How and where do I register?
Registration is open until the end of September. New students must begin with Year 1 and cannot hop right into year 2 without first completing Year 1. Rising Year 2 students must have completed the Year 1 curriculum.
Click here to join us!
Can I register if I haven’t attended an information session?
Yes. However, we find that students are more successful over the course of the four-year program if they have attended a summer Information Session where one of our instructors explained the details of the program. While we strongly urge prospective students to attend one of these sessions before class begins, we certainly do not prevent any student from registering if they cannot make it to an Information Session in the summer. Students who missed the summer Information Session will get a simple re-cap at the first day of class by their instructor.
Can I audit a class?
Auditors must be Biblical School graduates only. Auditors do not participate in small group discussions, although they may coordinate with other auditors to form their own small groups for discussion. There is no registration fee or tuition for auditors, however auditors may purchase a Student Workbook for $30.00. Auditors may also purchase any of the books regularly sold by the Biblical School at the regular purchase price.
[NOTE: Auditors MUST be graduates of the entire four-year CBS program. Auditors cannot be current students who want to “re-take” a year.]
Does the Biblical School offer some kind of a degree?
The Catholic Biblical School is not a degree program. However, at the end of the program, we celebrate in a graduation Mass and award a Certificate of Biblical Studies to individuals who fulfill the requirements of the four-year program. (Enrichment Courses offered throughout the year do not offer certificates.)
Can my teenager attend class?
We will follow the long-standing policy of the Denver Catholic Biblical School that CBS students must be adults; that is, 18 years or older. There are several reasons that this policy is in place. Most importantly, quite often class and homework questions involve mature content, and since small group discussions review class and homework, a youth might be exposed to inappropriate mature and complicated personal life matters.
However, teenagers under the age of 18 may enroll in our Enrichment Courses with the permission of their parent, as those courses are lecture-based and do not involve small group discussions.
Do you have information sessions?
Yes, we hold free and fun Information Sessions live and in-person at the hosting parish and simultaneously streamed online via zoom during August. During an Information Session, you will receive a dynamic talk by one of our instructors and receive information about what to expect from the program. Please visit our “Information Sessions” page for the full list of sessions scheduled in August. All new students are very strongly encouraged to attend an Information Session before starting class, so they are fully informed before committing to the program.
How is CBS different than other Bible studies?
Bible studies at the parish level often have great resources, including study guides and video-based lecture programs. These are wonderful courses that often cover selected themes or portions of the Bible, and may include group discussion of the material. The great strength of the Catholic Biblical School is the LIVE instruction from highly-qualified instructors who have studied Scripture extensively and are passionate about the Catholic faith. While video programs are formative and excellent in their own way, they do not offer the same quality and depth of formation found in our program of study.
What’s more, other parish group studies that may have live instructors do not benefit from our time-tested and life changing integrated curriculum that takes the student through every book of the Bible, thus imparting both a general and focused education on Salvation History and Church teaching.
Why does someone typically enroll?
Students enroll for a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons we hear most frequently are: (1) to grow in the knowledge and love of the faith; (2) to encounter Jesus personally through study and prayer; (3) to understand more about the readings at Mass (4) to engage in and develop a community of like-minded Catholics to share the journey of conversion; (5) to catechize family members, especially children and grandchildren; (6) to learn how to explain and share the faith with others; (7) to find emotional and/or spiritual healing through study of the material and small group discussions; (8) to simply learn how to read the Bible and be able to reference it when needed; and finally, (9) to feel more confident and effective to participate in parish ministries. One thing is for sure, after participating in Biblical School for just one year, students find they are enriched and fulfilled for many reasons!
What is the Catholic Biblical School?
The Denver Catholic Biblical School was founded in 1982 by Sr. Macrina Scott (d. 2016) in response to Vatican II’s call for a renewal in the study of Sacred Scripture among the people of God. Our mission is to help people personally encounter the living Christ in Scripture as they commit to a life of Christian discipleship. It doesn’t matter if you have been a long-time student of Scripture or are a beginner, our program is designed to help the average, busy Catholic discover the timelessness of God’s Word and transform your life!
The Biblical School program is a four-year in-depth reading and studying of every book of the Bible within the context of the Catholic Tradition. Sacred Scripture is presented in an integral and integrated way: every book of the Bible is studied and the connection between the books of the Bible is demonstrated. Each year of study builds upon the previous year(s) and looks forward to the next. The following is the plan of study for the program:
FIRST YEAR: From Eden to Exile: Salvation History from Genesis to 2 Maccabees
SECOND YEAR: Proclaiming the Kingdom: The Synoptic Gospels, Acts, and the Letters of Paul
THIRD YEAR: Judgment & Restoration: The Prophets, Tobit, Judith, and Esther
FOURTH YEAR: Wisdom and the Word: The Psalms and Wisdom Literature; Catholic Epistles; John and Revelation
Do I get a new instructor each year?
Students will typically have a different instructor each year, but not always. This is a great benefit to the students because each instructor brings his/her own unique talents, perspectives, and witness to the classroom.
As the Biblical School grows in the diocese of Arlington, we will build up a team of talented instructors who are excellent and very passionate about sharing the faith, so no matter who teaches your class, you’re in very good hands!
What is the time commitment?
Our academic year consists of 30 weeks of classes, spanning September through May, with several breaks typically in the fall and spring, as well as time off for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.
As for the time requirements each week, count on the lecture and optional small groups being no longer than two hours in length. Weekly reading and (thoughtful) homework responses typically require 2–3 hours each week for the average student, some spend more, some spend less; it’s completely up to the student. Regardless, we always encourage students to do their best each week with whatever time they have, even if they are limited in the time they can spend with coursework. Do you best and have fun is our motto!
When and where are classes held?
Our inaugural Year 1 classes launched in the fall of 2020 and were both hosted at Sacred Heart of Jesus in Winchester. A new round of Year 1 classes will be launched at Sacred Heart of Jesus again this fall, 2021, on Thursday mornings and evenings. Our goal is to host classes at other parishes in the diocese of Arlington in the very near future.
Please note: Whenever a class launches at a particular day, time, and location it will remain the same day, time, and location for the duration of the four-year program. If a student decides to change class locations or time (e.g. move from a morning to an evening class) during the year or between years, he/she is completely free to do so and should contact the instructor of the change.
How big are small groups? Are they important?
Small groups are typically composed of 6-7 individuals. Directed small group discussions have an effective and valuable place in the adult learning process. By completing homework lessons in their own words, students better retain what they have learned, deepen their understanding of the material, and improve their ability to share it with others. Small group discussions are guided by the questions in that week’s homework assignment, so discussions remain focused on the lesson at hand. Students report that small group discussions have helped them better see how God is working in people’s lives and how Scripture can be brought to life in different ways. What’s more, our small groups also foster a deeper sense of community and great relationships with newfound friends in the Catholic community at large.
Please note: For the 2021/22 academic year, small groups will be optional because of lingering COVID concerns.
I’m not into the weekly assignments. Can I just audit the lecture?
Auditing class is available only to graduates of the Biblical School. Regular students must meet attendance requirements, complete weekly assignments, and semester reviews. However, homework and semester reviews are not as difficult as people initially think, but are very simple, and greatly facilitate the learning process. The weekly assignment is principally the reading of the scriptural text along with the preparation of six questions that help the students to understand and apply the lessons to their life. The goal of the questions is to have students engage the material intellectually and spiritually. As for the semester review “tests,” they are take-home and open book, which helps the students to approach it more as an enjoyable review of the semester’s content, rather than a stressful exam, which it isn’t! Indeed, it is rather humorous and fun! Everything is designed for the average, busy “Joe or Jane Catholic” in the pew to simply do their best without stressing. Have fun and do your best is our motto!
Are assignments and semester reviews graded?
Nope. We do not award letter grades for the CBS program. Homework and semester reviews are Pass/Fail based on simple completion. Upon successful completion of all coursework each year (complete all homework, midterm and spring reviews) and after meeting attendance and tuition requirements, the student is able to move on to the next year of study.
What are my responsibilities as a student?
(1) Attend class regularly (around 6 absences throughout the year are permitted; speak with the instructor for unusual circumstances) and complete all weekly homework assignments;
(2) Complete take-home, open-book semester reviews;
(3) Pay tuition balance in full by June 15 at the end of the academic year.
All in all, we ask students to simply do their best from week to week without stressing. Just have fun and enjoy learning about the Scriptures!
Is the program offered online?
Yes. The Biblical School class will be taught live and in-person to students in the parish and simultaneously live streamed via Zoom to students at home.
Please note: Only students who live in Virginia are allowed to participate in the Catholic Biblical School program. Exceptions can be made for students living just across northern Virginia border in West Virginia and Maryland, who because of the geographical proximity, regularly participate in events offered by the Arlington diocese and may even be parishioners in our churches. However, our various enrichment courses on Scripture are open to anyone, anywhere.
What is the weekly class format?
Weekly Biblical School classes follow this format:
15 minutes: Lectio Divina, Welcome, Announcements, etc.
25 minutes: Small Group time
5 minutes: Break before lecture
75 minutes: Lecture and Q&A.
Please note: Because of lingering COVID concerns, for the 2021/2022 academic year we will have small groups be optional and follow the following format:
15 minutes: Lectio Divina, Welcome, Announcements, etc.
75 minutes: Lecture and Q&A.
25 minutes: Optional Small Group time.
Are there any scholarships or financial assistance for tuition?
Yes, we offer the following discounts:
- Seniors (65+), Active Military, Veteran, First Responder, Parish Volunteer Catechist: 10% scholarship.
- Part-time employee of a Catholic ministry, Diocesan department, Catholic school: 50% scholarship.
- Full-time employee of a Catholic ministry, Diocesan department, Catholic school: 100% discount (pay only reg fee).
*To qualify for discounted tuition, the student must provide documentation of their military or employment status by Oct 15 of the fall semester. Student should contact the office for details on how to submit acceptable documentation.
Very limited tuition assistance from our St. Joseph Scholarship Fund may be available to those who truly need financial help. Our Tuition Assistance program is funded solely by generous donations from current and previous students, and other donors from our community who support our ministry. We do not receive any other funding for our programs.
The Director evaluates all applications submitted before the first week of class and then determines each student’s assistance award. He strives to help as many applicants as possible up to 50%. All students receiving tuition assistance are notified before classes begin. To be considered for Tuition Assistance, the student MUST (1) be registered for class and (2) have paid at least the $30 registration fee. Contact Dr. Lebish for the registration form.
Are there different payment options for tuition?
Yes, we offer great flexibility with regards to tuition payments!
Payment options include: (1) Pay once for year: Due when classes begin in September; (2) Pay semesterly: pay half the tuition the first semester then the second half during the second semester; (3) Monthly payments throughout the year: Make first payment in September, then make as many payments as you desire so your account is paid in full by June 15. (At the time of registration, the student will either pay all tuition for the year, or set up his/her automatic monthly payments.)
Regardless of the plan you choose, your tuition must be paid in full by June 15 at the end of the year. Thank you very much!
What is the cost of tuition and books?
2021-2022 tuition is $600, plus a $30 registration fee. That equates to $20 a class, or $10 per contact hour with the instructor.
Tuition includes the Student Workbook comprised of lesson outlines and other resources, which is the intellectual property of the Denver Catholic Biblical School in Colorado. 100% percent of your tuition helps our Catholic Biblical School in VA employ qualified instructors, staff, and expenses for future growth.
The cost of any other required books is additional (typical cost around $75 per year). Books can be purchased at the Sacred Heart of Jesus bookshop (all book sales benefit our St. Joseph Scholarship Fund to help students seeking financial assistance). Students can purchase the books anywhere if they are unable to support the bookshop.