The Catholic Biblical School

Announcing a partnership between The Institute for Catholic Formation and the Catholic Biblical School, coming this Fall!

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Hearing God’s Word in Life and Ministry

Do you ever wish you had a “hearing aid” to clarify God’s voice speaking in your heart? Now more than ever, we need the voice of Jesus to speak the words of everlasting life to us and to our world. The Bible is God’s Word, and Christians can encounter God’s voice more clearly in the Bible by engaging the tools of Scripture study and prayer that the Church finds indispensable for Christian disciples.

The Archdiocese of Hartford Catholic Biblical School (CBS) been a kind of “hearing aid” for thousands of adults throughout New England as they engage God’s Word in every book of the Bible. And this fall the Catholic Biblical School will be meeting in Bridgeport!

There will be two locations available – the Catholic Center (Bridgeport) and another satellite in Stamford.

In the meantime, save the following dates:

  • September 11 – Orientation (evening)
  • Thursday evenings beginning September 23 from 6:30 to 8:30
Each year of the four-year program runs for 30 weeks.

The cost is only $380, a bit more if you wish to take courses for college credit.

Who Should Apply?

The CBS Core program is recommended for all who desire to meet the Lord in a deeper way through Sacred Scripture and invites adults to apply who expect to be able to complete the requirements for 2-4 years. Prior experience with Bible study is not required.

About the Program

The Catholic Biblical School (CBS) offers a four-year program of intensive study covering the entire Bible in two phases:

Basic Biblical Studies – The first two years focus on methods of study and praying with Scripture and a comprehensive study of major books of both the Old and New Testaments in the following order:

  • First Year – Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Genesis, Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings
  • Second Year – Mark, Luke, Acts, Pauline Letters, John, Letters of John, Revelation

Students completing the requirements of the first two years of the program will earn the archdiocesan Certificate of Basic Biblical Studies.

Advanced Biblical Studies – The remaining two years cover all other books of the Old and New Testaments (Catholic Bible). Students who successfully complete this phase will earn the archdiocesan Certificate of Advanced Biblical Studies.

Credit-bearing Bible Studies: Students who enroll in the St. Thomas Seminary (STS) Certificate in Biblical Studies program can earn up to eighteen undergraduate credits. STS students complete the core program plus some additional requirements.

Making Sense of the Bible in the Catholic Tradition: This six-week course introduces the “nuts and bolts” of the Bible and is available on request to parishes and Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of Hartford. Designed to provide a solid grounding in the practical foundations of reading and praying Scripture, this program extends the teaching ministry of CBS to those who are not yet ready to enroll in a more intensive program.

Learn More


Continuing Biblical Formation for CBS Alumnae/i: A variety of opportunities, including an annual lecture series and advanced coursework, are offered for those who have completed the four-year program.

Mentoring Biblical Leaders: In addition to our formal programs, the Catholic Biblical School is available to accompany leaders in our faith communities (for instance, pastors, deacons, religious educators, Catholic school personnel) in ways to ground their Catholic ministry in Sacred Scripture.

Costs: Tuition is $380 per year. Books are an additional expense. For students enrolling for academic credit, Saint Thomas Seminary assesses an $80 administrative fee.

What Bible Should I Choose?

Choosing a Bible is a very personal decision. There are many Bible translations to choose from, and you will want to consider many different factors. Do you want a Catholic Bible (with 73 books) or a Protestant Bible (with 66 books) or a Bible from another faith tradition (Jewish, for example)? Are you planning to study the Bible seriously (as in the Catholic Biblical School) or will you use your Bible mainly for prayer and reflection?

If you need some guidance, here is an article that will begin to help you answer some of these questions as you consider what Bible you want to purchase.

Read the Article

Methods of Instruction

The Catholic Biblical School provides an integrated learning experience involving head, heart and hands. We use a variety of instructional methods appropriate to adult learning, including:

  • Weekly reading and writing assignments, including Scripture passages and biblical commentary
  • Communal prayer
  • Small group discussion
  • Input from professionally trained teachers
  • Testing, to evaluate and consolidate learning (two- and four-year programs only)
  • Participation in “Scripture Days,” which are days of reflection on the Bible
  • A summer book assignment submitted at opening day each year (two- and four-year programs only)

Study “Tracks” and Archdiocesan Certificates

What learning “track” will best help me achieve my spiritual and educational goals? CBS includes the three learning tracks, described below.

  • The Certificate Track (“not for credit”) includes all students working toward the two archdiocesan certificates, starting with the two-year “Basic Certificate” and culminating in the four-year “Advanced Certificate.” Certificate students complete all five required Learning Components each year to stay “on track.”
  • The Saint Thomas Seminary Track (“for credit”) includes students who not only complete all Learning Components each year but who take on additional standards and requirements to achieve the St. Thomas Seminary Certificate and earn up to 18 college credits. Syllabi for all four CBS core courses are provided on our Course Details page.
  • The Participant Track includes students who are serious about their studies but may not have time or flexibility to complete all five required Learning Components in each unit of study. “Participants” do not achieve archdiocesan certificates but can earn alumni status after four years, depending on individual achievement.


More About Certificates


All faculty are Roman Catholics who are actively engaged in their faith and are in good standing in their parish communities. They all hold advanced theological degrees at the graduate level and have cultivated expertise in adult faith formation.

Dr. Thomas Casey
Teaches Alumni/ae Course Offerings

S.T.L. (Theology) Saint Mary Seminary and University, Baltimore, MD

S.T.M (New Testament) Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY

Ph.D. (Biblical Studies / New Testament) Catholic University of America, Washington, DC

Ms. Alexis Chacchia
Teaches CBS 100, 200, 300, and 400

B.A. (History) Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, CT

M.R.E. (Youth and Young Adult Ministry) Fordham University, Bronx, NY

Dr. Joseph Coray
Teaches CBS 100 and 200

B.A. Saint Francis University, Loretto, PA (Sociology)

M.A. Saint Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry, Rochester, NY (Theology)

D.Min. Graduate Theological Foundation, Oklahoma City, OK (Biblical Studies)

Ms. Amy Ekeh
Teaches CBS 200 and 400

B.A. (Theology) University of Dallas, Irving, TX

M.A. (Theology) Catholic University of America, Washington, DC


Ms. Barbara Jean Daly Horell
Archdiocesan Director of Catholic Biblical School

Teaches CBS 100, 200, 300 and 400

A.B. Honors (Religious Studies) Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA

M.T.S. (Biblical Studies) Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Post-masters Certificate (Spirituality) Boston College, Newton, MA

Ms. Judith Kostelni
Teaches CBS 300 and 400

B.B.A. (Accounting) University of San Diego, San Diego, CA

M.P.H. (Health Policy and Management) Columbia University, New York, NY

M.A. (Education) University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT

M.T.S. (Biblical Studies) Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Fr. Jeremiah N. Murasso
Teaches CBS 300 and 400

B.A. (Philosophy) St. Bonaventure University, Allegheny, NY

M.A. (Philosophy), M.A. (Dogmatic Theology) The Gregorian University, Rome

M.A. (Education, Applied Psychology) Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT

C.A.S. (School Administration and School Psychology) Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT

Ph.D. (Pastoral Psychology) The Gregorian University, Rome

Ed.D. (Education)—The Graduate Theological Foundation, Mishawaka, IN

Psy.D. (Psychology)—The Graduate Theological Foundation, Mishawaka, IN

Deacon Dr. Robert Pallotti
Teaches CBS 200

B.A. University of Hartford, Hartford, CT

M.A. (Religious Studies) Saint Joseph College, West Hartford, CT

D.Min. Graduate Theological Foundation, Mishawaka, IN

Ms. Melissa Pucci
Teaches CBS 100

B.A. (Literature and Religious Studies) Salve Regina University, Newport, RI

M.A.R. (Religious Studies) Yale University, Divinity School, New Haven, CT

Ms. Linda Ward
Teaches CBS 100

B.A. Molloy College, Rockville Centre, NY (Education and Psychology)

M.S. Adelphi University, Garden City, NY (Special Education)

Professional Diploma Fordham University (Educational Administration)

M.A. Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington, NY (Theology)

Required Texts

Participants will purchase books either via Amazon or from the Archdiocese of Hartford (workbooks, etc.)

CBS 100 (Year One/Blue Workbook)

CBS 200 (Year Two/Red Workbook) (In addition to the texts required in Year One)

CBS 300 (Advanced Year/Cycle A/Green Workbook)* (In addition to the texts required in Years One and Two)

CBS 400 (Advanced Year/Cycle B/Orange Workbook)* (In addition to the texts required in Years One and Two)

A Catholic Study Bible. Recommended translations: New American Bible Revised Edition (2011 or later), New Jerusalem Bible, New Revised Standard Version with Apocrypha, Revised Standard Version with Apocrypha. Paraphrased and/or condensed Bibles are not an acceptable primary text for use in this program.

The Catholic Biblical School Student Workbook Year 1: Old Testament Foundations, Genesis Through Kings, (Paulist Press, 2007) (ISBN 978 0 8091 9584 8) to be purchased from the CBS office

Introduction to the Bible: A Catholic Guide to Studying Scripture, Stephen J. Binz (Liturgical Press, 2007) (ISBN 978 0 8146 1700 7)

Eerdman’s Dictionary of the Bible, David Noel Freedman, ed. (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Ltd., 2000) (ISBN 978 0 8028 2400 4)

An atlas of biblical lands. Recommended atlas: Oxford Bible Atlas, Fourth Edition, Adrian Curtis, ed. (Oxford University Press) (ISBN 9 780199 56046 2) (Any similar atlas or online map that provides the information required in the student workbook is permissible. Hammond Atlas of Bible Lands, though out of print, works well.)

Reading the Old Testament, Lawrence Boadt, Revised and Updated by Richard Clifford and Daniel Harrington, (Paulist Press, 2012) (ISBN 978 0 8091 4780 9)

“Genesis,” New Collegeville Bible Commentary: Old Testament, Joan E. Cook (Liturgical Press, 2011) (ISBN 978 0 8146 2836 2) OR "Genesis," Collegeville Bible Commentary Old Testament #2, Pauline Viviano (Liturgical Press, 1985) (ISBN 0 8146 1370 5)

The Catholic Biblical School Student Workbook Year 2: New Testament Foundations: Jesus and Discipleship (Paulist Press, 2008) (ISBN 978 0 8091 9586 2) to be purchased from the CBS office

Gospel Parallels, fifth edition, B.H. Throckmorton, Jr., ed., (Thomas Nelson, 1992) (ISBN 978 0 8407 7484 2)

Jesus: A Gospel Portrait, revised edition, Donald Senior, C.P. (Paulist Press, 1992) (ISBN 0 8091 3338 5)

An Introduction to the New Testament for Catholics, Joseph F. Kelly (Liturgical Press, 2006) (ISBN 978 0 8146 5216 9)

Revelation and the End of All Things, Craig R. Koester (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2001) (ISBN 978 0 8028 4660 0)

The Gospel and Epistles of John: a Concise Commentary, fourth edition, Raymond Brown (Liturgical Press, 1986) (ISBN 9780814612835)

*Advanced year class texts alternate yearly between Cycle A and Cycle B

The Catholic Biblical School Student Workbook Year Three: Old Testament Continued, Exile and Restoration (Paulist Press, 2009) (ISBN 978 0 8091 9588 6) to be purchased from the CBS office

Conversing with God in Scripture: A Contemporary Approach to Lectio Divina, Stephen Binz (The Word Among Us Press, 2008) (ISBN 978 1 5932 5126 0)

The Prophets, Volume 1, Abraham J. Heschel (Harper & Row Publishers, 1962) (ISBN 978 0 0613 1421 6)

Introduction to the Prophets, Thomas L. Leclerc (Paulist Press, 1995) (978 0 8091 4492 1)

“Ezekiel, Daniel,” Corrine Carvalho, New Collegeville Bible Commentary (ISBN 978 0 8146 2850 8) OR Toni Craven, Collegeville Bible Commentaries (ISBN 978 0 8146 1423 5) also used in CBS 400

*Advanced year class texts alternate yearly between Cycle A and Cycle B

The Catholic Biblical School Student Workbook Year Four, Old and New Testaments Concluded, The Word in the Hellenistic World (Paulist Press, 2010) (ISBN 978 0 8091 9590 9) to be purchased from the CBS office.

The Wisdom Literature, Kathleen M. O’Connor (Liturgical Press, 1990) (ISBN 978-0-8146-5571-9)

“Ezekiel, Daniel,” Corrine Carvalho, New Collegeville Bible Commentary (ISBN 978 0 8146 2850 8) OR Toni Craven, Collegeville Bible Commentary (ISBN 978 0 8146 1423 5) also used in CBS 300

Companion God, revised edition, George T. Montague (Paulist Press, 2010) (ISBN 978 0 8091 4501 0)


Classes will take place in two locations around the diocese. All classes are on Thursday nights from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

Catholic Center
238 Jewett Ave
Bridgeport, CT 06606

Request an Application

For more information, email Dr. Patrick Donovan at or BJ Daly Horell at