College of Liberal Arts
Theology Course Descriptions
VTTH 203 Jesus Christ & The Church: An Introduction to Catholic Theology (3)
An introduction to the sources and methods of Christian theology, considering the nature and activity of God and this history of human relationships with God, from the perspective of revelation. The main themes of the course are Scripture, Jesus, Church, Sacraments, and the Moral Life.
THEOL 150 Call and Response: Discipleship in the Bible and the Modern World (3)
Designed especially for first- and second-year students who have not yet taken the core theology courses. 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.
THEOL 151 Theology and Film (3)
For centuries, most Christians learned about theology through visual texts - statues, icons, stained glass windows, sacred spaces, and medieval mystery plays. Today, the visual medium we are most familiar with is film. 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.
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.
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.
THEOL 202 The Gospels (3)
An 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.
THEOL 203 Letters of St. Paul (3)
A historical, literary, and theological study of St. Paul's letters (especially the uncontested), focusing on his treatment of the basic themes and issues of primitive Christianity. Such an exploration would include: foundational notions about God, Christology, biblical justice, biblical ethics, and how such themes and concerns are lived out in the lives of contemporary Christians.
THEOL 204 The Church (3)
An attempt to understand the mystery called "The Church." The origins of the Church in the New Testament; its development in history; the Second Vatican Council in its theology of the Church; contemporary problems in ecclesiology, e.g., authority in the Church, ecumenism, the role of women in the Church, involvement of the Church in politics.
THEOL 205 Sacraments (3)
A study of the theology of the sacraments, with special attention to the history, development and renewal of liturgical worship. Exploration of the relationship between liturgy and life will illustrate the formative nature of liturgy toward the good and a commitment to its practice.
THEOL 207 Catholic Social Teaching (3)
An examination of modern Catholic social thought from within the broad context of Scripture and the Christian tradition. The course considers philosophical and theological questions about the role of faith in modern social and political life, while dealing with topics such as labor, poverty, war and peace, and other issues of human rights and social justice.
THEOL 208 The Church in the Modern World (3)
A consideration of issues prominent for Vatican II's "Church in the Modern World" as a point of departure for developing themes and issues from THEOL 200 Foundations of Christian Theology. Particular emphasis is given to questions of faith in modern social life, and to issues such as the role of women, marriage and family, and the economic and political good of the human person. The course will trace Christian thought on these matters through Scripture and key representatives of the tradition.
THEOL 210 Christology (3)
An historical and systematic survey of approaches, themes and questions in classical and contemporary Christology. This study of Christ will lead to an understanding of the nature of the good and a commitment to its practice. Although open to nonmajors, this course is designed to fulfill a core requirement for theology majors.
THEOL 300 Moral Theology (3)
Situates the moral life and contemporary issues within the Catholic theological tradition. As a capstone for the core curriculum, requires interdisciplinary work, particularly in relation to each student's major and/or prospective career.
VTTH 200 Ethics and the Human Good (3)
Aims to enable students to read any part of the OT with greater understanding. After an introduction to the world of the OT, the reading and interpretation of selected parts of the OT is central. The focus is on OT characters and their significance.
THEOL 305 The Bible as Story (3)
Aims to acquaint English majors with the biblical texts that have influenced English and American literature over the centuries and to introduce them to the main critical methods used by present-day Scripture scholars in the Judeo- Christian tradition. Texts are interpreted mainly against their historical background, with due account taken of their rhetorical effectiveness and the growth of the tradition to which they belong. Also recommended for theology minors.
THEOL 309 Johannine Writings (3)
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. (A knowledge of the synoptic gospels [e.g., from THEOL 202 or 303] would be helpful, but is not essential.) Then examines the Book of Revelation (the Apocalypse) in its literary and social context, so as to offer students sound criteria for assessing its relevance to the modern Christian community.
THEOL 341 Theology and the Environment (3)
Explores the relationships between Christian theology-with a special emphasis on Catholic social teaching-and concern for the environment. The course will study documents of the Catholic Church, as well as works of Christian theologians, Catholic and Protestant, on the environment. Criticisms of Christian theological approaches to the environment will also be considered. In accordance with Catholic social teaching, there will be a particular focus on the relationship between environmental issues and issues of social justice.
THEOL 351 Lay Ministry: A Call to Service (3)
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.
THEOL 352 Skills for Ministry (3)
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.
THEOL 353 Foundations of Youth Ministry (3)
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.
THEOL 355 Foundations of Religious Education (3)
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.
THEOL 356 Youth Ministry Practice (3)
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.
THEOL 365 Christian Spirituality (3)
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.
THEOL 371 Religions of the World (3)
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. Satisfies the core requirement in non-Western culture.
THGE 375 Mysticism East and West (3)
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. Satisfies the Veritas Global Encounters requirement.
THEOL 377 East of Jerusalem (3)
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.
THEOL 380 Healing in the Face of Suffering, Sickness and Death (3)
With an interdisciplinary perspective, examines significant historical, liturgical, theological, pastoral, social and psychological dimensions of human suffering, of the care of the sick, the dying and the deceased. Topics will include the stages of dying, grieving, restorative justice, compassion, pastoral care and the liturgical rites used to accompany the sick, the dying and the deceased in their particular circumstances.
THEOL 480 Internship (1-3)
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 and dean for academic affairs required.
For a complete look at Mount courses, please visit the Online Catalog.