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Objectives and Expectations of Theology Majors

Students who choose to major in theology are a diverse group who have a variety of goals and interests. Some have definite career goals of service to the church and/or society; others are seeking God and a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives. Some are interested in religious education, others in ministry, and still others see theology and spirituality as a complement to a career in psychology, education, social work, business, or nursing, etc. Some are committed (Catholic) Christians, and others are seekers or are more interested in religion than theology.

A concentration (major or minor) in Theology provides you with the opportunity for more extensive and intensive exploration of the religious and Christian experience. It is also an excellent focal point for the liberal arts and can serve as a preparation for graduate study in theology, ministry, religion, and related disciplines (philosophy, history, social sciences, law, etc.) or for work in the Church (education, ministry, etc.) or society. Thus the requirements for a major or a minor in Theology are designed to give a student an adequate foundation in the discipline and the flexibility to build a program to meet individual needs and goals.

Learning Outcomes for the Theology Major

Students who major in Theology will be able to demonstrate:

  1. An understanding of the major areas in the discipline of Theology—biblical studies, historical or comparative studies, systematic theology, ethics, and spirituality. 
  2. Familiarity with the variety of religious experiences and traditions 
  3. An understanding of how religious morality and justice are integrated with faith 
  4. The ability to apply difficult theological concepts and ideas within their writing, research, or in field experiences.
  5. The ability to reflect on their own experiences in light of theological perspectives.

Assessing the Objectives and Expectations of the Theology Major

The requirements for the major in theology are designed to meet the above objectives while allowing the student the flexibility to design a program of study that will fulfill the student’s personal goals. The student is required to take Theo 200 Ultimate Questions, which is an introduction to theology and the study of religion, and to take a course in the five major areas of the discipline of theology, at least four other upper level courses in the theology curriculum, and Theo 499 The Integrative Seminar. Thus, the objectives are met primarily through the courses the student takes and the evaluation of the student that takes place in those courses. At the end of Theo 499 each student is given an oral comprehensive exam in the form of an exit interview, focused on the above objectives and expectations, with the full-time faculty in theology.

The annual report of the theology department will include a summary of the results of the exit interview and any recommendations for improving the program that arise from these interviews. In addition every five years the department will seek an assessment from alumni/ae. The results and recommendations for program improvement will also be included in the theology department’s annual report.