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Courses in Theology

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+ = Applicable toward general education degree requirements
WI = Writing intensive course

+THEO 101. Introduction to Theology and Religion • 3 credits
An overview of theology including some fundamental issues and methods in biblical, historical, systematic and moral theology. The course explores issues in Christian theology such as revelation and faith, the role of the Bible in theology, Jesus Christ and the Church. Examines the nature of religion and religious experiences.

+THEO 107. Introduction to the Sacraments • 3 credits
The life of the Church as expressed in ritual worship is treated from the historical, theological, and pastoral view-points. It encompasses the Church’s discipline for the celebration of the seven sacraments as well as the sources and interpretation of sign and symbol within the sacramental system.

+THEO 120. Introduction to Christian Faith • 3 credits
This course provides an introduction to the methods and content of systematic theology, that division of theology that has to do with doctrine and its significance for Christian life. We will explore central teachings of Christianity, how they have developed, and how they are being discussed today.

+THEO 125. Racial Justice and the Christian Faith• 3 credits
This course will consider the Christian religion from the perspective of races typically underrepresented in Christian theology. We will consider the history of racism and colonialism/imperialism in Christianity, especially in the U.S. context.

+THEO 130. Introduction to the Old Testament • 3 credits
Interpretation of Hebrew and Septuagint Old Testament, attempting to understand what the ancient writers intended to convey. Emphasis on various authors appearing in Old Testament.

+THEO 132. Introduction to the New Testament • 3 credits
Introduction to principles of interpretation of New Testament and survey of themes and theologies of New Testament books.

+THEO 141. Ambrose of Milan • 3 credits
Saint Ambrose of Milan, our patron saint, is the great paragon of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and the Liberal Arts. He was a theologian, orator, diplomat, administrator, interpreter, composer, writer, and designer. He stood up to five emperors, one tyrant, and numerous errors; he gave his vast wealth to the church and the church's wealth to the poor. In this class we will examine the man, the church, the times, and explore ways that his influence can still be felt, or his teachings tapped, in order to make better sense of our lives, our culture, our university, our society, our church, and our God.

+THEO 160. Topics in Theology • 3 credits
Entry level introduction to theological inquiry on a specific topic. Each section will vary, depending on topic, and will employ readings, discussions, assignments, reflection papers, and a researched presentation.

+THEO 165. Reconciliation and Peacebuilding • 3 credits
This courses is an exploration of what it means when Christians speak of the concepts of forgiveness and reconciliation. Although the Gospels indicate the importance of forgiveness in daily life, especially in challenging situations. This course explores forgiveness and reconciliation using both theological and psychological research on the efficacy, need and implementation of these concepts. We will examine case studies of personal and social situation in which forgiveness and reconciliation are needed, offered, or resisted.

+THEO 250. Introduction to Comparative Religions • 3 credits
Introduction to five major religions of the world, their cultural/social foundations, spirituality, and contemporary ritual celebrations. Concentration on Buddhism, Judaism, early Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism.

+THEO 255. Religion in America • 3 credits
Through a consideration and analysis of the religious history and the unique experiences of the various churches, religious sects, and religious, spiritual and philosophical movements within the United States, this course explores the unique character of the American religious experience and examines America's pluralistic religious tradition. Special attention will be given to current religious issues in America.

+THEO 275. Introduction to Judaism • 3 credits
Examines perspectives on Jewish life, thought, and society. Topics may include Jewish theology, worship, writings, personages and the fundamentals of Judaism.

+THEO 301. Prayer and Spirituality • 3 credits
The course is designed to assist serious students in the understanding and growth of their personal experience and relationship with God (Higher Power) through study, reflection, prayer experiences, disciplined spiritual tools and an analysis of prayer, meditation and contemplation contained within the history of the Western and Eastern Christian spiritual traditions.

+THEO 302. Christian Liturgical Theology and Eucharist • 3 credits
Course is designed to expand Christian Sacramental theology to include a detailed analysis and knowledge of liturgical practices throughout the centuries and a greater knowledge of Eucharistic theology outlined in Vat. II Documents, "Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy," and "The Church." Prerequisites: THEO 107.

+THEO 303. Suffering, Compassion, and Healing: Theology and Spirituality for Healthcare Workers • 3 credits
We live in a world in which human achievements and prosperity are juxtaposed with extreme suffering and despair. Suffering is a practical, pastoral problem for healthcare providers, and it is a theological problem, as suffering continues to exist in spite of claims about Divine benevolence. This course examines the experiences of suffering, compassion and healing in light of Christian faith, spirituality and theology. Special attention is paid to topics such as healthcare as ministry, consideration of the difference between healing and cure, the concept of virtue, especially the virtue of compassion and the role it plays in life of professional healthcare workers. Prerequisites: A 100 level course in theology or philosophy.

+THEO 304. Reconciliation and Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland • 3 credits
This course introduces the student to basic theories of conflict resolution, restorative justice, reconciliation and the process of forgiveness by applying them to the Northern Ireland peace process.

THEO 305. The Theology of Christian Marriage • 3 credits
Examines the fundamental factors governing the contemporary experience of married life. Deals with principles and beliefs which enhance Christian understanding of covenant love as celebrated in the Christian/Catholic sacrament of marriage. Prerequisites: A 100 level course in theology.

+THEO 306. Music and Liturgy • 3 credits
The course in Liturgical Music prepares students for pastoral leadership in the musical dimensions of worship. The program draws together foundational study of the liturgy, thorough study of music's role in ritual, training in musical performance skills at a higher level of competence, and development of pastoral- music leadership skills necessary for parish liturgical musicians. Prerequisites: THEO 101, 120, 107, or 301.

+THEO 310. Social Justice • 3 credits
Church teaching on social justice over the past century since Leo XIII. Application of Catholic Social Teaching and Christian principles to contemporary issues such as discrimination, the economy, war, peace and nonviolence, and ecology. Prerequisites: A 100 level course in theology.

+THEO 311. Environmental Ethics • 3 credits
Discusses environmental issues, analyzes the various philosophical and theological responses, calls for an evaluation of those responses and challenges students to draw their own critical conclusions. Prerequisites: A 100 level course in theology. (Same as PHIL 311)

+THEO 316. Justice and Peace in Comparative Religions • 3 credits
Compares the Catholic/Christian moral tradition with the other Western religions of Judaism and Islam and the Eastern religions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Focuses on peace and justice teachings as they relate to current global issues, inter-religious dialogue and concerns for social justice. Prerequisites: A 100 level course in theology.

+WI-THEO 319. Bioethics and Health Care • 3 credits

Study of the relationship between science, religion, health care and ethics today. Analysis of ethical principles, case studies, and current events from the perspective of Catholic moral theology, Christian ethics, and Catholic health care institutions. Issues include beginning and end of life, genetic engineering and health care systems from a social justice perspective. Prerequisites: A 100 level course in theology; ENGL 101, with a minimum grade of C.

+THEO 320. Jesus Christ: His Person and Mission • 3 credits
This course is a critical inquiry into the life, death, resurrection, message and meaning of Jesus professed as the Christ. After examination of the scriptural testimony and the teaching of the early councils, focus will be on recent interpretation of Jesus Christ. Prerequisites: A 100 or 200 level course in theology or philosophy or at least 60 college-level credits.

+WI-THEO 321. Theologies of Liberation • 3 credits
This course will include examples from current movements in theologians of liberation and many include Latin American, Black, feminist, GLBT, post-colonial, and disability theologies. It will focus on how contemporary theology both grows out of and challenges the Christian theological tradition. Prerequisites: A 100 or 200 level course in theology or philosophy.

+WI-THEO 322. The Church: Its Meaning and Mission • 3 credits
This course will discuss the history of what it means to be called "Church." Students will read and discuss works of moderns Christian theology that address questions about the identity and mission of the church as well as issues that are arising in the current life of the Christian communities. Prerequisites: A 100 or 200 level course in theology or at least 60 college credits; ENGL 101, with a minimum grade of C.

+WI-THEO 323. Problems of Faith • 3 credits
Examination of the human being as the perceiver of God. Takes into account the question of doubt and the historical and cultural development of the person as one open to the transcendent. Prerequisites: A 100 level course in theology or a course in philosophy or humanities.

+THEO 324. Women Theologians • 3 credits
Focus on selected readings from contemporary women who are recognized for their contributions in the field of Christian Theology. It will also look briefly at some women from earlier centuries of Christian history. Class conducted primarily as a seminar with emphasis on class discussion. Prerequisites: A 100 or 200 level course in theology or philosophy.

+THEO 325. Models of God • 3 credits
This course examines the Christian idea of God in the context of the larger human search for God as well as within the Judea- Christian faith tradition. Asks why people seek and why people reject God as well as why different ways of imaging and relating to God have developed and have become popular within Christianity. Special attention to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity as it is grounded in Scripture and found within Christian theological tradition. Prerequisites: A 100 or 200 level course in theology or philosophy; or at least 60 college level courses.

+THEO 326. Beginnings & Endings: Christian Teaching on Creation and Eschatology • 3 credits
This course investigates two Christian doctrines: creation and eschatology. Considers how theologians have thought about the origins of the universe and about the end of time. Prerequisites: A 100 or 200 level course in theology or philosophy.

+WI-THEO 331. Songs, Stories, and Skepticism: Jewish Literature of the Second Temple Period • 3 credits
Will cover the books in the third part of the canon of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament known as the writings (ketuviim). Texts read will include apocalyptic treatises and scrolls that question the meaning and the cause of suffering and the problem of evil; stories of heroic women and the men they overthrow, and wisdom texts that skeptically question the limits of human knowledge. Prerequisites: A 100 level course in theology; ENGL 101.

+THEO 332. The Gospels: Diverse Interpretations of Jesus • 3 credits
Covers the basic content and theological agendas presented by the four evangelists on the canvas that was the historical Jesus. Course utilizes close exegesis, various hermeneutical approaches, and historical-critical principles to understand, as best as possible, the original theological intent. Class also engages in robust discussion of the relevance of such ancient texts to the modern world. Prerequisites: A 100 level course in theology.

+THEO 333. The Letters of Paul: Theology in Context • 3 credits
Covers the basic content of Paul's letters, with particular attention paid to the historical situation of the communities to which he wrote. Interpretations of Paul's letters are applied to pressing theological and moral issues from today's world, such as empire, gender, sexuality, marriage and the environment. Prerequisites: A 100 level course in theology.

+THEO 334. Apocalypse: Now and Then • 3 credits
Whether from the Mayan Calendar, the movie theater, or political rhetoric, we are bombarded by apocalyptic language and imagery. This course will examine the historical and sociological roots of apocalypticism, with particular attention paid to the book of Revelation. Does this book predict the future? How do we evaluate the legacy of apocalypticism in our world today? Prerequisites: A 100 level Theology course.

+THEO 335. Love, Land, and Law: Torah and the Ongoing Human Experience • 3 credits
The first five books of the Bible (Torah or Pentateuch) reveal diverse and divergent theological ideas that were developed through story and myth. By reading these texts, considering their ancient setting, and later interpretations, students will enter into a conversation - started by the Hebrews millennia ago - on the nature of the divine, the meaning of life, and the universal human experience. Prerequisites: A 100 or 200 level Theology course.

+THEO 336. The Bible and the Arts • 3 credits
For thousands of years, the stories and ideas developed in the Bible have captured the imaginations of artists and audiences, alike. This course will explore the ways in which artistic renderings of biblical texts and themes have not only influenced generations of artists, but have also shaped the ways in which cultures and societies read and understand the Bible. Prerequisites: One 100 or 200 level Humanities course.

+THEO 337. The Bible and Social Justice • 3 credits
While the ancient texts of the Bible were written under very different religious, cultural, and economic circumstances than our own, recurring biblical themes of peace, equity, and justice connect the ancient to the modern and serve as a valuable resource in ongoing struggles for a just world. This class will explore the ways in which the Bible continues to, and might, address justice issues ranging from empire to environment and gender discrimination. Prerequisites: A 100 or 200 level theology course.

+WI-THEO 341. History of Christianity: Early and Medieval • 3 credits
The Church and Western society in the early and medieval periods. Prerequisites: A 100 level course in theology; ENGL 101.

+WI-THEO 342. History of Christianity: Reformation and Modern • 3 credits
The Church and society from the Reformation through the modern age. Prerequisites: A 100 level course in theology; ENGL 101.

+THEO 344. Rome and Christianity • 3 credits
Requires international travel. Consists of an interpretive exploration of the city of Rome and other sites of interest in Italy with an eye toward understanding the theological development of Christianity particularly in its sacraments, liturgy, martyrology, and doctrinal hierarchy. Course notes and readings supplement the city’s museums, galleries, archeological sites and public monuments as the primary educational tools. Prerequisites: A 100 level course in theology.

+THEO 351. Introduction to Western Religious Traditions • 3 credits
Presents three religions known as "Peoples of the Book." Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are defined as monotheistic religions. Examines four basic foundations of all three religions: Creed, basic beliefs and theological positions; Code, ethical/moral dimensions of faith; Cult, the practice of prayer, rituals, and worship, and Community, the cultural, social, geographical, religious, and spiritual dimensions unique in all ethnic populations and every religion. Prerequisites: A 100 level course in theology.

+THEO 352. Introduction to Eastern-Asian Religious Traditions • 3 credits
Examines oriental spiritual traditions that may be non-theistic or polytheistic in nature: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. Like religions of the West, Eastern religions are rooted in four basic foundations: Creed, basic doctrines and theological or philosophical/spiritual positions; Code, the ethical and moral dimensions of faith; Cult, the practice of spiritual disciplines, such as meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, prayer, rituals, and Bhakti devotion; and Community, the cultural, social, geographical, religious, and spiritual dimensions unique to these Eastern traditions. Prerequisites: A 100 level course in theology.

+THEO 354. Introduction to Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Traditions • 3 credits
This course is an introduction to the history, spirituality, sacramental/liturgical life of both the Eastern Christians and Orthodox Christian traditions of Western and Eastern Europe. The course focuses on the theological significance of the Ecumenical Councils, Vatican II and the history of the "Great Schism" within the Christian traditions. Prerequisites: THEO 101, 120, 250, 341 or 342.

+THEO 355. The Holocaust • 3 credits
Course will be an in-depth and broad study of the Jewish Holocaust and global genocide utilizing all documents, historical texts, and film to explore a wide range of Holocaust topics, issues and events.

+THEO 360. Advanced Topics in Theology • 3 credits
Advanced level course focused on a particular topic selected by the instructor. Each section will vary, depending on the topic, and will employ select readings, discussions, assignments, reflection papers, and a researched presentation. Prerequisites: A 100 level course in theology or THEO 250.

THEO 390. Sharing Faith: Contemporary Catechesis • 3 credits
Principles of faith sharing according to contemporary catechetical models and methodologies. Examination of materials, structures, and approaches suitable for people at the various stages of faith development from infancy through adulthood. Prerequisites: THEO 101; THEO 110, 201, or 202.

THEO 399. Ministry Internship • 1-6 credits
An off-campus experience in ministry with a strong educational component. Includes a beginning and ending six session seminar with a ten-week supervised parish apprenticeship. May be taken for a "regular" grade or pass/fail. Offered in cooperation with the Diocese of Davenport. Prerequisites: Six credits in Theology.

+THEO 401. Christian Mystical Tradition • 3 credits
Explores the soul's process of passing from "ordinary" prayer to contemplative and mystical life and the characteristic stages of that evolution. Presents a "Summa" of contemplative/mystical prayer treated in a few of the original sources or writings in the Christian mystical tradition. Prerequisites: THEO 301 or completed 60 college level credits.

THEO 405. Youth Ministry Skills • 1 credit

This series of workshops offers the student the opportunity to develop the background and skills required by most Dioceses of the Catholic Church for a parish position in Youth Ministry. Sessions include:

  • Principles of Youth Ministry
  • Practices of Youth Ministry
  • Fostering the Faith Growth of Youth through Evangelization and Catechesis
  • Fostering the Faith Growth of Youth Through Justice and Service
  • Fostering the Faith Growth of Youth through Prayer and Worship
  • Fostering the Faith Growth of Youth through Pastoral Care
  • Foundations for Ministry Leadership and Skills for Ministry Leadership

Prerequisites: At least 6 credits in Theology or approval of Department Chair

THEO 450. Christian Contemplative Life and Mystical Theology • 3 credits
This course explores the evolution and development of the Christian mystical traditions from the origins of Christianity to modern times. It analyzes the philosophical traditions, the development of monasticism, and traces the evolution of a Christian's spiritual life beyond beginning prayer to include acquired and infused contemplation, as well as graces of mystical prayer and experience. Prerequisites: THEO 301 or comparable course in Christian Spirituality.

THEO 460. Readings in Theology • 3 credits
This course is designed for students who have a particular interest in a theologian, period, or topic. Students will work independently with a relevant professor and complete all work as assigned. It is expected that the student is able to critically read and evaluate upper level texts in theology. Prerequisites: A 100 level Theology course.

WI-THEO 499. Senior Seminar in Theology • 3 credits
As a capstone course, Senior Seminar is an overview and integration of theological growth over the course of the student's major curriculum, emphasizing both theory and praxis. Senior majors are responsible for collaborating with the instructor in developing themes, reading schedules, research, class presentations and a final written project to be presented orally in public forum. Prerequisites: Take 12 credits of theology; Instructor consent required.

Graduate Education: Consider the Master of Pastoral Theology