Overview

Do you want to gain a deeper understanding of your faith? Do you want to prepare yourself for an intelligent and informed dialogue about faith and religious matters? The theology degree program at SMWC is built on the understanding of theology as “faith seeking understanding,” and equips students with the knowledge to pursue that process. Courses in the theology degree program are designed to deepen your understanding of your faith, examine it critically, and learn the language and ways of thinking necessary to articulate it in a clear, coherent and meaningful manner.

Theology is a truly integrative discipline that draws from many other disciplines as tools for its methodology: philosophy, psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology, history, art, music, literature and the natural sciences.

A theology degree prepares students for a future in

  • Lay service and leadership: Because the Catholic Church and most Protestant denominations now need and want greater lay involvement in the ministries of their churches, it is important that those who desire to offer themselves for service in today’s world have a strong theological foundation.
  • Ministry preparation: If you feel called to service or ministry in your church, the theology major will prepare you for graduate study in theology or seminary studies.
Major

In addition to the Woods Core courses and electives, the theology major requires  36 credit hours of program-focused coursework.

Required Courses

36 credit hours required; All courses listed.

TH 204 Foundational Theology
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
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Foundational Theology examines the most fundamental questions in Christian theology. It explores the nature of faith and its relationship to reason, the intellectual grounds for belief in God, and the difficult challenge that faith encounters in the problem of suffering and evil. The course also explores the nature and credibility of revelation, Jesus’ resurrection, and the doctrine of the Trinity.

Campus & Online 3 Credits
TH 220 Introduction to Hebrew Scriptures
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
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Studies the Hebrew Scriptures from a religious and literary viewpoint. Examines the major themes and contexts of these biblical writings in light of a current issue. Prerequisite: TH 200 or 201.

Campus & Online 3 Credits
TH 225 Introduction to Christian Scriptures
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
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Investigates the Christian Scriptures in their historical, cultural, religious, and sociological context in the Mediterranean world at the beginning of the Common Era. Includes an introduction to the techniques and methods of biblical scholarship and to the theologies that comprise the Christian community’s witness to Jesus of Nazareth. The topics of the course will be examined and discussed in light of a unifying issue or theme. Prerequisite: TH 200 or 201.

Campus & Online 3 Credits
TH 305 Introduction to World Religions
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
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An introductory level study of the history, beliefs, and practices of major world religions. The course takes a comparative approach in order to facilitate an understanding of how the various world religions have their own unique beliefs, practices, and worldviews. The course includes a brief section on the philosophy of religion.

Campus & Online 3 Credits
TH 331 Jesus: God and Human
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
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Seeks to answer Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?” Using scripture, and historical and contemporary sources, students examine the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus in terms of what He means for contemporary faith and life. Prerequisite: TH 200 or 201.

Campus & Online 3 Credits
TH 341 Christian Ethics
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
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Considers the historical and contemporary sources and methodology of moral theology, as well as significant moral questions facing today’s Christian. Prerequisite: TH 200 or 201.

Campus & Online 3 Credits
TH 345 Christian Social Teaching
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
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This course introduces students to the religious and theological principles that inform the growing body of Christian social teaching. The themes and methods of Christian social teaching will be critically explored and applied to many current, specific issues, including environmental concerns, economic issues and policies, war and peace, and the proper role of government.

Campus & Online 3 Credits
TH 351 The Church in the Contemporary World
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
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Examines the nature of the Church and its mission in the contemporary world. The Church is studied in terms of major images, its nature as the sacrament of Christ and its relationship among the various churches. For theology majors only. Prerequisite: TH 200 or 201.

Campus & Online 3 Credits
TH 365 Religion and Science
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
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This course is intended to help students understand and critically reflect on the differences between religion and science as well as the possibilities for a fruitful dialogue between them. Ian Barbour’s well-known categories (conflict, independence, dialogue, integration) will be used to examine the relationship between religion and science. A major part of the course studies the history of the relationship between religion and science and tries to show that recent conflicts between them are often based on false assumptions about what religious beliefs do and do not entail. The church’s condemnation of Galileo and the relationship between the theory of evolution and the religious idea of creation are among the specific issues that the course will study.

Campus & Online 3 Credits
TH 371 Feminine Spirituality
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
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Explores the theology of God from the perspectives of how women image God. The class engages with the works of historical and contemporary women as primary sources. Prerequisite: TH 200 or 201.

Campus & Online 3 Credits
TH 405 History of Christianity
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
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An overview of the history of Christianity with an emphasis on identifying and understanding the distinct transitional periods of Christian history and the theological developments that prepared for and resulted from those transitions.

Campus & Online 3 Credits
TH 424 The Theological Vocation
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
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A capstone course for theology majors. This course focuses on the spiritual ideas and practices that are essential for careers in theology. Students will study classical and contemporary approaches to spirituality, worship, and service and will reflect on how those areas relate to their intended ministries and/or future theology-related pursuits. Open to theology majors and minors only. Must be taken during the student’s senior year. Theology minors need program director’s permission.

Campus & Online 3 Credits

Information about Course Requirements
We do our best to keep this information updated, but you should always double-check to ensure you are meeting graduation requirements. For the most current course requirements please review the latest undergraduate college catalog. Always consult your academic advisor when registering for courses or when you have questions about course requirements.

Minor

The theology minor requires 18 credit hours of coursework.

Required Courses

3 Credit Hours required; All courses listed.

TH 204 Foundational Theology
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
Show Course Description

Foundational Theology examines the most fundamental questions in Christian theology. It explores the nature of faith and its relationship to reason, the intellectual grounds for belief in God, and the difficult challenge that faith encounters in the problem of suffering and evil. The course also explores the nature and credibility of revelation, Jesus’ resurrection, and the doctrine of the Trinity.

Campus & Online 3 Credits
TH 305 Introduction to World Religions
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
Show Course Description

An introductory level study of the history, beliefs, and practices of major world religions. The course takes a comparative approach in order to facilitate an understanding of how the various world religions have their own unique beliefs, practices, and worldviews. The course includes a brief section on the philosophy of religion.

Campus & Online 3 Credits

Electives

Choose three (3) courses from the following for a total of 9 credit hours.

TH 220 Introduction to Hebrew Scriptures
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
Show Course Description

Studies the Hebrew Scriptures from a religious and literary viewpoint. Examines the major themes and contexts of these biblical writings in light of a current issue. Prerequisite: TH 200 or 201.

Campus & Online 3 Credits
TH 225 Introduction to Christian Scriptures
Campus & Online | 3 Credits
Show Course Description

Investigates the Christian Scriptures in their historical, cultural, religious, and sociological context in the Mediterranean world at the beginning of the Common Era. Includes an introduction to the techniques and methods of biblical scholarship and to the theologies that comprise the Christian community’s witness to Jesus of Nazareth. The topics of the course will be examined and discussed in light of a unifying issue or theme. Prerequisite: TH 200 or 201.

Campus & Online 3 Credits

Information about Course Requirements
We do our best to keep this information updated, but you should always double-check to ensure you are meeting graduation requirements. For the most current course requirements please review the latest undergraduate college catalog. Always consult your academic advisor when registering for courses or when you have questions about course requirements.

Career Paths

Theology graduates have found careers in a variety of areas including:

  • Service ministry: counseling; hospice work; pastoral care in health care facilities; soup kitchens and thrift stores; retreats; youth ministry; campus minister.
  • Religious education: Director of Religious Education; leaders of the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults; faith development; religion teacher; curriculum designer.
  • Publishing: writing and/or editing diocesan or denominational newspapers; editing magazines and journals; book and magazine reviews; religious education materials.
  • Liturgical ministry: office of worship; music and choral directing; parish liturgy planning.
  • Church administration: parish associate; Church tribunals; denominational headquarters; personnel management.
Related Programs

Students sometimes discover that a second major or minor in another field such as business, psychology, English, professional writing, foreign language, music or education enhances their career preparation.