Uncover secret beauty hiding in plain sight with Theology of Sacred Architecture taught by Professor Erik Bootsma in the approaching Fall II term.

Class begins October 24th and registration is already open!

Theology of Sacred Architecture introduces the history, theology and symbolism of Catholic sacred architecture, focusing on how its development has affected the shape, configuration and use of the Catholic Church throughout various architectural styles and eras.

The class will trace the Church’s development from Pagan and Old Testament ideas of sacred architecture through the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Counter-Reformation and Vatican II.

Professor Bootsma is a prominent architect, lecturer and commentator. His work on sacred and classical architecture has appeared in journals and outlets such as First Things, Crisis Magazine, Catholic World Report, Adoremus and Catholic News Agency.

He has also lectured at the Catholic Art Guild, the Hillsdale College Kirby Center, the University of Notre Dame, Franciscan University of Steubenville and The Catholic University of America.

He holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture and an undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts from Thomas Aquinas College in California. He is a registered architect in the state of Virginia and has been in private practice since 2014, focusing on ecclesiastical architecture.

The cross-listed course (HUM 260 & THEO 290/590) fulfills Humanities or Theology credits at the undergraduate level or graduate level. Students will learn to:

  • Articulate the major periods of development in Catholic sacred architecture.
  • Identify the essential parts of a church and their theological symbolism, particularly the baptistry, the sanctuary, the altar and the tabernacle and the liturgical celebrations proper to each.
  • Have general knowledge of the various documents touching on sacred architecture and general knowledge of the canonical and conciliar decrees about sacred Architecture and the liturgy.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness and appropriateness of a given design in communicating theology of the Catholic Faith.

Those interested in understanding the role of sacred architecture and art in the Catholic Church’s theology and liturgy should complete their application quickly as registration is already underway for the Fall II term, which begins October 24th. There is no application fee!