Theology helps us to understand how faith relates to living together well. The Theology Department believes that a major in Theology, the foundational discipline of the university in the West, provides a sound liberal arts education, enhances critical thinking, and invites a deeper analysis of contemporary issues facing religious communities and society.
Our major serves students well in earning a living and in enhancing their lives by growing in the love of truth. One reason to study theology at Bellarmine is the strength of our faculty. Our faculty is diverse and represents expertise in biblical studies, historical theology, systematic theology, world Christianity, theological ethics, Roman Catholic moral theology, and the history of Judaic thought. Most important, our faculty are interested and invested in student learning.
Rich Setting to Study Theology
The university and the city of Louisville offer ample opportunities for Roman Catholic, ecumenical, and interfaith dialogue and for the theological and spiritual growth of our students. Louisville is the seat of the Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville and the national center for the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. The Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary are both close to the Bellarmine campus. St. Meinrad School of Theology and Benedictine Abbey is also in the region. The Catholic Cathedral of the Assumption houses the Center for Interfaith Relations which sponsors the annual Festival of Faiths, a nationally recognized celebration of religious diversity and theological thought.
The Bellarmine Theology Department sponsors annual Vernon Robertson lectures and other events aimed at bringing nationally and internationally recognized scholars or church leaders to the Louisville area. Vernon Robertson Lecturers include such distinguished scholars as Shawn Copeland, Gary Dorrien, Daniel Groody, Pamela Eisenbaum, Ursula King, Martin Laird, Peter Steinfels, and Christina Traina.
Our department is also invested in undergraduate student research and hosts an annual theology department essay contest. Award winning essays are published in a journal called Scholars in Writing.
Bellarmine University houses the International Thomas Merton Center, which maintains the complete collection of the writings and work of and about Thomas Merton and makes it available to visiting scholars. The Abbey at Gethsemani, where Merton lived and worked, is a short distance from Louisville. The Theology Department offers immersion learning experiences through Theology courses periodically held at the Abbey.
Bellarmine has a vibrant campus ministry which includes such groups as the Peer Group Ministers, the Catholic Students Association, Hillel, Muslim Students at Prayer, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and a number of interdenominational study groups. There are also a variety of student-led service opportunities and retreats such as: Go Make a Difference (with Habitat for Humanity); Alternative Spring Break (a week-long service retreat with the Christian Appalachian Project); BSL Retreat Series (a series of retreats done throughout the year along with the Campus Ministry Programs at the University of Louisville and Spalding University); and, the Gethsemani Retreat (a weekend retreat at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Bardstown, KY).