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Course Descriptions

THEO 1000: THEOLOGICAL QUESTIONS (4 credits)

A class for first-time students of theology, this course is designed to familiarize them with the Christian tradition — its scripture, history and documents — as well as with the resources and methods of Christian theology. Taught every term, it provides a foundation of readings and skills to prepare students for further study of theology. The questions considered vary from instructor to instructor and from term to term. Prerequisites: Strongly recommended for first-time students of theology.

THEO 2000: STAGES OF CHRISTIAN LIFE (4 credits)

This course is an introductory theological reflection on the Christian life as it is experienced in events, stages and passages. Special emphasis is given to the challenges of Christian women's spiritual development. Also offered as WOST.

THEO 2050: OLD TESTAMENT STUDIES (4 credits)

This is an introductory study of selected areas of the Old Testament in its original context. Emphasis is upon careful reading of the text in dialogue with modern approaches to scriptural study. As a beginning-level course, it requires no prior knowledge of the Bible.

THEO 2100: NEW TESTAMENT STUDIES (4 credits)

This is an introductory study of selected areas of the New Testament in its original context. Emphasis is upon careful reading of the text in dialogue with modern approaches to scriptural study. As a beginning-level course, it requires no prior knowledge of the Bible.

THEO 2120: FAITH (4 credits)

This course is an introduction to the Christian faith. The content and response of faith, the history and possibility of faith and faith and the meaning of life are covered, as well as scripture, tradition, experience and reason as sources for faith.

THEO 2200: CHRISTIAN ETHICS (4 credits)

This course is an introduction to the search for the norms of human conduct in the light of revelation. It involves a discussion of human nature, freedom, responsibility, conscience, sin, ethical norms and personal development in Christ. Application of Christian norms to selected ethical problems.

THEO 2400: THE IDENTITY AND MISSION OF JESUS CHRIST (4 credits)

This course is a study of who Jesus is and what Jesus does as Word, Son, Lord and Savior. It involves examining the images of Jesus in the New Testament, the development of doctrines about Jesus in the early Church, and contemporary models of Jesus' identity and mission.

THEO 2600: THE MYSTERY CALLED CHURCH (4 credits)

How did the community of Jesus' disciples become the Church as we know it? What is the source of the Church's vitality, and what is its mission? This course will look to historical texts and the experiences of the faith-community through the ages for its answers.

THEO 2700: EXPLORING THE CATHOLIC FAITH: SAINTS AND SINNERS, CANDLES AND CROSSES (4 credits)

What is distinctive about the Catholic understanding of the Christian faith? How do Catholics understand such things as the role of Mary, the saints, sacraments and sacramentals, sin and grace, and the authority of bishops and the pope in their faith and practice? This course will examine the beliefs and practices of Catholics in the context of the history of the Catholic Church, and will include an exploration of the arts and the Catholic imagination.

THEO 2750: CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY (4 credits)

This course is an introduction to the Christian spiritual tradition, relying on the study of selected major primary sources. Descriptions of the movements of the inner life of believers will be critiqued in the light of contemporary spiritualities.

THEO 2800: CHRISTIAN SACRAMENTALITY (4 credits)

This course examines the Christian community and sacraments as the means through which Christ communicates the Word in the power of the Holy Spirit. Biblical and historical sources of sacramental theology are included, as well as sacraments and the contemporary Christian life.

THEO 2850: SOCIAL JUSTICE: A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE (4 credits)

This course explores the theological foundations of the Christian commitment to social justice, the contribution of Catholic social teaching and liberation theology. It also may include consideration of a variety of contemporary social issues, depending on the instructor and the term. Excellent as a preparation for CORE 3990 Global Search for Justice.

THEO 2994: TOPICS (4 credits)

The subject matter of the course is announced in the annual schedule of classes. Content varies, but will not duplicate existing courses. Prerequisites: One theology course.

THEO 3020: PASTORAL THEOLOGY (4 credits)

This class is an exploration of the discipline of pastoral theology as it relates to ministry in contemporary Church and society. Emphasis is placed on developing expertise in reflecting theologically upon one's experience through the case-study method. Offered every other year in the evening; usually cross-listed with THEO 6020. Prerequisites: One course in theology.

THEO 3030: EDUCATING FOR LIFE - RELIGIOUS EDUCATION IN CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES (4 credits)

This course is an exploration of the Christian theological and historical foundations of religious education in contemporary Christian traditions. This course provides a balanced study of classic and contemporary religious education sources and theological reflection on personal experiences of religious education. It emphasizes baptism’s significant role for living and practicing the Christian faith, especially for those preparing to engage in formal or volunteer religious education ministry within church structures. Prerequisites: At least one previous theology course and consultation with course instructor.

THEO 3060: ISSUES IN PASTORAL THEOLOGY (4 credits)

This course is an examination of the concept of pastoral care as manifest in scripture, Church history and specific contemporary ministries. Such topics as grief, the recovery of chemically dependent people and the role of women in the Church are explored. You also reflect on your life’s story as it relates to your understanding of ministry. Offered every other year in the evening; usually cross-listed with THEO 6060. Prerequisites: One course in theology.

THEO 3090: PASSING ON THE FAITH - THE MINISTRY OF FAITH FORMATION (4 credits)

This course involves identification and examination of religious education processes, programs, and practices with special attention to a diversity of theological understandings among and across various age groups; teaching strategies and practical methods appropriate to various ages and groups; the divergent practices among various religious membership groups; and the philosophical and cultural differences of ethnic groups. This course engages you in limited field observation involving assessment, planning, identifying of resources, and evaluation of existing catechetical practices. Personal assessment of each student's ministerial competency and individual goal setting will conclude the class. Prerequisites: At least one previous theology course and consultation with course instructor.

THEO 3150: CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE (4 credits)

This course is a study of different types of marriage from historical and contemporary perspectives. It examines the theology of Christian marriage as relationship, contract and sacrament. Special attention is given to the sacrament of marriage in the Roman Catholic tradition. An examination of the spirituality of marriage throughout the stages of marriage and parenting is also involved. Prerequisites: One theology course.

THEO 3200: SUFFERING, COMPASSION AND HEALING: THEOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY IN HEALTHCARE (4 credits)

This course is a study of suffering, compassion and healing in light of Christian faith. Topics include suffering and human life; types of suffering in the arena of healthcare; compassion as a Christian response to suffering; and the phenomenon of healing. The course aims to develop a spirituality for healthcare professionals and ministers. Prerequisites: One theology course.

THEO 3300: CURRENT TOPICS IN OLD TESTAMENT STUDIES (4 credits)

This is an in-depth inquiry into one area of contemporary Old Testament scholarship. Possible topics include the Pentateuch, prophetic literature or wisdom literature. Prerequisites: THEO 2050 or 2100, or one theology course and permission of the instructor.

THEO 3350: CURRENT TOPICS IN NEW TESTAMENT STUDIES (4 credits)

This course involves consideration of current questions in recent New Testament scholarship. Possible topics include what can be known of Jesus historically; Paul's role in the foundation of Christianity; women's leadership in the early church; Christ among the gods of the Graeco-Roman period; and the selection of writings put in, and left out of, the Christian New Testament. Prerequisites: One theology course.

THEO 3360: WAR, PEACE AND THE APOCALYPSE (4 credits)

This course is divided into two parts. The first part explores the Book of Revelation, also called "John's Apocalypse," in its original historical-cultural context. This part of the course lays the foundation for the study of apocalyptic theology and spirituality beyond the biblical texts. The second part continues our concern with Revelation’s influence on apocalyptic thinking but broadens the focus to include the prevalence of apocalyptic movements in Western history. The course compares diverse apocalyptic narratives, ancient and modern, in order to understand better John's Apocalypse and apocalyptic worldviews, language, and theology. Students discuss and analyze the artwork of Albrecht Durer; the appropriations of John's Apocalypse by interesting groups (e.g., the Branch Davidians) and individuals (e.g., Anne Wentworth); apocalyptic images in modern music, media and film; apocalyptic language in political rhetoric; and the role of apocalypticism among the Maya and Hopi, and within Catholic Marian devotion and Islam. Prerequisites: One theology course.

THEO 3380: WOMEN AND THE BIBLE (4 credits)

This course involves a close reading of biblical texts to see how women are portrayed in the Old and New Testaments, and how gender is used in images of God and community. Secondary texts that comment on these issues are studied with a special emphasis on how recent developments in feminist criticism have influenced interpretation of the Bible. Also offered as WOST. Prerequisites: THEO 2050 or 2100, or one course in theology and permission of the instructor.

THEO 3390: THE BIBLE GOES TO THE MOVIES (4 credits)

This is a study of how the Bible has been interpreted through film, involving the viewing and evaluation of film in relationship to relevant readings from the Bible. Careful reading and analysis of biblical texts is involved, as well as comparison of the Bible with the filmmaker's reading and interpretation of texts. Prerequisites: THEO 2050 or THEO 2100, or one theology course and permission of the instructor.

THEO 3450: WOMEN IN AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY (4 credits)

This is a theological study of the contributions of women to the various religious traditions found in America. The approach is ecumenical, with an emphasis on the roles of women in the Christian churches. Also offered as WOST. Offered every other year. Prerequisites: One theology course.

THEO 3670: THE QUEST FOR GOD IN CONTEMPORARY EXPERIENCE (4 credits)

This course is an exploration of how contemporary people search for God. Some of the issues and questions considered are those who search for God and do not find God; modern science and belief in God; evil and suffering as obstacles to finding God; human experiences of trust, love, meaning and freedom as signals of God’s existence; women’s experiences of God; experiencing God as Word and Holy Spirit. Offered every other year. Prerequisites: One theology course.

THEO 3700: JEWISH STUDIES (4 credits)

This course covers the beliefs and practices of Judaism, the Jewish view of God, humanity and the relationship between ritual and morality. Jewish beliefs about life, death, the hereafter and Messianic expectations are included. Offered every second or third year. Prerequisites: One theology course.

THEO 3750: STUDIES IN WORLD RELIGIONS (4 credits)

This is a comparative survey of major religious traditions, with special attention to the relationship between Christianity and religions such as Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Theories of the origin and nature of religion; consideration of religions as lived realities. Prerequisites: One theology course.

THEO 3800: SPIRITUALITY AND WORK (4 credits)

This course is a theological investigation of the relationship between spirituality and work. With Hebrew and Christian Scriptures as a foundation for theological reflection on the themes of co-creation and vocation, it focuses on work and spirituality in the corporate world, the service professions and the creative arts. The course also examines through readings, lectures, discussions and outside presenters the opportunities, obstacles, experiences, ethics and leadership of women at work. Prerequisites: One theology course.

THEO 3850: HUMAN SEXUALITY: THEOLOGICAL AND SPIRITUAL EXPLORATIONS (4 credits)

This course explores the theological and spiritual significance of human sexuality, especially in the context of Christian theology and practice. Diverse anthropological, biblical, historical, feminist, and theological perspectives on human sexuality are examined. Several Catholic moral teachings regarding human sexuality - birth regulation, sex within and outside of the context of marriage, and homosexuality - are discussed. The course provides an opportunity for exploring and articulating one's own view of the connections between sexuality and spirituality. Also offered as WOST. Prerequisites: One theology course.

THEO 3930: CHRISTIAN WOMEN MYSTICS (4 credits)

This course is an examination of the lives and writing of selected Christian women mystics across the centuries. Their lives and works are studied within the ecclesiastical context of their times and with a view to their enduring meaning for today’s Christians. Also offered as WOST. Prerequisites: One theology course.

THEO 4552 or 4554: TUTORIAL (2 or 4 credits)

This involves directed study of an announced topic, period or figure in theology. Up to five students may work under the direction of a faculty member. See department chair for further information. Prerequisites: Two theology courses.

THEO 4684: DIRECTED STUDY (4 credits)

Directed study is provided for students whose unusual circumstances prohibit taking a regularly scheduled course but who need the material of that course to satisfy a requirement. Availability of this faculty-directed learning experience depends on faculty time and may be limited in any given term and restricted to certain courses. Prerequisites: Faculty, department chair and dean approval.

THEO 4752 or 4754: PRACTICUM — LETTER GRADED ( 2 OR 4 credits)

A practicum allows you to gain credit for certain non-classroom experiences. Credit for the experience is requested before beginning the experience. Normally open to junior and senior students. Prerequisites: Permission of the department chair and agreement of project supervisor.

THEO 4762 or 4764: PRACTICUM — S/U GRADING ONLY ( 2 OR 4 credits)

A practicum allows you to gain credit for certain non-classroom experiences. It is normally open to pastoral ministry students to meet the field education requirement for the certificate. The coordinator of the Pastoral Ministry program supervises each student's work. Credit for the experience is requested before beginning the experience. Prerequisites: Permission of the department chair.

THEO 4994: TOPICS (4 credits)

The subject matter of the course is announced in the annual schedule of classes. Content varies, but will not duplicate existing courses. Prerequisites: One theology course.