Rigorous Academics

Religious Studies

With a focus on reflection and faith formation, Mercy’s Religion classes integrate personal experiences into curricular teachings. Classes are more personal than academic or intellectual; they are relational and growth-oriented. Our Christian worldview emphasizes individual dignity and celebrates the human experience.

Over four years, each lesson builds off the previous one. Freshmen and sophomores develop understanding of the Catholic foundation, and become familiar with the books, figures, and themes. As juniors, students learn to build their personal moral framework, and to find beauty and meaning in the ordinary. As seniors, they look outward through Service Learning or World Religions, and reflect on morality on a societal level. 

At Mercy we welcome students from other faith traditions and without. Differing religious beliefs and traditions enliven our conversations and give students a broader world-view, leading to a greater understanding of others. 

Sandy Flaherty, Mercy’s Director of Catholic Identity and Religious Studies teacher, has published an informative and guiding resource for families considering a Catholic education that you can read here. An editorial, Why Choose Catholic Education? is designed to educate parents on how Catholic education is distinct from other learning environments. 

Project Examples:

  • Interview people of different ages about what baptism means to them
  • Create captions on Christmas images that reflect a deeper meaning (graphic right)
  • Find Bible presence in current music, movies, government, or other cultural references and present to the class
  • Develop ‘10 Teen Commandments’: youth-centric rules to live by in high school
  • Scavenger hunt for World Religions class in San Francisco's Chinatown

Department Goals for Students:

  • Know that she is loved
  • Understand her purpose to serve
  • Gain confidence in her faith
  • Value a relationship with God, others, and self

Classes Offered

Religious Studies I

Religious Studies I provides an introduction to the Bible, the Catholic Faith and Morality.

Religious Studies II

Religious Studies II offers an in-depth exploration of the person of Jesus, the divinity of Christ and a brief history of the Church.

Religious Studies III

Religious Studies III explores the Sacramental Life of the Catholic Church and the Principles of Ethical Decision Making.

Religious Studies IV Social Justice

Religious Studies IV Social Justice: offers an opportunity for students to examine Catholic Social Teaching in depth and explore the importance of the Sisters of Mercy Critical Concerns. This course helps students develop a sense of social ethics.

Religious Studies IV World Religions

Religious Studies IV World Religions: explores Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam, and Taoism and the effect that religion has on the modern world.

Religious Studies IV Social Justice and Service

Religious Studies IV Social Justice and Service: is a full year course that combines service in the community with reflection on Scripture, Catholic Social Teaching and the Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy.