Religious Studies

“As disciples of Christ, we educate and nurture hope in all learners to realize their full potential to transform God’s world.”

Religious Studies is an integral part of each student’s high school experience.  At each of the five high schools in the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, each student has opportunity  to  participate in every aspect of school life including attending Mass and taking part in faith-based activities, programs and courses as part of their educational journey.

Students are expected to enrol in  Religious Studies courses each year of high school. These general themes are intended to assist students to be true to themselves and to help them find their authentic voice in the world.

Spiritual retreats and other faith-based events throughout the school year assist and support students through general themes. Review detailed descriptions of these themes by selected the links.

Overview of Religion Programs


Monsignor Doyle Pathways
Resurrection Pathways
St. Benedict Pathways
St. David Pathways
St. Mary’s Pathways

This course invites students to a deeper understanding of both the joy and the demands of following in the way of Christ and living out the call to discipleship as it is described in the Scriptures. Through a lens filtered by Scripture, Profession of Faith, Christian Moral Development, Prayer, Sacramental Life, and Family Life, students use the Beatitudes as a touchstone to examine the attitudes and actions that characterize the Christian life. Students will explore a variety of topics related to the themes of personhood, interpersonal relationships and sexuality. They are encouraged to understand and nurture within themselves the virtues which will enable them to deepen their relationship with God in and through Christ in the context of a Spirit-filled community.

Student Reflection:

Grade 9 Religion was not merely a trip. It was the start of a journey. It was my first time ever in a religion class and I did not know what to expect. I found myself surprised at the fun we all had, and everything I learned. I learned about multiple intelligence, the Beatitudes, self-worth, and (un)healthy relationships. I could say more my it would take a long, long time. Another reason it was like a journey was because I made many new friends. When I came to St. Benedict, I know almost no one. Now, I see friends everywhere, and many of them are from Religion class. Finally it is like a journey because I will be able to take what I have learned this semester and apply it to the root of my like. I believe that one day I will look back on all that I learn in this course and smile.
By Madison,  Grade 9

This course invites and challenges the adolescent to personalize the principles that guide Catholics in understanding their role in shaping culture through our discipleship. The exploration of these principles starts with the Scriptural foundations to the questions of what it means to be human and how God has and continues to shape our humanity through culture. The principles are then developed through the Gospel themes that reveal how Jesus’ Kingdom of God is expressed in all of our relationships: to ourselves, to others, to our civil society, to our Church, and to our Global community.

World Religions and Belief Traditions: Perspectives, Issues, and Challenges (University/College):

This course provides students with opportunities to explore various world religions and belief traditions. Students will develop knowledge of the terms and concepts relevant to this area of study, will examine the ways in which religions and belief traditions meet various human needs, and will learn about the relationship between belief and action. They will examine sacred writings and teachings, consider how concepts of time and place influence different religions and belief traditions, and develop research and inquiry skills related to the study of human expressions of belief.

World Religions: Beliefs and Daily Life (Open):

This course enables students to study world religions and belief traditions in local, Canadian, and global contexts. Students will explore aspects of the human quest for meaning and will examine world religions and belief traditions as exemplified in various sacred teachings and principles, rites, and passages. They will also study the interaction throughout history between society and various belief traditions, and will have opportunities to develop research and inquiry skills related to the study of world religions and belief traditions.

Student Reflection:

It is important for individuals to understand and appreciate the religious beliefs of others because in Canada all faiths have to come together. This allows people of all religions to accept each other’s struggles and can help us improve as an individual and as a multi-religious country. Learning about different religions can improve yourself as a person and allows you to be more open minded about things you are unsure of. Taking this grade 11 course has changed my outlook on religions because it shown me how different and how similar some religions are. Every religion has its own festivals, rituals and way of living but in between all of them, they are alike. I have learned a lot in this class about religions that I did not know of before. This expanded my knowledge and helped me to be more accepting of other religions within Canada. I believe it is very important for every student to take this class because it allows you to enter and learn about different religions and cultures, It allows you to be more accepting of others and their beliefs.

By Rylie, Grade 11

Religious Education: Church and Culture (University/College):

This course has the aim of assisting students in understanding themselves as moral persons living the way of Christ through an examination of ethical theories, the revelation of Sacred Scripture, and the experience and teaching of the Catholic Church. While grounded in Revelation, the course also examines the contributions of Philosophy and the sciences to a Catholic understanding of ethics and moral living. Students will explore their own ethical and moral stance through an examination of various arenas of life such as issues of justice and peace, freedom, reconciliation, family, marriage and political life. This course is intended to prepare the senior student for the lifelong task of discerning what is good and of God while growing in their ability to live accordingly as moral persons and active, life-giving members of a global society. Special attention is given to the interaction between the Church and culture. The modern world is characterized by a multiplicity of values, philosophies, and ideologies. In a democratic, pluralistic society, these concepts may creatively reinforce one another or they may compete with and contradict one another. The Christian moral life is a call to follow Jesus Christ, to believe in the redemptive love of God for humankind and to proclaim and incarnate the reign of God as inaugurated by Jesus Christ.

Religious Education: Church and Culture (Open):

This course assists students in their development of the skills and knowledge necessary to live lives of full maturity. Within the Catholic faith tradition, it is believed that this growth towards human maturity is best served when students are able to define themselves authentically in relation to their God, to other people and to their world. In the Family Life Education strand, students explore a variety of topics related to the themes of personhood, interpersonal relationships and sexuality. Students will demonstrate a knowledge of the prophetic tradition in scripture, become familiar with the social teachings of the Catholic Church, explore contemporary notions of spirituality and prayer, and recognize the importance, power, and potential of the human person in relation to morality and personal choices concerning future life paths.