Theology

School

School of Humanities and Social Science

School Dean

Christopher J. Frost, Ph.D.

Department

Theology

Department Chair

William Buhrman, Ph.D.

The theological task calls students to engage in rigorous academic inquiry and practical service in society through consistent witness to, and practice of, the truth of theological discovery. Theology courses at St. Mary's University are designed to bring students to an understanding of the basic models, language and sources of the Catholic Christian tradition. The theology major will achieve the appropriate level of fluency to make a positive contribution to the theological enterprise.

Theology by its very nature is interdisciplinary and involves the ability to think critically about important issues. Theology is founded upon the assumption that everyone, by virtue of their human nature, deals with certain fundamental questions of meaning and existence. St. Mary's helps students examine anew the theological answers that have been given in the Judeo-Christian tradition. It is hoped that students come to possess a renewed awareness of the presence and urgency of these fundamental issues in their own lives and of the responses given by Catholic Christian thought.

Major in Theology

Minor in Theology

TH 3301. Major Old Testament Themes. 3 Semester Hours.

A reading of selected Old Testament texts in their historical context, designed to introduce students to fundamental themes that run through the literature of the Old Testament period, or a reading of selected books of the Old Testament. The themes or books will be selected by the professor. The aim is to lead students to a broader understanding of human concerns and ultimate meaning, to religious self-transcendence, to a deeper relationship with God, and to a sense of responsibility for the world, gained through in-depth studies of particular sections of the Sacred Scriptures. The course may be repeated.

TH 3302. Major New Testament Themes. 3 Semester Hours.

A reading of selected New Testament texts in their historical context, designed to introduce students to fundamental themes that run through the literature of the New Testament period, or a reading of selected books of the New Testament. The themes or books will be selected by the professor. The aim is to lead students to a broader understanding of human concerns and ultimate meaning, to religious self-transcendence, to a deeper relationship with God, and to a sense of responsibility for the world, gained through in-depth studies of particular sections of the Sacred Scriptures. The course may be repeated.

TH 3330. Christ and the Christian God. 3 Semester Hours.

Place and mission of Christ in the Church and the religious and cultural world of today. Principal doctrines about Christ. Special questions: Christ's divinity, resurrection, virginal origin, knowledge, and freedom. The Triune God as revealed through Christ and as presented in the Christian theology. Contemporary Christian approaches to God. God's life shared with believers; contemporary notions of grace. Atheism.

TH 3332. The Catholic Church & the Christian Community. 3 Semester Hours.

The nature and role of religious institution. Vatican II's notion of the Church, with a background leading to this development. Different meanings of "Church." The Catholic Church, other churches and ecclesial communities: their unity in shared elements of Christian life, faith and worship. Church and salvation. Co-responsibility, ministry, and authority in the Church. The Church's teaching function and the responses of believers. The Church's presence and service in the world today. The American Catholic Church: its history, its interaction with other American Churches, and its position in the modern Catholic world.

TH 3334. Sacraments, Rites, and Religious Symbols. 3 Semester Hours.

The meaning and function of religious symbols and rites in a religious community; notion of sacrament, its relation to Church. Contemporary theology of the seven sacraments, stressing their role in the Christian's life within the Church. The evolution of sacramental life through the study of pre-conciliar theology and post-conciliar developments. Basic principles for Christian liturgy from Vatican II, and the newrites for the celebration of the sacraments.

TH 3350. Contemporary Catholic Moral Life. 3 Semester Hours.

A study of moral principles as seen in the light of the Catholic tradition. Analysis of the meaning of psychological freedom, the human act, natural law, conscience, civil law and morality, grace and sin, as well as an examination of various moral methodologies. Discussion of selected specific and contemporary moral issues.

TH 3352. Catholic Social Ethics. 3 Semester Hours.

This course addresses the continuity and the development of Catholic thought and practice concerning social issues. It seeks to answer such questions as: Should Christianity be a force for social, economic, and political change? How might Christian values permeate and transform the neighborhood, the boardroom, the city the nation, the international community? What is the role of the Church in the world? Issues as economic justice, racism, church-state relations, human rights, and peacemaking will be treated, placed within an historical perspective. Special attention will be given to the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching (found especially in papal documents, the decrees of Vatican II, and pronouncements of the U.S. hierarchy).

TH 3353. Health Care & Medical Ethics. 3 Semester Hours.

This course will begin with a consideration of ethics and ethical method in light of the interaction of reason and an ecumenical religious perspective. Such an approach will enable a study of what constitutes the appropriate care for the human person, particularly in the realm of medicine and health care. In addition to such fundamental bioethical issues, this course will also examine relevant contemporary issues in medicine and the life sciences at both the individual and social level.

TH 3356. Marriage and Family Today. 3 Semester Hours.

The nature of marriage as understood by the Catholic Church; the role of marriage and the family as the foundation of civil society; Natural Family Planning; and the specific social and personal challenges that married couples meet such as monogamy, fidelity, abstinence, finances, the extended family, and emotional differences.

TH 3380. Personal Religious Transformation. 3 Semester Hours.

Nature of religious experience and the holy. Definition of the meaning of spiritual life. Presentation of how spiritual life has been imaged by Christians in the past. Aids for a spiritual life: dialoguing with scripture and tradition (seen in lives and teachings of outstanding Christians), spiritual direction and spiritual friendship, prayer (nature and styles), liturgy and sacraments in the spiritual life.

TH 3382. The Catholic Experience in the United States. 3 Semester Hours.

This course will study the present condition of the Catholic Church in the United States, as influenced by the country's colonial and national history and the Church's relationship with Rome; the Church's development of an ecclesial self identity and its interaction with other American religious bodies; and its position and influence in the modern world. Topics will include American Catholicism and social institutions (e.g. delivery of social services, health care and education), as well as involvement in political thought and political processes, the spiritualities and theologies of the Church in American, and its experience in the field of missionary activity, both as recipient and as contributor.

TH 3390. Introduction to Pastoral Ministry. 3 Semester Hours.

This course will explore ministry and its contemporary practice in the Catholic church through a study of relevant Scriptural passages; the renewed theology of sacraments (especially Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders); historical developments in the meaning and scope of ministry, as expressed in various Church documents (such as the decrees of Vatican II, "Christifidelis Laici", "Evangelii Nuntiandi", and "Catechesis Tradendae"); definitions of ministry and its scope and styles; and education, formation, and certification issues. The course will require a 15-hour service component, focusing on a ministerial setting.

TH 4108. Selected Topics in Biblical Studies. 1 Semester Hour.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4109. Selected Topics in Biblical Studies. 1 Semester Hour.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4138. Selected Topics in Systematic Theology. 1 Semester Hour.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4139. Selected Topics in Systematic Theology. 1 Semester Hour.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4158. Selected Topics in Moral Theology. 1 Semester Hour.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4159. Selected Topics in Moral Theology. 1 Semester Hour.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4188. Selected Topics in Religious Experience or Communication. 1 Semester Hour.

Specific topics in Religious Experience or Communication (evangelization and religious education) may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4189. Selected Topics in Religious Experience or Communication. 1 Semester Hour.

Specific topics in Religious Experience or Communication (evangelization and religious education) may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4198. Selected Topics in General Studies in Religion. 1 Semester Hour.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4208. Selected Topics in Biblical Studies. 2 Semester Hours.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4209. Selected Topics in Biblical Studies. 2 Semester Hours.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4238. Selected Topics in Systematic Theology. 2 Semester Hours.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4239. Selected Topics in Systematic Theology. 2 Semester Hours.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4258. Selected Topics in Moral Theology. 2 Semester Hours.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4259. Selected Topics in Moral Theology. 2 Semester Hours.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4288. Selected Topics in Religious Experience or Communication. 2 Semester Hours.

Specific topics in Religious Experience or Communication (evangelization and religious education) may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4289. Selected Topics in Religious Experience or Communication. 2 Semester Hours.

Specific topics in Religious Experience or Communication (evangelization and religious education) may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4298. Selected Topics in General Studies in Religion. 2 Semester Hours.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4308. Selected Topics in Biblical Studies. 3 Semester Hours.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4309. Selected Topics in Biblical Studies. 3 Semester Hours.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4338. Selected Topics in Systematic Theology. 3 Semester Hours.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4339. Selected Topics in Systematic Theology. 3 Semester Hours.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4358. Selected Topics in Moral Theology. 3 Semester Hours.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4359. Selected Topics in Moral Theology. 3 Semester Hours.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4388. Selected Topics in Religious Experience or Communication. 3 Semester Hours.

Specific topics in Religious Experience or Communication (evangelization and religious education) may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4389. Selected Topics in Religious Experience or Communication. 3 Semester Hours.

Specific topics in Religious Experience or Communication (evangelization and religious education) may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 4398. Selected Topics in General Studies in Religion. 3 Semester Hours.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 5158. Selected Topics in Marianist Studies. 3 Semester Hours.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 5188. Selected Topics in Marianist Studies. 1 Semester Hour.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 5230. Marian Theology. 2 Semester Hours.

Introduction to Marian theology; Mary in the Scriptures; significant Marian documents. Mary in liturgical practice; Mary and cultures, especially Hispanic culture; and Mary in the ecumenical dialogue.

TH 5358. Selected Topics in Religious Expererience or Communication. 3 Semester Hours.

Specific topics in Religious Experience or Communication (evangelization and religious education) may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

TH 5386. Orientation to Marianist Religious Life. 3 Semester Hours.

A theoretical and practical introduction to the elements of Marianist religious life: Marianist structure, history, and contemporary situation; Marianist mission and apostolate; Mary in Marianist life; personal and communal prayer; dynamics of spiritual growth; the vows. For Marianist aspirants.

TH 5387. Marianist Mission and Ministry. 3 Semester Hours.

Mission and models of the Church; Fr. Chaminade's concept of mission; the apostolate of education in the Marianist tradition; lay and clerical ministries in the Church and personal ministry.

TH 5388. Selected Topics in Marianist Studies. 3 Semester Hours.

Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated.

James Ball, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

William Buhrman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Andrew Getz, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Allison Gray, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Todd Hanneken, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

George Montague, S.T.D.
Professor

Robert O'Connor, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Sara Ronis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Rudy Vela, D.Min.
Assistant Professor