Possibilities for Double Majors
Many students who are theology majors choose to double major or to minor in other fields. For example, students frequently double major in Theology and Psychology, Theology and Political Science, Theology and Physics, Theology and Environmental Studies, Theology and Nursing, etc. The theology curriculum is flexible enough to accommodate for student interests.
Examples of Special Emphases or Tracks
Listed below you will find possible special emphases or tracks that will help you envision your own particular course of study. These areas of special emphasis or tracks are suggestions and not set in stone. The special emphases or tracks show some of the ways that majors have pursued their own interests within the larger theology curriculum. You can also plan out your own special course of study with help from a faculty advisor.
Study of the biblical texts is essential to the work of theology. Students who are interested in understanding the ancient world, its literature, history and religion, and in gaining proficiency in how ancient texts are interpreted and applied within a contemporary context will be able to explore these issues more deeply through courses such as Hebrew Scriptures, History of Judaic Thought I, New Testament courses on the Gospels and the Epistles (Letters), Biblical Visions, and Jesus in His Palestinian Setting.
Ecumenical and Interfaith Studies
Those majors who are interested in collaboration and cooperation across religious traditions will want to explore topics such as History of Christianity I and II, The Eastern Orthodox Tradition, History of Judaic Thought I and II, Protestant Traditions, Women's Experience, Women's Faith, World Christianity, and World Religions. Special topics courses are also offered as needed which enable students to explore Religions of Asia and India.
In addition, co-curricular programs include faith-based organizational leadership positions, Interfaith Coalition roles, as well as peer ministry placements that are elected and/or appointed in the spring for the following academic year. Retreats and other programs provide discernment opportunities for majors considering professional ministry, graduate school, or seminary.
Ethics, Peacemaking and Social Justice
Majors with a strong interest in social and economic justice and who may want to pursue further study through programs such as the Fulbright Program, Peace Corps, or church-related mission agencies will want consider courses such as Christian Peacemaking, Moral Issues in Health Care, Religion and Politics, Theology from the Margins, Theology, Nature and Environmental Responsibility, Women's Experience, Women's Faith, and World Religions.
Complementary electives might include courses in Political Science, Sociology, History, International Studies, and Economics, such as, U.S. Foreign Policy, Contemporary American Social Problems, and Social Inequality. Many theology majors with an interest in ethics, peacemaking, and social justice opt to minor in Peace Studies
Majors with a desire to delve more deeply in historical studies and so to understand more thoroughly the development of Christian theology and spirituality will want to consider courses such as History of Christianity I and II, The Catholic Traditions, The Christ, The Church, Eastern Orthodox Tradition, Monastic Spirituality, Monastic Spirituality, Protestant Traditions, The Quest for God, Women’s Experience, Women’s Faith, and World Christianity.
Practical Ministries such as Youth Ministry
Theology majors are often interested in serving in particular ministries in local congregations or to pursue graduate degrees in counseling. There are a variety of courses which will help students develop skills in this area including Ultimate Questions with a focus on the "Little Way," Spirituality and the Sacraments, The Quest for God, and a special internship designed specifically according to an individual student's needs and interests. Additional courses outside the theology department will be helpful to develop the students’ skills in this area including courses such as Adolescent Psychology.
In addition, there are a variety of co-curricular programs that students with interests in practical ministry will want to take advantage of, including the Peer Ministry program and opportunities for internships in campus ministry with experiences in pastoral and liturgical ministry. The Archdiocese of Louisville offers a special certification program for youth ministry which can be incorporated into this emphases or track. More information is available on the Archdiocese website. The department of theology also has broad networks of support for non-Catholic students with interests in serving in different denominational contexts such as Baptist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and UCC churches.
Roman Catholic Traditions
As a university rooted in Roman Catholic tradition, theology majors have ample opportunities to explore Catholic studies. Majors considering a religious vocation or with a strong interest in the Roman Catholic Church will want to consider taking classes on topics such as The Catholic Traditions, Christian Marriage, The Church, History of Christianity I and II, Monastic Spirituality, and Spirituality and the Sacraments.
Thomas Merton’s writings are core elements for Bellarmine’s theology curriculum. All Ultimate Questions courses include some of Merton’s writings. Students with interests in Christian spirituality will want to take advantage of courses such as Spirituality and the Sacraments, The Quest for God, Monastic Spirituality, and Biblical Visions. The Thomas Merton Center is also located in Bellarmine’s library which enables students to do archival research. In addition, retreats are planned at the Abbey of Gethsemani and St. Meinrad Archabbey on a regular basis.