First Advisor

Dot McElhone

Term of Graduation

Fall 2021

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum & Instruction




Catechetics -- Catholic Church, Christian education of teenagers, Non-Catholics in Catholic schools, Religious education – Curricula, Catholic Church -- Doctrines -- Outlines syllabi etc, Multicultural education -- United States, Catholic high schools



Physical Description

1 online resource (xv, 344 pages)


High school students deserve educations that honor and respect their cultural positionalities, of which religious beliefs are frequently an integral part. Almost 25% of students in Catholic high schools identify as non-Catholic, but the U.S. Catholic bishops have mandated that Catholic secondary theological education (through their 2008 Doctrinal Elements of a Curriculum Framework for the Development of Catechetical Materials for Young People of High School Age) be catechetical. In writing and promulgating this document, the bishops presupposed that Catholic schools' students are Catholic, or (should) desire to become Catholic. For decades, scholars have critiqued catechesis as an inappropriate mode of theological education for non-Catholic students. In Catholic schools, non-Catholic students are subject to systemic oppression on academic, religious, and cultural levels. The Framework fails religiously diverse students in its lack of relevance for and sensitivity to their beliefs.

In this qualitative interview study, I interviewed five theology teachers in Pacific Northwest Catholic high schools. I investigated their goals for theological education of religiously diverse students, how they meet the needs of such students, and how they diverge from the bishops' Framework in their teaching. I discovered that: my participants' experiences and educational backgrounds influence their approaches to theological education; my participants oppose catechesis as a mode of theological education in secondary education and instead strive to make theology relevant, responsive, and sustaining of their students' diverse beliefs; and that my participants follow the Framework's general structure, but diverge from and/or adapt its content in critical ways.


© 2021 David Michael Avram Gregory

In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Persistent Identifier