Core in Theology

Theology is the disciplined reflection on the mystery of God in the world and on the traditions of belief, worship, and ethics that shape communities of faith. It explicitly reinforces the tradition of Jesuit humanism, which prizes the scholarly investigation of religious faith and its impact on human culture. The study of theology is an essential feature of the Core Curriculum in a Jesuit, Catholic university. This implies an institutional commitment to the Roman Catholic tradition, but also encourages the study and understanding of other theological traditions.

The Core requirement in Theology is six credit hours and may be fulfilled in a variety of ways. Each offers distinctive contributions, but together they share the following goals in common:

  • engaging the quest for truth and meaning that generate theological insight in Christianity and other religious traditions;
  • exploring the fundamental texts and practices that shape Christian theology;
  • understanding the dynamic relationship between religious truth-claims and their moral implications, both personal and societal;
  • engaging the various disciplinary methods required for theological reflection, including textual, historical, social, and cultural analysis; and
  • relating theological inquiry to the enduring questions animating the broader liberal arts tradition.

The Core requirement in theology is six credit hours and may be fulfilled by either of the following options:

Two 3-Credit Courses: One CT and one STT

Students must take one Christian Theology (CT) course and one Sacred Texts and Traditions (STT) course. These need not be taken in any particular order and may be even be taken in the same semester.

Christian Theology (CT) Courses

  • THEO 1401 Engaging Catholicism
  • THEO 1402 God, Self, and Society

Sacred Texts and Traditions (STT) Courses

  • THEO 1420 The Everlasting Covenant: The Hebrew Bible
  • THEO 1421 Inscribing the Word: The New Testament
  • THEO 1422 The Sacred Page: The Bible
  • THEO 1430 Buddhism and Christianity in Dialogue
  • THEO 1431 Islam and Christianity in Dialogue
  • THEO 1432 Hinduism and Christianity in Dialogue
  • THEO 1433 Chinese Religions and Christianity in Dialogue
  • THEO 1434 Judaism and Christianity in Dialogue

Enduring Questions courses offered by the Theology Department (THEO 17XX) will be identified as counting as either towards Christian Theology (CT) or Sacred Text and Traditions (STT) requirement. Note: a student may not fulfill their theology core with two Enduring Questions courses.

Theology Core Guidelines for Students Who Entered the University before the Fall of 2019

1. Students who have already completed all of their theology core as of Fall 2019: have completed their theology core and have nothing further to do in this regard.

2. Students who have completed none of their theology core as of Fall 2019: must complete the core according to the new requirements, regardless of when they entered the university.

3. Students who have partially completed their theology core as of Fall 2019: must complete the theology core according to the new requirements. For this purpose, old theology core courses count for the following:

  • Christian Theology (CT):
    • THEO 1023 Exploring Catholicism I
    • THEO 1016 Introduction to Christian Theology I
  • Sacred Texts and Traditions (STT):
    • THEO 1001-1002 Biblical Heritage I and II
    • THEO 1161 Religious Quest I

For example, beginning in the Fall of 2019, if a student has previously completed only THEO 1023 Exploring Catholicism I, they will need to take a Sacred Texts and Traditions (STT) course, such as THEO1432 Hinduism and Christianity in Dialogue, in order to fulfill their theology core. Similarly, if a student as completed THEO 1001 Biblical Heritage I only, they will need to take a Christian Theology (CT) course, such as THEO 1402 God, Self, and Society, in order to fulfill their theology core. NB: equivalents of THEO 1024 Exploring Catholicism II, THEO 1017 Introduction to Christian Theology II, or THEO 1162 Religious Quest II will not be offered.

4. Students with THEO transfer credit will continue to be handled on a case-by-case basis.

5. Students who have dropped the PULSE or Perspectives programs after only completing a single semester will need to finish their theology core with a Sacred Texts and Traditions course.

6. THEO 1430, THEO 1431, THEO 1432, THEO 1433, and THEO 1434 count towards the Cultural Diversity core requirement.

7. THEO 1161 Religious Quest I will now (retroactively) count toward the Cultural Diversity core requirement as well.

A student may take either of these courses to fulfill the Theology requirement:

  • THEO/PHIL 1088-1089 Person and Social Responsibility I and II (for PULSE Program students only)
  • THEO/PHIL 1090-1091 Perspectives on Western Culture I and II

The following options do not count for credit towards the theology core requirement:

  • Summer courses taken through the Office of International Programs
  • Courses taken as Pass/Fail