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Theology Course Descriptions


Introductory Theology Courses:

Note: All of these courses are not offered every academic year.

THEOL 150 Call and Response: Discipleship in the Bible and the Modern World (3)
Students will examine the New Testament concept of discipleship in light of the Christian understanding of vocation. Beginning with an investigation into the Old Testament origins of divine call and human response, students will sift through the stories, speeches and persons found in the New Testament to establish for themselves an understanding of modern Christian call (discipleship) and what demands it may make on those who call themselves Christian. Various media (film, poetry, music and art) relevant to the biblical texts will also be employed in this examination. (Fall)

THEOL 151 Theology and Film (3)
This course introduces students to the concepts and practices of theological reflection and study through the medium of films. Films selected will include both overtly religious films, as well as films which explore religious and spiritual themes less directly. The course will pay special attention to how film narratives shape our sense of what “religion” is, where we find it, and how it shapes human relationships and societies. The course requires no background in theology. Evening attendance at film showing may be required as a part of the course. (Fall)

THEOL 152 Catechism and Catholic Life (3)
This course is based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church and explores the aspects of Catholic life represented by the parts of the Catechism: faith, sacraments, the Christian moral life, and prayer. (Fall)

THEOL 153 "Good People, Good Works" (3) 
This course will study the lives and writings of moral exemplars and saints, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Andre Trocme and the community of Le Chambon, Jean Vanier, Oscar Romero, Dorothy Day, and Flannery O'Connor. All of these people stood courageously and faithfully in opposition of hatred, injustice, racism, and violence. (Fall)

THEOL 154 Women of Faith (3) 
This course will trace the lives and actions of women of faith (frequently forgotten), beginning with the Old Testament and finishing with the lives of many modern women of faith. We will try to understand what these women contributed to the Church and to the world, rooted in ancient Israel and flowering in the person of Jesus Christ, and how their faith both nurtured those around them and helped to spread the Covenant message of God. (Fall)

THEOL 155 Effective Leadership (3) 
This course, primarily using Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, will assist students to develop leadership skills for life, and in employment in fields of business, education, science, and ministry. Students will find that these skills will assist them to be better students because the skills deal with issues of time management, planning, collaboration, and inter-personal relationships. As an entry point to leadership skills necessary for a life after college graduation, this course will also focus on the necessary skills for college success.

Core Theology Courses:

THEOL 220 Belief in Today’s World (3)
The first theology course, Belief in Today’s World, will introduce students to the challenges of thinking about questions of belief in the context of today’s secular and pluralist world, especially in the American context. At a fundamental level, the course seeks to help students grasp the relationship of faith and reason, perhaps the central task of a Catholic university. It builds directly on the challenges of modern epistemology that are explored in the modern philosophy course, but it approaches those questions more existentially and socio-culturally. Topics to be addressed include how we come to be able to speak about God, what it means to have faith, how to deal with the problem of evil, and how to connect questions of personal belief to the Church, the sacraments, and social issues. The course connects vertically to America and the World especially by helping students understand how Catholic theology differs from the dominant cultural forms of religious belief: privatized individualism and fundamentalism. (Spring and Summer)

THEOL 320 Encountering Christ (3)
This course provides an introduction to the sources and methods of Christian theology, considering the nature and activity of God and the history of human relationships with God, from the perspective of revelation. The main themes of the course include Scripture, Jesus, Church, Sacraments, and the Moral Life. (Fall and Summer)

THEOL 300 Ethics and the Human Good (3)
This course situates the moral life and contemporary issues within the Catholic theological tradition. The course requires interdisciplinary work, particularly in relation to each student’s major and/or prospective career. As part of the core curriculum, this course in theology includes seminal works in the philosophical tradition, such as Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas. (Spring)

Elective Theology Courses:

THEOL 322 Christology (3)
Christology is the study of the person and work of Christ. The course provides a historical and systematic survey of approaches, themes and questions in classical and contemporary Christology. This study of Christ will lead to an understanding of discipleship, community, the nature of the good and a commitment to its practice. The course pays particular attention to primary texts of scripture and tradition, and to contemporary sources.

THEOL 323 The Church (3)
This course explores the mystery called “The Church,” in its New Testament origins, its development in history, its theological development at the Second Vatican Council, and in its contemporary challenges in ecclesiology (e.g., authority in the Church, ecumenism, the role of women in the Church, involvement of the Church in politics). This study of the Church will lead to an understanding of discipleship, community, the nature of the good and a commitment to its practice. The course pays particular attention to primary texts of scripture and tradition, and to contemporary sources.

THEOL 324 Sacraments (3)
This course is a study of the theology of the sacraments, with special attention to the history, development and renewal of liturgical worship. An exploration of the relationship between liturgy and life will illustrate the formative nature of liturgy toward discipleship, community, the good and a commitment to its practice. The course pays particular attention to primary texts of scripture and tradition, and to contemporary sources. (This course is a required course for Theology majors, but the course is open to all students.)

THEOL 325 Christian Anthropology (3)
Christian Anthropology is the study of humanity from a Christian biblical perspective. This course will focus on key elements such as the inviolable dignity of every person, the essential centrality of community, and the significance of human action. This study of the Christian Anthropology will lead to an understanding of discipleship, community, the nature of the good and a commitment to its practice. The course pays particular attention to primary texts of scripture and tradition, and to contemporary sources.

THEOL 327 Synoptic Gospels (3)
The commonalities among the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke have led the tradition to refer to these three as Synoptic Gospels (“seeing together”). The course provides a historical, literary and theological study of the Synoptic Gospels, with an emphasis on Mark. Special attention will be given to the Gospel concern for justice, dignity and freedom within human communities of both classical and modern periods. The course pays particular attention to primary texts of scripture and tradition, and to contemporary sources.

THEOL 328 Letters of St. Paul (3)
The course provides a historical, literary, and theological study of St. Paul’s letters (especially the uncontested letters), focusing on his treatment of the basic themes and issues of primitive Christianity. Such an exploration will include: foundational notions about God, Christology, biblical justice, and biblical ethics, and how such themes and concerns are lived out in the lives of contemporary Christians. The course pays particular attention to primary texts of scripture and tradition, and to contemporary sources.

THEOL 329 Johannine Writings (3)
This course first considers the Gospel according to John—how this gospel relates to the gospel genre and how John’s portrait of Jesus is conveyed to the reader. The course then examines the Book of Revelation (the Apocalypse) according to their historical, literary and social contexts, so as to offer students sound criteria for assessing the relevance of these texts to the modern Christian community. The course pays particular attention to primary texts of scripture and tradition, and to contemporary sources.

THEOL 333 Marriage and Sexuality (3)
The theology and ethics of marriage and human sexuality inquires into the personal, social, and spiritual significance of these aspects of the Catholic vision of the human person and human society. This course develops an understanding of the broad vision of marriage and sexuality as developed in Western cultures and in Catholic life in particular. Within that context, it engages an analysis of contested issues in this area, such as contraception, same-sex relationships, divorce and remarriage, and others. It pays particular attention to the social and ecclesial dimensions of the vocation of marriage, encouraging a life of discipleship. The course pays particular attention to primary texts of scripture and tradition, and to contemporary sources.

THEOL 334 Bioethics (3)
Bioethics is a field of ethics concerned with medical procedures, bio-technology, health care (including mental health), and heath care institutions. This course attends to methods and issues in bioethics in reference to a Catholic vision of the human person, matters of justice, and the vocations of professions in medicine and scientific research. The course draws on scriptural, traditional, and contemporary sources.

THEOL 335 Political Theology (3)
Political Theology explores the ways in which theological concepts or ways of theological thinking relate to politics, society, and economics. This course attends to these explorations in reference to a Catholic vision of the human person, matters of justice, community, and the common good. The course draws on scriptural, traditional, and contemporary sources.

THEOL 336 Catholic Social Teaching (3)
Catholic social teaching is a body of doctrines and texts pertaining to social, economic, and political life. The course offers an examination of modern Catholic social thought on questions such as labor and capital, poverty, human rights, war and peace, international development, and other issues. The course considers questions about the right ordering of society and the implications of discipleship in modern social and political life. It draws on sources from scripture, documents of the Catholic Church, and the works of classical and contemporary theologians, as well as on the practice of organizations such as Catholic Relief Services.

THEOL 337 Theology and the Environment (3)
Theological thought about the environment is rooted in basic Christian theological claims about God’s ordering of the cosmos, and has particular contemporary urgency in an age when disruption of environmental patterns poses large-scale, long-term dangers for life. This course develops the theological understanding of the significance of the created order, placing the Catholic vision of the human person within this order, and applies this understanding through the ethical analysis of contemporary problems, encouraging a life of discipleship. Particular themes include the experience of beauty in developing a mature spirituality, the notion of solidarity in the context of environmental justice, and the injustice of structural sin. The course pays particular attention to primary texts of scripture and tradition, and to contemporary sources.

Theology Courses for Majors:

THEOL 420 Old Testament Survey (3)
The course aims to enable students to read any part of the Old Testament with greater understanding. After an introduction to the world of the Old Testament, the reading and interpretation of selected parts of the Old Testament is central. The focus is on Old Testament characters and their significance. (Fall, even years)

THEOL 421 New Testament Survey (3)
This course aims to enable students to read any part of the New Testament with greater understanding. It will include an investigation into the historical setting, literary forms and theological content of the New Testament writings. (Spring, odd years)

THEOL 422 Christian Thought before 1500 (3)
This course covers major figures in Christian thought up to the eve of the Protestant Reformation. (Fall, odd years)

THEOL 423 Christian Thought since 1500 (3)
Second in a sequence, this course covers major figures in Christian thought since the eve of the Protestant Reformation. (Spring, even years)

THEOL 498 Senior Seminar (3)
This course is designed to help seniors to understand and be able to articulate the themes and significance of the major documents of Vatican II, to understand the significance of Vatican II within its historical and cultural context—including challenges and controversies surrounding interpretation and implementation of the council—and to engage in thoughtful reflection about the task of studying theology and being a teacher of the faith in the Church today. Required of all theology majors. (Spring)

Pastoral Education Theology Courses:

THEOL 430 Skills for Ministry (3)
The course addresses fundamental skills needed for ministry. These include planning and administration, communication skills, group facilitation, conflict management, volunteer management (recruiting, training, supporting and evaluating volunteers), working with the pastor and parish staff, leadership styles and processes, time/stress management and problem solving/decision making. (Fall, every three years)

THEOL 431 Lay Ministry: A Call to Service (3)
The course focuses on the lay person in the church today and evolution of lay ecclesial ministry. The course will explore the foundations for lay ecclesial ministry, its relationship to ordained ministry and the experience of lay ministers, with an emphasis on their baptismal call to service. (Spring, every three years)

THEOL 432 Foundations of Youth Ministry (3)
The course begins with the theological foundations for ministry to young people. Aims at understanding the spiritual and religious needs of young people in the context of the experience of growing into adulthood in American society today. Also addresses the practical skills necessary for youth ministry. (Fall, every three years)

THEOL 433 Youth Ministry Practice (3)
The course focuses on adolescent faith formation and faith development theory of youth as the foundation for setting goals in religious education for youth. Also considers designing retreats, community prayer and worship experiences, models for intentional catechesis and Confirmation programs. (Spring, every three years)

THEOL 434 Christian Spirituality (3)
The course offers a study of classic and contemporary texts in Christian spirituality. Students employ a personal journal to relate the concerns of the readings to their own experience. (Fall, every three years)

THEOL 435 Foundations of Religious Education (3)
The course is designed to help students develop a practical theology of religious education. Focuses on the theological foundations of religious education, including an understanding of the spiritual development of children as well as the complex demands of mature faith as lived within a Christian community. Students also study specific strategies for catechesis including resources, planning and teaching methods, catechetical formation, Baptism catechesis, early childhood religious education, sacramental preparation and catechetical programs for youth and adults. (Spring, every three years)

THEOL 480 Internship (1-3)
The student selects, with the guidance of the advisor, one area of lay ministry to explore through the experience of an internship. Possibilities include parish ministries of education or youth ministry; soup kitchens, shelters and other social justice ministries; prison ministry; and hospital chaplaincy. Aims to help the student integrate theological education in pastoral ministry with the practical world of ministry. Permission of the department chair is required. (As needed)

Global Encounters Theology Courses:

Ordinarily, there will be at least one Global Encounters theology course each semester.

THGE 450 Religions of the World (3)
This course provides a comparative study of the religious families or traditions of India, China and the Islamic world. These traditions serve both to shape and to reflect their respective non-Western cultures. Thus they will provide an appropriate perspective from which to study these cultures. (As needed)

THGE 451 Mysticism East and West (3)
This course offers an investigation of major figures or schools in Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic and Christian mysticism, with reference to the Greek philosophical mysticism of Neo-Platonism, and of the philosophical questions concerning the nature of mystical experiences. Students employ a personal journal to relate the concerns of the course to their own experience (Same as PHGE 375.) (As needed)

THGE 452 East of Jerusalem (3)
This course examines the history up to 1500 A.D. of the spread of Christianity eastwards from Jerusalem across Asia into Mesopotamia, Persia, Arabia, India, Central Asia and China. Uses secondary material and primary sources in English, where these are available. Aims at helping students develop an appreciation for the history of Christianity in its native continent and a better sense of how the history of different parts of the church has affected their ideas about Christianity and their understanding of how they and their religious faith fit into the world. (As needed)

THGE 453 U.S. Latino Catholicism (3)
Latina and Latino Catholics have lived their faith in what is now the United States for almost twice as long as the nation has existed. Nevertheless, other strands of U.S. Catholicism continue to struggle at understanding the distinctive contribution of Latinos to the North American Church. Latinos and their communities are also themselves a meeting place for rich encounters between U.S. society and a variety of Central and South American cultures. This course explores the development of Latino Catholicism in the United States, the ways Latinos are currently transforming the US Catholic Church, Hispanic faith expressions related to Jesus and Mary, and especially the theological contributions of contemporary Latinas and Latinos. (As needed)

Special Topics Theology Courses:

THEOL 390 Special Topics (3)
A consideration of pertinent topics in Christian theology. (As needed)

THEOL 398 Independent Study (1-3)
Permission of the department chair, dean and associate provost. (As needed)

THEOL 404 Seminar (3)
Topics vary among dogmatic and moral questions. Permission of the department chair required. (As needed)

THEOL 410 Interdisciplinary Seminar (3)
Topics determined and instruction provided by interdepartmental faculty. (As needed)


For a complete look at Mount courses, please visit the Online Catalog.

 
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