- Understand the cultural or historical origins and development of scripture.
- Examine critical moments in the development of the Christian tradition.
- Explain the cultural or historical origins and developments of texts, practices, institutions, or ideas in religion and theology.
- Apply theological methods and construct sustained theological arguments both orally and in writing.
- Examine another religious tradition and its relationship to Christianity.
- Demonstrate how theological sources and practices foster understandings of just or moral living.
- Recognize how components of the Catholic and Benedictine traditions inform the spiritual life and provide an opportunity for dialogue with the contemporary church and world.
- Articulate how theological learning impacts their own lives.
As an exploration of religious experiences and questions fundamental to human existence, theology is a vital part of a liberal arts education. Anchored in the Catholic intellectual tradition, particularly as expressed in the Benedictine “love of learning and desire for God,” our courses explore the ways faith and reason combine to provide a unique lens on our world, our society, and the unity that underlies all reality. Because religion intersects with all aspects of culture – e.g., art, history, philosophy, and science – the study of theology offers a unique opportunity to integrate knowledge from multiple disciplines into a coherent worldview. We do this through interdisciplinary study and a critical examination of sacred texts and values from our Catholic and Benedictine heritage as well as from other faith traditions. As we explore major questions about God, ourselves, and the world, we strive to help our students grow not only in understanding but also in lifelong commitment to the common good.
Our department seeks to be a vibrant center of theological learning and scholarship, fostering critical and creative thinking about religious faith and a lifelong pursuit of wisdom among both faculty and students. While continuing a focus on Catholic theology, especially as rooted in the Benedictine tradition that calls us to “listen with the ear of the heart,” we intend to strengthen our course offerings pertaining to the ecumenical, interfaith, and cross-cultural dialogues that are desperately needed in our pluralistic society and world. We will also strengthen our ties to other departments and programs (such as environmental studies, peace studies, Asian studies, and gender studies) in order to provide unique classes and service opportunities that help our students see and pursue theological reflection and commitment to the common good as vital to their lives and vocations.