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. 


Ambrose Advantages

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

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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 Christianity; theologies of liberation; Jewish literature; the Torah; peace and justice in comparative religions; and reconciliation and peacebuilding in Northern Ireland.

Students who add a concentration in Youth Ministry learn the skills of Christian leadership and the many ways to foster and grow faith in youth.

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 Abroad
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. Click to see the photo album of the 2014-15 Study Abroad trip to Germany, Czech Republic, and Austria.

Faith in Action
Put your faith in action with our BA-MSW program (see below for requirements). Your theology major, partnered with a Master of Social Work degree, helps you identify areas of need in our world and how to best enact change based on Catholic Social Teachings and biblical principles of justice and liberation. With our program, you can earn both degrees in five years.

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 City 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. Others continue with 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.

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 107 Introduction to the Sacraments
+THEO 110 Introduction to Moral Issues
+THEO 101 Introduction to Theology and Religion OR +THEO 120 Introduction to the Christian Faith
+THEO 130 Introduction to the Old Testament OR +THEO 132 Introduction to the New Testament*
THEO 499 Senior Seminar
Plus: 6 additional credits at the 300-level or above

Historical Theology (choose one):
+WI-THEO 341 History of Christianity: Early and Medieval
+WI-THEO 342 History of Christianity: Reformation and Modern
+THEO 344 Rome and Christianity

Systematic Theology (choose one):
+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 324 Women Theologians
+THEO 325 Models of God
THEO 326 Beginnings and Endings: Christian Teaching on Creation and Eschatology

Biblical Theology (choose one):
+WI-THEO 331 Songs, Stories, and Skepticism: Jewish Literature of the Second Temple Period
+THEO 332 The Theology of the Synoptic Gospels
+THEO 333 Paul's Letters: Theology in Context
+THEO 334 Apocalypse: Then and Now
THEO 335 Love, Land & the Law: Torah and the Ongoing Human Experience
THEO 336 The Bible and the Arts
THEO 337 The Bible and Social Justice

Moral or Pastoral Theology (choose one):
+THEO 301 Prayer, Spirituality, and Liturgy
THEO 303 Suffering, Compassion, and Healing: Theology and Spirituality for Healthcare Workers
THEO 304 OVS Reconciliation and Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland
THEO 305 The Theology of Christian Marriage
+THEO 310 Social Justice
+THEO 311 Environmental Ethics
+THEO 316 Peace and Justice in Comparative Religions
THEO 319 Bioethics and Health Care

*THEO 160 Topics in Theology may substitute for one of these courses with permission from department chair

Second Major in Theology (27 credits)

Required:
+THEO 107 Introduction to the Sacraments
+THEO 110 Introduction to Moral Issues
+THEO 120 Introduction to the Christian Faith
One THEO course at any level
THEO 499 Senior Seminar
Completed Portfolio
Choose three courses from different theology specialization areas above: Historical, Systematic, Moral or Pastoral, or Biblical (9 credit hours)

Choose One:
+THEO 130 Introduction to the Old Testament
+THEO 132 Introduction to the New Testament

Minor in Theology (15 credits)

Required:
+THEO 110 Introduction to Moral Issues

Choose one of the following:
+THEO 101 Introduction to Theology
+THEO 120 Introduction to the Christian FaithChoose one of the following:
+THEO 130 Introduction to the Old Testament
+THEO 132 Introduction to the New TestamentTwo Electives:
Take two elective theology courses at the 300-level or above (six credit hours)

Concentration in Youth Ministry

Requirements for a Concentration in Youth Ministry

+THEO 101 Introduction to Theology and Religion
+THEO 107 Introduction to the Sacraments
+THEO 130 Introduction to the Old Testament
+THEO 132 Introduction to the New Testament
+THEO 341 History of Christianity: Early and Medieval
+THEO 342 History of Christianity: Reformation and Modern

Recommended:
THEO 391. Practices of Youth Ministry
THEO 392. Principles of Youth Ministry
THEO 393. Fostering the Faith Growth of Youth Through Evangelization and Catechesis
THEO 394. Fostering the Faith Growth of Youth Through Justice and Service
THEO 395. Fostering the Faith Growth of Youth Through Prayer and Worship
THEO 396. Foundations for Ministry Leadership
THEO 397. Skills for Christian Leadership
THEO 398. Fostering the Faith Growth of Youth Through Pastoral Care
THEO 399. Ministry Internship

BA-Master of Social Work

Students majoring in theology engage biblical and religious traditions through a lens of social justice and compassion.

A theology degree paired with the MSW degree enables you to identify areas of need in our contemporary world and ways to enact change based upon Catholic Social Teachings and biblical principles of justice and liberation. If you're interested in an occupation where you can put your faith in action, this path is ideal.

Plan to Graduate

The timeline for achieving your Master of Social Work degree in five years is listed below. While students don't have to follow this plan exactly, it's an example of how the degree can be achieved. Requirements for a major in Theology are in bold.

First Year (30 undergraduate credits)

Semester 1: THEO 110, 120 and JPS 101
Semester 2: THEO 107, 132 and JPS 105

Second Year (30 undergraduate credits)

Semester 1: THEO 341, 320 and JPS 201
Semester 2: THEO 342, 333 and PSCI/JPS 309

Third Year (18 undergraduate credits; 12 graduate credits)

Semester 1: THEO 303, HIST/JPS 330; MSW 610, 510
Semester 2: THEO 321, PHIL/JPS 343; MSW 620, 520

Fourth Year (12 undergraduate credits; 18 graduate credits)

Semester 1: THEO 334; MSW 591, 710, 810
Semester 2: THEO 499; MSW 592, 720, 820

Fifth Year (30 graduate credits)

Semester 1: MSW 530, 593, 603; two MSW electives
Semester 2: MSW 540, 594, 604; two MSW electives

Scholarships

Scholarships and Grants

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

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

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics. Give us a call or send an email so we can get to know you and find the best package for you. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

Institutional scholarships (2018-19)

To receive an institutional grant or scholarship students must meet specific criteria, and some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible. There is no need to apply for these; students automatically are eligible if they meet the criteria.

The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

Ambrose Scholar
For First Year, on-campus residents only. Straight As on high school transcript and a minimum 30 ACT score. Applicants who meet Ambrose Scholar criteria will be invited to compete for a full tuition scholarship for $@{17-18-Tuition}.

Trustee Scholar
$22,000/year - For First-year, on-campus residents only. Unweighted 3.8 GPA, 28+ACT. May be offset by state and/or federal aid if eligible.

Academic Scholarship
$14,000-17,000/year - Based on GPA and ACT/SAT score

University Grant
$12,000/year - Based on high school GPA and ACT/SAT score

Additional Awards

If you want to apply for any of the scholarships below, contact the Admissions Office.

Fine Arts Scholarships
Award based on performance and ability in art, music, or theatre. Includes the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship. Audition or portfolio required.

Athletics Scholarships
Award varies. Based on performance and ability. Marching Band scholarships available. See below.

Freeman Pollard Minority Scholarship
$1,000 for on-campus students; $500 for off-campus. For accepted minority students.

Diocese of Davenport Catholic Parish Scholarship
Award varies. For First Year students only who are recommended by their parish pastor in the Diocese of Davenport. Recommendation to be completed by your pastor available here (pdf).

Father Welch Alumni Scholarship
$1,000/year. For on-campus students only whose parent is a St. Ambrose graduate.

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 Theology Department chair Dr. Micah Kiel.

Athletic Scholarships

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) awards millions of dollars annually to student-athletes at more than 250 colleges and universities. 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

Award Terms

FAFSA forms must be filed every year.

  • To be considered for an Iowa Tuition Grant, the filing deadline is July 1.
  • The St. Ambrose priority deadline is March 15 for some institutional funds. 
  • The Financial Aid Office has the right to adjust your award at any time due to changes in your financial, academic, enrollment, or housing status. 
  • Awards offered from State and Federal programs are contingent upon legislative allocation of funds and maximum limits allowed.
  • You must report any assistance you receive from outside sources – including assistance from your employer – to the Financial Aid Office.

Institutional Aid

Undergraduate level students must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours per semester to receive Institutional money. All students, undergraduate or graduate, must be enrolled at least half-time per semester to be eligible for student loans. (Half-time for Undergraduate level = 6 credits; Graduate level = 5 credits)

There is no institutional aid for summer sessions. Federal Loans may be available if you are enrolled at least 1/2 time.

You are eligible for institutional financial aid for up to eight semesters, including semesters taken at other schools, before or after time spent at the university (i.e. if you transfer in as a junior, you will receive 4 semesters of institutional aid; or you attended St. Ambrose, left to attend another school, and then returned). This means that if you continue into a fifth year of classes, you will not be eligible for any institutional funds you may have received previously. (Institutional funds are those awarded by the university, not state, federal, or outside based scholarships or grants.)

Loans

All financial aid awards, including loans, are disbursed in two disbursements: one for the fall term and one for the spring term. If you are a first-time borrower, there is a 30-day hold on your first disbursement. Once the loan funds have been applied to your account and if you have awards in excess of your costs, you may receive a refund. Any other questions regarding your financial aid should be directed to the Financial Aid Office.

Work Study

If you are receiving assistance under the work study program, you must understand that the amount shown on your award letter is the amount we expect you to earn during one academic year if you work all your allotted hours. Any additional earnings must be approved by your department supervisor and taken into consideration in your financial award package.

Endowed Scholarships

Part of the financial aid funds that St. Ambrose awards come from monies provided through the generous support of St. Ambrose University benefactors. Most endowed scholarships are meant to provide financial support for St. Ambrose University's academic and need based awards. Due to this, in some cases you may see a portion of your Academic Scholarship, for example, being replaced by a named endowed scholarship. The total dollar amount you receive between the two awards, however, will remain unchanged.

Recipients are chosen based on the criteria established by the donor, which include, but are not limited to: major, class rank, GPA, performance in a fine art, or residency. You may be contacted by the Advancement Office to write a thank you letter to the donor.

What happens if I withdraw or need to drop a class?

  • If you drop a class, it may affect the amount of aid you can receive. It is very important to visit your Financial Aid counselor if you are planning on dropping a class.
  • If you are going to withdraw completely from all your classes, your financial aid awards will be prorated according to the amount of time you were actually enrolled. It is possible that you may end up owing the University for a portion of your expenses incurred.
  • More information regarding this policy is available in the University catalog.
  • Please contact your Financial Aid counselor if you are considering dropping classes or withdrawing from the University.


Nathan Tappen Headshot Mobile Version Nathan Tappen Headshot

Nathan Tappen

Class of 2021


Nathan Tappen was undecided on a major when he became an Ambrosian in 2017, but “undecided” is OK. We offer more than 60 undergraduate majors, and Nathan was eager to explore. “I like the academic programs SAU offers, and maybe what I want to do in the future will be inspired by a class I take.”

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Contact


Micah Kiel, PhD, Chairperson

Theology Department
Lower Chapel
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
563-333-6121
KielMicahD@sau.edu

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 26 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!