Spiritual Life

Religious Education

Religious Education

Teaching, learning, and sharing the Catholic faith is ongoing throughout each and every day and school year. We have daily class and school prayer as well as monthly school wide celebrations of the Eucharist, monthly small grade level masses, and other religious celebrations throughout the year. All students also participate in grade level and school wide service learning projects which are all integrated with the rest of the curriculum. Every grade level includes a faith dimension (personal faith and Catholic teachings) in addition to a literary/historical dimension (the Bible or Church history/literature.)

List of 12 items.

  • Kindergarten – Bible Characters & Traits

    Children learn about individual Bible characters, the character traits they possess, the life of Jesus, and other common Biblical topics, which provides a strong education in the Bible and Christian character. Catholic traditions, practices, and Saints are woven throughout the year into the curriculum as well. Children are introduced to spontaneous prayer as well traditional prayers, which include the Sign of the Cross, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Grace before Meals, and Angel of God.
  • 1st Grade – God Loves Us

    The first grade program will lay the foundation for the children’s spiritual growth and development by enhancing their knowledge of the Catholic faith. This level teaches important faith concepts, including salvation, love, Baptism, the Holy Trinity, and the importance of Scripture. Children practice fundamental prayers, including the Sign of the Cross, Glory Be, Our Father, Hail Mary, Angel of God, and The Way of the Cross.
  • 2nd Grade – Jesus Shares God’s Life

    The structure and meaning of the Mass are emphasized throughout the year as students prepare for two sacraments, Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist. The catechesis helps children respond joyfully to God’s call to give themselves in love to God and others. This level also introduces children to the Church as the body of Christ and to Mary as Mother of the Church. Prayers include Morning Offering; Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love (short forms); Act of Contrition; Meal Prayers; Come, Holy Spirit (short form).
  • 3rd Grade – We Are the Church

    At this level, children learn the main truths that Catholics believe and express in the Apostles’ Creed. Children are called to the faith community and learn the ways Jesus is present to us during the Mass. The study and re-telling of Bible stories, especially those related to the mysteries of the rosary, continue. Children grow in their understanding of vocation, healing, and our response to God. Prayers include Morning Offering; Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love (short forms); Apostles’ Creed; Rosary; and Act of Contrition.
  • 4th Grade – God’s Law Guides Us

    Children are introduced to the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes as guides for living. Catechists teach children that, as followers of Jesus, we must know these teachings and live them. This level also focuses on kinds of prayer, parts of the Bible, reconciliation, and the communion of saints. Prayers include Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love; Angelus; Hail, Holy Queen; Come, Holy Spirit; and The Way of the Cross.
  • 5th Grade – We Meet Jesus in the Sacraments

    Students deepen their understanding of celebration and worship through the Eucharistic liturgy. The Eucharist is presented as a gift from God through which to share divine life. Lessons include liturgical prayer and guide children to respond to God’s presence through prayer and loving service to others. The text focuses on the sacramental system and the paschal mystery. Prayers include Come, Holy Spirit; Queen of Heaven; prayers of the Mass; and Psalms.
  • 6th Grade – We Are God’s People

    Students learn about God’s saving love as revealed in sacred Scripture, particularly in the Old Testament. This study of salvation history helps students gain a deeper appreciation of the person of Jesus Christ and his continued presence in the Church. Lessons also explore the book of Psalms, the concept of “sacred,” roots of the sacraments, symbols, and the perfection of God. New prayers include psalms and the Memorare to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
  • 7th Grade – Jesus: The Way, the Truth and the Life

    Students learn about the teachings and mission of Jesus. They gain deeper understanding of the paschal mystery and ways to live the message of the Gospels. Students will see Christ as our way to the Father and grow in understanding and love of Jesus. This level, which explores journaling, also discusses respect for justice and the RCIA program. Prayers include Prayer to St. Michael, Act of Contrition (Rite of Reconciliation), Acts of Faith, Hope and Love, Prayer of St. Francis, and the Nicene Creed.
  • 8th Grade – The Church Then and Now

    Students study the history of the Church with an emphasis on the Images, Models and Marks of the Church, and grow in an awareness of the mystery of the Church and its mission. Students are invited to value their union with Christ in the Church and to live according to Christ’s teachings. Lessons focus on the Liturgy of the Hours, reflective prayer, respect for life, the life of the Church, and the presence and action of the Holy Spirit.
  • 9th Grade

    Introduction to Catholicism

    This class serves to provide a foundational understand of the Catholic faith by examining the major pillars of Catholicism and the theological and philosophical tenets on which it stands. The course examines the structures of theistic, Christian, and Catholic apologetics, that form the basis of Catholic teaching as well as the philosophical arguments for the faith's fundamental beliefs. Students will explore at a high level the ideas of the great philosophers and thinkers who have laid the groundwork of Catholic theology through socratic dialogues and by engaging with the primary texts. This course serves to provide the groundwork for students to more deeply investigate the beliefs, teachings, and practices of Catholicism and the logical foundations of Western Philosophy on which it is built.
  • 10th Grade

    Sacred Scripture and Church History

    In the ancient words of St. Jerome, “to be ignorant of Scripture is to be ignorant of Christ.” This course is designed to present Sacred Scripture to students in continuity with the Sacred Tradition of the Church, by studying it through the lens of the Magisterium and the Church Fathers. Similarly, this course will also present to students a condensed history of the Catholic Church, in order to better understand the present state of the Church. Church history will be broken down into four areas of study – early Church history (33-600 AD), Medieval history (600-1300), the Modern Era (1300-1800s AD), and present day (1800s-present). 
  • 11th/12th Grade

    Philosophy and Apologetics
    In the encyclical Fides et Ratio, St. John Paul II states that “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.” This course will provide a philosophy of truth and logic that will serve as a basis for apologetics. In this social climate, having a foundation of reasoning and logic is crucial to both forming strong opinions and honing the ability to articulate those opinions. Using the works of great philosophers such as Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas, that foundation will be formed in the first semester, preparing students with the capability of tacking issues in the second semester such as the existence of God, the problem of evil, and moral relativism.

    IB World Religions
    This one-year course* is part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme curriculum. It fulfills the Diploma Programme requirement for a group 3 course, individuals and societies. It may also fulfill the IB Group 6 category. As described in the IB world religions subject brief, the world religions course “is a systematic, analytical yet empathetic study of the variety of beliefs and practices encountered in nine main religions of the world. The course seeks to promote an awareness of religious issues in the contemporary world by requiring the study of a diverse range of religions.”

    The course is divided into two parts. In the first part, an introduction to world religions, students will study six world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Bahá'. In the second part, students will study two religions in-depth: Buddhism and Islam. Throughout the year, students will participate in field trips in the Atlanta metro area to visit religious sites, faith centers, and museums.

    Moral Theology

    Building off of Philosophy and Apologetics, this course will continue to use philosophy as a backdrop to learning theology. After learning what it means to gain happiness in the philosophical sense, students will be introduced to concepts such a conscience, freedom, and virtue. This curriculum will culminate in an in-depth study of St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae. The goal here is for students to not only learn the foundations of moral theology, but see how it is necessary to live a good and holy life, especially in light of the family.

Service Learning

A critical aspect of our Faith is our ability to guide each student to have a heart for Service. Our Service Learning Program is a model platform that serves as a best-in-class example for other local schools. We have all of our students fully engaged in service projects throughout the year. The opportunities for service are numerous and allow our students to continuously give back to our local community.
One of Notre Dame Academy's missions is to form responsible men and women. To that end, students at Notre Dame Academy are given the opportunity to put their learning into practice. Each year, students pursue the study of a specific societal problem and then participate in a service project to address that need. Notre Dame Academy partners with organizations such as the Atlanta Humane Society, Ronald McDonald House, Hands of Christ: A Duluth Cooperative Ministry, and Habitat for Humanity.

List of 11 items.

  • Kindergarten

    Atlanta Humane Society - Kindergarten through 5th grade students donate much needed pet supplies and cleaning products.
  • 1st Grade

    Ronald McDonald House - At the beginning of the school year, Kindergarten through 12th grade students donate snacks for the families who stay at RMH, a home away from home for the families of seriously ill children in Atlanta hospitals. Throughout the year, students collect pop tabs. The money generated by the pop tabs provides financial support for the many programs and services of RMH.
  • 2nd Grade

    Country Gardens - 2nd graders make visits to Country Gardens, an assisted living facility in Duluth, playing games with the residents and making a craft with and for them.
  • 3rd Grade

    Amigos for Christ - Kindergarten through 12th grade donate chewable children's vitamins for children in Nicaragua, at a mission outreach location of Amigos for Christ. 3rd grade also collects Spanish children's books during the Book Fair.
  • 4th Grade

    Hands of Christ: a Duluth Cooperative Ministry - Kindergarten through 12th grade donate non-perishable food items twice a year to help families in need seeking assistance from Hands of Christ, a local food bank.
  • 5th Grade

    Catholic Charities - Kindergarten through 12th grade participates in Chest of Drawers refugee resettlement outreach by donating new children's clothes to refugee families who have been relocated to the metro Atlanta area.
  • 6th Grade

    Canine Assistants - 6th through 12th grade participates in "Stock the Farm" by donating much needed pet supplies, cleaning products and office supplies. 6th graders also make dog toys and treats throughout the school year.
  • 7th Grade

    A Beacon of Hope - Kindergarten through 12th grade students donate baby items for A Beacon of Hope, a faith based, non-denominational, pregnancy crisis center. As a thank you, 7th grade students host a baby shower with games and treats for Kindergarten through 6th grade.
  • 8th Grade

    Annandale Village - 8th grade students spend time interacting and forming relationships with the villagers, who are adults with developmental disabilities, five times during the school year.

    Clyde's Kitchen - Kindergarten through 12th grade students bring in fruit, and 8th graders deliver the fruit donations and serve in the kitchen of Clyde's Kitchen, a soup kitchen for the homeless in Atlanta, 8 times during the school year.
  • Upper School

    Habitat for Humanity - In the fall, Upper School students partner with other private and public schools throughout metro Atlanta to participate in the High School Build Habitat for Humanity building project. Students prepare and serve lunch one Saturday in the fall to the Habitat for Humanity workers and volunteers at the building site as well as provide volunteers on two Saturdays of the build.
  • All School

    The Parc – Throughout the school year, students in a variety of grade levels partner with the residents at The Parc. Some of the activities include band, choir and theater performances, pen pals, holiday cards, gardening club, and an invitation to participate in our virtual religious and spiritual events (weekly Mass, Tableau Rosary, All Saints Day Parade, Stations of the Cross, etc.).