THEOLOGY (THEO)

College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Theology
John Roach Center for the Liberal Arts (JRC) 153, (651) 962-5300
Brady (chair), Anthony, Bushlack, Carvalho, Cory, Faggioli, Gavrilyuk, Hollerich, Jordon, King, Landry, Levad, Martens, McInroy, McMichael, Montero, Myers, Niskanen, Ozdemir, Penchansky, Rolnick, Sain, Schlabach, Senander, Ulrich, Vrudny, Wojda

Department Web Site: http://www.stthomas.edu/theology/

In every historical period and cultural context, there are fundamental questions that concern human beings: the nature of the universe, the existence and nature of God, the nature of human beings, the relationship of a human to God and to his world, the nature of evil and the possibility of redemption.

The Department of Theology has designed a sequence of courses that acquaint students with these questions and assists them in articulating thoughtful responses formulated in light of the Catholic tradition and Christian faith. These courses contribute to the students’ liberal arts education at the University through the development of writing, reading and critical thinking skills.

The first course, “The Christian Theological Tradition,” introduces students to the theological framework that Christians have historically used to address questions of faith and human existence. The core readings for the course are from the Bible and from classic writers within the Christian tradition. The course provides students with an opportunity to reflect critically on the Catholic and Christian traditions within the context of contemporary life. Finally, it provides students with a basic level of theological literacy to prepare them for the second and third-level courses.

The second-level (200-numbered and 300-numbered) courses invite students to practice theology by engaging at a deeper level in the discipline of “faith seeking understanding.” Courses at this level focus on a particular area of the Christian tradition, namely; the Bible, historical theology, systematic theology or moral theology. Students critically examine core elements of the tradition, such as classic texts, concepts, persons, and events while remaining mindful of the contemporary context. Through these courses, students learn the skills and methods of the discipline. These second-level courses then serve as a foundation for the interdisciplinary Bridge Courses at the next level.

The “Bridge Course,” as the third course in the Faith and the Catholic Tradition sequence (400-numbered), will provide an opportunity for students to draw upon their entire program of studies. Serving as the culminating point for the curriculum, the Bridge Course prepares students to build connections between their studies in the liberal arts and the broader world for which their St. Thomas education has prepared them. A principal concern of the course is to guide students toward experiencing a sense of vocation in their professional, familial, and social lives. Because no single course can be expected to address all such areas, students will be offered three different types of bridge courses exploring different aspects of the broader world they are preparing to serve.

  1. The first type of bridge course will address vocation in careers and in the professions and will be thoroughly interdisciplinary in nature and in many cases will be team-taught. These courses will develop a theological reflection on a specific profession (for example, medicine, law, management, and education). Other courses of this type will address the intellectual vocation of various academic disciplines, bringing theology into dialogue with academic disciplines that prepare students for a wide variety of careers. We will give priority to developing as many course of this first type as we can, although we will always be limited by the availability of faculty who are prepared to address the particular concerns of the professions and the particular academic disciplines from a theological perspective.
  2. A second type of bridge course will cultivate in students a sense of vocation to serve the common good by bringing a theological viewpoint to bear upon significant contemporary social issues such as poverty, war and peace, marriage and family, and social issues related to gender. These courses may be team-taught. As involved citizens, all students will have some part to play in addressing such issues. Learning how to focus what they have learned at St. Thomas in a manner that will illuminate such social issues will strengthen their ability to act justly and wisely as they participate in public affairs.
  3. A third type of bridge course will prepare students to understand and address the complex religious issues emerging in the context of contemporary multicultural and global social conditions and interactions. These courses will be taught from a theological perspective and will focus on ecumenical and/or inter-religious study and dialogue (for example, courses in world religions). These courses may be team-taught. Developing a nuanced understanding of such issues is becoming increasingly important in political, professional, and economic areas of life. Enabling students to bring the fruit of their undergraduate study to bear upon such issues will prepare them to meet pressing contemporary needs.

The three levels of courses, thus, form an integrated sequence in the Faith and Catholic Tradition core area requirement. The first course introduces the tradition of Christian theological reflection. The second-level courses invite students “to do” theology—that is, to engage in reasoning about faith. In the third-level courses, students bring theological concepts and methods into dialogue with other disciplines.

National Honor Society for Religious Studies and Theology

Theta Alpha Kappa is devoted to encouraging and rewarding excellence in theology and the study of religion. The Greek letters stand for theos (God), anthropos (humans), and koinonia (community). In addition to recognizing excellence through induction into TAK, the Society also sponsors an essay contest, the winners of which are published in the TAK journal.

An induction ceremony is held at St. Thomas each spring. Those invited to join must meet academic criteria based on the number of theology courses taken, their GPA in theology courses, and their overall GPA.

Study Abroad: Theology majors and minors are encouraged to study abroad. Specific courses taken abroad may substitute for St. Thomas requirements. The exchange with Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia is particularly suitable. See the chair of the department or a study abroad advisor in the International Education Center, or Academic Information & Programs in the front section of this catalog for program options.

Major in Theology

Theology - Major Field Guide

  • THEO 101 The Christian Theological Tradition (4 credits)

                 or

THEO 102 The Christian Theological Tradition: The Bible and the Early Church (2 credits) and THEO 103 The Christian Theological Tradition: St. Augustine to the Present (2 credits)

Plus:

  • THEO 215 Christian Morality (4 credits)
  • THEO 301 Theological Methods and Resources (4 credits)
  • THEO 391 Seminar for Theology Majors and Minors (4 credits) or THEO 393 Research Thesis for Majors (4 credits)

Plus:

  • Four credits in Old Testament (OT)
  • Four credits in New Testament (NT)

(one course must be THEO 205 or 210)

  • Four credits in systematic theology
  • Four credits in historical theology 

Plus:

  • An additional eight elective credits in THEO courses

Major in Theology with a Ministry Concentration

The Lay Ministry Concentration is a specialization within the undergraduate theology major. It combines academic study (KNOW), observation of working ministers (SEE), and internship opportunities (DO), in order to provide students with the theological foundation, pastoral skills and spiritual formation necessary to assume entry-level positions in lay ecclesial ministry. Opportunities include pastoral ministry, youth ministry, religious education and faith formation, as well as a variety of support services for church and faith-based organizations.

Students who complete the program will have satisfied all of the theological competencies approved by the U.S. Conference of Bishops for lay ministers in the Roman Catholic Church, including the theology of revelation, God, church, sacraments and worship, morality and Catholic social teaching, ecumenism and interfaith relations. Ecumenical in nature and designed in cooperation with ministers from local Protestant churches, the program also welcomes students of other Christian traditions.

  • THEO 101 Christian Theological Tradition (4 credits)
  • THEO 205 Introduction to the Old Testament (4 credits) (or a 300-level course in Old Testament)
  • THEO 210 Introduction to the New Testament (4 credits) (or a 300-level course in New Testament)
  • THEO 215 Christian Morality (4 credits)
  • THEO 323 Church and Sacramentality (4 credits)
  • THEO 406 Pastoral Ministry (4 credits)
  • THEO 407 Catechesis and Faith Formation (4 credits)

Plus four credits from the following:

  • THEO 200 Christian Belief: Ancient and Contemporary (4 credits)
  • THEO 220 Early Christian Theology (4 credits)
  • THEO 373 Person and Mission of Jesus (4 credits)

Plus eight credits from the following:

  • THEO 240 Theology of the Protestant and Catholic Reformation (4 credits)
  • THEO 302 Second Vatican Council (4 credits)
  • THEO 325 Catholic Social Tradition (4 credits)
  • THEO 310 Christian Worship (4 credits)

Plus four credits from the following:

  • THEO 417 Internship for Ministry (4 credits)
  • THEO 445 Theology and Education (4 credits) 

Minor in Theology

  • THEO 101 The Christian Theological Tradition (4 credits) 

                or

THEO 102 The Christian Theological Tradition: The Bible and the Early Church (2 credits) and THEO 103 The Christian Theological Tradition: St. Augustine to the Present (2 credits)

Plus:

  • THEO 215 Christian Morality (4 credits)

Plus:

  • Four credits in Sacred Scripture
  • Eight additional credits in theology
  • Four credits in systematic theology or Four credits in historical theology 

Note: At least eight of the credits used to fulfill the minor must be at the 300-level or above. The department recommends either THEO 301 or 393 be chosen as one of the two electives for the minor.

Courses in areas of theological study:

Sacred Scripture

  • THEO 205 Old Testament (4 credits) (OT)
  • THEO 210 New Testament (4 credits) (NT)
  • THEO 330 Wisdom Writings in the Biblical Tradition (4 credits) (OT)
  • THEO 335 Letters of St. Paul (4 credits) (NT)
  • THEO 340 The Gospel of John (4 credits) (NT)
  • THEO 343 Apocalyptic Literature (4 credits) (OT & NT)
  • THEO 345 Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke (4 credits) (NT)
  • THEO 350 Historical Literature of the Old Testament (4 credits) (OT)
  • THEO 352 The Pentateuch (4 credits) (OT)
  • THEO 365 Prophetic Literature of the Old Testament (4 credits) (OT)
  • THEO 387 Topics in Scripture (4 credits) (OT or NT)
  • THEO 392 Topics in Scripture Theology-Half Course (2 credits)
  • THEO 428 Women and the Old Testament (4 credits) (OT)
  • THEO 430 Music and the Bible (4 credits) (OT & NT)
  • THEO 458 The Bible from a Multicultural Prospective (4 credits)
  • THEO 463 The Bible and American Politics (4 credits)
  • THEO 465 Justice and the Bible (4 credits)
  • THEO 466 The Qur’an and the Bible (4 credits)

Historical theology

  • THEO 220 Early Christian Theology (4 credits)
  • THEO 230 Medieval Theology (4 credits)
  • THEO 231 American Catholicism (4 credits)
  • THEO 240 Theology of the Protestant and Catholic Reformation (4 credits)
  • THEO 310 Christian Worship (4 credits)
  • THEO 320 Readings from St. Thomas Aquinas (4 credits)
  • THEO 357 Sacred Music of the Catholic Heritage (4 credits)
  • THEO 369 Salvation and Damnation: Theology of Luther and Calvin (4 credits)
  • THEO 383 Topics in Historical Theology-Half course (2 credits)
  • THEO 388 Topics in Historical Theology (4 credits)
  • THEO 411 Catholicism and Modernity (4 credits)
  • THEO 429 Women and the Christian Tradition (4 credits)
  • THEO 431 Women in the Early Church (4 credits)
  • THEO 432 Black Religious Experience (4 credits)
  • THEO 433 Theology and Politics (4 credits)
  • THEO 439 History of Religion in America (4 credits)
  • THEO 451 Christianity and Nazism (4 credits)

Systematic theology

  • THEO 200 Christian Belief: Ancient and Contemporary (4 credits)
  • THEO 301 Theological Methods and Resources (4 credits)
  • THEO 302 The Second Vatican Council (4 credits)
  • THEO 314 Christian Spirituality (4 credits)
  • THEO 323 Church and Sacramentality (4 credits)
  • THEO 360 Contemporary Catholic Theologians (4 credits)
  • THEO 373 The Person and Mission of Jesus Christ (4 credits)
  • THEO 380 Grace, Hope and Eschatology (4 credits)
  • THEO 381 Topics in Systematic Theology-Half Course (2 credits)
  • THEO 386 Topics in Systematic Theology (4 credits)
  • THEO 394 Death and the Afterlife (4 credits)
  • THEO 421 Theologies of Justice and Peace (4 credits)
  • THEO 422 Christian Faith and the Management Professions (4 credits)
  • THEO 423 Christian Marriage (4 credits)
  • THEO 424 Christianity and World Religions (4 credits)
  • THEO 425 Judaism (4 credits)
  • THEO 426 Islam (4 credits)
  • THEO 427 Evil and Suffering (4 credits)
  • THEO 434 Science and Christian Theology (4 credits)
  • THEO 435 Atheists and Apologists (4 credits)
  • THEO 436 Christian Faith and the Legal Profession (4 credits)
  • THEO 440 Hinduism and Buddhism (4 credits)
  • THEO 445 Theology and Education (4 credits)
  • THEO 446 Theology and Psychology (4 credits)
  • THEO 448 Theology and Literature (4 credits)
  • THEO 449 Theology and the Engineering Profession (4 credits)
  • THEO 450 Theology and Mass Media (4 credits)
  • THEO 452 Theology and Beauty (4 credits)
  • THEO 453 Theology and Art (4 credits)
  • THEO 455 The Church in Latin America (4 credits)
  • THEO 456 Christianity and Consumer Culture (4 credits)
  • THEO 457 Theology and Public Discourse (4 credits)
  • THEO 462 Theology and Literature of C.S. Lewis (4 credits)
  • THEO 464 Jesus Christ and Interreligious Dialogue (4 credits)
  • THEO 467 Muslim Christian Dialogue (4 credits)
  • THEO 471 Global Christianity (4 credits)

Moral theology

  • THEO 215 Christian Morality (4 credits)
  • THEO 325 Catholic Social Tradition (4 credits)
  • THEO 384 Topics in Moral Theology-Half Course (2 credits)
  • THEO 389 Issues in Christian Morality (4 credits)
  • THEO 420 Theology and the Biomedical Revolution (4 credits)
  • THEO 437 Christian Faith and the Health Care Professions (4 credits)
  • THEO 447 Faith, Social Transformation and Social Work (4 credits)
  • THEO 454 The Morality of War (4 credits)
  • THEO 459 Theology and the Environment (4 credits)
  • THEO 460 Christian Ethics and US Immigration (4 credits)

Certificate In Lay Ministry

The Certificate in Ministry will consist of eight (8) four-credit undergraduate courses chosen from among the approved courses in the Concentration in Lay Ministry. The specific choice of courses will be done in consultation with an adviser, who may, on occasion, substitute other courses if the person’s previous experience warrants it. Otherwise, courses will be chosen from the following list:

  • THEO 101 Christian Theological Tradition (4 credits)
  • THEO 205 Introduction to the Old Testament (4 credits) (or a 300-level course in Old Testament)
  • THEO 210 Introduction to the New Testament (4 credits) (or a 300-level course in New Testament)
  • THEO 215 Christian Morality (4 credits)
  • THEO 323 Church and Sacramentality (4 credits)

Plus four credits from the following:

  • THEO 200 Christian Belief: Ancient and Contemporary (4 credits)
  • THEO 220 Early Christian Theology (4 credits)
  • THEO 373 Person and Mission of Jesus (4 credits) 

Plus eight credits from the following:

  • THEO 240 Theology of the Protestant and Catholic Reformation (4 credits)
  • THEO 302 Second Vatican Council (4 credits)
  • THEO 310 Christian Worship (4 credits)
  • THEO 325 Catholic Social Tradition (4 credits)

All of the courses in the Certificate program are part of the standard offerings of the Theology department, as described in the undergraduate catalogue of the University of St. Thomas. These courses are taught by St. Thomas faculty at the same level and with the same standards as the coursework for major in Theology. Thus, the coursework for the Certificate in Ministry would be applicable toward a Baccalaureate of Arts degree, should the student decide to complete his or her studies at that level. Because they will be applicable toward the Theology major, all program standards will be the same as for the major. This means that students must maintain a grade point average of 2.0 within the program. No course can be taken on a Pass/Fail basis. If the department passes any other regulations for the major, these would automatically apply to the certificate program as well.

Because the students for which this program is designed likely will come with very different educational backgrounds and ministerial experiences, an adviser (and/or the Concentration in Ministry director) will work with each individual student to select the coursework that best meets his or her needs. At the same time, insofar as their coursework will be chosen from the approved courses for the Concentration in Ministry, students will attain a common educational experience by the time they have concluded the program. 

Applicants for the Ministry Certificate program should have at least 12 months of full-time or part-time professional ministry experience prior to admission. Prospective students will provide official high school transcript(s) or GED and official college transcript(s) (if any). They will also submit a writing sample, in which they reflect on their understanding of the vocation or theology of ministry, and a letter of recommendation from one of their supervisors in ministry. Students can transfer up to three courses approved by the program director.

Course Number Title Credits
THEO  101 Christian Theo Tradition 4
THEO  200 Christian Belief: Ancient/Cont 4
THEO  205 Old Testament 4
THEO  210 New Testament 4
THEO  215 Christian Morality 4
THEO  220 Early Christian Theology 4
THEO  230 Medieval Theology 4
THEO  231 American Catholicism 4
THEO  240 Prot & Catholic Reformation 4
THEO  243 Individual Study 2 OR 4
THEO  269 Research 2 OR 4
THEO  298 Topics 4
THEO  301 Theological Meths/Resources 4
THEO  302 Second Vatican Council 4
THEO  310 Christian Worship 4
THEO  314 Christian Spirituality 4
THEO  320 Readings: Thomas Aquinas 4
THEO  323 Church & Sacramentality 4
THEO  325 Catholic Social Tradition 4
THEO  330 Wisdom Writings 4
THEO  335 Letters of Saint Paul 4
THEO  343 Apocalyptic Literature 4
THEO  345 Gospels:Matthew, Mark, Luke 4
THEO  350 Hist Lit of Old Testament 4
THEO  352 The Pentateuch 4
THEO  357 Sacred Music:Cath Heritage 4
THEO  360 Contemp Cath Theologians 4
THEO  365 Prophetic Lit/ Old Test 4
THEO  369 Theology of Luther & Calvin 4
THEO  373 Person & Mission of Jesus 4
THEO  380 Grace, Hope, Eschatology 4
THEO  386 Topics in Systematic Theology 4
THEO  388 Topics in Historical Theo 4
THEO  389 Issues:Christian Morality 4
THEO  391 Seminar for Theo Maj/Min 4
THEO  393 Research Thesis for Majors 2 OR 4
THEO  394 Death and the Afterlife 4
THEO  395 Special Seminar 2
THEO  397 Special Seminar 0 OR 4
THEO  403 Theology and Genetics 4
THEO  405 Spiritual Formation 0
THEO  407 Catechesis & Faith Formation 4
THEO  411 Catholicism and Modernity 4
THEO  417 Internship in Ministry 4
THEO  420 Theology & Biomedical Revol 4
THEO  421 Theologies of Justice & Peace 4
THEO  422 Christ Faith & Mgmt Profesn 4
THEO  423 Christian Marriage 4
THEO  424 Christianity/World Religion 4
THEO  425 Judaism 4
THEO  426 Islam 4
THEO  427 Evil & Suffering 4
THEO  428 Women & the Old Testament 4
THEO  429 Women & Christian Tradition 4
THEO  430 Music & the Bible 4
THEO  431 Women in the Early Church 4
THEO  432 Black Religious Experience 4
THEO  433 Theology & Politics 4
THEO  434 Science & Christian Theo 4
THEO  435 Atheists & Apologists 4
THEO  436 Chrstian Fath & Legal Profes 4
THEO  437 Chrstn Faith & Hlth Care Prof. 4
THEO  438 Theo-Crime, Punish, Forgive 4
THEO  439 History of Religion in America 4
THEO  440 Hinduism & Buddhism 4
THEO  445 Theology and Education 4
THEO  446 Theology & Psychology 4
THEO  447 Fath, Social Transform & SOWK 4
THEO  448 Theology & Literature 4
THEO  449 Christian Faith & ENGR Prof 4
THEO  450 Theology & Mass Media 4
THEO  451 Christianity & Nazism 4
THEO  452 Theology & Beauty 4
THEO  453 Theology & Art 4
THEO  454 The Morality of War 4
THEO  455 Church in Latin America 4
THEO  456 Christianity & Consumer Cultr 4
THEO  457 Theology & Public Discourse 4
THEO  458 The Bible/ Multicltr Perspect 4
THEO  459 Theology & Environment 4
THEO  460 Christian Ethics & US Immigrtn 4
THEO  462 Theo and Lit - C.S. Lewis 4
THEO  463 The Bible & American Politics 4
THEO  464 Jesus Christ & Intrelg Dialg 4
THEO  465 Justice & the Bible 4
THEO  466 The Qur'an and the Bible 4
THEO  467 Muslim & Christian Dialogue 4
THEO  471 Global Christianity 4
THEO  488 Topics 2
THEO  489 Topics 4
THEO  490 Topics 4
THEO  491 Research 2 OR 4
THEO  495 Individual Study 2 OR 4
THEO  498 Individual Study 4