornings
Weeks 2 and 3: Monday, Wednesday, Friday mornings

"Deciding to take the Catholic Core Courses at St. Mark’s College, particularly during Covid-19, has been one of the smartest decisions of my life. At first, I felt some trepidation as I last undertook an academic course 9 years ago; however, the entire experience has been so positive and enlightening, I am delighted I did and would definitely encourage others to undertake them as well. The learning environment is very collegial and supportive; in our classes, our contributions were always valued, not only by the professors, but also by our classmates. It is a wonderful way of learning from each other and forming new relationships. My teaching ministry will definitely be informed by my study at SMC: I am actually looking forward to sharing what I have learned with my students and colleagues. My faith life and appreciation of the liturgy has benefitted, too, from these studies on Scripture and Theology and the readings we have done in class; my choice of bedtime reading material now isn’t novels but the Bible and Apostolic Exhortations! Every Christian Education teacher should take the Catholic Core at St. Mark's College - it’s a great place to learn and grow in your faith!"

- Ann Marie McGrath, Educator


Email Dr. Lynda Robitaille, Dean of Theology

We look forward to seeing you at St. Mark's College!


Archbishop's Scholarship for Leadership in Catholic Education

The Archbishop’s Scholarship for Leadership in Catholic Education has been set up by the Archdiocese and Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese (CISVA) to foster the pursuit of Catholic higher education for teachers within CISVA schools who have demonstrated or have the potential for leadership within CISVA.

The Scholarship is open to all TRB certified teachers at a Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Vancouver, as well as Education Assistants, Principals, and Vice-Principals. This includes Congregational schools as well.


The Archbishop’s Scholarship will reimburse successful applicants their tuition fees, currently $1,110 per course, upon completion of each of three designated courses: Foundations of Theology (THEO 501), Christian Morality (THEO 530), and Introduction to Scripture (SCRI 505), known as the Catholic Core.


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Upon completing this application, your information will be sent to CISVA for scholarship approval. If you receive the scholarship, St. Mark's will contact you with course registration information.


Frequently asked questions from CISVA applicants can be found on the CISVA scholarship webpage.

school Graduate Programs
Catholic Core

Read about students who completed the Catholic Core