Maria Pena

February 19, 2009

How do you plan to use your theology degree when you graduate?

At this point, I am not exactly sure how I will use my theology minor after Saint Ben's. I have been looking at the possibility of becoming a Child Life Specialist, or just working at a hospital with children. In my opinion, theology is a great help in those kinds of situations. I would want to know how to comfort and help others. I believe that healing is not just physical but that it also has a faith/religious component. Having a theology background is important in any field. For this reason, I am doing a research paper on the impact of theology/God/religion on psychological treatments. How does God (or beliefs in God) influence the healing of people?

What has been the highlight of your experience with the CSB/SJU theology department?

All of the theology classes have opened my eyes to something different. They have helped me deepen my own faith. I think the class that I liked the most (from the ones that I have taken so far) is Thinking Theologically. I liked this class because it was well-rounded. It was beneficial to have the history of events woven together with the history of faith. It gave me a better perspective on how the church came to be what it is now. This in turn helped my faith because now I know not only the history of things, but also how they happened and how they have impacted the people throughout time. I have not just learned from the classes I have taken, but also from all the events sponsored by the theology department and the faculty. The department gives students a sense of belonging and community. I remember one of my professors (Dr. Diaz) hosting a get-together at his house to get to know all the theology majors and minors.

What advice do you have for future students at CSB/SJU?

Keep your minds open, take classes from many departments and explore, just explore. It does not matter if you don't know what you want to major in when you come to CSB/SJU, you will have plenty of time to find something you like. CSB/SJU does a great job of exposing their students to all kinds of fields and programs that benefit them in one way or another.

Are you involved in any other activities at CSB/SJU?

Yes, I am. I am part of the CSB Senate, CSB campus ministry, and the Intercultural Leadership, Education and Development Fellowship, which is a group of first-generation students from different backgrounds.

Maria Pena
Maria Pena

Hometown: Brooklyn Center, Minn.

Major: Psychology

Minor: Theology

Graduation Date: May 2009