Theology and Religious Studies

Theology and Religious Studies Department

The Theology and Religious Studies Department is at the heart of the Catholic Christian presence at St. Scholastica and, as such, represents the center of the College's Benedictine Catholic identity. Our unique charism is to lift up the theological disciplines as vital to the College's mission by providing opportunities for students to gain a critical appreciation for faith and religion. In so doing, the dynamic of Anselm's axiom that theology is "faith seeking understanding" is loosed to stimulate and broaden students' critical thinking skills, to contribute to their moral, ethical, and spiritual development, and to shape their attitudes, values, and interests in ways that will enable them to become valuable contributors to society and to provide leadership for society's transformation.

Theology and Religious Studies represents an ideal liberal arts major that is attractive to graduate schools and employers alike because of the insights that students gain into the most profound questions of human existence and the skills that they acquire in critical analysis and problem solving. Although explicitly shaped by the Benedictine Catholic tradition in which we stand, we engage and reflect on that heritage in dialogue with other religious traditions. To meet the needs of a diverse student body, the department offers a broad curriculum that includes courses in theology, biblical studies, ethics/moral theology, religion and culture, spirituality, and world religions.

The department offers a major and minor in Theology and Religious Studies. with several concentrations. It also offers a minor in Theology and Religious Studies.

Chair: Denise Starkey, Ph.D.

 

Theology and Religious Studies major:

Students majoring in Theology and Religious Studies complete the following coursework (40 credits total):

  1. 12 semester credits from among departmental core courses:

4 credits in Theology, selecting from among:

  • TRS 1101 Introduction to Christian Theology
  • TRS 1102 Sin, Suffering and Salvation
  • TRS 1110 Introduction to Catholicism
  • TRS 1420 Introduction to Spirituality

4 credits in Biblical Studies:

  • TRS 1103 Introduction to the Bible
  • TRS 1104 Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures
  • TRS 1105 Introduction to the New Testament

4 Credits in Religions of the World:

  • TRS 2243 Women and Religion
  • TRS 2601 Religions of the World

2. 16 semester credits from among departmental area courses:

  • 4 credits in Theology (TRS 3240, 3350, or appropriate TRS 2777, 3777 or 4777)
  • 4 credits from Biblical Studies (TRS 3110, 3120, 3130, or 4130)
  • 4 credits from Moral Theology (TRS 2101, 3310, 3311, 3320 or appropriate TRS 2777, 3777 or 4777)
  • 4 credits from World Religions (currently listed as topics courses -TRS 3777 or 4777)

3. 12 additional semester credits, with requirements as follows:

  • Theology and Religion: 12 credits in 3000/4000 level TRS electives with advisement

          4. TRS Majors are also required to complete an internship or service-learning project:

  • TRS 4555, Internship

          5. TRS Majors interested in ministry must also take:

  • TRS 2110, Introduction to Ministry
  • TRS 4408, Theory and Method of Teaching Religion

Theology and Religious Studies Minor

The Department offers a minor in Theology and Religious Studies. Students pursuing a minor are required to complete 24 credits as follows: 8 credits from among department core courses and 16 credits from among all department courses, 8 credits of which must be in 3000/4000 level TRS courses. Students pursuing may work with their TRS advisor to tailor their minor to their particular interests.

Braegelman Program in Catholic Studies

The College  offers a major and a minor in Catholic Studies. The Braegelman Program in Catholic Studies is designed for students interested in deepening their knowledge of Catholicism's rich tradition and its interaction with culture. For further information, see the Catholic Studies section of the catalog.

Program outcomes

Students who complete the major in Theology and Religious Studies will:

  1. Articulate basic knowledge in the content area of the course (theology, biblical studies, etc).
  2. Selects relevant sources and/or sacred texts effectively.
  3. Reads, discusses and writes critically about biblical, religious and/or theological topics.
  4. Analyzes the role of religion and/or the Catholic intellectual tradition in shaping meaning.

The Braegelman Catholic Studies Program

Catholic Studies at the College of St. Scholastica continues the College's Benedictine tradition of rigorous engagement with the Catholic intellectual tradition. The College seeks to send forth thoughtful leaders, inspired by the Gospel, well schooled in the liberal arts, committed to serve and to transform the world. Those engaged in Catholic Studies examine religious ideas and ideals, and participate in the ongoing study of Catholic thought and culture. They seek dialogue with Catholics of all mind sets, with Christians from other denominations, believers from other faith traditions and all, including nonbelievers, who seek the truth with sincerity. The program was endowed by the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery and named for Sister Athanasius Braegelman, president of the College from 1942-54, and Sister Bernice Braegelman, who taught Scripture and other classes at the College from 1941-72.

The Braegelman Catholic Studies Program introduces students to the Catholic intellectual tradition on which the very idea of a modern university is based. The tradition sweeps across and includes all fields of study with the conviction that all seeking is search for truth and those who seek truth will find God. The program invites and facilitates dialogue between faith and modern culture. The interdisciplinary nature of the study highlights for students the complementary interaction of faith and reason. The curriculum, beginning with and grounded in theology and philosophy, must then be both broad and diverse as it engages students with the transformative realities of the arts and sciences. The curriculum is designed to appeal to the student of any faith tradition who seeks greater appreciation for the heritage on which The College of St. Scholastica is built and which has shaped western culture. The major is designed to fit nicely with any number of other fields of study and will work well as a double, or second, major for many students. Therefore, this interdisciplinary program of Catholic Studies will invite the participation of faculty in the fields of theology, history, the arts, the social and natural sciences, philosophy, and English.
 

Catholic Studies major:

36 credits as follows: TRS 1101 OR 1110;1103 OR 1104 OR 1105; 3310, 3350, the Catholic Studies Seminar and 16 credits, chosen with the help of the program director, from TRS and the arts,  philosophy, social sciences and natural sciences. At least 8 of these credits must be at the 3000 or 4000 level. Students will be encouraged to select courses that demonstrate the depth and breadth of the Catholic intellectual tradition.

Catholic Studies minor:

20 credits as follows: 12 TRS credits and 8 additional credits from TRS, the arts, philosophy, social sciences and natural sciences. At least 4 of these credits must be at the 3000 or 4000 level.

Other opportunities in Theology and
Religious Studies:

Catholic Studies certificate: 16 credits as follows: at least 12 TRS credits and 4 additional credits from TRS, the arts, philosophy, social sciences and natural sciences. Students will be encouraged to select courses that demonstrate the depth and breadth of the Catholic intellectual tradition.

Director: The Reverend William C. Graham, Ph.D.

Women's Spirituality Certificate:

See Women and Gender Studies Program

Admission and retention procedures and policy:

Formal application for admission to the Theology and Religious Studies major should be made during the spring semester of the sophomore year. The criteria which are considered for admission to the program follow.
1. Applicants must have completed at least four Theology and Religious Studies courses before applying.
2. Criteria for admission:
     a. Junior standing
     b. Cumulative GPA of 2.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
     c. Cumulative GPA of 2.7 in all courses required for the Theology and Religious Studies major
     d. "C" grade or better in all courses required for the major.
3. Retention in the Theology and Religious Studies major is contingent upon maintaining the acceptable academic standards listed above, plus satisfactory professional and academic integrity.