Theological Studies, B.A.
Theology is about God and the ways in which humans have lived, and continue to live, with God. It is therefore concerned with the most basic questions of life.
Saint Louis University's Department of Theological Studies trains students in a variety of sources and methods to help them evaluate and appreciate the most vital aspects of religious experience and thought. The department enters into this investigation from an academic perspective with the aim of helping students clarify their own understanding. The Catholic tradition is central to the work of the department, but Catholicism is studied in the context of the whole Christian tradition and in relationship to all of the world’s religious traditions.
Additional program highlights include:
- The SLU theology program allows students to explore major questions about life and God while studying with top scholars in the field.
- Students explore deep, theological issues in a welcoming environment that is both rooted in the Catholic tradition and open to all viewpoints.
- Students develop their writing, research and critical thinking skills in preparation for graduate study and careers in various disciplines such as theology, law, social work, philosophy and many others.
The major in theological studies consists of 30 credits after completion of the introductory Theological Foundations course. Students are required to take one Old Testament course, one New Testament course, at least one course in two of the sub-disciplines within theological studies listed below, four electives and two capstone seminars. Sub-disciplines within the department include:
- Theology and history
- Faith and reason
- Christian morality and society
- Non-Christian religious traditions
The introductory course, Theological Foundations, introduces students to the God of revelation within the Judeo-Christian tradition and to the understanding of its implications for living a human life, respecting creation and pursuing beauty and truth. This is done within an ecumenical and global context, examining other world religions and various social realities. Subsequent courses focus on an aspect of Christian or other religious traditions and address social and moral issues.
Following the introductory Theological Foundations course, the department offers undergraduate courses in the 2000–4000 level in Scripture, both Hebrew and Christian; the history of Christianity from its origins through today; constructive theology which examines central themes and pressing issues in Christianity, theological ethics, which studies diverse Christian practices; world religions/comparative theology, which explores non-Christian faiths by either comparing or contrasting them with Christianity (e.g., Islam and Christianity) or by studying them individually (e.g., world religions); and spirituality, which examines the various expressions of Christian discipleship (e.g., Ignatian spirituality).
The two-semester capstone cohort (THEO 4960 Capstone Seminar I (3 cr) and THEO 4965 Capstone Seminar II (3 cr)) challenges students to examine a central issue in theology and/or religious studies. This capstone experience includes the development of a major research project and culminates in a public scholarly presentation.
Fieldwork and Research Opportunities
The Theology Club at Saint Louis University provides an opportunity for students and faculty to come together in an informal, social setting. The club holds regular discussions, sponsors lectures and helps plan an annual undergraduate conference. The department publishes a monthly newsletter, the Ignatian Herald, which keeps interested students informed about campus events. The department also sponsors two annual lectureships, the Bellarmine and De Lubac Lectures, in which world-class scholars share their ongoing research with faculty, students and the wider university community.
Faculty members and academic advisors/mentors assist students in finding internships in the St. Louis area or in their hometowns that will utilize the knowledge obtained from the theology curriculum and enhance the students’ skill sets.
Those who wish to remain in the field of theology after graduation may teach on the elementary and secondary levels or serve as religious education coordinators in a parish and pastoral associates in schools or parishes. Many students see the theology major as good preparation for graduate studies. Graduate studies in theology prepare students for a variety of careers in ministry, teaching at the college or university levels and entering many other careers. Some students choose to complete a double major in order to diversify their opportunities for employment. Studies in theology enhance careers in journalism, social work, medicine, law or politics.
All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory course work is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file. College admission test scores (ACT or SAT) are used as an additional indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University and are used as qualifiers for certain University scholarship programs. To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, the applicant must be graduating from an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the General Education Development (GED) test.
Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED. An official high school transcript and official test scores are required only of those students who have attempted fewer than 24 transferable semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit. Those having completed 24 or more of college credit need only submit a transcript from previously attended college(s). In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the office of admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University.
All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:
- Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
- Proof of financial support must include:
- A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
- A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
- Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:
- Scholarships: awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
- Financial Aid: provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.
For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, applicants should apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.
For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit the student financial services office online at http://finaid.slu.edu.
- Graduates will be able to identify the various roles of Christian theology in the world today.
- Graduates will be able to describe the significance of theological study for the life of faith.
- Graduates will be able to explain the methodologies that contemporary scholars use in academic theology.
- Graduates will be able to write an academically-sophisticated research thesis on a topic in theology.
Overall requirements are as follows:
- A single course cannot be used to fill more than one requirement
- Maximum 9 credit hours at the 2xxx level (including THEO 2110 Old Testament (3 cr) and THEO 2210 New Testament (3 cr))
- Minimum 6 credit hours at the 4xxx level (excluding THEO 4960 Capstone Seminar I (3 cr) and THEO 4965 Capstone Seminar II (3 cr))
|College core requirements||57-66|
|For additional information about core courses|
|THEO 1000||Theological Foundations||3|
|Select one of the following:||6|
|Old Testament (and one course with a New Testament attribute)|
|New Testament (and one course with an Old Testament attribute)|
|Area Elective Courses|
|Select two courses from two of the following subject areas:||6|
|General Elective Courses|
|Select four courses from any one or combination of the following subject areas:||12|
|Capstone Seminar I|
|Capstone Seminar II|
|Old Testament: Prophets|
|Old Testament: Psalms|
|How to Interpret Scripture: Methods and Perspectives|
|The Bible and Literature|
|Seminar in New Testament|
|Making Christianity Credible|
|The Church: Yesterday & Today|
|Jesus and Salvation|
|Psychology and the Soul|
|Religion and Science|
|Christianity and Literature|
|Love and the Human Condition|
|Death and Suffering|
|Christianity and Atheism: A History of Disbelief|
|Christ and Color: Liberation Theology|
|Women and God: Feminist Theology|
|Seeking God: A History|
|Marriage & Christian Vocation|
|Theological Outsiders: Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Dostoevsky|
|Seminar in Constructive Theology|
|Comparative Religious Ethics|
|Theological Bioethics: Medicine and Morality|
|Faith and Politics|
|Poverty, Wealth & Justice|
|Green Discipleship: Theology & Ecology|
|Sex, Gender and Christian Ethics|
|A Post Human Future? The Ethics of Technology|
|War and Peace in the Christian Tradition|
|Freedom of Conscience|
|Seminar in Christian Ethics|
|Nicaragua: Theology and Culture|
|Jerusalem: Three Faiths, One City|
|Islam: Religion & Culture|
|Arts of Hinduism and Buddhism|
|Saints and Friends of God: Religious Genius in Islam and Christianity|
|Intuition, Spontaneity, and Flow: Daoism in Comparative Context|
|Sufism, Islam's Mystical Tradition|
|Jewish Life: Bible to Middle Ages|
|Religions of Asia|
|Islam and the Christian Theologian: Comparing Theological Themes|
|Seminar in World Religions|
|Rise of Christianity|
|Rise of Christianity|
|Coming to the Americas: Religious Encounters in the Colonial Age|
|Teachers in Early Christianity|
|Teachers in Medieval Christianity|
|Women in the Bible|
|The Reformations of the 16th Century|
|Christians In Middle East|
|The Invisible Institution: African American Religion and the Rise of Black Theology|
A student must maintain a 2.00 grade point average (GPA) in Theology major coursework.
|Core Components and Credits|
|Foundations of Discourse||3|
|Diversity in the U.S.||3|
- Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses [numbered below 1000]).
- Courses listed under the intensive English program do not count toward graduation requirements. EAP 1500 College Composition for International Students (3 cr), EAP 1900 Rhetoric & Research Strategies (3 cr) and EAP 2850 Introduction to Literature for International Students (3 cr) count toward graduation requirements as equivalents to Department of English courses. In addition to those courses, six credits from EAP/MLNG courses at the 1000 level or higher may count toward graduation requirements
- Achieve at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, a 2.00 grade point average in the major(s) and a 2.00 grade point average in the minor/certificate, or related elective credits.
- Complete Dept/Program specific academic and performance requirements.
- Complete at least 50% of the coursework for the major and 75% for the minor/certificate through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
- Complete 30 of the final 36 credits through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
- Complete an online degree application by the required University deadline.
Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.
Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.
This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester. Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.
|Participation in first-year mentoring events|
|THEO 1000||Theological Foundations (May be satisfied by 1818 college credit)||3|
or THEO 2210
|Old Testament (Old Testament/Hebrew Bible or New Testament course)
or New Testament
|THEO 3000-level or 4000-level (Second scripture course in the testament not already taken above in semester two)||3|
|THEO 4960||Capstone Seminar I||3|
|THEO 4965||Capstone Seminar II||3|
|THEO 2110||Old Testament||3|
|THEO 2210||New Testament||3|
|THEO 3115||Old Testament: Prophets||3|
|THEO 3120||Old Testament: Psalms||3|
|THEO 3210||One Jesus, Four Portraits: The Gospels||3|
|THEO 4210||How to Interpret Scripture: Methods and Perspectives||3|
|THEO 4215||The Bible and Literature||3|
|THEO 4290||Seminar in New Testament||3|
|THEO 3310||Rise of Christianity||3|
|THEO 3320||Modern Christianity||3|
|THEO 3330||Coming to the Americas: Religious Encounters in the Colonial Age||3|
|THEO 3345||The Life and Theology of Augustine of Hippo||3|
|THEO 3365||Teachers in Early Christianity||3|
|THEO 3370||Teachers in Medieval Christianity||3|
|THEO 3375||Women in the Bible||3|
|THEO 3325||The Reformations of the 16th Century||3|
|THEO 3335||Christians In Middle East||3|
|THEO 2410||Making Christianity Credible||3|
|THEO 2415||The Church: Yesterday & Today||3|
|THEO 2430||Jesus and Salvation||3|
|THEO 2815||Psychology and the Soul||3|
|THEO 2820||Religion and Science||3|
|THEO 2840||Christianity and Literature||3|
|THEO 2900||Love and the Human Condition||3|
|THEO 2905||Death and Suffering||3|
|THEO 3410||Christianity and Atheism: A History of Disbelief||3|
|THEO 3415||Christ and Color: Liberation Theology||3|
|THEO 3420||Women and God: Feminist Theology||3|
|THEO 3900||Seeking God: A History||3|
|THEO 3905||Marriage & Christian Vocation||3|
|THEO 4410||Theological Outsiders: Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Dostoevsky||3|
|THEO 4490||Seminar in Constructive Theology||3|
|THEO 2510||Christian Ethics||3|
|THEO 2515||Social Justice||3|
|THEO 2520||Comparative Religious Ethics||3|
|THEO 2525||Theological Bioethics: Medicine and Morality||3|
|THEO 3510||Faith and Politics||3|
|THEO 3515||Poverty, Wealth & Justice||3|
|THEO 3525||Green Discipleship: Theology & Ecology||3|
|THEO 3535||Sex, Gender and Christian Ethics||3|
|THEO 3560||A Post Human Future? The Ethics of Technology||3|
|THEO 4510||War and Peace in the Christian Tradition||3|
|THEO 4525||Freedom of Conscience||3|
|THEO 4590||Seminar in Christian Ethics||3|
|THEO 4810||Nicaragua: Theology and Culture||3|
|THEO 2715||Jerusalem: Three Faiths, One City||3|
|THEO 2720||Islam: Religion & Culture||3|
|THEO 3710||Arts of Hinduism and Buddhism||3|
|THEO 3715||Saints and Friends of God: Religious Genius in Islam and Christianity||3|
|THEO 3720||Intuition, Spontaneity, and Flow: Daoism in Comparative Context||3|
|THEO 3725||Sufism, Islam's Mystical Tradition||3|
|THEO 3730||Jewish Life: Bible to Middle Ages||3|
|THEO 3740||Religions of Asia||3|
|THEO 4710||Islam and the Christian Theologian: Comparing Theological Themes||3|
|THEO 4790||Seminar in World Religions||3|