Theology

The theology degree program at The Woods is built on the understanding of theology as “faith seeking understanding,” and equips students with the knowledge to pursue that process. Courses in the theology degree program are designed to deepen your understanding of your faith, examine it critically, and learn the language and ways of thinking necessary to articulate it in a clear, coherent and meaningful manner. The Theology major prepares you to enter into an intelligent and informed dialogue with both the world at large and your own faith community.

Theology is a truly integrative discipline that draws from many other disciplines as tools for its methodology: philosophy, psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology, history, art, music, literature and the natural sciences.

How We Prepare You

A theology degree prepares students for a future in

  • Lay service and leadership: Because the Catholic Church and most Protestant denominations now need and want greater lay involvement in the ministries of their churches, it is important that those who desire to offer themselves for service in today's world have a strong theological foundation.
  • Ministry preparation: If you feel called to service or ministry in your church, the theology major will prepare you for graduate study in theology or seminary studies

Theology Major - (35-37 credit hours)

Required Courses

23-25 credit hours required: all courses listed.

Studies the Hebrew Scriptures from a religious and literary viewpoint. Examines the major themes and contexts of these biblical writings in light of a current issue. Fulfills general studies requirement. Prerequisite: TH 201.

Investigates the Christian Scriptures in their historical, cultural, religious, and sociological context in the Mediterranean world at the beginning of the Common Era. Includes an introduction to the techniques and methods of biblical scholarship and to the theologies that comprise the Christian community's witness to Jesus of Nazareth. The topics of the course will be examined and discussed in light of a unifying issue or theme. Fulfills general studies requirement. Prerequisite: TH 201.

Examines the concept of God from a Christian perspective. Topics include the experience of God; God's attributes; Trinity; the relationship of God to creation. For theology majors and minors only.

Seeks to answer Jesus' question, ? "Who do you say that I am?" Using scripture, and historical and contemporary sources, students examine the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus in terms of what He means for contemporary faith and life. Fulfills general studies requirement. Prerequisite: TH 201.

Examines the nature of the Church and its mission in the contemporary world. The Church is studied in terms of major images, its nature as the sacrament of Christ and its relationship among the various churches. For theology majors and minors only. Prerequisite: TH 201.

Focuses on the liturgical life of the Church, from both historical and modern perspectives. For theology majors and minors only. Prerequisite: TH 201.

Studies selected topics of importance in the discipline. For theology majors only. Prerequisite: TH 201.

Provides theology majors with the opportunity to integrate and synthesize their course sequence and/or pursue important questions that cannot be treated in other courses. Challenges the student to do serious research work in an effort to have the skills of good theology applied to the area of student interest. For theology majors only.

Choose One

3 credit hours required: choose one course

Considers the historical and contemporary sources and methodology of moral theology, as well as significant moral questions facing today's Christian. Fulfills general studies requirement. Prerequisite: TH 201.

Examines selected current issues in global peace and justice, within the framework of Christian theology and Catholic social teaching. Fulfills general studies requirement. Prerequisite: TH 201.

Explores the ethical principles of representative professions (e.g. law, medicine, business, social work). Considerable use is made of case studies in the development of the skill of moral decision making. Fulfills general studies requirement. Prerequisite: TH 201.

Choose One

3 credit hours required: choose one course

Explores the meaning of ministry in the church, especially the many forms of the lay ministry. Distance format only. For theology majors only. Prerequisite: TH 201.

Explores the theology of God from the perspectives of how women image God. The class engages with the works of historical and contemporary women as primary sources. Fulfills general studies requirement. Prerequisite: TH 201.

Other Required Courses

6 credit hours required: all courses listed

Course has three fundamental goals: to enable participants to understand differing historical and philosophical perspectives on women; to help participants challenge traditional philosophy with as many feminist perspectives as possible; and to demonstrate feminist philosophers make the kinds of distinctions that matter in everyday lives of ordinary women and men. Prerequisite: PH 200.

Philosophical analysis of the phenomenon of religion with treatment of such problems as religious language, the varieties of the concept of God and the philosophical/theological relationship. Primary source materials are investigated for the tracing of historical religious thought. Prerequisite: PH 200.

General Studies

6 credit hours required: choose PS111 or SO211

A systematic study of the central spiritual orientations of the world's religious traditions by examining the dominant spiritual archetypes and prototypes that influence all religious heritages. Fulfills General Studies Linking requirement. Prerequisite: Successful completion of 5 Skills courses, 3 Foundations/Diversity courses, and 3 Perspectives courses.

An overview of contemporary psychology introducing students to: human development, cognition and language, learning, memory, sensation, perception, motivation, emotion, biological basis of behavior, social psychology, personality, psychopathology and psychotherapy. The focus of the course is on both the scientific method of acquiring psychological data, as well as the theories which interpret that data and help guide further research in the field. For majors and non-majors, this course also serves as the prerequisite for most psychology classes. Fulfills general studies requirement.

Studies the basic principles, perspectives and concepts of sociology. Broad overview with emphasis on social structure, social interaction, culture, socialization, groups, formal organization, stratification, social institutions and social change. Fulfills general studies requirement.

Information about Course Requirements
We do our best to keep this information updated, but you should always double-check to ensure you are meeting graduation requirements. For the most current course requirements please review the latest undergraduate college catalog.  Always consult your academic advisor when registering for courses or when you have questions about course requirements.

Theology Minor - (18 credit hours)

Required Courses

9 credit hours required; all courses listed.

Studies the Hebrew Scriptures from a religious and literary viewpoint. Examines the major themes and contexts of these biblical writings in light of a current issue. Fulfills general studies requirement. Prerequisite: TH 201.

Investigates the Christian Scriptures in their historical, cultural, religious, and sociological context in the Mediterranean world at the beginning of the Common Era. Includes an introduction to the techniques and methods of biblical scholarship and to the theologies that comprise the Christian community's witness to Jesus of Nazareth. The topics of the course will be examined and discussed in light of a unifying issue or theme. Fulfills general studies requirement. Prerequisite: TH 201.

Focuses on the liturgical life of the Church, from both historical and modern perspectives. For theology majors and minors only. Prerequisite: TH 201.

Choose two

6 credit hours required; choose two courses.

Examines the concept of God from a Christian perspective. Topics include the experience of God; God's attributes; Trinity; the relationship of God to creation. For theology majors and minors only.

Seeks to answer Jesus' question, ? "Who do you say that I am?" Using scripture, and historical and contemporary sources, students examine the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus in terms of what He means for contemporary faith and life. Fulfills general studies requirement. Prerequisite: TH 201.

Examines the nature of the Church and its mission in the contemporary world. The Church is studied in terms of major images, its nature as the sacrament of Christ and its relationship among the various churches. For theology majors and minors only. Prerequisite: TH 201.

Choose one

3 credit hours required; choose one course.

Considers the historical and contemporary sources and methodology of moral theology, as well as significant moral questions facing today's Christian. Fulfills general studies requirement. Prerequisite: TH 201.

Examines selected current issues in global peace and justice, within the framework of Christian theology and Catholic social teaching. Fulfills general studies requirement. Prerequisite: TH 201.

Explores the ethical principles of representative professions (e.g. law, medicine, business, social work). Considerable use is made of case studies in the development of the skill of moral decision making. Fulfills general studies requirement. Prerequisite: TH 201.

Information about Course Requirements
We do our best to keep this information updated, but you should always double-check to ensure you are meeting graduation requirements. For the most current course requirements please review the latest undergraduate college catalog.  Always consult your academic advisor when registering for courses or when you have questions about course requirements.

Careers in Theology

Theology graduates have found careers in a variety of areas including:

  • Service ministry: counseling; hospice work; pastoral care in health care facilities; soup kitchens and thrift stores; retreats; youth ministry; campus minister.
  • Religious education: Director of Religious Education; leaders of the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults; faith development; religion teacher; curriculum designer.
  • Publishing: writing and/or editing diocesan or denominational newspapers; editing magazines and journals; book and magazine reviews; religious education materials.
  • Liturgical ministry: office of worship; music and choral directing; parish liturgy planning.
  • Church administration: parish associate; Church tribunals; denominational headquarters; personnel management.

Students sometimes discover that a second major or minor in another field such as business, psychology, English, journalism, foreign language, music or education enhances their career preparation.

Do I have to be Roman Catholic to major in theology?

No. Our courses in theology are, for the most part, applicable to practically all Christian denominations. Among our majors (past and present), we have had Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists, Mennonites, American Baptists. In addition, our faculty also includes professors who are not Roman Catholic, which provides a wider perspective for our program.

Choose a format that works for you

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