Theology Department

Courses Offered

Semester One – The Bible: The Living Word of God
Semester Two – Jesus Christ: God’s Love Made Visible

Semester One – The Sacramental Life: Encounters with Christ
Semester Two – Christian Morality: A Response to God’s Love

Semester One – The New Testament: The Good News of Jesus Christ
Semester Two – The Church: Its Message and Mission

Semester One – The Catholic Church and World Religions: Religious Literacy in a Changing World; Living the Gospel Today: Vocations & Sexuality
Semester Two – The Call to Discipleship:Catholic Social Teaching

Department Philosophy & Goals

Students are required to study Theology throughout their eight semesters at DSHA. Courses are designed to be in alignment with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Framework for teaching Theology in a Catholic high school and seek to offer students the knowledge and desire necessary to deepen their relationship with God, be formed by the Sacred Scripture and Catholic Church teaching and tradition, and serve as witnesses to the goodness and kindness of Jesus.

Students are given opportunities to develop their moral character and deepen their commitment to living in service to others. Classes are academically challenging, and encourage students to critically think about content while discerning God’s will in their lives.

We believe:

  • That each of our students is valuable and uniquely blessed
  • That together we form a community of believers that recognize our call from Christ to live as brothers and sisters
  • That through the study of Theology students are engaged in teh continuing pursuit of “faith seeking understanding” (St. Anselm)

That we are Church and are called to:

  • Be active members of a worshipping community.
  • Be people rooted in and formed by our Catholic heritage and traditions.
  • Be formed by the Word of God, the Sacred Scripture.
  • Be witnesses of hope in our present world as well as in the final fulfillment of all creation.
  • Serve others throughout life.
  • Transform the world through the transformation of persons.
  • Eliminate the root causes of injustice.

Thus, it is our aim to help each student:

  • Develop and deepen her relationship with God.
  • Develop a genuine spirituality to sustain her in life.
  • Discover her gifts and grow in self-esteem.
  • Approach spiritual growth as a holistic experience which also includes emotional development and the formation of genuine interpersonal relationships.
  • Discover a deeper understanding and appreciation of the liturgy, sacraments and Sacred Scripture.
  • Develop skills and a process for moral decision-making.
  • Explore the lifestyle options available to her: married, single, and religious life.
  • Experience the call, responsibility, and privilege of serving others.
  • Appreciate the faith and religious traditions of those who seek God in different religious expressions.
  • Understand that her responsibility extends beyond her own local community, ultimately reaching to all of God’s children.
  • Accept that spiritual and emotional growth is a life-long, dynamic process.
  • Realize her citizenship in and responsibilities to the world community.

Additional Experiences

Students participate in daily prayer, reflection days and annual retreats. All students participate in monthly liturgical services and other prayer experiences especially during the seasons of Advent and Lent. All-School Eucharistic liturgies are celebrated monthly and optional liturgies every Faith Friday.


Service to others is and always has been an essential element of our Catholic faith. All members of the DSHA school community are invited to participate in various service opportunities throughout the school year. All students participate in monthly food and clothing drives and outreach to the needy on local, national and international levels. These projects are of special importance during Advent and Lent. Students are also invited to participate in liturgy planning and training for various liturgical roles.

All students are required to participate in at least two service experiences each semester, one of which places her in direct service to the poor and/or vulnerable. The Salvatorian Service Award is presented to those graduating seniors who have best exemplified the spirit of Matthew 25: Whatsoever you do for the least of these, you do for me.


Mrs. Judie Gillespie, Department Chair
BA in philosophy, Marquette University
MA in religious studies, Cardinal Stritch University
Teaching at DSHA since 2003

Mrs. Mary Duffy
BS in education, UW-Whitewater
Certification in youth ministry, Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Advance certification in religious education, Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Teaching at DSHA since 2010

Mrs. Lorna Grade
BA in management & professional communications, Alverno College
MA in religious studies, Cardinal Stritch University
Teaching at DSHA since 2004

Ms. Catherine Lennon,
Campus Minister for Liturgy and Prayer
BA in music, English, University of Notre Dame
MA in sacred music, University of Notre Dame
Teaching at DSHA since 2014

Mrs. Lisa Metz
BA in social work, UW-Milwaukee
MA in religious studies, Cardinal Stritch University
Certification in youth ministry studies, Center for Ministry Development
Advanced certification in religious education, Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Teaching at DSHA since 2000

Mr. Daniel Pavlovich
BA in history, political science, UW-Whitewater
MA in elementary education, Alverno College
MA in religious studies, Cardinal Stritch University
Teaching at DSHA since 2013

Fr. Dennis Thiessen, SDS
BA in US history, Dominican College of Racine, WI
MA in systematic theology, Graduate Theological Union, Berkley, CA
Master of Divinity, Franciscan School of Theology, Berkley, CA
Teaching at DSHA since 2013

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