Catholic school teachers across the Diocese of Grand Rapids recently participated in a day of professional development focused on the Theology of the Body, studying God’s vision of the human person and human sexuality.
The professional development on August 14 launched a year-round program of examining this rich teaching. Under the direction of Bishop Walkowiak, leaders of all 31 of our Catholic schools will facilitate weekly formation in Theology of the Body with faculty from all grade levels and subject areas. The discussions have been planned by the Office of Catholic Schools and will use content from Ruah Woods, a Theology of the Body education center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In addition to the weekly discussions, professional development days planned in October and March will also feature Theology of the Body. The October activities will feature the U.S. bishops' recent pastoral letter against racism, "Open Wide Our Hearts," along with Theology of the Body. Activities in March will feature classroom learning labs highlighting teachers who have already implemented Theology of the Body in their teaching, to show their colleagues ways of incorporating this material into lessons.
The August 14 sessions were led by Sophia Institute for Teachers, a New Hampshire-based organization which provides professional development for Catholic educators, and they were held at Cathedral Square Center and West Catholic High School. See pictures in the gallery below or at this link.
This faith formation further prepares our educators to teach about what it means to be made in the image & likeness of God. As teachers study this material, our religion curriculum is being updated, as well. While many students have already begun receiving a grade-appropriate education in Theology of the Body, by 2020-21 it will be a specific part of the curriculum in all of our Catholic schools.
Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids are an alliance of 31 vibrant learning communities (26 elementary and five high schools) serving more than 6,550 preschool through 12th grade students throughout West Michigan. Our schools inspire young people to grow in Catholic faith and grace, achieve more in school and life, develop creativity and character, and feel welcomed and cherished for their unique gifts. We partner with parents to awaken the whole child to a world of light and life — that grows better and brighter when children reach their potential.