Course Number: DTH 751
Course Title: Christology


Dr. Cynthia Toolin-Wilson



This course considers the person of Jesus Christ and the theology of the Incarnation, with particular attention to the development of Christological doctrine and to the theology of Thomas Aquinas.


1. Students will demonstrate a knowledge of basic Christological dogma.

2. Students will demonstrate an ability to explain basic information about the divinity of Christ, and what follows from that, to others.

3. Students will demonstrate an ability to explain basic information about the humanity of Christ, and what follows from that, to others.


Based primarily on Aquinas' Summa, Part III, the following seven topics are examined: General information on the Incarnation, The Person of Christ, The assumed nature of Christ, The co-assumed nature of Christ, Consequences concerning Christ, Consequences concerning the relation to his Father, and, Consequences concerning man.

Week 1

This week you will learn what Thomas says about the fitness of the Incarnation.

Week 2

This week you will learn what Thomas says about the mode of the union of the Word incarnate.

Week 3

This week you will learn what Thomas says about the mode of union on the part of the person assuming.

Week 4

This week you will learn what Thomas says about the mode of union of the part of human nature.

Week 5

This week you will learn what Thomas says about the parts of human nature which were assumed and the order of assumption.

Week 6

This week you will learn what Thomas says about Christ's three "kinds" of grace.

Week 7

This week you will begin to learn what Thomas says about Christ's "kinds" knowledge.

Week 8

This week you will continue to learn what Thomas says about Christ's "kinds" of knowledge.

Week 9

This week you will learn what Thomas says about the power of Christ's soul.

Week 10

This week you will learn what Thomas says about the defects of the body and of the soul assumed by Christ.

Week 11

This week you will learn what Thomas says about things applicable to Christ in his being and becoming, as well as about his nativity.

Week 12

This week you will learn what Thomas says about Christ's unity of will and unity of operation.

Week 13

This week you will learn what Thomas says about Christ's subjection to the Father, his prayer and his priesthood.

Week 14

This week you will learn what Thomas says about adoption as befitting Christ, the predestination of Christ, the adoration of Christ, and Christ as called the mediator of God and man.

Week 15

This week you will learn what Thomas says about Christ in the Summa Contra Gentiles, Book 4.


1. Discussion Postings. 

Post your summary by Thursday, 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time. You also must respond to the summaries of ONLY two other students by Saturday, 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time.

Exceptions to post after the due time and date will only be granted for serious cases, i.e. serious health/family issues. You must contact your professor for consideration of any exceptions.

Discussion topics are listed within each week  in the lesson.

Your comments can be to raise a question or to discuss a point that another student has posted. Do not just reiterate what the other student has written.

2. Complete all reading and writing assignments.

Reading assignments are listed in the lessons tab under the appropriate week.

2. Final exam.

As you complete each reading assignment, you should learn the content and how to work    with it.

The exam is a closed book, essay exam to be taken on Populi. You will receive four questions to answer. Each exam is generated as the student takes it; that is, no two students will have the same exam. Try to write for at least 30 minutes on each question. You do not need to find a proctor for the exam.


The readings in this course are available on the Internet.

You will need access to Summa Contra Gentiles, Book 4: Salvation, online.

Here are some other sources that you may find interesting. I am not requiring them, nor suggesting you read them. I am just making you aware of the sources.

A concise and interesting discussion of Christology is in Kenneth Baker, S.J., Fundamentals of Catholicism, Volume 2: Christ. Ignatius Press, 1983.

A good overall book to own is Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma. I use this book all the time - it is a wonderful resource. Note however that it is very old. It refers to "the" Vatican Council, because Vatican Council II had not yet taken place. However, it is still a top notch source!

Here are two interesting books by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Behold the Pierced One (Ignatius, 1986) and On the Way to Jesus Christ (Ignatius, 2005). See also Jesus of Nazareth (Doubleday, 2007) as Benedict XVI.

An excellent text is The Mystery of Jesus Christ by F. Ocariz, L.F. Mateo Seco and J.A. Riestra (Four Courts Press, 1994).

For an easy summary of Thomas, you can use Paul Glenn, A Tour of the Summa. THIS IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR READING THE SUMMA! However, the summary is very clear - I relied on it in some of the notes in the Course Documents.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I have addressed some of the readings, by week, in the Course Documents section. Note that I have not addressed all of the reading, but some of the more important points. Do not substitute what I have written for reading and summarizing the readings on your own!

Optional Media:

If you would like to listen to media about Jesus, here is an interesting series on the Priesthood of Jesus Christ by Fr. Frederick Miller at the EWTN site.



Holy Apostles College & Seminary is committed to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunities and full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities who qualify for admission to the College. Students enrolled in online courses who have documented disabilities requiring special accommodations should contact Robert Mish at or 860-632-3015. In all cases, reasonable accommodations will be made to ensure that all students with disabilities have access to course materials in a mode in which they can receive them. Students who have technological limitations (e.g., slow Internet connection speeds in convents) are asked to notify their instructors the first week of class for alternative means of delivery.


Students at Holy Apostles College & Seminary are expected to practice academic honesty.

Avoiding Plagiarism

In its broadest sense, plagiarism is using someone else's work or ideas, presented or claimed as your own.  At this stage in your academic career, you should be fully conscious of what it means to plagiarize. This is an inherently unethical activity because it entails the uncredited use of someone else's expression of ideas for another's personal advancement; that is, it entails the use of a person merely as a means to another person’s ends. Plagiarism includes: 1. Directly quoting without acknowledging the source. 2. Changing a few words of a text without indicating this was done and/or not acknowledging the source. 3. Not acknowledging that the structure of ideas or logic is from another author. 4. Not acknowledging a unique image (including analogies, similes, metaphors etc.) is from a particular document or author.

Students, where applicable:

·     Should identify the title, author, page number/webpage address, and publication date of works when directly quoting small portions of texts, articles, interviews, or websites.

·     Students should not copy more than two paragraphs from any source as a major component of papers or projects.

·     Should appropriately identify the source of information when paraphrasing (restating) ideas from texts, interviews, articles, or websites.

·     Should follow the Holy Apostles College & Seminary Stylesheet (available on the Online Writing Lab’s website at

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:

Because of the nature of this class, academic dishonesty is taken very seriously.  Students caught plagiarizing will receive a zero for the assignment, and may be withdrawn from the class and/or expelled from Holy Apostles.


Even though you are not required to be logged in at any precise time or day, you are expected to login several times during each week. Because this class is being taught entirely in a technology-mediated forum, it is important to actively participate each week in the course. In a traditional classroom setting for a 3-credit course, students would be required, per the federal standards, to be in class three 50-minute sessions (or 2.5 hours a week) and prepare for class discussions six 50-minute sessions (or 5 hours) a week. Expect to devote at least nine 50-minute sessions (or 7.5 quality hours) a week to this course. A failure on the student’s part to actively participate in the life of the course may result in a reduction of the final grade a reduction of the final grade.


An Incomplete is a temporary grade assigned at the discretion of the faculty member. It is typically allowed in situations in which the student has satisfactorily completed major components of the course and has the ability to finish the remaining work without re-enrolling, but has encountered extenuating circumstances, such as illness, that prevent his or her doing so prior to the last day of class.

To request an incomplete, distance-learning students must first download a copy of the Incomplete Request Form. This document is located within the Shared folder of the Files tab in Populi. Secondly, students must fill in any necessary information directly within the PDF document. Lastly, students must send their form to their professor via email for approval. “Approval” should be understood as the professor responding to the student’s email in favor of granting the “Incomplete” status of the student.

Students receiving an Incomplete must submit the missing course work by the end of the sixth week following the semester in which they were enrolled. An incomplete grade (I) automatically turns into the grade of “F” if the course work is not completed.

Students who have completed little or no work are ineligible for an incomplete. Students who feel they are in danger of failing the course due to an inability to complete course assignments should withdraw from the course.

A “W” (Withdrawal) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the first week of a semester to the end of the third week. A “WF” (Withdrawal/Fail) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the third week of a semester and on or before the Friday before the last week of the semester


Dr. Cynthia Toolin-Wilson, Ph.D., S.T.L is a Professor of Dogmatic and Moral Theology. She holds a doctorate in sociology from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and a licentiate from Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C.  She serves as the Registrar and Institutional Statistician, teaches graduate courses on campus and through distance learning, and is the author of numerous theology articles. A wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she divides her time between Connecticut and Vermont.