It's not just about the classes here at FSHA. In addition to a full slate of class offerings, including 24 Advanced Placement classes and electives that cover all disciplines, learning extends throughout and beyond the classroom.

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Religious Studies Overview

The Religious Studies Department mirrors the Dominican tradition of Veritas and the mission of the high school in providing a holistic curriculum which explores and celebrates the unique gifts of each young woman. The goals of the department include providing an age-appropriate introduction to the theological, ideological and historical dimensions of the Catholic Christian religion, a recognition and celebration of the interdependence and interaction of a wide variety of religious traditions, and full individual appreciation of and participation in, a real, lived faith. 

The scope and sequence of classes build on the wisdom and growing maturity of each grade level, clarifying Catholic teachings and traditions in relation to each course and stressing a wider application of social justice and shared faith. Starting in ninth grade with an “Introduction to Catholic Christianity and Personal Spirituality” and ending in senior year with “Women’s Spirituality,” classes challenge the student to recognize and develop her own faith journey within the parameters of her own religious tradition while continuing to appreciate the spiritual and liturgical dimensions of participation in a Catholic private high school.

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy strives to meet the unique needs of our culturally and religiously diverse student body while at the same time ensuring that we are in alignment with the curriculum set by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Sr. Mary Therese's Freshmen Religion Instagram Feed


Religious Studies Courses

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • Religion I

    1st Semester:    “Introduction to Catholic Christianity and Personal Spirituality”            
    This freshman course is designed to embrace the diversity of the student community while examining the sources, teaching and vision of Catholic Christianity (especially) as it relates to students entering an unfamiliar environment. Basic Catholic theology is introduced within the context of Hebrew Scriptures, Judaic roots, Christian Scriptures and Catholic Tradition. Running parallel through the course is the recognition of a universal call to holiness.   This theme invites each student to participate fully in her own journey by examining components of emerging spirituality and personally experienced faith. The relationship between faith and practice is on on-going conversation as students begin to identify and recognize the complexity of their own religious identities.
    2nd Semester:   “Morality and Ethics”
    This ninth grade course is an introduction to contemporary issues of personal and social morality and ethics. It offers students an opportunity to recognize a need for and subsequently develop the ability for sound judgment, personal boundaries and positive decision making skills. Topics discussed in the course include: issues of prejudice and discrimination (including anti-Semitism, gender bias, racism), human sexuality, life issues (including abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment), social justice issues (including work and the worker, war and violence, global oppression), materialism, negative manipulation by the media. Referencing the universal “Golden Rule” of Loving One’s Neighbor as One’s self, this class challenges students to analyze themselves as they develop a moral foundation.
  • Religion II

    1st Semester: “World Religions”
    This course is designed as a survey of the world’s major religions with a brief overview of lesser-known religions. An ever-growing sense of global awareness and sensitivity act as general guidelines in approaching this class. The religions are studied in a historical context, which in turn, impacts their present-day status. Each religion is also cloaked in a cultural tradition which leads to study of the various beliefs as they are understood, practiced and celebrated. More than being a comparative religions course, this class encourages students to view the common ground of diverse belief systems with an appreciation of and respect for the uniqueness that vitalizes different aspects of each religion. The course is an objective survey meant to focus on the truth about religion rather than the truth of a particular religion.
    2nd Semester: “Old Testament Studies: Laying Foundations in The Pentateuch”
    This course introduces the student to the first five books of the Old Testament known as the Pentateuch. Focusing on the general Biblical theme of covenant, the class provides an overview of the transition of the Hebrew people into the Israelite nation. Attention is paid to both the spiritual and secular significance (historical and contemporary) of the stories and literature. Students will enjoy the opportunity to develop full character sketches of the Matriarchs and Patriarchs.
  • Religion III

    1st Semester: “Wisdom and Prophecy of the Old Testament”
    “Old Testament Studies: The History and Wisdom of Israel” is designed as a continuation of the work started in grade 10. Following the themes of covenant and community this overview allows students to examine the development of the Israelite nation, its kings and prophets, poetry, wisdom and the Psalms. The final part of the class outlines the anticipation of a messiah as it transitions into an introduction to the gospels of the New Testament.
    2nd Semester: “The Mission of Jesus: Living the Prophesies”
    The New Testament is centered on Jesus, the Christ. A two-pronged methodology is applied to explaining Christology: characterization of the divinity of Jesus (the “from above” approach) is blended with the portrayal of the humanity of the Nazarene (the “from below” approach). His salvific action and His ongoing presence are integrated by rooting our study in a biblical, historical, and personal meeting of Jesus primarily through the Gospels. The Acts of the Apostles, the Letters and the Book of Revelation complete this study of the Christ. The course transitions into a concise study of the legacy that Jesus left behind – his Church. Students will look closely at the historical development of major Church Councils and Catholic documents that illustrate and emphasize Jesus’ call for social justice to the poor and the oppressed.
  • Religion IV

    1st Semester: “Women in Church History”

    This course will allow students to explore the thoughts and writings of some of the most important and influential women in Church history. The class will cover a wide range of historical women from the Hebrew Scriptures, Christian Scriptures, Early Church, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Enlightenment, and into the 21st century. While the main focus of the course will be on women in the Catholic Church, we will briefly explore the roles of women in contemporary Judaism and Islam.

    2nd Semester: “Vocations”

    This course offers the senior student an opportunity to synthesize the content learned throughout her four years of religion courses at FSHA. Through the works of Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, and James Martin, among others, the second semester senior will begin to explore the idea of vocation– who is God calling her to be? She will begin to understand faith through an adult’s eyes and will develop the skills and tools needed on the journey of adult faith formation.
  • Christian Service

    The Christian Service Program requires all students to complete a minimum of 15 hours of service per year.  

    In order to fulfill the requirements of the Christian Service Program, students may donate their time to one-on-one service to the elderly, poor, sick, lonely, disadvantaged, rejected, imprisioned, physically, emotionally, abused, or psychologically challeneged persons. The liturgical ministries of lector, altar server, or cantor may constitue no more then one-third of a student's total hours. A maximum of five of the fifteen hours may be for FSHA, for such events as GALA.
"FSHA always challenged me to be a better student. The classes pushed me to expand my thinking and work hard. I'm ready for college because of the education I received here." —Kayla Grahn '15

Religious Studies Faculty

List of 5 members.

  • Kristina Ortega 

    Religious Studies Dept. Chair / Religious Studies Teacher
    Loyola Marymount University - MA
    Archdiocese of Los Angeles - Certification, High School Religious Studies
  • Abagael Davitt 12

    Campus Ministry / Religion Teacher
  • Olympio D'Mello 

    Religious Studies Teacher; Academic Decathlon
    University of California, Los Angeles - M.A.
    Marquette University - M.A.
    Osmania University - M.A.
    Universita Pontificia Salesiana - B.Div.
    Archdiocese of Los Angeles - Certification-High School Religious Studies
  • Jazmin Jimenez 01

    Religion Teacher
    (626) 685-8300
    Loyola Marymount University - BA
  • Juliette Marsh Williams 

    Religious Studies Teacher
    Catholic University of America - JCL Canon Law
    Loyola University of Chicago - M.A.
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy is an all girls' Catholic, Dominican, independent, college-preparatory day and boarding high school in the hills of La Cañada Flintridge. Overlooking Pasadena, FSHA educates girls from Los Angeles, Southern California and around the world for a life of faith, integrity and truth. 

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy

440 St. Katherine Drive
La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011
Phone: 626-685-8300

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