The mission of the Theology Department at Divine Savior Holy Angels is rooted in Saint Augustine’s understanding of theology as "faith seeking" understanding. Our primary goal is to nurture spirituality through knowledge of faith and to engage students in service to God and others. Department faculty commit themselves, with the entire DSHA faith community, to transforming students to transform the world. Courses and curriculum are aligned with the United States Catholic Bishops document, Doctrinal Elements of a Curriculum Framework for the Development of Catechetical Materials for Young People of High School Age. The theology department is committed to the school’s focus on daily prayer, annual retreats, service, and liturgy and worship experiences that contribute to an environment in which faith formation is valued and nurtured.
To promote the development of a lived faith.
To foster an awareness of God’s presence in all of life—the Catholic principle of sacramentality; all reality is sacred.
To communicate that faith reaches its fulfillment in relationship to God, self, others, and the world—the Catholic principle of communion.
To meet these objectives, all Qualities of a Graduate—excelling as a believer, self-advocate, critical thinker, communicator, and leader—will be nurtured and developed in this course.
MEET THE THEOLOGY DEPARTMENT FACULTY:
Lisa Metz | at DSHA since 2000 | teaching since 2000
Theology Department Chair Theology Faculty Coordinator of Adult Faith Formation Coordinator of Freshman Orientation BA in Social Work, UW-Milwaukee MA in Religious Studies, Cardinal Stritch University Advanced Certification in Religious Education, Archdiocese of Milwaukee MetzL@dsha.info
"I’m deeply proud of the work that we do at DSHA in the area of faith development. We challenge our students to think critically about the role they play as members of the Body of Christ. I love having daily conversations in my classroom about the questions young people struggle with and how our faith can shape their decision-making."
Mary Duffy | at DSHA since 2010 | teaching since 1988
BS in Education, UW-Whitewater MA in Theology, St. Joseph College
Certification in Youth Ministry, Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Advanced Certification in Religious Education, Archdiocese of Milwaukee
"What I love most about the all-girls’ environment is their eagerness to learn, willingness to support their classmates, and their unabashed confidence. I also love they give more attention to their learning than to their appearance–messy bun getting things done."
Judie Gillespie | at DSHA since 2003 | teaching since 1994
Theology and Specialized Studies Faculty
BA in Philosophy, Marquette University
MA in Religious Studies, Cardinal Stritch University Member of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Order of Catechists
"What I love most about working with the faculty and staff here is that through their brilliance, faithfulness, and determination to see the best in every situation I am inspired to be a better teacher, but, more importantly, a better human being."
Catherine Lennon | at DSHA since 2014 | teaching since 2014
Theology Faculty Campus Minister for Liturgy & Prayer BA in Music, English; Theology Minor, University of Notre Dame MSM, in Choral Conducting, University of Notre Dame LennonC@dsha.info
"I find working with young girls in their faith journey the most rewarding aspect of my job. I am fortunate enough to work in faith formation both in the chapel with prayer and liturgy and in the theology classroom. It is rewarding to see students across their four years, teaching them as freshmen to seeing them serve as liturgical ministers at their Baccalaureate Mass."
Fr. Patric Nikolas, SDS | at DSHA since 2019 | ordained in 2019
Theology Faculty and School Chaplain Raise Awareness Club Moderator
BA in Music, California State University, Chico
MDiv, Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology
MA in Systematic Theology, Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology
“Salvatorians have always championed education of the highest quality. For me as a priest in this order, taking on the role of teacher is a very natural progression that I have been working toward for years. In teaching theology at DSHA, my hope is to introduce the students to a tradition that is relevant, challenging, and worthy of love, that they will treasure and claim as their own.”
Daniel Pavlovich | at DSHA since 2013 | teaching since 2007
Theology Faculty Freshman Softball Coach BA in History, Political Science, UW-Whitewater MA in Elementary Education, Alverno College MA in Religious Studies, Cardinal Stritch University PavlovichD@dsha.info
"I love the constant commitment to excellence displayed by my students. Whether in the classroom, in extracurricular activities like athletics, or in the development of their faith, the students of DSHA always make the effort to do the very best of which they are capable. Their dedication inspires me to give them my personal best each and every day."
Katie Pickart, PhD, DSHA '84 | at DSHA since 2020 | teaching since 2015
Theology Faculty and Director of Salvatorian Service BA in Journalism and Spanish, Marquette University MA in Mass Communications, UW-Madison Ph.D. in Mass Communications, UW-Madison MA in Religious Studies, Cardinal Stritch University Certificate in Urban Ministry, Cardinal Stritch University PickartK@dsha.info
"Teaching at DSHA ignites my heart. Praying and learning with these young women also fills my brain and positively influences my faith life. It’s a blessing to be in a community where I witness the goodness and kindness of Jesus Christ every day.”
Fr. Dennis Thiessen, SDS | at DSHA since 2013 | teaching since 1973
Priest and School Chaplain Theology and Social Studies Faculty BA in US history, Dominican College of Racine, WI MA in Systematic Theology, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA Master of Divinity, Franciscan School of Theology, Berkeley, CA ThiessenD@dsha.info
"I love the girls' motivation, good humor, respectfulness, dedication, confidence, and maturity."
Semester 1: The Bible: The Living Word of God—9051 This freshmen course is an introduction to the Sacred Scriptures’ unfolding story of salvation in the Old Testament, with a Christian understanding that Jesus Christ is its fulfillment revealed in the New Testament. Divine and natural revelation are explored, as are biblical inspiration and interpretation; i.e., biblical exegesis. This course guides students in coming to know the people and events of salvation history, and in understanding important themes of creation, human dignity, and covenant. Semester 2: Christology: Jesus Christ and the Paschal Mystery – 9052 In this second semester freshmen course, students more fully encounter Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity in the four Gospels. Students are led toward a deeper understanding of divine revelation, the Trinity, Incarnation, Christian discipleship, and salvation through the Paschal Mystery. This course guides students in understanding important themes of the Kingdom of God, the Beatitudes, miracles, forgiveness, and human suffering.
Semester 1: The Sacramental Life: Encounters with Christ - 9101
This course provides an opportunity to encounter Jesus Christ in a full and real way through an examination of the history, scriptural foundation, and current practices of the seven sacraments. In addition, students develop a deep understanding of the Eucharistic Liturgy, different forms of prayer through our Catholic tradition, and the general sacramental outlook rooted in our faith.
Semester 2: Catholic Morality: Our Response to God’s Love - 9102 This course is a survey of Christian morality, rooted in the belief that morality is an ongoing developmental process of discernment and application. Students are presented methods of conscience development and decision-making. These skills are applied as they examine the teaching and traditions of the Catholic faith as they apply to living a moral life within the context of Christ-centered values. Sexual morality, the consistent ethic of life, and modern ethical issues challenge the students to make moral decisions commensurate with the Catholic tradition.
Semester 1: The New Testament: The Good News Of Jesus - 9201
In this course students do an in-depth study of each of the Gospels from the perspective of the unique voices of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John. As we consider the substance and style of each Gospel, and the sociohistorical context in which it is written, a portrait of Jesus emerges that contributes to our understanding of the mystery of the Incarnation and encourages a more substantial relationship with God. Students receive an introduction to St. Paul’s letters, as well as the Book of Revelation.
Semester 2: The Church: Its Message and Mission - 9202
This survey of the Catholic Church begins with a study of the Acts of the Apostles and the letters of St. Paul to the earliest communities of believers. Juniors are introduced to the early Church Fathers, Church Councils, and the development of Church doctrine. Historical events that indelibly shaped the Church are noted, including the development and role of the hierarchy, the East-West Schism and the Protestant Reformation, and Vatican II.
Living our Vocation: Responding to God's Call - 9303
This course offers seniors an understanding of the life-long challenge of discerning God's plan for their lives through the study of those called in the Old and New Testament and as witnesses today. It is meant to develop a deeper appreciation of one’s sexuality while embracing both the gift and the challenge therein, as rooted in Catholic teaching and tradition. The developmental tasks of adulthood are explored: identity, autonomy, love, work, money, and leisure. Relevant information will be shared on “all states of life” focusing on the single life, married life, and religious life.
REL 104: World Religions - 9310**
This course introduces the following major religious traditions: Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Confucianism/Taoism, Judaism, and Islam. Study includes the major founders (where applicable), beliefs, scriptures, practices and ethics of the traditions as well as contemporary internal issues, the impact of globalization on the traditions, an introduction to the concept of contextualization in the study of religion as well as interfaith dialogue around common issues of concern to the traditions.
Semester 2: REL 343: Catholic Social Teaching - 9315** This course will examine the historical settings and the biblical and theological foundations for Catholic Social Teaching. By applying a process of social analysis, students will probe the underlying causes of issues of social justice and peace. The course will explore how the principles of Catholic Social Teaching address these issues and how students might apply these principles to their future service experiences.