2021-2022 Academic Catalog

Religious Studies

Marian Studies
The International Marian Research Institute (IMRI) is no longer offering graduate degrees and is in the process of transitioning to its new home in the College of Arts and Sciences. The Department of Religious Studies is developing Marian course offerings in connection with IMRI's transition, and plans to offer certificates at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Please contact Jana Bennett, Department Chairperson, for more information about these offerings in the 2021-2022 year.
 

Jana Bennett, Chairperson 
Elizabeth Groppe, Masters Programs in Theological Studies and Pastoral Ministry Committee Chair
Vince Miller,  Doctoral Program in Theology Committee Chair
Amy Doorley, Graduate Studies Coordinator


The Department of Religious Studies offers two graduate programs leading to the Master of Arts: theological studies and pastoral ministry. A third program leads to the Doctor of Philosophy in theology. The distinctive research focus of the doctoral program is the practices/praxis of Catholicism as it is inculturated in multiple ways in the United States context. Master's and doctoral students join with their professors to form an ecumenical community that integrates the study of the classical disciplines of Christian theology with attentiveness to the multicultural and interdisciplinary dimensions critical to the contemporary study of religion. Intensive study of Roman Catholic traditions remains central to each graduate program. Both the master's and doctoral programs include basic requirements and allow students flexibility in the remainder of their course selection to ensure that their graduate studies serve their desired outcomes, whether in pursuing further academic work or securing placement in professional ministry.

Our two MA programs are offered both online and face-to-face, as well as part-time and full-time, for maximum flexibility.


Assistantships and Scholarships

Qualified applicants are eligible for financial assistance in the form of assistantships for master's students and assistantships or fellowships for doctoral students. Awards are determined on a competitive basis. Master's students receive tuition remission for 18 credit hours per year and an annual stipend. Doctoral students receive tuition remission for 18 to 30 credit hours per year and an annual stipend.

There are also scholarship funds for MA students on a competitive basis. These scholarships do not require on-campus residency and are available to part-time students.


Advising

The M.A. program director functions as the advisor for all incoming master's students. No later than the completion of the tenth semester hour of graduate credit, a student must formally choose an academic advisor from among the full-time religious studies faculty members who teach in the master's program or formally agree to have the M.A. program director of graduate studies continue as her or his advisor.

The Ph.D. program director (or the director's designate) functions as the initial academic advisor for all Ph.D. students. The Ph.D. program director assists students in first semester course selection and provides initial guidance in scheduling general examinations and selecting the five members of the general examination committee. The Ph.D. program director and coordinator of graduate studies report on advising activities for each student to the Ph.D. committee once per semester.

Doctoral students also work with a five-member general examination committee. The committee must include a faculty member from each of the core disciplines: history of Christianity, biblical studies, and theology/ethics. The committee determines whether the student passes or fails the three general examinations.

As soon as doctoral students determine their dissertation topics, they should choose, in consultation with the Ph.D. program director, a dissertation director from among the religious studies faculty members who teach doctoral seminars. The doctoral student, with the dissertation director's guidance, chooses a candidacy examination/dissertation committee. In addition to the dissertation director, this committee ordinarily consists of three religious studies faculty members who teach doctoral seminars and one member outside the department. This committee determines whether the student passes or fails the candidacy examination and reads and evaluates the dissertation.

The composition of both examination committees is subject to the approval of the Ph.D. program director and the Ph.D. committee.


Facilities

Master's and doctoral students have access to distinctive University of Dayton resources such as the Center for Leadership and Community, the Center for Catholic Education, the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives, and the Marian Library.

Religious studies master's students may take courses in the International Marian Institute through Summer 2019. Interested students should consult with their academic advisor for further information.
 

Doctor of Philosophy in Theology (THE)

The Ph.D. in theology employs a unique approach to theological studies and research utilizing the methodologies associated with the academic study of religion, emphasizing strong interaction with the social sciences and humanities. The program's distinctive practice of integrating methodologies prepares students to work within a web of disciplines with theology at the center of research and writing. Using this integrative methodological approach, graduates acquire theological knowledge rooted in discovering, analyzing, understanding, and proposing creative transformations in their current religious context, especially as found in the practices/praxis that reflect United States Catholic experience.

Doctoral students must complete a minimum of 90 semester credit hours beyond the bachelor's degree. Up to 30 credit hours from an accredited master's program in theology or religious studies can be counted toward the 90-credit requirement. The Ph.D. program director, in consultation with the religious studies Ph.D. committee, determines the number of credits accepted.

All students must complete the following courses or their equivalent:
 

REL 601Seminar in Theological Research Methods: The Tradition3
REL 602Seminar in Theological Research Methods: Contemporary3
REL 603Seminar in Theological Research Methods: Historiography3
REL 604Seminar in Theological Research Methods: American Catholic Studies3

Between 12 and 30 semester hours can be earned as dissertation hours; additional dissertation hours will ordinarily not count toward the minimum of 90 semester hours for the Ph.D. Students select doctoral seminars or reading courses to complete the remainder of the 90 credits.

Each student must be in full-time residence; i.e., taking the load of a full-time student, for a minimum of one year before attempting the qualifying examination.

Comprehensive Examinations

Each student, during the course of the program, must successfully complete three general examinations and a qualifying examination.

  1. The three GENERAL EXAMINATIONS approximate the master's level comprehensive examinations. A student is expected to demonstrate basic knowledge in three core disciplinary areas of theology: biblical studies, history of Christianity, and systematic theology and ethics. The examinations serve two purposes. First, they provide a student with the background necessary for teaching most college-level introductory courses. Second, they equip the student with the broad knowledge base necessary for skillful theological work. The chair of the examination committee in cooperation with the Ph.D. program director oversees the proper administration of the three exams. Each examination consists of a written component followed by an oral examination.  Ordinarily, the biblical studies examination must be completed before the student completes 36 hours beyond the bachelor's degree. Students will then ordinarily complete exams in historical theology, and systematic theology and ethics in that order. Students must pass all three examinations before proceeding to the qualifying examination. Students will be registered for the appropriate general examination in the term after which the bibliography is approved. The student may repeat any examination once. Failure to pass an examination on a second attempt terminates the student from the program. Students who took comparable exams in an accredited master's program may petition for the waiver of any or all of the general examinations. A petition is submitted to the coordinator of graduate studies who presents it to the religious studies Ph.D. committee. The committee makes the final determination.
  2. Each student must pass a CANDIDACY EXAMINATION before beginning the dissertation. Ordinarily, the student must complete 54-60 semester hours beyond the bachelor's degree before attempting this examination. Through the candidacy examination, students demonstrate their ability to do original research in the field of U.S. Catholic experience. It is, therefore, substantially more detailed and extensive than the three general examinations. The qualifying examination consists of three parts:
    1. a written examination on U.S. Catholic experience broadly conceived and the student's area of research;
    2. a completed dissertation prospectus covering the proposed dissertation area; and
    3. an oral examination.

Upon successful completion of the written examination and submission of the prospectus, the student has an oral examination with her or his committee.  The student must be prepared to respond to questions on U.S. Catholic experience as well as her or his dissertation prospectus.  The chair of the examination committee in cooperation with the Ph.D. program director oversees the proper administration of the exam.  Upon successful completion of the candidacy examination, students are considered candidates for the doctoral degree.  A student may repeat all or part of the candidacy examination once if needed; a second failure terminates the student from the program.

Research Skills

By the time a student has completed 54 hours in the program (including any hours accepted from other institutions), the student is expected to demonstrate a minimum of three research skills that will enable the student to do primary research in an area of the U.S. Catholic experience.

  1. Latin: A basic ability to read official ecclesiastical texts in Latin is ordinarily expected of all students. Proficiency is demonstrated by successful completion of an appropriate course in Latin or by passing an examination consisting of translating a short specific text (e.g., a section of an encyclical) and accurately responding to content questions on another Latin text. The examination is to be completed within a defined time period, aided by a dictionary and grammar guide. A qualified religious studies faculty member administers the exam.
  2. Research Languages: All students are expected to demonstrate at least reading proficiency in one modern language other than English. Proficiency is normally demonstrated by the successful completion of a test administered by a qualified faculty member in either the Department of Languages or Religious Studies. Depending upon the precise area of research, the student may be required to demonstrate a higher level of competency in the main research language. Students who have established proficiency in a language in another graduate program within the last five years may petition the religious studies Ph.D. committee to waive the language examination.
  3. Additional Research Languages or Analytical Skills: Depending on her or his precise area of research, each student will be required to demonstrate proficiency in at least one additional research skill. For those whose research focuses on texts, that skill may be an additional language; for those whose research includes a significant component in biblical studies or classical theology, proficiency in biblical languages may be indicated; for those doing statistical or qualitative research, facility in an additional analytical area may be necessary (e.g., statistics, ethnography, participant-observation analysis, etc.). Successful completion of a graduate course in a given analytical skill serves as an acceptable indicator of a sufficient level of proficiency for future research purposes.

The specific additional research skills (both languages and analytical) required for the student's program will be determined by the student's dissertation committee in consultation with the Ph.D. program director and religious studies Ph.D. committee. With their approval, REL 604 may fulfill the additional research languages or analytical skills requirement.  A student is notified in writing of specific research skills required of her or him.

Dissertation

The dissertation is a major research project in which the candidate demonstrates the ability to define a research question, develop a research plan, employ relevant research skills and methodologies, and conduct original theological research. The candidate, in close consultation with the dissertation director, determines the topic, methodologies, and pertinent resources. The research plan is outlined in the dissertation prospectus that is submitted as part of the candidacy examination. Passing the candidacy examination means that the prospectus is accepted. Candidates may apply no more than 30 semester hours of dissertation credit to the Ph.D. degree.

The student's dissertation director and committee will be constituted as described above. The dissertation is presented to the committee in a public defense no later than four weeks prior to graduation. The dissertation committee may accept the dissertation without revisions; with minor revisions to be reviewed by the dissertation director; with major revisions to be examined by the committee; or the committee may reject the dissertation (which requires the candidate to retake the dissertation area examination and proceed from that point, as above). Upon final acceptance of the dissertation, the candidate shall be awarded the Ph.D. degree. 

Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry (PAM)

The MA in Pastoral Ministry integrates the study of theology with the general principles and effective practices of ministry.  This program of intellectual, pastoral, spiritual and human formation provides students the opportunity to prepare for a variety of careers in the contemporary Church.  Graduates of our MA programs have gone on to serve, for example, in college campus ministry positions, on parish staffs and in diocesan offices, as high school religion teachers and campus ministers, in social service agencies and as hospital chaplains.  

Beginning in August 2021 the MA in Pastoral Ministry program will be available both online and on campus. 


Program Requirements for the M.A.

This program requires 36 semester hours for graduation. The majority of the student's coursework must be taken in the Department of Religious Studies. A 3.0 grade point average in departmental courses and in the student's overall program is required for graduation.

Students in both MA programs (Pastoral Ministry, and Theological Studies) are required to successfully complete three two-credit courses: REL 500B, "Foundations of Biblical Studies," REL 500C, "Foundations of Church History and Historical Theology," REL 500D, "Foundations of Systematic and Moral Theology."  Students must complete REL 500B prior to taking specialized biblical courses, REL 500C prior to taking specialized historical courses, and REL 500D prior to taking specialized systematic or moral theology courses.  In exceptional circumstances a student may petition a waiver for one or more of the Foundations courses, but only with clear evidence of successfully completing equivalent prior MA-level courses.  

Beyond the Foundations courses, students must successfully complete one additional two- or three-credit course in each of four disciplinary areas: biblical, historical, systematic and moral theology.  

Full-time MA students complete the degree in two years and generally begin the program in the fall semester with the three Foundations courses (REL 500B, REL 500C, REL 500D).  Part-time students begin any semester, with either a Foundations or a pastoral area course; Foundations courses are taken as early as possible since they serve as prerequisites for subsequent theological area courses.


Language Proficiency

There is no language requirement for the master's degree. For specialization in the biblical or historical areas, a working knowledge of the language employed in the area, e.g., Hebrew, Greek, or Latin, is encouraged. Students preparing for doctoral work should work toward proficiency in at least one modern language.


Pastoral Ministry Seminar

Students are required to enroll in this no credit seminar at least four semesters during their pursuit of the Pastoral Ministry master's degree.  The seminar provides opportunities for students to engage in those practices critical for ongoing development as a minister.  Among those practices are theological reflection at least twice each semester with other students (in addition to the theological reflection integrated into the other courses) and attendance of one to two workshops focusing on practical skills like the  RCIA process, managerial skills, practices of faith formation, evangelization process, Bible study, managing a budget and interpersonal skills such as instruction in specific communication techniques in areas like group building, pastoral consultation, conflict management, ministering to youth, community organizing.  Over the four semesters, students are to attend at least ten different workshops evenly distributed among the various skills needed for effective ministry.


Pastoral Ministry Formation

Students are required to attend human and spiritual formation sessions. Students meet individually and in groups with the coordinator of graduate studies to engage in those practices critical in formation as a minister. Among but not limited to those practices are opportunities for individual sessions with the coordinator, group spiritual formation (REL 583 - Spiritual Formation), and formation regarding human development and communication. Over the four semesters, students are to attend at least four individual sessions with the coordinator, at least six of the eight different group spiritual formation sessions, and at least two sessions on human development and communication.

Structure of the Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry

This MA program has the following components:

  • Theological Foundations courses (REL 500B, REL 500C and REL 500D, totaling 6 credits).
  • One course each in four theological areas (biblical, historical, moral and systematic theology, totaling 12 credits).
  • Specifically pastoral coursework (REL 589, Practicum, plus nine credits in other pastoral courses, totaling 12 credits).
  • Elective courses (any courses a student wishes to choose, totaling 6 credits).
  • Four semesters of REL 581, Pastoral Ministry Seminar and REL 583, Spiritual Formation (credit/no credit courses). 
REL 500BFoundations of Biblical Studies2
REL 500CFoundations of Church History & Historical Theology2
REL 500DFoundations of Systematic & Moral Theology2
Select one course from each area:8-12
Biblical
Moral
Systemic
Historical
Pastoral Ministry courses including:12
Pastoral Ministry Seminar
Spiritual Formation
Practicum
Theology of Ministry
Leadership in Parish Ministry
Pastoral Counseling
Canon Law

Master of Arts in Theological Studies (THL)

The master's program in theological studies offers a comprehensive approach to the study of theology and religion. Each student is expected to develop an understanding of biblical sources, historical developments in Christianity, and contemporary systematic and moral theologies, especially in the Roman Catholic tradition. Ecumenical perspectives among Christians and interfaith dialogue among the world religions provide another important matrix for study.


Program Requirements for the M.A.

This program requires 36 credit hours for graduation. The majority of the student's coursework must be taken in the Department of Religious Studies. A 3.0 grade point average in departmental courses and in the student's overall program is required for graduation.

Master's students in both theological studies and pastoral ministry are required to successfully complete:
 

REL 500BFoundations of Biblical Studies2
REL 500CFoundations of Church History & Historical Theology2
REL 500DFoundations of Systematic & Moral Theology2

Students may petition the religious studies graduate committee to waive from one to three of these requirements. The student must present clear evidence of equivalent coursework to that completed in REL 500B, C, or D for the requirement to be waived. Students must complete REL 500B prior to taking specialized biblical courses, REL 500C prior to taking specialized historical courses, and REL 500D prior to taking specialized systematic or moral theology courses. Each student must complete at least one additional two- or three-credit course in each of the four core disciplinary areas: biblical studies, historical studies, systematic theology and moral theology.

Upon completion of the basic requirements, students must then draw up a specific program proposal based upon the projected course rotation. The selection of courses is done in consultation with the student's academic advisor and in light of the student's needs, interests, and background. This program proposal is submitted to the director of graduate studies for approval. 

The programs leading to the master's degree may be pursued in summer sessions with courses of one to three weeks duration, or be pursued full-time; i.e., throughout the year. The master's degree must be completed seven calendar years from the time of matriculation.

Structure of the Master's Programs and Coursework

Three arrangements are possible:

  1. 36 hours of coursework (including the seven required credits) plus submission of a research paper (completed in a course taken between the 15th and 24th hours of coursework) to the coordinator of graduate studies;
  2. 33 hours of coursework (including the seven required credits) plus a three-hour comprehensive project with an oral defense; or
  3. 30 hours of coursework (including the seven required credits) plus a 6-hour thesis with an oral defense.

Language Proficiency

There is no language requirement for the master's degree. For specialization in the biblical or historical areas, a working knowledge of the language employed in the area, e.g., Hebrew, Greek, or Latin, is encouraged. Students preparing for doctoral work should work toward proficiency in at least one modern language.

For Further Information

Please see our video describing both MA programs and the PhD program, and contact Amy Doorley, Coordinator of Graduate Studies, at adoorley1@udayton.edu or at 937–229–4650.

Graduate Certificates

The program requirements for the graduate certificates in Campus Ministry are listed below. A graduate certificate in Disability in Ministry will also be available in the future.  For the latest information please contact Amy Doorley, Coordinator of Graduate Studies, at adoorley1@udayton.edu or at 937–229–4650.  

Post-Master's Certificate in Campus Ministry (PCM)

Specialized knowledge of theology and ministry. This certificate provides education and training in ministry skills, and addresses specific ministry issues Catholic campus ministers may encounter.

REL 518New Testament Exegesis Gospels3
or REL 546 Liturgy & Sacraments
or REL 548 Theology of Prayer
or REL 535 The Mystery of God
or REL 561 Catholic Moral Theology
or REL 562 Spirituality and Ethics
or REL 563 Theology of Christian Discipleship
or REL 587 The Bible for Ministry
REL 580Theology of Ministry3
or REL 582 Introduction to Spiritual Direction & Pastoral Care
or REL 585 Pastoral Counseling
REL 591Special Topics6

Certificate in Campus Ministry (CMN)

Consisting of fifteen semester hours, this certificate offers a breadth of theology to help the minister in various campus ministry situations. Certificate awardees will have foundational graduate knowledge in areas of Biblical theology, church history, historical theology, systematic theology and moral theology. Students are able to specialize beyond that foundation with course diversity. Praxis courses will educate the certificate awardee from instructors with years of experience in the field. 

 
REL 500BFoundations of Biblical Studies2
REL 500CFoundations of Church History & Historical Theology2
REL 500DFoundations of Systematic & Moral Theology2
REL 518New Testament Exegesis (Gospels)3
or REL 535 The Mystery of God
or REL 546 Liturgy & Sacraments
or REL 548 Theology of Prayer
or REL 561 Catholic Moral Theology
or REL 562 Spirituality and Ethics
or REL 563 Theology of Christian Discipleship
or REL 587 The Bible for Ministry
REL 580Theology of Ministry3
or REL 582 Introduction to Spiritual Direction & Pastoral Care
or REL 585 Pastoral Counseling
REL 591Special Topics (Praxis Courses (1-3 credits); total of 3 hours must be taken)3
Total Hours15
 

Certificate in Pastoral Care (PAC)

A certificate in Pastoral Care is available for those seeking or with an earned Master's Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.  

It is strongly recommended that certificate students participate in faith sharing in small groups, spiritual direction and mentorship opportunities. 

REL 500BFoundations of Biblical Studies2
REL 500CFoundations of Church History & Historical Theology2
REL 500DFoundations of Systematic & Moral Theology2
REL 540Ecclesiology2-3
or REL 546 Liturgy & Sacraments
REL 561Catholic Moral Theology2-3
or REL 562 Spirituality and Ethics
REL 581Pastoral Ministry Seminar0-3
REL 582Introduction to Spiritual Direction & Pastoral Care2-3
REL 584Canon Law2-3

Courses

REL 500B. Foundations of Biblical Studies. 2 Hours

This required course focuses on critical reading and discussion of representative texts from the field of biblical studies to introduce content and methods at a master's level. Passing a final examination completes the requirement.

REL 500C. Foundations of Church History & Historical Theology. 2 Hours

This required course focuses on critical reading and discussion of representative texts from the related fields of church history and historical theology to introduce content and methods at a master's level. Passing a final examination completes the requirement.

REL 500D. Foundations of Systematic & Moral Theology. 2 Hours

This required course focuses on critical reading and discussion of representative texts from the related fields of systematic and moral theology to introduce content and methods at a master's level. Passing a final examination completes the requirement.

REL 501. Biblical Hebrew I. 3 Hours

Introduction to the morphology and syntax of biblical Hebrew to facilitate the handling of basic tools and the reading of simple prose texts.

REL 502. Biblical Greek I. 3 Hours

Introduction to Hellenistic Greek. Vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. Selective readings of New Testament texts.

REL 503. Biblical Hebrew II. 3 Hours

Introduction to the morphology and syntax of biblical Hebrew to facilitate the handling of basic tools and the reading of simple prose texts.

REL 504. Biblical Greek II. 3 Hours

Introduction to Hellenistic Greek. Vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. Selective readings of New Testament texts.

REL 505. Ecclesiastical Latin. 3 Hours

Provides a basic reading knowledge of Latin as manifested in the documents of western Christianity (ca. 300 through the present). Students learn fundamentals of Latin grammar and core vocabulary, and read selected texts from the Vulgate and Church documents.

REL 511. Contemporary Biblical Criticism. 2-3 Hours

Introduction to the principal methodological approaches to the Hebrew Bible and New Testament, with an emphasis on introductory matters, content, and cultural heritage. Will include a survey of the major results of contemporary biblical scholarship. Prerequisite(s): REL 500B.

REL 512. Ancient Scriptural Hermeneutics. 3 Hours

This course provides a general introduction to ancient methods, Christian and Jewish, of reading the Bible and its adjacent literature. Prerequisite(s): REL 500B.

REL 513. Old Testament Exegesis. 2-3 Hours

Critical study of selected writings of the Old Testament. (1) Pentateuch, (2) Historical Books, (3) Prophets, (4) Psalms, (5). Wisdom Literature, (6) Apocalyptic Literature. Prerequisite(s): REL 500B.

REL 518. New Testament Exegesis. 2-3 Hours

Critical exegetical study of selected writings of the New Testament. (l) Synoptics: Matthew and Mark, (2) Luke/Acts, (3) John, (4) Pauline Corpus, (5) Pastoral Epistles, (6) Book of Revelation. Prerequisite(s): REL 500B.

REL 519. New Testament Theology. 2-3 Hours

A thorough study of one theme in the theology of the New Testament. May be taken more than once. Prerequisite(s): REL 500B.

REL 520. History & Theology of the Early and Medieval Church. 2-3 Hours

Early Medieval foundations, the Carolingian Renaissance, the preparation of the 11th and 12th centuries, as well as the post-13th century movement toward nominalism, to give perspective to the High Scholasticism of the 13th century. Prerequisite(s): REL 500C.

REL 523. Trent to Vatican II. 2-3 Hours

Historical account of Christianity's theological response to the major reformers and of further theological developments of Christianity in the context of philosophy, science, and political revolutions up to Vatican II. Prerequisite(s): REL 500C.

REL 523A. History of Christianity: Reformation to Enlightenment, 1450-1789. 3 Hours

An examination of the religious and theological movements in western Christianity from the Reformation through the Enlightenment (1450-1789) in their social, cultural, political and intellectual contexts with attention to transformations in Christian communal practices and Christian self-understanding. Prerequisites: REL 500C.

REL 523B. Revolutions, 1789 to the Present. 3 Hours

A consideration of European and Latin American revolutions (1789-1848), the emergence of church and state as separate, the impact of their separation on Christianity as church and people, and the emergence of new forms of theology in Europe and the New World. Prerequisites: REL 500C.

REL 524. Protestant Christianity. 2-3 Hours

Survey of the development of Protestant thought from the Reformation to the present. Analysis, in their own writings and historical context, of selected Protestant theologians, such as Luther, Calvin, Knox, Cranmer, Schleiermacher, Ritschl, Harnack, and Barth. Prerequisite(s): REL 500C.

REL 524A. Protestant Christianity. 2-3 Hours

Survey of the development of Protestant thought from the Reformation to the present. Analysis, in their own writings and historical context, of selected Protestant theologians, such as Luther, Calvin, Knox, Cranmer, Schleiermacher, Ritschl, Harnack and Barth. Prerequisites: REL 500C.

REL 524B. History of American Evangelicalism, 1730-present. 2-3 Hours

This course provides an introduction to the history, theology, and practices of Protestant Evangelicalism in the United States from the first Great Awakening to the present. Prerequisites: REL 500C.

REL 525. Augustine. 2-3 Hours

The life and work of Augustine of Hippo (354-430), a major theologian of Western Christianity, whose influence in both Protestant and Catholic traditions includes sexual ethics, church-state relations, Trinitarian and sacramental theology. Prerequisite(s): REL 500C.

REL 528. US Catholicism. 2-3 Hours

Examination of the experiences and contributions of the people who formed the Catholic Church in the United States. A focus on the influence of Catholicism on American culture, politics, intellectual life, education, and religion and an investigation of how Catholic faith has informed the attitudes and actions of U.S. Catholics regarding culture, politics and social justice. Topics include religious liberty, lay movements in the U.S., anti-Catholicism, contributions of U.S. Catholic women, African American Catholics, and Hispanic/Latino[a] Catholics. Prerequisite(s): REL 500C.

REL 529. African-American Religions. 2-3 Hours

Investigation of how religion has shaped African American identity, culture and community. Addresses the religious experience of African Americans through their theology, literature, music, history, and creative arts in the forms of the slave narratives, the spirituals and Gospel music, black homiletics, and other writings. Prerequisite(s): REL 500C.

REL 531. Theology of Disability. 3 Hours

A survey of contemporary theologies of disability, including the idea of a disabled God, embodied limits, disability and bioethics, and theology of friendship. Prerequisites: REL 500D or permission of instructor.

REL 535. The Mystery of God. 2-3 Hours

A survey of contemporary Christian theological approaches to the mystery of God. Topics explored may include the relationship between faith and reason; natural and revealed theology; contemplative practice and theological epistemology; Christian responses to atheism; the presence and absence of God in creation, history and human experience; idolatry; the use of gendered language and symbols in reference to God; the role of the arts in theological expression and interreligious dialogue. Prerequisites: REL 500D.

REL 537. Christology. 2-3 Hours

Christology is the branch of Christian theology that studies Jesus. It begins with the New Testament proclamation about him and with “classical Christology,” the interpretation of the New Testament witness to Jesus by the first seven ecumenical councils of the first millennium. Since at least the 1600s in the west, classical Christology has responded to challenges posed by historical-critical approaches to the Bible, evolutionary science, developments in philosophy, and experiences of post-colonial Christians throughout the world. This course deals with classical and contemporary developments in Christology. Prerequisites: REL 500D.

REL 540. Ecclesiology. 2-3 Hours

Study of the nature and mission of the church, with an emphasis on Catholic perspectives. Topics explored may include the church as mystery, ecumenism, authority, laity, communion of saints and the church-world relationship. Prerequisites: REL 500D.

REL 543. Sacramental Theology. 2-3 Hours

Detailed study of the principle of sacramentality and of the individual sacraments, stressing the historical development of each and its contemporary renewal. Prerequisite(s): REL 500D.

REL 544. Selected Catholic Doctrines. 2-3 Hours

An in-depth examination of one or more doctrinal issues from multiple perspectives (biblical, historical and systematic), such as: salvation; grace, sin and nature; faith and reason; Marian dogmas; the development of doctrine. Prerequisites: REL 500D.

REL 545. Theologians, Methods, Movements. 2-3 Hours

An in-depth examination of the work of one or more theologians, methods or movements that contextualizes the work within its tradition, history and culture. This course can examine the work of a theologian (e.g., de Lubac, Rahner, Lonergan, Gutiérrez, Johnson), a method or movement (e.g., Nouvelle Théologie, liberation theologies, feminist theologies), or Latin American, Asian, African or other theologies. Prerequisites: REL 500D.

REL 546. Liturgy & Sacraments. 2-3 Hours

Study of theological, ritual and pastoral dimensions of constitutive features of Christian liturgy, and of the concept of sacramentality, with focus on the Eucharist and selected other sacraments. Prerequisites: REL 500D.

REL 548. Theology of Prayer. 2-3 Hours

Study of the theological basis for Christian practices of personal and communal prayer, especially in relation to Scripture, as well as consideration of selected mystical writers, from ancient to contemporary, who give expression to these practices. Prerequisites: REL 500D.

REL 549. Aquinas. 2-3 Hours

Theology of Thomas Aquinas focusing on the Summa Theologiae. Topics may include Trinity, human nature, providence, grace, virtue, Christ and sacraments with attention to historical context and contemporary interpretation. Prerequisites: REL 500D.

REL 550. Feminist Theology. 2-3 Hours

An examination of the emergence and development of feminist theology (a form of liberation theology), the nature of its discourse and methodology, and the ways in which feminist insights are transforming the study of scriptures, systematic theology, spirituality, and church history. The interfaith character of religious feminism will also be studied. Prerequisite(s): REL 500D.

REL 551. Theology & World Religions. 2-3 Hours

An examination of the reality, challenges, and opportunities confronting faith communities in our multicultural and religiously pluralistic societies. Students explore the spiritual resources of several of the world's religions, the ways in which these religions view one another, and the impact of interreligious dialogue and collaboration on the development of Christian theology today. Prerequisite(s): REL 500D.

REL 561. Catholic Moral Theology. 2-3 Hours

This course introduces students broadly to Catholic moral theology, by discussing the changing contexts of Catholic moral theology from the manualist tradition to the present, and by engaging some of the contemporary debates present in both magisterial and theological works. Prerequisite(s): REL 500D.

REL 562. Spirituality and Ethics. 2-3 Hours

“Ethics” as an academic discipline is recent. “Spirituality” as a set of disciplines is ancient. Contemporary ethics teaches one how to make compelling arguments by means of precise technical concepts (such as claim, grounds, reasons, backing, rebuttal and qualification). Ancient Christian spirituality teaches us how to live well. Christian theology treats these two practices as complementary. Early church fathers taught that the quality of one’s moral knowledge was a function of one’s (spiritual) character. This course investigates how ancient spiritual practices such as prayer, meditation, worship, conversation, revelation, fasting, scripture and singing are crucial for bringing the moral world into clearer focus. Prerequisites: REL 500D.

REL 563. Theology of Christian Discipleship. 2-3 Hours

Study of Christian ethics through the lens of discipleship, drawing particularly on theological reflection on scripture within Church traditions. Topics may include citizenship, evangelization, martyrdom, warfare, marriage, prayer, and economic practice. Prerequisite(s): REL 500D.

REL 571. Mary & New Testament. 2,3 Hours

Study of the principal New Testament texts with reference to Mary as Mother of the Redeemer, as figure of the Church, and with reference to her role in the history of salvation. Prerequisite(s): REL 500B.

REL 572. Mary: Patristic Period. 2,3 Hours

Initial development of Marian doctrine and devotion in Greek, Latin, and Oriental patristics (first six centuries). Prerequisite(s): REL 500C.

REL 573. Mary: Medieval Period. 2 Hours

Study of the development of Mariology from the 7th century to the Renaissance: Marian doctrines, Marian devotions, Mary in art and liturgy, Marian feasts, and principal Marian works. Prerequisite(s): REL 500C.

REL 574. Mary: Modern Period. 2,3 Hours

Study of the development of Mariology from the Renaissance to the 20th century: principal Marian questions/controversies, Marian devotions, Marian shrines, Mary in art and liturgy, Marian feasts, and principal Marian works. Prerequisite(s): REL 500C.

REL 575. Mary: Contemporary Period. 2,3 Hours

Study of the teaching of Vatican II about the Blessed Virgin Mary, especially in chapter VIII of LUMEN GENTIUM and its implications and developments in contemporary Marian doctrine and devotion. Recent encyclicals on Mary. Prerequisite(s): REL 500C.

REL 577. Spiritualty of Mary. 2-3 Hours

Study of the spirituality of Mary: e.g., Mary and the Holy Spirit; Mary's virtues; Mary as first disciple of the Lord, as Servant of the Lord, and as model of the Church. Prerequisite(s): REL 500D.

REL 578. Special Marian Topics. 2,3 Hours

Study of issues and subjects pertinent to Mariology. Prerequisite(s): REL 500D.

REL 579. IMRI Directed Study. 1-3 Hours

Courses studying, analyzing, or investigating a specific area of Mariology.

REL 580. Theology of Ministry. 2-3 Hours

Study of ministry exploring Scripture, tradition, Vatican II, 'Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord' (US Catholic Bishops, 2005), theological scholarship, and participants' own ministerial experiences as theological sources. Selected themes include the nature of vocation, the centrality of baptism, the relation of order and charism, communion and mission in synergy, and "diversity of ministry but unity of mission" (Vatican II).

REL 581. Pastoral Ministry Seminar. 0-3 Hours

Study of the practices critical for ongoing development as a minister with a focus on engaging in theoretical reflections. Those seeking the pastoral ministry degree are required to enroll at least four times during their course of studies.

REL 582. Introduction to Spiritual Direction & Pastoral Care. 2-3 Hours

Introduction to the basic principles and practices of spiritual direction and pastoral care for those working in various pastoral settings, including parishes and health care facilities.

REL 583. Spiritual Formation. 0 Hours

Study of the practices critical for ongoing development as a minister with a focus on engaging theoretical reflections. Those seeking the pastoral ministry degree are required to enroll at least four times during the course of their studies.

REL 584. Canon Law. 2-3 Hours

Study of those sections of cannon law especially relevant to the lay ecclesial minister serving in a Roman Catholic context. Required of those seeking the pastoral ministry degree.

REL 585. Pastoral Counseling. 2-3 Hours

Brief study of the methods of counseling with emphasis on those modes most in practice today. Concentration on the major problems faced by counselors in the pastoral area.

REL 586. Leadership in Parish Ministry. 2-3 Hours

Study of the traditional parish structure as seen against the background of biblical and historical perspectives on the local church. An examination of the forces for change in the contemporary parish with an effort, out of the theoretical framework of leadership and administration, to assist the student in developing a philosophy and strategy of leadership.

REL 589. Practicum. 3-6 Hours

Approved supervised pastoral involvement coupled with theological reflections.

REL 590. Selected Questions. 1-3 Hours

Study of specific questions and developments in biblical, historical, systematic, or catechetical theology.

REL 591. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours

Graduate workshop and/or seminar investigating and analyzing a specific area of theology, pastoral ministry, or interdisciplinary scholarship concerning contemporary issues.

REL 592. Contemporary Issues. 1-6 Hours

Study of issues and subjects pertinent to theological studies and pastoral ministry.

REL 593. Directed Study. 1-3 Hours

Directed study of a particular theologian, problem, or historical period.

REL 594. Foundations of Leadership For Comprehensive Youth Ministry. 3 Hours

Broad exploration of the competencies necessary for youth ministry leaders serving as coordinators or directors of youth ministry in parishes and/or other Catholic institutions.

REL 595. Leadership Skills for Comprehensive Youth Ministry. 3 Hours

Broad exploration of vital leadership capabilities for effective and fruitful pastoral ministry with adolescents.

REL 598. Comprehensive Project. 3 Hours

No description available.

REL 599. Thesis. 3,6 Hours

This course is available for students in the Master of Arts in Theological Studies degree program. Students may register for REL 599 only after their Thesis Proposal has been approved by the MA Committee of the Department of Religious Studies. Students may register for REL 599 once (as a one semester, six semester hour course) or twice (in two consecutive semesters, three semester hours each).

REL 601. Seminar in Theological Research Methods: The Tradition. 3 Hours

Examination of the methods and practices that comprise the most influential traditions of Christian theology. Students will gain a basic understanding of the theological approaches, methods, and practices as they have developed over time. Required of all entering doctoral students; open with permission to advanced master's students.

REL 602. Seminar in Theological Research Methods: Contemporary. 3 Hours

Examination of methods and practices that exemplify the most influential contemporary theological work in the Christian tradition. Students will gain a basic understanding of theological approaches, methods, and practices currently shaping the theological disciplines with a focus on theology as the center of a network of disciplines. Required of all entering doctoral students; open with permission to advanced master's students.

REL 603. Seminar in Theological Research Methods: Historiography. 3 Hours

Examination of various historical accounts of U.S. Catholicism to gain familiarity with key events, persons, and movements in U.S. Catholicism and the historiography of the subject. Students will gain an understanding of the theological dimensions of U.S. Catholic history and historiography. Required of all entering doctoral students; open with permission to advanced master's students.

REL 604. Seminar in Theological Research Methods: American Catholic Studies. 3 Hours

Examination of the most influential contemporary work in American Catholic Studies to highlight the interdisciplinary nature of the theology doctoral program. Students will gain a basic understanding of methods and practices currently shaping American Catholic Studies and its impact upon theological work. Required of all entering doctoral students; open with permission to advanced master's students.

REL 610. General Examination of Biblical Studies. 0 Hours

Examination in Biblical Studies for Ph.D. students in Theology.

REL 611. General Examination of Historical Theology. 0 Hours

Examination in Historical Theology for Ph.D. students in Theology.

REL 612. General Examination of Systematic Theology and Ethics. 0 Hours

Examination in Systematic Theology and Ethics for Ph.D. students.

REL 615. Candidacy Exam. 0 Hours

Candidacy examination for Ph.D. students in Theology. D. program. Thirty semester hours may be from a MA in Theology or equivalent degree. Thirty semester hours of doctoral-level course work and language and additional research requirements. Prerequisite(s): 60 semester hours in the Ph.

REL 616. Translation of Modern Language - Theological. 0 Hours

Study of modern languages (French, German, Italian or Spanish) with focus on translation of theological works. Completion of course fulfills program requirement for Ph.D in Theology.

REL 623. Seminar: United States Catholic Experience in Theological Perspective. 3 Hours

Examinations of the complex interaction between U.S. Catholic experience and theologies. Foci may include specific people, movements (e.g., ecumenism, ethnicity, feminism, pluralism, restorationism, etc.), issues, theologies, practices, or institutions. Elective for doctoral students; open with permission to advanced master's students.

REL 633. Seminar: United States Catholic Experience in Historical Perspective. 3 Hours

Examinations of specific people, movements, thought, practices, and institutions in US Catholic history. Seminars consider social, cultural, economic, political as well as religious and theological influences that comprise the multiplicity of the U.S. Catholic experience. Elective for doctoral students; open with permission to advanced master’s students.

REL 643. Seminar: United States Catholic Experience in Cultural Perspective. 3 Hours

Focused examination of interdisciplinary scholarship on Catholicism, with an emphasis on theological engagement with cultural methods of study. Elective for doctoral students; open with permission to advanced master's students.

REL 653. Seminar: United States Catholic Experience in Ethics, Practice & Contemporary Society. 3 Hours

Examination of the complex interaction between US Catholic experience and theological-ethical/moral thought broadly understood. Possible foci include philosophical and theological moral frameworks and their changes over time; people and movements; communal practices such as evangelization, catechesis, and liturgy; and contemporary social questions. Elective for doctoral students; open with permission to advanced master's students.

REL 671. Special Topics: History. 3 Hours

Specialized examination of topics in history, including those outside US Catholic contexts and time periods. Elective for doctoral students; open with permission to master’s students.

REL 672. Special Topics: Theology. 3 Hours

Specialized examination of theologies, including those outside US Catholic context. Elective for doctoral students; open with permission to advanced master's students.

REL 673. Special Topics: American History. 3 Hours

Examination of theology in relation to US history, with particular attention to non-Catholic voices, movements, events, periods, and concerns. Elective for doctoral students; open with permission to advanced master's students.

REL 674. Special Topics: Cultural Perspectives. 3 Hours

Specialized examination of specific questions related to cultural studies and other interdisciplinary methods. Elective for doctoral students; open with permission to advanced master's students.

REL 675. Special Topics: Ethics and Moral Theology. 3 Hours

Examination of specific foundational or applied questions in contemporary Christian ethics. Elective for doctoral students; open with permission to advanced master's students.

REL 676. Special Topics: Scripture. 3 Hours

Specialized examination of specific questions in scriptures and related texts. Elective for doctoral students; open with permission to advanced master's students.

REL 697. Directed Readings. 1-3 Hours

Designed for individual, student-faculty study in a specialized area of interest. Topic and criteria for evaluation to be specified prior to registration. Students may take no more than two directed readings per term.

REL 699. Dissertation. 3-12 Hours

Research for an original research project for the doctoral degree, incorporating an appropriate review of theory and literature and demonstrating competence in the application of research methodology.