Dr. Ron Bolster

Dr. Ron Bolster

Associate Professor of Theology

Dean of the School of Theology & Philosophy

[email protected]
(740) 284-5322

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Ron Bolster is an associate professor of theology on the faculty of the Catechetics Office at Franciscan University. The former director of that office, he also served the Diocese of Peoria before joining the faculty at Franciscan in 2004. He holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Notre Dame, Australia, an MA in Theology with Catechetical Certification from Franciscan and a BS in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University. He serves on the Confirmation Team for the parishes of the City of Steubenville and has experience in RCIA, the Neocatechumenal Way and catechist training. He is co-author of Ascension Press’ “Chosen: Your Journey to Confirmation” program. Ron and his wife, Andrea, reside with their children in Steubenville.

University of Notre Dame, Australia

  • Ph.D. Education, March 2021

Franciscan University

  • M.A. Theology and Christian Ministry, May 1997
  • Certificate in Catechetics, May 1998

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering (with Distinction), May 1987
  • CAT 204 Catechetics
    This course provides a survey of the history, methods, content and contemporary practice of Catholic religious education, inspired by God’s Pedagogy of Revelation and the Response of Faith, for the purpose of familiarizing future catechists with the mind of the Church concerning catechesis. Essential catechetical documents of the Church will be studied for the purpose of providing an understanding of the nature and scope of catechetics while establishing a basis for further catechetical study. An introduction to catechetical methodology will include certain post-Conciliar methodologies that interfere with the delivery of the Deposit of Faith and the conversion of those being catechized. Typical deficiencies in catechetical materials will be discussed. Finally, the content of catechesis will be addressed by introducing the technique of analyzing doctrine for effective delivery. Thus the content will be studied as well as its application.
  • CAT 301 Catechetical Content and Curriculum
    Course specifically addresses the content of catechesis, the Deposit of Faith. It will explore magisterial guidance on the characteristics of the content, its integrity, organic unity, and the need for its systematic delivery. Kerygmatic catechesis will be presented as the delivery system for doctrine. The right ordering of catechetical material will be presented and exercise in the development of curricula will be provided. Finally, the process of analyzing doctrine for the purpose of delivering it more effectively will be explained and demonstrated for various individual doctrines.
  • CAT 403 Management and Administration in the Parish and Diocese
    This course is designed to be proximate preparation for entry into the professional catechetical field. This course will be a survey of administrative, management, personal and public relations, leadership, policy, legal, and professional development topics from a gospel perspective for the purpose of facilitating a successful transition to a parish or diocesan position within the Church.
  • CAT 405 Catechetical Ministries in the Church
    This course will examine the various ways in which catechesis is done in the United States.  It will be explicit in relationship to a Catholic worldview and the catechumenal model.  We will cover adult catechesis, family catechesis, parish school of religion, Catholic schools, textbook evaluation, catechist training, catechesis of the young child, sacramental prep, youth ministry, campus ministry, chastity education, the RCIA and Catholics returning to the sacraments. We will discuss each of those apostolic endeavors in light of their principles, materials, and the needs of the Church today.
  • THE 101 Foundations of Catholicism
    This course introduces the student to the teaching of the Catholic Church as it is rooted in Scripture and Tradition and faithfully proclaimed by the Church’s magisterium, celebrated in the sacraments and expressed in our prayer. In addition, the course will include some discussion of Church history, spirituality, the moral life and theology, including how these are embodied in the life and teaching of St. Francis.
  • THE 641 Catechetical Content and Curriculum
    This course examines Jesus as the essential content of all catechetical endeavors. It identifies the four pillars of the Deposit of Faith—creed, liturgy and sacraments, Christian moral living, and prayer—as the basis for the Christian life. It discusses the implications of the kerygma on catechesis, i.e., emphasis on insertion into the mystery of Christ. This course considers necessary elements of any catechetical work as explicated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and includes practice in the development of curricula for specific catechetical needs. A tour of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, for the purpose of analyzing doctrine, will complete the second half of the semester.
  • THE 694 Catechetical Practice Today
    This course will examine the various ways in which catechesis is done in the United States. It will be specific in relationship to a Catholic worldview and the catechumenal model. Specifically we will cover adult catechesis, family catechesis, youth ministry, campus ministry, Catholic schools, parish school of religion, DRE/catechist training, textbook evaluations, chastity education, and Sacramental Preparation. There are specific reading assignments for each of these topics which must be represented in the projects.
  • THE 780 Scripture, the Heart of Catechesis
    This course introduces revelation as the teaching technique of God the Father and examines the content and method of Jesus’ teaching. The apostles’ teaching styles, the content of their catechesis, and their use of Scripture are covered as well. The scriptural basis of the catechesis of the Fathers of the Church is included. The course also explores implementation of Bible studies and liturgies of the Word for evangelical and catechetical purposes and provides practice in biblical narrative and teaching from Scripture.
  • Confirmation Team – City of Steubenville Parishes, 2014-present
  • Scoutmaster – Troop 401 Holy Family Church, 2014-present
  • Lay Ecclsial Ministry Symposium, Collegeville, MN, August 2011
  • Stuebenville Diocesan Educational Leadership Conference – 2008
  • RCIA Team – St. Philomena, Peoria, IL – 1999-2004
  • Neocatechumenal Way – St. Philomena, Peoria, IL – 1999-2004
  • Jesuit Volunteer Corps/Hospice Home Health Aide – Peace Hospice, Great Falls Montana – 1994-95
  • Assistant Youth Minister – St. Augustine, Oak Harbor, WA – 1990-1994
  • Camp Counselor – Camp Happiness/Camp Agape for developmentally disabled children, Wickliffe, OH Summers 1984, 1985
Department Faculty