Sacred Heart School of Theology
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Sacred Heart offers public interfaith classes to help build bridges

Two powerful new seminary classes intended to help seminarians and lay Catholics alike to build bridges with people of other faiths will be open to the public in the fall semester at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology.

Dr. Sherry Blumberg, a long-time adjunct faculty member and winner of the 2012 Milwaukee Jewish Educator of the Year Award, will teach “Life of Holiness: Introduction to Judaism” (JW 571). Dr. Steven Shippee, an associate professor at Sacred Heart since 1995 and a published theologian in the area of interfaith relations, will teach “World Religions: Diversity and Dialog” (DT 573).

“This is an opportunity for people in the greater Milwaukee community totake advantage of two powerful classes taught by a couple of very gifted, energetic teachers,” said Dr. Patrick Russell, Sacred Heart’s vice president for intellectual formation and academic dean.

“Whether it helps you reduce fear to build bridges with people of other faiths, or dig deeper into the roots of your own faith, these classes will help you grow,” he said, adding, “As Catholics, we are called upon to be part of the solution. If we want to be good ‘Samaritans,’ these classes will help any person of faith do his or her part to bring the world together in a spirit of friendship and tolerance.”

Classes start the week of Aug. 31. Life of Holiness will meet from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Mondays, and World Religions will meet from 9 to 9:50 a.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays. The classes are offered individually. Tuition for either class is $550 on an audit basis, and $1,100 if taken for two credits. For more information or to enroll contact Julie O’Connor, registrar, at 414-529-6974,

Both classes are approved for Archdiocese of Milwaukee religious education certification: Each provides 20 clock hours in the theology category, advanced level.

Course descriptions:

JW 571: Life of Holiness: Introduction to Judaism (2 credits). This course gives the student a firm grasp of Judaism’s basic concepts, an understanding of who is a Jew, an appreciation of the Jewish experience in history, a view of the life of the Jews, and a sensitivity to the problems and issues facing Judaism today. Special attention will be given to Judaism in its historical context.

DT 573: World Religions: Diversity and Dialogue (2 credits). This course is a study of four major religions of the world: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam.  It also includes the study of dialogue between them and Christianity. This class seeks to inspire students to embody and enact the Second Vatican Council’s teaching regarding other religions and the interreligious dialogue.

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