Why Study Theology?
The academic study of theology invites students to explore how the Christian tradition's greatest minds have approached responses to life's deepest questions. Are humans free to the extent that they are capable of moral perfection? If not, is God the author of sin? How can a perfectly good God create a world where evil and suffering abound? Where do we come from, and for what are we created? How are we to relate to one another in the modern world across multiple differences, including ethnic, economic, and religious divisions? How do we know that anything we believe is true?
Students at the University of St. Thomas study theology to examine the Christian tradition, which has influenced not only cultural expression in the arts, music, and literature, but also political, economic, and sociological realities in the world that we share. The academic discipline of theology examines the Christian theological tradition, and seeks to propel the tradition forward by interpreting the Bible and history in light of contemporary issues raised, for example, by advancements in scientific knowledge, neurological understanding, and sociological, economic, and cultural insights. In 2011, America magazine attempted to help its readers understand distinctions between theology and catechesis, as well as the critical role of the theologian in the modern world.
To be truly well educated, students ought to understand the foundation upon which so much of the modern world is built. Moreover, in a world where political, economic, and sociological forces threaten to tear us apart, the next generation of leaders will need to be fluent in religious concepts and vocabularies in order to promote justice and peace.
Deep knowledge of the Christian theological tradition provides a foundation for interreligious understanding.
Do you love the academic study of theology?
If you have loved studying theology, if your professors have captured your imagination, and if you are fascinated by the study of religion, follow your heart and become a major or minor. Study this website, schedule an appointment to explore the major with members of the department, and trust your instincts.
If you love to study theology, it could be a sign that you are meant to become a major or minor. Begin planning your future in theology at the University of St. Thomas today.
The curriculum at the University of St. Thomas requires students to study theology because it is central to the University's mission, which is inspired by and rooted in the Catholic intellectual tradition. As students become more and more intellectually curious, we hope they increasingly want to study theology because they wish to explore the subject as informed by the best scholarship available to us in the modern world, guided by expert scholars in Bible, history, systematics, and moral theology.
Theology courses are not merely requirements in the core curriculum. They present opportunities to understand one's core commitments, convictions, and values, and to evaluate them in relation to an increasingly complex and globalized world.
Those who go on to complete a major in theology will be prepared for graduate school, or for careers in law, medicine, business, education, journalism, or any other field. Many organizations hire people with degrees in theology. While churches employ a great number of people and are a great option for students who are so moved, students should not shy away from a theology major just because they do not wish to go into church work.
People who provide a range of services in hospitals and other healthcare organizations, institutions of higher education, relief services, and advocacy organizations hire people with degrees in theology. In fact, according to the United States Department of Labor and its Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest concentration of employees with degrees in this field are found in religious organizations, relief services, home health care services, educational facilities, and child care services. The top paying organizations in this field are hospitals, home health care services, nursing care facilities, colleges and universities, and social advocacy organizations.
A bachelors degree in theology is a great field of study to partner with another discipline in a double major. Students with degrees in theology and biology have gone on to work for public health organizations, some of them in Africa; others with degrees in theology and engineering have gone on to become ethical industry leaders; still more with degrees in theology and business have gone on to careers in the for-profit and non-profit sectors, doing marketing, entrepreneurship, financial analysis, and so on.
Employers are looking for students with bachelors degrees in the liberal arts. Students who think clearly and write well—skills that the theological discipline requires—are highly marketable because these skills are harder to come by than many imagine, and they are emphasized in the theological disciplines. Moreover, the social fabric of our global world requires citizens who can think critically, an ability that is acquired as students progress from their introductory theology courses to more advanced courses in biblical and theological methodologies.