Theology


In addition to being prepared to live lives of active faith and service within faith communities, our graduates are ready to approach the challenges of the world, and their diverse career paths, in thoughtful and creative ways.

Our graduates work at Genesis Health System, in ministry, as community advocates and religion teachers. 

Read the latest Theology Newsletter, Spring 2021


Ambrose Advantages

  • Rooted in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition
  • Outstanding Program, Exceptional Faculty
  • Challenge Your Perspective

Campus shot

Students in Beehive

St. Francis

Our theology faculty challenge you to develop wider perspectives, preparing your to address cultural, social, political and theological challenges within your personal and professional life.

Read Our Fact Sheet on the Theology Program


More Information on the Theology Program

What will I learn?

Our courses address contemporary theological issues, ethics and moral life, prayer, spirituality and worship, and specialized topics such as Bible and justice, women theologians, and the Jewish and Black experiences.

Courses include introduction to the Sacraments, moral issues, theology and religion, Old Testament, and New Testament; the history of Christianity; theologies of liberation; Jewish literature; the Torah; peace and justice in comparative religions; and reconciliation and peacebuilding in Northern Ireland.

What is unique about SAU's Theology program?

Committed Faculty
Our Faculty are very available. They have regular meetings with theology majors over dinner, movie nights, and other discussions. They will know who you are, what you want to do, and will be a resource for you for years to come.

Double major or Minor
Your theology degree is a great companion major. We have students pair theology with sociology, communications, nursing, pre-OT, pre-physical therapy, and more.

Study or serve in another country
When you major in Theology, you can study abroad. Students tell us these trips have changed their lives, their outlook on the world, and what they want to do after college. View locations

If you are adventurous with a deep personal drive to act and seek to be immersed in countries and cultures outside of your own, our Peace Corps Prep program will help you gain the intercultural skills you need for a life-changing service experience. This program makes you a stronger candidate for volunteer positions within the Peace Corps or other service programs.

Employers value the skills and cultural worldview you gain in Peace Corps, and best of all, most students can earn the Peace Corps certificate without taking extra courses.

Faith in Action
We give you opportunities to work with churches, human services agencies, educational organizations, and advocacy programs. SAU coordinates service trips to Appalachia and inner-city shelters to work with the less fortunate.

The Quad Cities community is an active supporter of the environment and for peace and justice. You can get involved with churches and affiliated groups and associations such as the Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth) Coalition, Quad-Citians Affirming Diversity, Churches United, and River Action.

What are some potential career outcomes?

You can go directly into ministry with a theology degree. We have graduates who teach religion, work in parishes, and serve in other types of ministry.

Many theologians pursue careers in social services or graduate studies in social work, theology, theater, and other areas.

What have alumni of this program done?

Ana Kelsey-Powell '15 is the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at Court Street Methodist Church in Rockford, Ill.

Joseph Norris '12 is the Director of Mission Integration and Regional Ethics at Mercy Medical Center in Dubuque. After Ambrose, Joseph earned master's degrees at Saint Louis University and Aquinas Institute of Theology.

Patrick Schmadeke '13 is continuing his Theology education as a Master of Divinity student at the University of Notre Dame.

Faculty

Lisa Powell, PhD, Professor and Chair

Mara Adams, PhD, Professor
Matthew Coomber, PhD, Assoc. Professor
Robert Grant, PhD, Professor
Argrow Evans-Ford, DMN, Adjunct Professor
Ella Johnson, PhD, Asst. Professor
Rabbi Henry Karp, Adjunct Professor
Micah Kiel, PhD, Professor
Keith Soko, PhD, Professor

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in Theology (33 credits)

Majors must maintain a B average in theology courses with no grade lower than a C.

Required:
+THEO 100 Just Theology
+THEO 110 Introduction to Moral Issues
+THEO 120 Introduction to Christian Faith
+THEO 130 Introduction to Scripture
THEO 499 Senior Seminar
6 additional credits at the 300-level or above
3 credits from Historical Theology:

+THEO 140 Historical Theology
+THEO 241 Ambrose of Milan
THEO 306 Medieval Women Mystics
+THEO 344 Rome and Christianity

Three credits from at least three of the following areas: Systematic Theology, Biblical Theology, Moral Theology, Spiritual/Pastoral Theology

Systematic Theology:
+THEO 320 Jesus Christ: His Person and Mission
+WI-THEO 321 Theologies of Liberation
+WI-THEO 322 The Church: Its Meaning and Mission
+THEO 323 Problems of Faith
+THEO 325 Models of God

Biblical Theology:
+THEO 332 The Theology of the Synoptic Gospels
+THEO 333 Paul's Letters: Theology in Context
+THEO 334 Apocalypse: Then and Now
THEO 336 The Bible and the Arts
THEO 338 Bible in Political Thought
THEO 339 Hebrew Prophecy: Mysticism in Action

Moral Theology:
+THEO 310 Social Justice
+THEO 311 Environmental Ethics
+THEO 316 Peace and Justice in Comparative Religions
THEO 319 Bioethics and Health Care

Spiritual/Pastoral Theology:
THEO 303 Suffering/Compassion/Healing
THEO 305 Theology of Christian Marriage
THEO 306 Medieval Women Mystics

Second Major in Theology (27 credits)

Required:
+THEO 100 Just Theology
+THEO 110 Introduction to Moral Issues
+THEO 120 Introduction to the Christian Faith
+THEO 130 Introduction to Scripture
THEO 499 Senior Seminar
One course from Historical Theology (see course listing above)
One course from three of four areas: Moral, Systemic, Biblical, or Spiritual/Pastoral Theology

Minor in Theology (15 credits)

Required:
+THEO 100 Just Theology
12 THEO credits (6 of which must be at the 300-level)

Scholarships and Grants

Undergraduate Scholarships

For academic/merit-based awards, we match eligible students to a qualifying award; some of them are listed below.

You may also qualify for scholarships or grants due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics. Contact the Admissions Office so we can be sure you're getting what you need.

For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code is 001889.

And finally, look below under Outside Scholarships to see examples of non-SAU financial aid, and be sure to get an early start on your applications!

First-Year Scholarships

Amounts are for first-year students entering St. Ambrose in the 2021-22 academic year.

There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria. The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using unweighted high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores*.

Your scholarship will automatically renew each year of your undergraduate studies – up to four years – as long as you maintain satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree, achieve certain GPA requirements (see below), and remain a full-time student. 

2021-22 Scholarships

FOR STUDENTS LIVING ON CAMPUS

On-Campus (Merit-Based Scholarships)

Ambrose Advantage
Criteria: Iowa resident, Federal Pell Grant eligible, 2021 high school graduate, min. unweighted GPA 2.8, admitted to SAU, and FAFSA filed by Mar. 15. To remain eligible in subsequent years, students must maintain 2.8 GPA and qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.
Award: Full tuition

Trustee
Criteria: unweighted 3.9 GPA and minimum 29 ACT or 1340 SAT score. Must maintain 3.25 cumulative GPA in successive years.
Award: $25,000/year and invited to compete for a full-tuition scholarship

Presidential
Criteria: minimum unweighted 3.8 GPA and 28 ACT or 1310 SAT score. Must maintain 3.25 cumulative GPA in successive years.
Award: $23,000/year

Academic
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $15,000-$21,000/year

University Grant
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
$13,000/year

On-Campus (Additional Institutional Scholarships)

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000/year

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: ethnically diverse student; FAFSA required. Additional aid available.
Award: $500-$1,000/year


FOR STUDENTS LIVING OFF CAMPUS

Off-Campus (Merit-Based Scholarships)

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000-$16,000/year (Iowa resident) or $14,000-17,000/year (non-Iowa resident)

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $11,000/year

Off-Campus (Additional Institutional Scholarships)

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $500/year

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: ethnically diverse student; FAFSA required.
Award: $500/year

*While St. Ambrose University has a Test-Optional admissions policy, standardized test scores are required for both admission to specific programs and/or eligibility for top academic scholarships.

International Student Scholarships

At SAU, our international students can qualify for university scholarships and grants based on academic achievement, merit, and their performance and abilities in fine arts and athletics.

Below, you'll find a quick summary of financial awards, and we continually look for ways to make an Ambrosian education even more affordable and attainable. Recently, we began offering scholarships for Marching Band and Esports.

If you have any questions or want to apply, please contact the International Student Admissions office. 

Institutional Scholarships (2020-21)
There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students are automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria, although some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible.

Academic Scholarship – $15,000-$21,000/year

Athletic Scholarships
We have many international student-athletes who are contributing and growing their skills as valued team players. As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student-athletes. The amount varies and is based on performance and ability. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody the value of developing both the mind and body.

To qualify for an athletic scholarship you must be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at playNAIA.org

Learn more about all of our athletic teams and opportunities, including Esports

Fine Arts Scholarships
These scholarships are based on your performance and ability in art, music, or theatre, and you may qualify for the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship. Audition or portfolio required. Contact the Admissions office to apply or for more information. 

See below to learn more about outside scholarships and we encourage you to begin your search early.

Transfer Scholarships

Amounts are for transfer students entering St. Ambrose in the 2021-22 academic year.

St. Ambrose scholarships are awarded for fall and spring semesters only* and renewable up to 120 credits of undergraduate study, which includes credits transferred to St. Ambrose from prior attendance. For example: If you transfer in with an AA/AS degree, you would receive a scholarship for two additional years at St. Ambrose.

*Total combined scholarships may not exceed cost of tuition. Scholarships offered to transfer students who enroll full time, online students not eligible.


2021-22 Scholarships

PHI THETA KAPPA
Criteria: awarded to all Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society members transferring from a community college
Award: $16,000

OR

TRANSFER ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIPS

Criteria: based on GPA
Awards:
3.5-4.00 GPA $15,500 
3.0-3.49 GPA $14,500
2.5-2.99 GPA $13,500 
2.0-2.49 GPA $11,500 

Ambrose Advantage Scholarship
Criteria: Iowa resident, Pell Grant eligible, min. unweighted GPA 2.8, admitted to SAU, full-time enrollment
Award: Full Tuition 

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarship
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000 per year (on campus); $500/year (off campus)

Dual Admission Scholarship
Criteria: participant in SAU/community college dual admission program
Award: $1,000 maximum

Minority Scholarship
Ethnically diverse student; FAFSA required.
Award: $500 per year

2021-22 Federal and State Aid

Iowa Tuition Grant
Criteria: based on financial need, Iowa residents only. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1, deadline July 1.
Award: $6,800

Federal Pell Grant
Criteria: based on financial need; file FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $6,495 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Criteria: based on financial need, priority to Pell Grant recipients. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1.
Award: $400 maximum

Federal Work Study
Criteria: based on financial need. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $1,850

Athletic Scholarships

As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student-athletes.

These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at playNAIA.org

With more than 31 varsity athletic teams and state-of-the-art facilities in which to play them, the Fighting Bees of SAU are bold contenders on any field. Watch this video

Fine Arts Scholarships

How do I qualify for a fine arts scholarship? 
Scholarships are awarded based on performance and ability in art, music and theatre. Review the various requirements below:

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Bee Central where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.

Clement and Mary Dunn Ecclesiastical Scholarship

The Clement and Mary Dunn Ecclesiastical Scholarship
This endowed scholarship for theology students at St. Ambrose University was established in memory of Clement and Mary Dunn, cousins to Reverend Edmond Dunn, who provided leadership and taught theology at St. Ambrose for more than 35 years. An inspiration to generations of Ambrosians, Fr. Dunn continues to be an active presence on campus and a champion for peace and social justice. The scholarship can to be awarded to students involved in intellectual formation and majoring in theology.

Scholarships of $1,000 to $2,000 are available to students who want to study theology at St. Ambrose University. If you would like to be considered for a Clement and Mary Dunn Ecclesiastical Scholarship, please contact the Department Chair.


Isabel Watts '19


Isabel's St. Ambrose education and experience was transformative. In four years, she grew from her self-description of "naive" to an educated and dedicated social justice advocate who knows who she is, for what she stands, and the unlimited potential she holds and will pursue. In December 2019, Isabel graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology degree and a second major in Theology.

Read her story
Isabel Watts - Mobile image Isabel Watts headshot

Isabel Watts

Bachelor of Arts, Sociology and Theology,Graduate student,Class of 2019


At St. Ambrose University, Isabel became an educated and dedicated social justice advocate who knows who she is, for what she stands, and the unlimited potential she holds and will pursue.

See My Story

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Contact


Lisa Powell, PhD, Chairperson

Theology Department
Lower Chapel
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
563-333-6045
PowellLisaD@sau.edu

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