A A Email Print Share

MA and Ph.D. Course Descriptions

Note: Not all courses listed are currently available. 

Schedule of courses Fall 2016

Scripture Courses:

THEOL 509* INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT 3 credits A survey of Synoptics, Johannine, and Pauline theology through concentration on selected books of the New Testament.

THEOL 510* INTRODUCTION TO THE OLD TESTAMENT 3 credits A survey of Pentateuchal, Prophetic, and Wisdom theology through concentration on selected books and passages of the Old Testament.

*These courses are required for the M.A. in Religious Education and do not fulfill the other M.A. degree requirements in Scripture.

THEOL 511 TORAH 3 credits A historical-critical study of the Pentateuch in the light of the present status of literary, historical, theological,and archaeological research on the Old Testament and its environment.

THEOL 512 SYNOPTIC GOSPELS AND ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 3 credits A study of Synoptics and Acts in their literary, historical, and theological aspects; particular focus on major trends in scholarship and on the scholars who have contributed to the development of these trends.

THEOL 513 PROPHETIC LITERATURE 3 credits A study of the origin and development of the prophetic movement in Israel and its relationship to other prophetic movements in the Ancient Near East; analysis of the prophetical books of the Old Testament and of the role of the prophets.

THEOL 514 PAULINE LITERATURE 3 credits An analysis of major themes in the Pauline writings, with attention to chronological development, especially in the areas of Eschatology, Christology, Justification, Pneumatology, and Ecclesiology.

THEOL 515 WISDOM LITERATURE 3 credits A study of the Wisdom Books of the Old Testament, with emphasis on an examination of the position and the limits of wisdom within the message of the Bible.

THEOL 516 JOHANNINE LITERATURE 3 credits A study of the Johannine-writings (Gospel, Letters, Apocalypse) in their origins, development and principal theological themes.

Doctrine Courses

THEOL 508 THEOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS 3 credits A study of the bases of theological thought and formulation: revelation, the transmission of revelation, experience, the magisterium, and their proper use in theological method.

THEOL 520 CHRISTOLOGY 3 credits A study of central questions in Christology: Jesus' identity (divinity and humanity) and his saving work. Special attention is given to the themes of New Testament Christology, as well as the Christological councils, in light of contemporary theological scholarship.

THEOL 525 THE TRIUNE GOD 3 credits A study of Christianity's doctrine of God as both monotheistic and trinitarian. Emphasis is placed on a study of the biblical and conciliar teachings in the light of contemporary theological scholarship and church teaching. Contributions of significant classical and contemporary theologians to theology of the Trinity are addressed.

THEOL 531 ECCLESIOLOGY 3 credits O'Brien, Worgul, Donovan, Bordeianu A study of the Church in its origin and its subsequent historical-theological developments, with particular attention given to post-Vatican II perspectives.

THEOL 535 LITURGICICAL STUDIES 3 credits An exploration of Christian liturgy with attention to its historical, theological, cultural and anthropological contexts. Current issues are addressed, including inculturation, ecumenism, and pastoral practice.

THEOL 538 THEOLOGY OF THE SACRAMENTS 3 credits An analysis of the origin and development of the notion of sacramentality and of the seven rites that the Catholic tradition recognizes as sacraments; an evaluation of the various Christian meanings of "grace" in relation to sacrament.

THEOL 539 THEOLOGY OF MINISTRY 3 credits An analysis of the concept of ministry including the meaning of the term and its historical expressions; issues in ministry in Roman Catholicism and other Christian churches; theological reflection in ministry; "new" ministries in the church.

THEOL 570 HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY I 3 credits Thompson-Uberuaga, Boodoo, Bordeianu This course covers the period that extends from the end of the New Testament to the Reformation of the 16th century. Primary sources will be given emphasis. The course aims for an adequate understanding of central themes and theologians, and major councils, doctrines, and heresies.

THEOL 571 HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY II 3 credits This course covers the period which extends from the Reformation to contemporary times. Primary sources will be given emphasis. New doctrinal developments, leading theologians and theological perspectives, and relevant cultural and philosophical background will be studied. Prerequisite: 570 or equivalent.

THEOL 573 SPIRITUAL THEOLOGY 3 credits Baird A study of the theological dimension of Christian spirituality in its major historical manifestations. An effort is made to work with primary sources; special attention is given to one major author or "school." The relationship between theology and spirituality will also receive attention.

THEOL 580 THEOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 3 credits Clifford, Donovan A systematic investigation of the Christian tradition on the human person, male and female, through a survey of major theological themes such as creation and the image of God, sin and grace, suffering and hope. Representative contemporary theologians' responses to what it means to be authentically human in relationship to self, others, and God are studied.

THEOL 582 FEMINIST THEOLOGY 3 credits A selective survey of the Christian tradition (its biblical sources and its history) concerning the participation of women; a study of feminist contributions to the study of scripture, doctrine, spirituality, ethics and institutions.

Moral Theology Courses

THEOL 541 FOUNDATIONS OF MORAL THEOLOGY 3 credits A study of the principles of moral conduct based on the New Testament and on the teachings of the Church; special treatment of the human-divine relationship, the place of Christ in human life, human freedom, conscience and self-determination, sin, conversion; analysis of the pluralism of ethical methodologies in Christian moral theology.

THEOL 543 CATHOLIC SOCIAL THOUGHT 3 credits An examination and evaluation of Catholic Church teaching on major social issues in the papal encyclicals, conciliar documents and Episcopal pronouncements from Leo XIII to the present day.

THEOL 544 INTERPERSONAL ETHICS 3 credits An analysis of the methods and problems involved in moral decision making in interpersonal relationships such as sexual relationships, relationships of trust and confidentiality, of superior and subject, and of collegiality.

THEOL 546 HEALTH CARE ETHICS 3 credits A study of the theological meaning of human life as a basis for health care ethics; analysis of ethical methods in health care. Application to topics including life and death issues, prolongation of life, experimentation, genetics, reproduction, and others.

THEOL 547 SPECIAL ISSUES IN HEALTH CARE ETHICS 3 credits An advanced course exploring theoretical concerns in health care ethics and applied issues. Prerequisite 546.

THEOL 548 ECOLOGICAL ETHICS 3 credits A consideration of the impact of ecological consciousness upon theological ethics; the challenge posed to ethics by the paradigm shift in our cultural and scientific modes of thought from human-centeredness to cosmic and Earth consciousness; the contributions of eco-feminism to ethics.

THEOL 549 WAR AND PEACE IN CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE 3 credits An analysis of Christian teaching from biblical times to the present on the moral permissibility of using violence and of participating in war.

Pastoral Ministry And Catechetics Courses

THEOL 539 THEOLOGY OF MINISTRY 3 credits O'Brien An analysis of the concept of ministry including the meaning of the term and its historical expressions; issues in ministry in Roman Catholicism and other Christian churches; theological reflection in ministry; "new" ministries in the church.

THEOL 577 INTRODUCTION TO CATECHETICS 3 credits An overview of the history of catechetics and the modern catechetical movement, together with an examination of recent catechetical documents of the church and contemporary issues and approaches.

THEOL 579 CATECHESIS OF ADULTS 3 credits A study of adulthood and catechesis to include: documents of the Church regarding the catechesis of adults, adult learning theories, the educational needs of adults, types of adults, and the types of responses possible to meet those needs on the parish level.

THEOL 589 SUPERVISED MINISTRY 3 credits A two-semester, structured, supervised ministry experience that is focused by the goals and objectives of each student's learning covenant. Students engage in ministerial activities, receive individual supervision, and participate in biweekly seminars with peers. Emphasis is placed on the development of disciplined theological reflection; additional elements of focus include spiritual formation, professional ethics and identity, Catholic social teaching and Spiritan identity as these relate to ministry.

THEO 595 LEADERSHIP IN THE FAITH COMMUNITY  3 credits  This course will focus on current challenges in pastoral leadership in the North American Church.  Three areas of pastoral leadership will be considered:  human relationships in ministry, pastoral planning, and leading from spiritual depth.  Skills addressed will include proficiency in pastoral planning, group facilitation, dialogue, listening and leading prayer services.

THEO 596 HUMAN DEVELOPMENT: THEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES  3 credits  Drawing upon theological anthropology in dialogue with social sciences, this course will explore Christian perspectives on humans as integrally related to God, others (human and nonhuman) and the earth and cosmos.  Resources from psychology, sociology, cultural studies and other disciplines will help to illuminate the journey of growth toward full humanness, with implications for ministry.


Complementary Courses

THEOL 590 DIRECTED READINGS IN THEOLOGY An opportunity to work with a faculty member in his/her field of competence on a tutorial basis, in order to explore a theological theme chosen by the student which would serve as a vital complement to his/her program. Maximum permitted is 3 credit hours.

THEOL 593 & 594 READING THE LATIN DOCUMENTS OF THE CHRISTIAN TRADITION An introduction to the Latin language and important Christian theological texts written in Latin. The course examines the grammar, the vocabulary and the style of the texts as well as their theological and social content. One year, 0 credits. Required of all first year Ph.D. students.

THEOL 599 THESIS 0-6 credits

THEOL 690 – 691 INDEPENDENT STUDY 3 credits Repeatable

THEOL 701 DISSERTATION 0-6 credits


Additional Information

For information on the Ph.D. program, please contact

Dr. Marie Baird, Director of Doctoral Studies
Fisher Hall 603 A

For information on all M.A. programs, please contact

Dr. Maureen O'Brien, Director of Pastoral Ministry Programs
Fisher Hall 602