Theology Department

JCA’s Theology Department is staffed with knowledgeable Religiously Orthodox faculty members who have 15 years of teaching experience on average. JCA’s Theology Department is a frontrunner in religious studies. JCA is the first high school in the Diocese of Joliet to track student cognition and affect development using the NCEA’s IFG standardized testing, developed with the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

  • 30% of the Theology Staff­ is a Religious or Priest
  • Textbooks used at JCA meet the criteria of the USCCB’s Catechetical Review
  • Joliet Catholic Academy off­ers a curriculum based on the charisms of our sponsors, the Franciscans and Carmelites
  • Joliet Catholic Academy has been chosen by the Theology Faculty of Boston College to integrate pedagogy of critical consumption and of critical civic engagement within the new
    USCCB Framework
  • JCA is sensitive to the needs of Non-Catholic Students and facilitates and assists student’s growth in Theology Studies
  • In addition to presenting Theology as an academic endeavor, JCA also presents it as a need to be a lived experience
  • Outside of the classroom, students have the opportunity to join the Respect Life Club which has become the largest participant in the annual March for Life in the Diocese of Joliet


Cory McDermott ’01 holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from Lewis University.

Fr. Jeffery Smialek, O.Carm. holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, a Post-Degree Certificate from Pima Community College, Secondary Teacher Certification, a Master of Arts from Chicago State University, a Master of Divinity from Washington Theological Union, and a Master in Education from DePaul University. Fr. Jeffery Smialek holds an Illinois Secondary Teacher Certification in History and an Illinois General School Administrator Certificate (Type 75).


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