Interim Program Director: Paul E. McGreal, JD, LLM
Graduate Study in Theology
The graduate program in theology engages Christians of all denominations in intensive investigations of developments in the major areas of contemporary theology: Biblical Studies, Systematic and Historical Studies, Christian Life Studies (Moral Theology and Spirituality).
The program is designed to provide a broad overview of the major areas and concentration in one area of theology chosen by the student. The program is intended for students preparing for doctoral studies, for the growing number of professionals engaged in theological and ministerial activities in churches and schools, for lay people seeking to further their theological education.
While respecting and exposing students to other religious traditions, Creighton University, a Catholic and Jesuit university, conducts its theological inquiries within the Catholic-Christian tradition.
Inquiries about the program should be directed to:
Graduate Program in Theology
Department of Theology
Omaha, NE 68178
General Learning Outcomes
- Broad knowledge of methods, movements, figures, and primary texts in the three major areas of contemporary theology: Biblical Studies, Systematic and Historical Studies, Christian Life Studies (Moral Theology & Spirituality);
- An understanding of the role of theological scholarship in the life of the Church.
- Ability to reflect critically and creatively upon the relationship between the Christian tradition (as expressed in classic religious texts and arguments) and contemporary experience;
- Ability to deal with change and sequence in the development of Christian self-understanding and discipleship;
- Ability to read primary texts and the pertinent secondary literature critically;
- Ability to research and write a coherent theological paper;
- Ability to think critically and constructively and to engage in theological conversation.
Entry into the program requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum of nine (9) semester hours of credit in theology or equivalent. Those applicants who have not taken 9 hours of theology can be admitted on a probationary status, which means that the student will have to take 9 credit hours in Creighton’s University College and earn a grade of B or higher in three courses. Applicants should also have a “B” average in their undergraduate work and Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores of at least 153 on the verbal section of the exam. Applicants can be admitted on probationary status for GRE scores from 149-152. GRE scores from the last 10 years are accepted. If you took the GRE in the old format, then you are required to have GRE scores of at least 500 on the verbal section. The Graduate School requires all students from countries in which English is not the native language to demonstrate competence in English by a score of 90 on the Internet-based Test (iBT) TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) examination at the graduate level.
THL 501. The Pentateuch. 3 credits. OD
Origin and composition of the first five books of the Bible. Historical and theological traditions contributing to their formation. Emphasis on their unique theology and on the use of the books in the New Testament period.
THL 502. Old Testament Themes. 3 credits. OD
In-depth study of the themes of covenant and community as they are developed in the Pentateuch and in Prophetic and Wisdom Literature. A survey of contemporary scholarship will support a careful study of the pertinent texts.
THL 503. The Prophetic Literature Of The Old Testament. 3 credits. OD
The uniqueness of the prophetic movement. Background literary styles, relevance of the prophetic message.
THL 504. The Wisdom Literature Of The Old Testament. 3 credits. OD
Study of the patterns of Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, some of the Psalms, compared with the wisdom literature of other ancient peoples.
THL 505. History of Biblical Interpretation. 3 credits.
A wide-ranging historical examination of the ways in which individuals and communities have understood and appropriated the texts of the Bible. Specific topics include theologies of Scripture, inner-biblical interpretation, early Jewish and Christian exegesis, medieval interpretation, and the study of the Bible during the Renaissance, Reformation(s), scientific revolution, and the modern period. P: 200-level Scripture course and Soph. stdg.
THL 507. The Gospel of Matthew. 3 credits. OD
A study of the theological vision of the text of this gospel, using all available methods and resources: redaction criticism, composition criticism, narrative criticism, etc.
THL 508. The Gospel of Mark. 3 credits. OD
A study of the first written gospel, its outline and structure, authorship, sources and influence on later New Testament writings.
THL 509. The Gospel Of Luke And The Acts Of The Apostles. 3 credits. OD
Study of Luke-Acts as a two-volume whole - a work of history, theology, and literary artistry.
THL 511. The Gospel of John. 3 credits. OD
Study of the unique witness to the meaning of Jesus in the Johannine Gospel.
THL 514. The Pastoral Epistles. 3 credits. OD
The first attempts to weld Christianity and Western humanism as initiated in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.
THL 516. The Book Of Revelation (The Apocalypse). 3 credits. OD
A contemporary scholarly interpretation of the book of Revelation with reference to contemporary apocalyptic.
THL 517. The Parables of Jesus. 3 credits. OD
Stories that formed the core of Jesus' preaching. How he told them. How the evangelists retold them. How we understand them today.
THL 518. Women and the Bible. 1-3 credits. OD (Same as WGS 518, CSP 680)
Study of the representations of women in biblical narratives; attention to the construction of gender in the ancient world. Introduction to the various approaches contemporary women are taking to these biblical texts. P: Christian Tradition course, Biblical Tradition course.
THL 520. The Dead Sea Scrolls. 3 credits. OD (Same as CNE 520)
Introduction to the Dead Sea Scrolls and various theories about their origin. Exploration of the light they shed on the textual history of the Hebrew Bible, developments in ancient Judaism, and the early history of Christianity.
THL 523. Israelite Religions. 3 credits. (Same as CNE 523)
This course will examine the manifold expressions of Israelite religions - biblical, archaeological, and epigraphic. Emphasis will be placed on the diversity of Israelite religions and the relationship of Israelite religions to the religions of her Near Eastern neighbors. P: Jr. stdg.
THL 524. History of Ancient Israel. 3 credits. OD (Same as CNE 524, HIS 524)
An examination and reconstruction of the history of ancient Israel from biblical and other ancient New Eastern literary texts, and from archaeological and epigraphic materials.
THL 529. Translations of the Bible. 3 credits. (Same as CNE 529)
Various ancient translations of the Bible and their significance.
THL 530. Contemporary Catholic Theologians. 3 credits. OD
Key themes in the thought of Rahner, Conger, De Lubac, Lonergan, and other contemporary Catholic theologians.
THL 531. Studies in Early Christianity. 3 credits. FA, OD
The emergence of early Christian theology through the writing of the theologians of the first 500 years of the Church's history. Attention to some of the following themes: the development of the doctrine of the Trinity, the emergence of Classical Christology, early Christian exegesis, the thought of St. Augustine. P: Christian Tradition course, Biblical Tradition course.
THL 533. Ecclesiology: Contemporary Church Questions. 3 credits.
Basic contemporary questions about the life of the church will be explored in the context of the Creed and traditional dogmatic theology. Particular emphasis on the church's transition into the third millennium.
THL 534. Introduction to Liberation Theology. 3 credits. OD
Liberation theology arose during the sixties and seventies in Latin America as a way of reflecting upon and acting out Christian faith from the perspective of those who directly experience a world of poverty, injustice and violence. Although particular to Latin America, the issues raised by liberation theology are relevant to Christianity in North America as well. P: Magis Biblical Tradition course or THL 200-level Scripture course.
THL 535. Doctrinal Development: Christology & Trinitarian Theology. 3 credits. OD
Development of the Christian community's understanding and teaching about the person and work of Jesus Christ and the Trinity.
THL 536. The Mystery of God and the Suffering of Human Beings. 3 credits.
This course will treat the problem of reconciling the Christian claim that God is love, as expressed in the doctrine of providence, with the reality of human suffering.
THL 538. Seminar in Christian Anthropology. 3 credits. OD
Study of Christian theological anthropology in eastern and western traditions. P: The Christian Tradition course or HRS 101.
THL 540. Ecclesiology: The Documents of Vatican II. 3 credits. OD
Basic contemporary questions about the life of the church will be explored through a careful study of Lumen Gentium and other selected documents from Vatican II. The Council's theology is examined in the context of the Creed and traditional dogmatic theology.
THL 541. God is Green. 3 credits.
This course explores Christian environmentalism in historical and contemporary context. Topics include the ancient church, the reformation, the impact of modern science, environmental ethics, Catholic magisterial teaching, and Christian environmental spirituality.
THL 544. Christian Celebration: The Liturgical Year. 3 credits. OD
Biblical origins and historical development of feast and season, e.g., Christmas and Easter. The theologies of the saints' days and celebrations. History and meaning of daily common prayer in the Church.
THL 545. Liturgy and Christian Life. 3 credits. OD
The historical development of Western Liturgy and its technical interpretation through the centuries. Emphasis on the saving presence of Christ and on the role of liturgy in the rest of Christian life.
THL 552. Studies in Medieval Christianity. 3 credits. SP
This course surveys the history and theology of the medieval Church, examining key religious institutions (e.g., the papacy, monastic orders, universities) and key leaders and theologians (e.g. Benedict, Gregory VII, Anselm, Bernard of Clairvaux, Francis of Assisi, Thomas Aquinas). P: One Magis Core The Christian Tradition course; a 200-level Scripture course; So. stdg.
THL 553. Reformation Theology. 3 credits.
This course examines the history and theological controversies of the Reformation. Students will be introduced to: the various reform efforts of the late medieval Church; the influence of Christian Humanism; the writings of significant Protestant theologians; and the response of the Roman Catholic Church to these reform efforts. P: One Magis Core The Christian Tradition course.
THL 555. Major Christian Theologian. 3 credits. SP
This course involves an in-depth study of the life and writings of a major Christian theologian, one who shaped Christian history and doctrine in a decisive way: for example, Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine, Maximus the Confessor, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin. This course is repeatable is taken under a different topic to a maximum of 6 credits. P: One Magis Core The Christian Tradition course; a 200-level scripture course; So. stdg.
THL 560. Theology of Ministry. 3 credits. OD
Through historical investigation of the practice of ministries in the western church from earliest times to the present, this course aims to arrive at some systematic conclusions about the nature of ministry.
THL 561. Finding God In Daily Life: Prayer And Discernment. 3 credits. OD
General introduction to Christian spirituality with special emphasis on Ignatian spirituality. Goal is to deepen understanding of spirituality as well as to improve the quality of Christian living by developing practices of personal prayer and discernment of spirits. Special emphasis placed on the theology of the Holy Spirit, Ignatian spirituality and the spirituality of Thomas Merton. P: One Magis Core The Christian Tradition course; a 200-level Scripture course; So. stdg.
THL 563. Contemporary Moral Problems. 3 credits. OD
A comprehensive study of one or more moral issues facing contemporary society.
THL 564. Christian Sexual Ethics. 3 credits. OD
Investigation of the historical and methodological dimensions of sexual ethics within the Catholic tradition; contemporary magisterial teachings on issues such as premarital sex, artificial birth control, homosexuality, and reproductive technologies; critical analysis of those teachings from various theological perspectives.
THL 565. Catholic Social Teaching. 3 credits. OD (Same as JPS 565)
This course provides an examination of contemporary Catholic social ethics. Focus is on the relevance of Christian moral reflection on issues of concern in contemporary society, including racism, poverty, issues of life and death, immigration, economic justice, and the environment. We will give special attention to the moral teachings and ethical methods of Roman Catholic social ethics, but other perspectives within Christianity will also be studied and discussed. P: Magis Ethics course.
THL 567. Gender, Race and Morality. 3 credits.
This course will examine how critical reflection on gender and race challenges Christian thought, and how attending to these fundamental features of human personhood and social life may improve Christian conversations about God, faith, moral agency and obligation, culture, and social issues. lt will begin by introducing students to feminist philosophy and ethics, and to the range of methods and concerns that biblical scholars, theologians, and ethicists in conversation with this literature have addressed. It will then introduce students to the concerns and methods of womanist theologians and other scholars who complement this critical attention to gender with attention to race and ethnicity, as well as other aspects of personhood and social location. It will pay particular attention throughout to the varying conceptions of moral agency, moral obligation, and justice that are proposed by these literatures. P: Ethics course.
THL 568. Women In The Christian Tradition. 3 credits. OD (Same as WGS 568)
Study of the outlook on man, woman, and divinity in the Bible, the Christian churches past and present, and "post-Christian" feminism. Examination of the Judeo-Christian tradition, both the pervasiveness of its patriarchal assumptions, and the liberating resources it can contribute to a healthy understanding of maleness and femaleness today.
THL 572. Ethics and Spirituality. 3 credits. OD
Consideration of the diverse spiritual traditions of Christianity to see asceticism, prayer, contemplation and discernment as categories which bridge spirituality and ethics. The traditional strands of Christian spirituality as resources for the contemporary life of faith and action. Readings from John of the Cross, Kierkegaard, Kenneth Kirk, Dorothy Day, Merton, Barth and Rahner.
THL 573. Religion and Politics. 3 credits. OD
Four Christian formulations of the relation of religion to politics: the sectarian approach, linked to liberal humanism; the natural law tradition, reformulated as basic human rights; the integration of religion and politics in liberation theology; and Christian realism with its dialectic of distance and engagement. Some of the complex interpenetrations of religious issues and political realities. P: One course of The Christian Tradition (THL 110-125) and a 200-level Scripture course and So. stdg.
THL 574. Faith and Food. 3 credits. OD
A biblical and contemporary approach to food as fellow creature, medium of fellowship, component of worship, tool of exploitation, prophetic symbol, and object of stewardship.
THL 575. Foundations of Christian Spirituality. 3 credits. AY, FA, SP
Designed to introduce students to the major historic and contemporary themes, images and practices in the Christian spiritual tradition. Focus on students' integration of that tradition into their own lives.
THL 576. Introduction to Jesuit Spirituality. 3 credits. OD
Study of the life and selected writings of St. Ignatius Loyola as well as contemporary interpretation of his spirituality. Topics include Jesuit prayer, selections from the Constitutions of Society of Jesus, chief documents from the 32nd Congregation of the Society of Jesus, discernment, and the vow of obedience.
THL 577. Special Questions in Jesuitica. 1-4 credits.
Systematic and/or historical investigation of topics relating to the Society of Jesus. Content and number of credits to be specified when the course is offered. (This course offered only at the Jesuit College, St. Paul, Minn.).
THL 579. Special Methods of Teaching Religion in the Secondary Schools. 3 credits. (Same as EDU 579)
Overview of the principles for communicating the Christian message effectively to different age levels with opportunities to observe and put them into practice. The course deals with the objectives and functions of religious education in terms of secondary school learning experiences. Attention is directed to the selection, organization, and presentation of meaningful learning materials and selection, use and evaluation of textbooks and related aids. P or CO: EDU 341 and EDU 342 or EDU 551 and EDU 552.
THL 585. Foundational Principles And Leadership Skills For Youth Ministry. 4 credits. OD
The foundational understandings and principles of comprehensive youth ministry; a deeper understanding for the minister of the theological foundations of Youth Ministry. Theories, skills and approaches for effective leadership in ministry.
THL 586. Fostering The Faith Growth Of Youth Through The Components Of Youth Ministry. 4 credits. OD
Exploration of adolescent spirituality, theological and spiritual foundations for engaging young people in the work of justice and service, theological understandings of faith, discipleship, and Catholic identity, and caring for young people and their families.
THL 587. Methods Of Teaching Religion In Elementary School. 3 credits. AY, FA (Same as EDU 587)
The course is designed to prepare students to effective religious educators in Catholic elementary schools. The course content will encompass the four dimensions of religious education: message, community, service and worship. Students will not only become acquainted with methods and materials for teaching religion, but they will also gain experience planning liturgical celebrations.
THL 588. Christian Ethics of War and Peace. 3 credits. OD (Same as JPS 588)
Introduction to the development and application of Christian ethical perspectives on the use of lethal force from the biblical period to the present day. Just war theory and pacifism in both Catholic and Protestant traditions. Special attention given to the formation of personal conscience in reflection on public policy and world events, both historical and current. P: PHL 250/THL 250 or One Magis Core Ethics course and Jr. stdg.
THL 592. Practicum in Ministry. 3-6 credits.
Supervised experience and development of skills in appropriate ministry under faculty direction.
THL 594. Special Seminar in Biblical Studies. 3 credits.
May be repeated to a limit of six hours.
THL 596. Special Seminar in Historical-Doctrinal-Liturgical Studies. 3 credits.
May be repeated to a limit of six hours. P: DC.
THL 598. Special Seminar in Christian Life Studies. 3 credits.
May be repeated to a limit of six hours. P: DC.
THL 660. Dreams and Spiritual Growth. 1-3 credits. SU (Same as CSP 660)
This course will explore the significance of dreams in discerning spiritual growth. Some attention will be given to the role of dreams in scripture and Christian tradition. The primary aim of the course is to familiarize participants with the psychology of dreaming and with contemporary methods for discerning the religious meaning of one's dreams: in one's own spiritual growth and development as well as in working with dreams in the context of spiritual direction.
THL 661. T'ai Chi Chih: Joy Through Movement. 1 credit. SU (Same as CSP 661)
T'ai Chi Chih's body movement meditation releases stress by relaxing the body and refreshing the mind. The twenty simple movements can be done by all regardless of age and physical condition.
THL 662. Chi-Kung Moving Meditation: Embodying Spirtual Attentiveness. 1 credit. SU
An introduction for Christians to an ancient system of movements developed by Chinese hermits and contemplatives in order to harness and order the body's energies, thereby providing a positive role for the body in spiritual development. This class is also open to students enrolling as auditors.
THL 664. Spirituality of John. 1-3 credits. SU (Same as CSP 664)
Course examines themes from writings of John central for spirituality.
THL 665. Theological Virtue Ethics. 3 credits. (Same as MLS 665)
In recent decades, virtue ethics has made a comeback. This seminar will give a close reading to the principal source of Christian virtue ethics, Thomas Aquinas's Treatise on the Virtues. We will then examine a contemporary Ignatian appropriation of virtue for a Christocentric ethics for the real world today.
THL 666. Centering Prayer And The Experience Of God. 1 credit. SU (Same as CSP 666)
Contemplative practices such as Lectio Divina and Centering Prayer, which directly cultivate the experience of God's presence and extend the interior silence of prayer into daily life. Additional topics include prayer as relationship, the experience of the Dark Night, and fruits of contemplative prayer in daily activity.
THL 667. Contemplative Theological Reflection. 1-3 credits. (Same as CSP 667)
Through the development of the skill of contemplative theological reflection, CSP students learn to reflect on their personal and ministerial or work experiences to discern the call of transformation and integration in the midst of the Christian tradition and world realities. This is a personal and group process and takes place in a peer faith setting.
THL 669. Salesian Spirituality. 1-3 credits. SU (Same as CSP 669)
Introduction to the Salesian spiritual tradition co-founded in 17th century by Francis de Sales and Jeanne de Chantal. Seminal texts such as Introduction to the Devout Life as well as the lives of the founders as backdrop for exploration of central Salesian themes as resources for contemporary living.
THL 670. Art and Spirituality. 1-3 credits. OD (Same as CSP 670)
With an experiential, hands-on format using watercolor and other art media, this course provides an opportunity for right-brain expressions of prayer, spiritual understanding, and experience of God.
THL 672. Text And Context: A Study Of The Bible In Transmission And In Translation. 3 credits.
The Bible, both Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible) and New Testament, has been transmitted (that is, copied in original languages) and translated (into other languages) more than any other document from antiquity. This course will focus on the social, political, historical, religious, even technological circumstances in which this activity has been conducted for more than two millennia, exploring how the texts reflect both the contexts of the copyists and translators, their own society and their understanding of the sacred texts with which they worked.
THL 673. Spiritual Dialogue: East Meets West. 3 credits. OD (Same as CSP 673)
Overview of perspectives and practices from Eastern wisdom that have parallels in Christianity and can deepen prayer experiences, as well as Eastern ideas that challenge Christian beliefs.
THL 675. Spirituality of Luke-Acts. 3 credits. SU (Same as CSP 675)
Study of the spirituality implicit in Luke's two-volume masterpiece. Focus on God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, discipleship, possessions, community, mission, the Christian reading of the Hebrew Scriptures , and how narrative is a vehicle of theology and spirituality.
THL 677. Spirituality, Psychological Foundations, and Practice of Forgiveness. 1-3 credits. (Same as CSP 677)
The imperative to forgive is central to Christian identity, discipleship, and building authentic intimacy with God and others. This course explores spiritual, theological, and psychological perspectives on forgiveness. Through journaling, prayer, guided reading/reflection, and class discussion, students will be encouraged to develop, practice, and personally appropriate a spirituality of forgiveness.
THL 678. The Spirituality of Paul. 1-3 credits. SU (Same as CSP 678)
A study of the Pauline correspondence to analyze what these letters imply regarding the gospel vision as a way of seeing that leads to a way of being. This course will focus especially on Paul's Jewish background and his use of that tradition to explain Jesus as the climax of the covenant and his way as the fullness of human being; creation, community, cross, new creation.
THL 691. Eco Spirituality. 3 credits.
This course explores emerging environmental spirituality within the broad Christian spiritual tradition. The course considers the Christian understanding of the relationship between humans and non-human nature. It also considers Christian practices that can be re-imagined to foster sustainable living.
THL 700. Seminar in Biblical Studies. 3 credits.
Introduction to fundamental issues in biblical studies, with special attention to methodology and development of research skills.
THL 701. Biblical Interpretation: Hermeneutics In The Writing And In The Reading Of Scripture. 3 credits. OD
A study of the ongoing interpretive process that first formed the Judeo-Christian biblical traditions and then made use of those traditions in the development of the post-canonical tradition. First, how the Bible was made; then, what was made of the Bible. Implications for interpreting Scripture today.
THL 702. The Gospel of Mark. 3 credits. OD
In-depth study of earliest gospel, using historical, literary, and theological perspectives. Special attention to Mark's use of the Old Testament, his interpretation of Jesus and the Church, and the implications for using this text for Christian life and worship today.
THL 703. The Social And Historical Context Of The Bible. 3 credits. OD
An examination of the social and historical world out of which the texts of the Bible were written.
THL 704. Contemporary Biblical Interpretation: The Synoptic Gospels. 3 credits. OD
Investigation of the two main approaches to biblical interpretation, the historical critical method and the literary aesthetic method, and of the specific theories of reading from which they derive. Reasons for following the scenario model of reading. Methods applied to selected Synoptic passages and to selected statements of church councils to test their ramifications.
THL 705. New Testament Churches. 3 credits. OD
Study of realities of first-century church life expressed and implied in the canonical documents, e.g. the church of Mark, of Matthew, of John, of Luke-Acts, of Hebrews, of 1 and 2 Corinthians. In what ways are these New Testament images of first-century church life normative for church life today?.
THL 706. The Gospel of Matthew. 3 credits. OD
An in-depth exploration of the Gospel of Matthew using a variety of methods, especially redaction criticism and narrative analysis. Special attention to Hebrew Bible background.
THL 707. The Life and Spirituality of Ignatius of Loyola:. 3 credits. OD
Course presents the historical context, life and spirituality of Ignatius of Loyola. Focusing on his writings, especially The Spiritual Exercises, it explores relevance for contemporary spirituality. Special attention paid to recent superior general Father Pedro Arrupe as an interpreter of Ignatius for today. Course invites students to practice Ignatian spirituality and to reflect on relevance for own spirituality.
THL 708. Paul: The Major Writings. 3 credits. OD
Study of Galatians, Romans, and the Corinthian correspondence, with special attention to their literary forms and their implied pastoral settings.
THL 709. The Gospel of John: Contemporary Approaches. 3 credits. OD
An investigation into the framework of John and exegesis of select text-segments in terms of Johannine source criticism, historical criticism and socio-linguistics, viewing the gospel as a prime example of anti-language.
THL 710. The Mediterranean Matrix of Christian Theology. 3 credits. OD
Christian theology has most often been articulated in analogies taken from the Mediterranean world and Mediterranean social experience: God the Father, Trinity, Grace, Salvation, Mediation, Patron Saint, Holiness and the like rank among such analogies. This course investigates the cultural and contextual meanings of these analogies, not as sets of abstract philosophical ideas, but as the vibrant social metaphors they originally were. Comparative scenarios describing the culture(s) of the Mediterranean basin are presented. The aim is adequate interpretation of what these originally meant in their Mediterranean setting, with parallel developments in Judaism and Islam.
THL 711. Israelite Religion In Perspective. 3 credits. OD
The development of the religion of Israel will be studied from its origins to the time of Jesus. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship between Israel's religion and the religion of her Near Eastern neighbors, and on its continuities and discontinuities with the Christian faith.
THL 712. Creation and Ethical Order. 3 credits. OD
The biblical views of creation will be studied and compared with ideas of creation in other cultures, ancient and modern. Emphasis will be placed on the role creation plays in structuring societal values and defining the meaning of existence.
THL 713. Liberationist Readings of New Testament Texts. 3 credits. OD
The perennial hermeneutical issue - how one interprets, understands, and uses past traditions in the present - addressed from a liberationist perspective. Introduction to hermeneutical theory followed by examination of readings of New Testament texts from diverse liberationist perspectives: South African, Latin American, feminist, and womanist.
THL 714. The Pentateuch: Issues Of Ethics And Morality. 3 credits. OD
A textcritical study of human behavior in the narratives of the Pentateuch focusing on the Book of Genesis. These stories are examined in light of their ancient Near Eastern sociohistorical context to better understand their often strange, sometimes disturbing plots and to discern their timeless and universal themes.
THL 715. Marian Spirituality. 1-3 credits. SU (Same as CSP 715)
This course will explore "Mary as mother and teacher of the spiritual life," e.g., Mary and the Holy Spirit, Mary's virtues, Mary as first disciple of the Lord, as Servant of the Lord, and as Model of the Church. This course likewise studies the various expressions of Mary's place in the universal call to holiness, e.g., the "Marian thread" in the lives of the Saints, with a special emphasis on the new Saints and Blesseds of Pope John Paul II.
THL 716. Spirituality of Reconciliation. 3 credits. SU (Same as CSP 716)
Explores biblical, sacramental, theological and spiritual dimensions of Christian reconciliation. Examines global case studies of Christian social reconciliation such as South Africa, Northern Ireland, Rwanda, and the American South. Students will be asked to develop a spirituality of social reconciliation for their own local Christian communities.
THL 717. Jungian Psychology and Christian Spirituality. 3 credits. SU (Same as CSP 717)
This course will explore the relationship between major aspects of Jung's psychological theory and Christian Spirituality. The principal aim of the course is to familiarize participants with basic concepts of Jungian psychology and to assimilate what is most useful in Jung for pastoral practice, one's own spiritual life and development as well as spiritual direction. Some films and fairytales will be used to convey concepts.
THL 718. A Theology and Spirituality of Conversion. 3 credits. SU (Same as CSP 718)
Freedom to respond to the grace of conversion into the likeness of the Son of God is the hallmark of Christian discipleship and the hoped for outcome of spiritual direction in general and the Spiritual Exercises in particular. To balance theory with practice we will examine Ignatius of Loyola's human and spiritual conversion. Students will apply course work to their personal growth and development so as to better prepare for the ministry of spiritual direction.
THL 722. Mary in Life of St. Ignatius. 1 credit. (Same as CSP 722)
This short course will explore Mary in the life of St. Ignatius by investigating his autobiography and other writings. It is written, "Ignatius dreamed of a lady who was for him the doorway of the graces he would receive throughout his life. He asked Mary to grant his greatest desire, "to deign to place him with her Son.
THL 723. Apocalyptic Literature: Mayhem, Madness and Messiahs. 3 credits.
Apocalyptic Literature is an exploration of Jewish and Christian apocalyptic literature, including the Book of Revelation, through detailed study of the texts in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, New Testament, Dead Sea Scrolls, and other ancient literature, as well as its effects on popular culture and contemporary media.
THL 730. Seminar in Systematic Theology. 3 credits.
Introduction to fundamental issues of doctrinal theology, with special attention to methodology and development of research skills.
THL 731. Systematic Theology: The Mediated God. 3 credits. OD
This course examines systematically: (a) the mediating function of symbol in a human life; (b) theology as humankind's search to mediate the Transcendent in symbolic language; (c) Christology as Christian humankind's search to mediate the Transcendent in Jesus called christos; (d) ecclesiology as Christian humankind's search to mediate the Christ in the community of women and men called ekklesia; (e) sacramentology as Christian humankind's search to mediate the Transcendent in solemn symbolic actions called mysteria.
THL 732. Theologies of Salvation. 3 credits. OD
A theological reflection on the question: "What does it mean to be saved in Jesus Christ?" In dialogue with biblical, traditional and contemporary insights, including liberationist, feminist and ecologically sensitive theologies, students are asked to propose a theology of salvation relevant to contemporary life.
THL 733. Images Of The Church Through The Ages. 3 credits. OD
The kaleidoscopic journey of the pilgrim church through successive historical paradigms-from primitive Christianity's apocalyptic paradigm, to the post-modern ecumenical paradigm, including the Hellenistic, medieval-Roman-Catholic, Reformation-Protestant, Counter-Reformation Catholic, Protestant-Orthodox, and Modern-Enlightenment paradigms. Salient images of the church within each of these historical paradigms and movements accompanying them.
THL 734. The Quest For Christian Identity. 3 credits. OD
The meaning of being Christian in contemporary times within American society.
THL 736. Systematic Theology According To Karl Rahner. 3 credits. OD
Theological methodology of one of the premier Catholic theologians of the 20th century: Karl Rahner's thought as foundational for much of contemporary Roman Catholic theology. Topics include: the human family and its relationship to mystery (Sin and Grace); the theology of symbol-how the mystery of grace is worked out in our material world (Christology and Ecclesiology); and the life of Grace - the work of the Holy Spirit in our social liberation (Prayer, Discernment, and Ethics).
THL 737. The Historical Context For Theology In America. 3 credits. OD
Examination of forces that have influenced Catholic theological thought in the United States. Topics that may be explored include denominationalism, church-state relations, civil religion, evangelicalism, fundamentalism, gender, nativism, the African-American experience, Native American experience, Judaism, trusteeism, immigration, social justice, etc.
THL 740. Inventing Christianity: The Emergence Of The Christian Theological Tradition. 3 credits. OD
Course explores development of early Christian theological tradition from its apostolic foundations through the Council of Chalcedon emphasizing four themes: the origin and development of the Christian empire, the search for the Christian doctrine of God, understanding the God-Man, Augustine and his influence.
THL 741. Theology and Writings of St. Augustine. 3 credits.
An exploration of the career and thought of one of the greatest theologians of the Christian tradition through a focus on three classic texts, The Confessions, The Trinity, and The City of God; includes examination of the controversies and debates which have shaped Christian views on creation, Church, sacraments, and grace. P: Gr. stdg.
THL 743. Political Theology. 3 credits.
Political theology relates discourse about God (theology) to the organization of human communities and social power in space and time (politics). This course will focus on the Christian tradition's theopolitical imagination(s), considering biblical visions, historical developments, and recent political theologies in comparative global perspective.
THL 744. Christian Social Ethics. 3 credits. OD
Introduction to the major alternative modes of thought and action by which Christians have sought to express concern for social and political issues. Stress on the social dimension of Christian ethics.
THL 745. Ecumenical Theology: Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox. 3 credits. OD
Examination of post Vatican II ecumenism, from a theological analysis of the problem of church division to the rationale for ecumenical dialogue. Models of ecumenical agreement and progress with special attention to the question of consensus and ecumenical "success". Current topics from Protestant-Catholic and Orthodox-Catholic dialogues are surveyed.
THL 746. Justification and Justice: Jewish, Protestant, and Catholic Models. 3 credits. OD
Different Models of divine intervention into human life lead to different models of human response. The center of gravity for this course will be the doctrine of justification. Under examination will be the ways in which contemporary theologians articulate the social and political response engendered by the divine initiative in modern life. Four responses come into play: self-transcendence (Niebuhr and Metz), obedience (Ramsey and NCCB), discipleship (Yoder), and dialogue (Buber).
THL 752. The Sacraments of Initiation. 3 credits. OD
Study of the anthropological roots, historical formation, and interrelation of the three traditional moments in Christian Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, in light of the new Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.) as basic text, of official Catholic Church pronouncements, of the Lima Document of the World Council of Churches, and of various contemporary theologies.
THL 753. Liturgy and Time. 3 credits. OD
Reflection on the temporal nature of Christian life by study of the historical formation and sacramental dimensions of the liturgical (a) day, (b) week, and (c) year. Topics include: meaning of Christian celebration, origins of Christian daily prayer (the Divine Office), Christ's presence in the Church through liturgical memorial, Sunday and the weekly cycle, the Easter and Christmas cycles, the feast day as Christian sacrament, the Sanctoral Cycle, the reforms of Vatican II, the ethical significance of the liturgical year.
THL 754. Liturgical Praxis and Ecclesial Self-Consciousness. 3 credits.
Examines the liturgical practices (time, place, event) of Latin Rite Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Anglican traditions in order to understand the basic liturgical forms of the traditions and to explore the ecclesial self-consciousness of the these Christian bodies through the lens of liturgical practice.
THL 755. Seminar in Moral Theology. 3 credits.
Introduction to fundamental issues in moral theology, with special attention to methodology and development of research skills.
THL 756. Theology of the Moral Life. 3 credits. OD
Elements of Christian moral experience and understanding, as well as the criteria of Christian moral judgment and action.
THL 757. Christian Nonviolence: Jesus, Prince of Peace. 3 credits. OD
History of peacemaking and non-violence through Christian figures and movements. Biblical roots, pacifism in the early Church, the medieval "peace of God," Reformation peace churches, and recent developments: the 20th century Catholic peace movement, official documents from Christian churches, and Christian leaders including Martin Luther King, Thomas Merton, and Dorothy Day. Non-violence is considered as both social action and spiritual discipline.
THL 758. Roman Catholic and Protestant Ethics. 3 credits. OD
Ethical approaches of leading European and American Catholic and Protestant ethicists: Rahner, Janssens, Gustafson, Ramsey, Fletcher, Grisez and McCormick.
THL 760. Scriptural Foundation Of Christian Spirituality. 3 credits. SU (Same as CSP 760)
Introduction to Scripture, especially the New Testament, as the foundation to all Christian Spirituality. Faith, prayer, Holy Spirit, Church, centrality of Christ.
THL 762. Doctrinal Foundation Of Christian Spirituality. 3 credits. SU (Same as CSP 762)
This course examines the foundational doctrines of faith, such as, the Trinity, the divine and human Jesus, salvation by Christ, God's activity in history, the Holy Spirit, and explores their relevance for the Christian spiritual journey, including the relationship to God, to all humanity and to the entire created universe.
THL 764. Prayer And Christian Spirituality. 3 credits. SU (Same as CSP 764)
Using classical and contemporary texts in Christian Spirituality, course studies the theology, methods, stages and dynamics of personal prayer and mysticism.
THL 765. Prayer, Intimacy. And True Christian Growth. 3 credits. SU (Same as CSP 765)
The connection between spiritual and human growth, the necessity of keeping a relationship with Christ, and concrete simple ways of doing it each day.
THL 766. Contemplation In The Christian Tradition. 3 credits. SU (Same as CSP 766)
Course examines approaches to contemplation in classical and contemporary texts. Among authors and texts studied are the following: Pseudo-Dionysius, Cloud of Unknowing, Meister Eckhart, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross. P: CSP 764 or CSP 765 or equiv.
THL 767. Spanish Mysticism. 3 credits. SU (Same as CSP 767)
Study of Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, discussing their spirituality, teachings on prayer, and understanding of human life as a pilgrimage with Jesus, ending only when total union with God is reached. P: CSP 764 OR 765 or equiv.
THL 768. Foundational Texts In Christian Mysticism. 3 credits. OD
Introduction to a wide variety of primary texts in medieval mysticism including works of Teresa of Avila, early Franciscan sources, and Ignatius of Loyola. Students are guided through texts and challenged to apply these texts to practical ministerial experiences.
THL 769. The History Of Christian Spirituality. 1-3 credits. SU (Same as CSP 769)
Development from post-apostolic age to the present. Some of the classics of Christian Spirituality.
THL 770. Called To Holiness: The Christian Vocation. 1-3 credits. SU (Same as CSP 770)
Saints, ways to sanctity, past and present. The Communion of Saints. NOTE: This course fulfills the requirement for a course in the history of spirituality.
THL 772. Vatican II and the Doctrinal Foundations of Contemporary Christian Spirituality. 3 credits.
This course examines the role and impact of the Second Vatican Council on the foundational doctrines of faith, such as, the role of Scripture, Theological Anthropology, Christology, Soteriology, Ecclesiology, Pneumatology, and explores their relevance for the Christian spiritual journey.
THL 773. The Theology Of The Spiritual Exercises Of St. Ignatius. 3 credits. SU (Same as CSP 773)
Theology, interpretations, commentators, structure, with practical applications. Students will draw greater benefit from this course if they have a prior experience of the Spiritual Exercises either in an individually directed silent retreat or an extended retreat in daily life.
THL 776. Discernment Of Spirits: Theory And Practice. 3 credits. SU (Same as CSP 776)
Study of the tradition of discernment in the Church with special emphasis on the rules for discernment of spirits in the Spiritual Exercises and the application of these to Christian life and practice.
THL 777. Spirituality and Catholic Social Teaching. 3 credits.
The Catholic tradition insists that spirituality and social ethics are integrally related such that one is impoverished without deep connection with the other. lnformed by that insight, this course explores the relationships between Christian spirituality and Catholic Social Teaching. Texts include essays from leading theologians and documents from the magisterium. Topics include the relationship between spirituality and ethics, conscience, methods in Catholic social ethics, human life and dignity, preferential option for the poor and vulnerable, rights and responsibilities, common good and solidarity, economic justice, immigration, peace and war, and ecology and climate change.
THL 778. Biblical Roots For Peace And Justice Ministry. 3 credits. SU (Same as CSP 778)
How to use Scripture responsibly in approaching the social and planetary issues of the third millennium. Sample topics: creation and ecology, violence and nonviolence, hunger and stewardship, conscience and civil authority, option for the poor. Opportunity for special issue study.
THL 779. Spirituality And Social Concerns. 3 credits. SU (Same as CSP 779)
Reflections on the practice of spiritual direction, retreat leadership, and other pastoral ministries in light of themes of justice, peace and solidarity in scripture, Christian history, Catholic social teaching, and human experience. Investigation of how the reality of social injustice affects the private and public dimensions of the spiritual life. Emphasis on personal appropriation and leadership development so that students may integrate knowledge that gain into the ministries.
THL 785. Psychodynamics Of Spiritual Growth. 3 credits. OD, SU (Same as CSP 785)
Human development studied through the main traditions within psychology and spirituality. How psychological and spiritual dynamics are integrated in personal formation with practical applications for spiritual direction and other ministries. Stress, anger, anxiety, control issues, fear, leisure, addictions, grief, sexuality, guilt and shame are seen within adult life-stages moving toward healing, discernment and wholeness.
THL 786. Family Spirituality. 1-3 credits. SU (Same as CSP 786)
Designed for both those who are familied and those who minister to families. Key questions: What are the elements of a spirituality derived from within the experience of family- What is the relationship between such a spirituality and the classic traditions of Christian spirituality?.
THL 789. Spirituality For Americans: Thomas Merton's Contemplative Vision. 3 credits. OD (Same as CSP 789)
The relevance of Merton for contemporary American spirituality. Merton in context of the American experience: his life, writing and thought as guidelines for living the Gospel today. Special attention to themes of True Self, Contemplation and Non-violence.
THL 790. Spiritual Formation. 3 credits. OD, SU (Same as CSP 790)
The nature and dynamics of spiritual formation, emphasizing personal developmental aspects of spiritual growth. Practical aspects of the spiritual life: spiritual identity, spiritual consciousness, holistic spirituality. Theoretical perspective on formative relations in structured situations: religious formation, seminary formation, spiritual formation in parishes. Formation issues: spiritual growth through stages of the life cycle, sexuality and chastity, conflict and community, suffering and death, work and ministry.
THL 791. Spirituality and Sexuality. 3 credits. (Same as CSP 791)
As body-persons, all men and women are called to integrate the various dimensions of our human existence within a thought out/lived out perspective, i.e., a spirituality. For various historical, cultural, and religious reasons incorporating our sexuality can be challenging, even problematic. Through lecture, guided reading/reflection, class discussion, and writing, students will be encouraged to develop their personally meaningful spirituality of sexuality.
THL 792. Practicum in Ministry. 3 credits. OD
Supervised experience in a practical ministry of the student's choice in consultation with the Program Director.
THL 793. Directed Independent Reading. 1-4 credits. OD
To be arranged.
THL 794. Special Elective in Biblical Studies. 1-3 credits.
May be repeated to a limit of six hours. P: DC.
THL 795. Directed Independent Study. 1-3 credits. OD
To be arranged.
THL 796. Special Elective in Historical-Doctrinal-Liturgical Studies. 3 credits.
May be repeated to a limit of six hours. P: DC.
THL 797. Directed Independent Research. 3 credits. OD
To be arranged.
THL 798. Special Elective in Christian Life Studies. 3 credits.
May be repeated to a limit of six hours.
THL 799. Master's Thesis. 3 credits. OD