Interreligious Dialogue and Academic Preparation:
Religious Studies and Theology Major Requrements
At Jesuit Colleges and Universities

July, 2003

As a part of the Assistancy’s work promoting interreligious dialogue at Jesuit higher educational institutions, we have compiled information from on-line university catalogs on the requirements for the theological and religious studies majors at Jesuit colleges and universities.  This information explains the major, as well as indicates those courses offered in the theology and religious studies departments that include the study of traditions other than Christianity and consider issues related to religious diversity.

Please use this information as a guide for understanding how Jesuit higher educational institutions are attending to dialogue in their theological and religious studies major requirements.

Comments, suggestions, or revisions can be sent to Tracy Tiemeier at <>.



The ordinary requirements for a Theology major are ten courses, distributed as follows:

Either The Biblical Heritage OR The Religious Quest. These year-long Core sequences count as two courses each.

A second year-long Core sequence-either Introduction to Christian Theology or Introduction to Catholicism, Perspectives, Pulse, and Honors Programs-also fulfills this requirement. These year-long Core sequences count as two courses each.

Five electives are to be chosen in consultation with the departmental Director of Undergraduate Studies; at least three of these are to be from above the Core level.

The Majors' Seminar, ordinarily taken in the Junior year, is designed to help majors synthesize course work by focusing on key themes, questions and areas for further theological inquiry.


TH108  Christianity in Africa (Spring: 3)

TH107  Religion in Africa (Fall: 3)

TH108 Christianity in Africa (Spring: 3)

TH108.01 Christianity in Africa (Spring: 3)

TH160 The Challenge of Justice (Fall/Spring: 3)

TH161 The Religious Quest: Comparative Perspectives I (Fall: 3)

TH161.01 The Religious Quest I: Judaism and Catholicism (Fall: 3)

TH161.04 The Religious Quest I: Buddhism and Christianity (Fall: 3)

TH161.07 The Religious Quest I (Fall: 3)

TH162 The Religious Quest: Comparative Perspectives II (Fall/Spring: 3)

TH162.01 The Religious Quest II: Judaism and Catholicism (Spring: 3)

TH162.04 The Religious Quest II: Buddhism and Christianity (Spring: 3)

TH162.07 The Religious Quest II (Spring: 3)

TH174 Islamic Civilization (Fall: 3)

TH194 Islam in South Asia (Spring: 3)

TH248  The Poetic Experience of Muslim Mystics (Spring: 3)

TH256  The Bible in Jewish Life (Spring: 3)

TH330.01  Majors' Seminar: Comparative Theology (Fall: 3)

TH352  Israelis and Palestinians: Two Peoples, Three Faiths (Fall: 3)

TH371 Turning Points in Jewish History (Spring: 3)

TH386  Ethics in a Comparative Perspective: Resources from the Indian Tradition (Spring: 3)

TH402 Introduction to Talmud (Spring: 3)

TH404 Tibetan Tantric Buddhism (Spring: 3)

TH428  Ten Commandments: A Jewish Perspective (Fall: 3)

TH429 Aspects of Jewish Ethics (Fall: 3)

TH431 Jewish Spiritual Paths: A Critical Approach to Modern Spirituality (Spring: 3)

TH432 Islamic Sacred Texts (Spring: 3)

TH434 Responses to the Holocaust (Fall: 3)

TH437  Four Biblical Books in Jewish and Christian Perspectives (Fall: 3)

TH442  Religion in the United States (Spring: 3)

TH445 Islamic Theology (Spring: 3)

TH448  Striving for Death: Islam Mysticism (Fall: 3)

TH449 Jewish Liturgy: Its History and Theology (Spring: 3)

TH454 Buddhist Scriptures: Mahayana (Spring: 3)

TH466  Introduction to Judaism (Fall: 3)

TH467 Christianity and Asian Societies: Between Liberation and Inter-Religious Dialogue (Fall: 3)

TH468 Contemporary Buddhist Experience: Three Traditions (Spring: 3)

TH471 Judaism: Practice and Belief (Fall: 3)

TH474 Jews and Christians: Understanding The Other (Fall: 3)

TH475 Educating Toward the Other: Jewish and Christian Perspectives (Spring: 3)

TH485  From Diatribe to Dialogue: Studies in the Jewish-Christian Encounter (Spring: 3)

TH487 Engaging the Rabbinic Mind: An Introduction to Midrash and Talmud (Spring: 3)

TH493  Introduction to Islam (Fall: 3)

TH505 Mahayana Buddhist Philosophy (Fall: 3)

TH506 Tibetan Buddhist Traditions (Fall: 3)

TH507 Introduction to Comparative Theology and the Theology of Religions (Fall: 3)

TH508 Contemplation and Ethics: Buddhist and Christian (Spring: 3)

TH509 Allah, the Prophet and Islamic Ethics (Spring: 3)

TH527  The Upanisads (Fall: 3)

TH529 Introduction to Jewish Theology: Finding God (Fall: 3)

TH545  Buddhist Spiritual Disciplines: India and Tibet (Fall: 3)

TH548 Holy Text in Comparative Perspective (Spring: 3)

TH551 Hindu Goddesses and the Blessed Virgin Mary (Spring: 3)

TH557  Readings in Classical Hindu Texts I (Fall: 3)

TH558 Readings in Classical Hindu Texts II (Spring: 3)



The Major in Religious Studies

A major in Religious Studies provides a mature and authentic appraisal of religious faith in the Twentieth Century through primary sources--scriptural, historical, and theological--and other relevant academic studies. It offers courses in five different areas: World Religions, Judeo-Christian Origins, History of Christianity, Christianity in the Modern World, and Systematic Theology.

Religious Studies Curriculum:

1. ENG 101, ENG 102, PHI 101, RST 101 (4 courses) (12)

2. Area Studies: Two courses from each of these areas: I, II,   

  III, IV, V, VII, VIII (14 courses) (42)

3. Major course requirements: (10 courses) 

RST 200 Introduction to the Old Testament   (3)

RST 210 Introduction to the New Testament   (3)

RST 400 Religious Studies Seminar (3)

RST 489 Projects for Majors   (3)

Religious Studies electives: seven courses. Electives should be concentrated in three of the five areas offered in the Religious Studies program. The GST 004 courses and RST 01 may not be included (21)

4. Electives (12 courses) (36)

Total   (40 courses) (120)


RST 220 Introduction to Eastern Religions 3

RST 221 Native American Religions 3

RST 222 (ANT 223) Tribal Religions 3

RST 225 Religion and Society 3

RST 240 The Development of Jewish Religious Thought and Practice

RST 420 (WST 420) Feminine Role in Religion

RST 421 Hinduism



Because the field of religious studies is multidimensional, a program for the majors must acquaint them with each of these dimensions—world religions, bible, theology, ethics—as well as enable them to pursue in-depth the particular area of their own interest. A major is required to take 10 courses in the department, including one course in each of the following areas: World Religions; The Bible-Old Testament, New Testament; Theology; Ethics; and two intensive courses seminars or tutorials) in the student’s area of concentration.

RS 101 – Intro to the Comparative Study of Religion

RS 120 – Comparative Religions/World View

RS 147 – Intro to Judaism

RS 161 – Religions: China and Japan

RS 195 – American Judaism

RS 201 – Islamic Mysticism

RS 204 – Hinduism

RS 206 – Buddhism

RS 207 – Islam

RS 214 – The Modernization of Asian Religions: Seminar

RS 222 – Millennialism in Cross-cultural Perspective

RS 235 – Islam and Modernity

RS 260 – Comparative Mysticism

RS 305 – Mahayana Buddhism

RS 311 – Zen Buddhism

RS 312 – Theravada Buddhism

RS 315 – Women in the Muslim World

RS 333 – Comparative Theology



Theology as a Major

This program is intended for those students who will make Theology the field of major focus in their undergraduate study. The program introduces and explores Doctrinal, Historical, and Liturgical Theology, Biblical Studies, and Christian Life Studies.

Requirements for a Major in Theology

1. THL 100, Religious Inquiry: Christianity in Context

2. A course in Old Testament

3. A course in New Testament

4. THL 250, Theological Foundations for Ethical Understanding

5. One 300 level course in Christian Theology

6. THL 550, History of the Christian Church

7. Three 400-599 level courses, one in each of the following areas: Doctrinal, Historical, or Liturgical Theology; Biblical Studies; Christian Life Studies.

8. Two other courses in Theology (6 credit hours)

9. THL 492, Senior Seminar.

Requirements for a Co-major in Theology

1. Listings 1 through 6 above for the Theology major (18 credit hours).

2. THL 335 Jesus Christ: Yesterday and Today, or, if taken as THL 300 requirement (#5 above), a THL elective may be chosen.

3. One THL 400-599 course.

4. One Theology elective.



The Major in Religious Studies

The Religious Studies Department offers a major of 30 credits which include those credits earned to satisfy the requirements of the core curriculum. The major program, defined in consultation with a departmental advisor, is tailored to the individual's personal and academic interests. In a comprehensive program of studies, certain areas of concentration are possible such as Judeo-Christian history, religion and society, Christian theology, scriptural studies, ethics, Roman Catholic studies, Asian religions, or critical studies. Under special conditions and when resources are available, the department offers the Religious Studies major the possibility of pursuing an independent study in his or her senior year.


RS 10 Introduction to Religious Studies

RS 10 Introduction to Religious Studies - Religion and the Critical Mind

RS 10 Introduction to Religious Studies - Religion, Culture and Community

RS 10 Introduction to Religious Studies - Asian Religions

RS 10 Introduction to Religious Studies - The Search for the Just Society

RS 10 Introduction to Religious Studies - A Model of Religion and Religions

RS 10 Introduction to Religious Studies - Prophecy and Mysticism

RS 10 Introduction to Religious Studies - Religious Autobiography

RS 10 Introduction to Religious Studies - Jerusalem as a Metaphor for the Faith of the West

RS 10 Introduction to Religious Studies - Christianity and Buddhism

RS 10 Introduction to Religious Studies - Christianity and Islam

RS 100 Introduction to Judaism

RS 101 History of the Jewish Experience

RS 150 Jewish Interpretations of Scriptures

RS 203 Women in Judaism

RS 242 Jews and Judaism in America

RS 244 Faith After the Holocaust

RS 251 The Hebrew Scriptures in Jewish Context and Christian Interpretation

RS 254 Prophets: Founders of the Judeo-Christian Tradition

RS 257 From Judaism to Christianity: A Socio-Literary Study

RS 281 Religious Values and Public Policy

RS 287 Hinduism

RS 288 Buddhism

RS 290 Religions of China

RS 291 Religions of Japan

RS 292 North Pacific Tribal Religion

RS 295 Non-Traditional American Religious Groups

RS 340 Modern Jewish Theology

RS 388 Buddhist Meditative Traditions



The program for the theology major consists of 10 courses. All majors are expected to take Faith and Critical Reason (RSRU 1000) and two sophomore texts courses, one in each of the testaments of the Christian Bible. All majors also take Classic Christians Texts I (RSRU 3000) and II (RSRU 3001), one course in theological ethics (which may be a Senior Values Seminar), and the senior thesis seminar (RSRU 4000). The three remaining courses may be taken in a variety of areas, and may include Global Studies, American Pluralism, and Senior Values Courses. Each year in the spring semester a course designed to introduce sophomores to more advanced study of theology will be offered. It is strongly recommended that majors and minors take this course.

The department also offers a secondary major, which consists of 8 courses. Secondary majors take Faith and Critical Reason, one sophomore text course, and Classic Christian Texts I and II. The other four courses are free electives, which may include Global Studies, American Pluralism, and Senior Values courses.


RSRU 2810 — Scriptures of the World (3 credits)

RSRU 2811 — Sacred Texts of the Mideast (3 credits)

RSRG 3810 — World Religions (4 credits)

RSLG 2222 — Hindu Literature and Ethics (3 credits)

RSLU 2340 — Islam (3 credits)

RSLG 2780 — Classic Jewish Texts (3 credits)

RSLG 2811 — Sacred Books of the Mideast (3 credits)

RSLG 2812 — Sacred Books of the East (3 credits)

RSLG 2813 — Sacred Texts of India (3 credits)

RSLU 2815 — Mysticism East and West (3 credits)

RSLU 2251 — Classic Buddhist Texts (3 credits)

RSLU 2870 — Classic Texts in American Religion (3 credits)

RSLP 3420 — Religion in the 60s/70s (4 credits)

RSLU 3436 — Women and Religion (4 credits)

RSLU 3885 — Judaism and Gender (4 credits)

RSLU 3402 — Secret Societies (4 credits)

RSLU 3408 — Religion and Politics (4 credits)

RSLU 3422 — Gods of the city (4 credits)

RSLU 3433 — Goddess Traditions (4 credits)

RSLU 3802 — Religions of India (4 credits)

RSLU 3810 — World Religions (4 credits)

RSLU 3811 — World Mythologies (4 credits)

RSLU 3876 — Judaism (4 credits)



Students majoring in Theology follow one of four paths:

1. Christian Theology Concentration. This concentration provides a grounding in the

sacred writings, history, and systematic elaboration of the Christian faith. The

requirements are:  Theological Method, Systematic Theology, one Hebrew Scriptures Seminar, one New Testament Seminar, two History of Christian Thought (I and II), two approved electives, and the senior seminar on Christianity and Interreligious Dialogue. 

2.  Biblical Studies Concentration. This program is designed for students who wish to

study extensively the books of the Bible, the traditions contained therein, and the process of their formation, as well as the methodology for uncovering their meaning. The

requirements are:  one Hebrew Scriptures Seminar, one New Testament Seminar, Theological Method, Systematic Theology, four approved electives in the biblical area, and the concluding seminar on Christianity and Interreligiuos Dialogue.

3. Christian Ethics Concentration. This track is designed to introduce students to the sources and methods of engaging in ethical reflection within the Christian tradition. The requirements are:  Introduction to Christian Ethics, one Hebrew Scriptures Seminar, one New Testament Seminar, Theological Method, Systematic Theology, three approved electives, and the concluding seminar on Christianity and Interreligious Dialogue. 

4. Religion and Culture Concentration. This track is available for students interested in the comparative and critical study of various religious views (e.g., Asian Religions, Religions of the Middle East, or Comparative Methodologies in the Study of Religions); or in philosophical theology; or in the relation of religious ideas to their social and historical context, or in the relation of religion to other components of culture such as science, the arts, or the structures of governance.  The requirements are:  Approaches to Religion, three additional advanced level courses, four approved electives, and the concluding seminar on Religious Pluralism. 

A Senior Honors Thesis (THEO-310) may be undertaken with departmental approval under the direction of a faculty mentor.

Required Courses

2 General education theology courses

Christian Theology Concentration

1 Theological Method

1 Systematic Theology

2 History of Christian Thought

1 The Hebrew Scriptures (255 or 256)

1 New Testament Seminar (262-265)

2 Theology electives

Seminar on Interreligious Dialogue (296)

Biblical Studies Concentration

1 The Hebrew Scriptures (255 or 256)

1 New Testament Seminar (262-265)

1 Theological Method

1 Systematic Theology

4 Biblical Studies electives

Seminar on Interreligious Dialogue (296)

Christian Ethics Concentration

1 Introduction to Christian Ethics (100)

1 The Hebrew Scriptures (255 or 256)

1 New Testament Seminar (262-265)

1 Theological Method (271)

1 Systematic Theology (272)

3 approved electives

Seminar on Interreligious Dialogue (296)

Religion and Culture Concentration

1 Approaches to Religion (273)

3 Additional Advanced Level Courses

4 Approved Electives

Seminar on Religious Pluralism (297)


046.  Religion in America(3)

048. Theology After Freud (3)

050. Islamic Religious Thought and Practice (3)

051. Modern Hinduism (3)

053.  Religion & Aesthetics (3)

056. The Buddhist Religious Tradition: East Asia and Tibet (3)

057. The Hindu Religious Tradition (3)

058. The Path of Love in Hinduism (3)

059. The Philosophies of India (3)

060. The Buddhist Religious Tradition: South and Southeast Asia (3)

061. Four Modern Masters of Judaism (3)

062. Judaism: Ancient Tradition and Contemporary Practice (3)

063. Introduction to Jewish Life and Thought (3)

064. Buddhism & Social Action (3)

067. 20th Century Jewish Religious Thought (3)

 069. Jewish Ethics (3)

103. Modern Jewish Thought (3)

125. Buddhism and the Asian Novel (3)

128. Religion and Film (3)

130.  Beyond Heaven and Earth:  Jewish Mysticism (3)

135. The Hindu-Christian Dialogue (3)

137. Religions of the Ancient Near East (3)

138.  Modern Islam (3)

139. Introduction to Chinese Religious Thought (3)

140.  Religion & Public Policy (3)

142. The Wisdom Literature in the Jewish Tradition (3)

144. Islamic Theological Development (3)

147.  Religion & Consumer Culture (3)

149. Theological Implications of the Holocaust (3)

154. African Ideas of God (3)

167.  Introduction to Buddhism (3)

169.  Religions of the African Diaspora (3)

173. Christianity and the World Religions (3)

179.  Politics of Gender:  World Religions (3)

182. Religion and International Affairs (3)

185.  Study of Islam & Muslim-Christian Religions (3)

191. Comparative Religious Ethics (3)

201.  Idolatry in Christianity and Islam (3)

240. Contemporary Islamic Activist-Intellectuals (3)

241. Christians in the Koran (3)

254. Twentieth-Century Jewish Religious Thought (3)

296. Senior Seminar: Christianity and Interreligious Dialogue (3)

297. Senior Seminar: Religious Pluralism (3)

INAF-393. Islam and Politics (3)



While students are encouraged to formulate a concentration with the major, all majors should have knowledge of one non-Christian religion, a detailed grasp of Christianity (including scriptures, history, theology, and applications), and a critical appreciation of the interaction of religion and society. With these basic tools in place, students may then choose to stress issues of church and ministry or the more general dynamics of culture and religious value.

A Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in religious studies requires 33 credits: twelve required lower division credits; twenty-one credits from the upper division courses. Majors may concentrate in specific areas; e.g., biblical studies, theology, ethics, spirituality.

B.A. Major in Religious Studies: 33 Credits

Lower Division

RELI 110 Intro. to the Old Testament  3 credits

RELI 120 or 124 New Testament          3 credits

(RELI 105 may substitute for either Old Testament or New Testament)

RELI 200-240 History/Theology 6 credits

Upper Division

RELI 330 Principles of Christian Morality 3 credits

RELI 492 World Rel (or other non-Christian rel) 3 credits

RELI --- Electives 12 credits

RELI 499 Senior Symposium 3 credits



The Major in Religious Studies

To attain a Major in Religious Studies, a student must complete the RL 101 plus 36 undergraduate credit hours in Religious Studies.  Of the 36 hours beyond RL 101, Majors begin with core courses in the five basic areas or religious and theological studies:

Scripture:  RL 200 and 205

Church History:  RL 223

Philosophical/Systematic Theology:  RL 231 or 237

World Religions:  RL 251

Religious Ethics:  RL 260

In addition to these core courses, Majors take six upper-division courses:

One 3-credit, upper-division course in philosophical or systematic theology

One 3-credit, upper-division course in religious ethics

Three upper-division elective courses (9 credit hours)

RL 492C (3 credits) or RL 498 (3 credits)

At least three of the six upper-division courses must be on the 400 level.

Majors also are encouraged to take RL 381.

A comprehensive examination is required.





351. BUDDHISM (3 cr.)

352. HINDUISM (3 cr.)



RL355 ISLAM (3cr.)








The Religious Studies Major

A student who majors in religious studies must take, in addition to core requirements, two courses in the interpretation of religious texts, two courses in one of the other four areas of the department’s curriculum, one course in each of the remaining areas, plus one course in religious studies at the 400 level; five major support courses and 39 credit hours of electives.


Rel 200 Religious Perspectives on the Human Situation

Rel 313 Oral Tradition and Religion

Rel 321 (Ant 311) Local Religions of Native America, Africa, Oceana

Rel 323 (Ant 312) Native American Religions

Rel 359 Muslim Communities in Transition

Rel 360 (Ant 360) Anthropology Examines Traditional Religions: Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic

Rel 336 Comparative Religious Ethics and Social Concerns

Rel 362 The Development of Jewish Thought

Rel 363 Religions of Asia

Rel 364 Religion in America

Rel 365 Islam

Rel 372 Judaism in the Second Temple Period

Rel 374 (HST 373) African-American Religions

Rel 381 Christianity in Dialogue with World Religions

Rel 382 Buddhism and Catholicism in Dialogue

Rel 383 (Phil 335) Philosophies of Judaism



Introduction to Theology

Second Core Theology Course

Ten Additional Courses, including senior research seminar and nine 300-level courses

(Students may take three of these nine courses at the 100-or 200 level)


TH 214 Friends and Foes: Jews and Christians through the Ages

TH 261 Introduction to Judaism

TH 263 Culture and World Religions

TH 266 Christian Theology and World Religions

TH 290 Reflections on the Holocaust: Despair and Hope

TH 329 Jews and Christians after Christendom




Major Requirements

THST 100, 110.

24 semester hours in upper division courses including:

Biblical Theology: One course (301, 302, 304, 305, 310, 311, 314, 316, 415).

Historical Theology: One course (320, 321, 323, 324, 326, 328, 420, 425).

Systematic Theology: Two courses (330, 340, 341, 345, 346, 349, 350, 355, 430, 435, 440, 450, 445).

Moral Theology: One course (360, 361, 363, 367, 465, 470).

World Religions: One course  (381, 382, 383, 384, 385, 480).

Seminar: Major Christian Thinkers  (495)

Twelve of the 24 upper division semester hours must be at the 400 level.


THST 180--Religions of the World

THST 381--Contemporary Judaism and its Historical Background

THST 382--Religions of India

THST 383--Religions of the Near East

THST 384--Religions of East Asia

THST 385--Buddhism

THST 480--Topics in Comparative Theology



Major in Theology features an approach with opportunity for both breadth and depth. The major is declared by application to the director of undergraduate programs. The major consists of 36 hours (12 three-credit courses). The Theology Department offers two options within the major, one emphasizing a core of studies in the Christian theological tradition and one emphasizing the contemporary field of religious studies. A minimum of five courses at the 300-level is required.

Option 1: theological Studies

The theological studies major option has four components:

1. Entry-Level Courses: one course from each of the four areas in the core curriculum: a) doctrine; b) Biblical literature; c) religious traditions; and, d) Christian life and practice.

2. Compulsory Courses: two to four compulsory courses (depending on choices at entry-level) to fulfill these criteria: a) a Biblical course focused on whichever of the two Testaments (Old or New) was not studied at entry-level; b) one 300-level course in the History of Christian Thought (THEO 317, 318); c) one course in a religious tradition other than Christianity (if not studied at the entry-level); d) one ethics course (if not studied at the entry-level).

3. Elective Courses: four to six additional courses to complete coursework for the major (36 total credits required).

4. In the senior year, majors write a paper, usually developed from a 300-level course that was part of their program, usually under the direction of the professor who taught the course.

Option 2: Religious Studies

The religious studies major option has five components:

1. One course on the Christian traditions from the following: 100, 103, 104, 112, 171,173, 175, 179, 181, 317 and 318;

2. Three courses on non-Christian traditions from the following: 195, 196, 197 and 198;

3. Two courses on religious comparisons or themes from the following: 170, 174, 177, 178, selected 180 courses including "Women and Religion in India," "Religion and Psychology," "Ancient Community and Values," "Gender and Values," 192, 353 and 393;

4. Five elective courses which include any other courses offered by the Theology department, any courses not yet taken from the above listings, as well as up to three courses from other departments focusing on religious traditions or dimensions of religious life, if approved in advance by the student’s advisor. Examples of these courses might be "Sociology of Religion," "Philosophy of Religion," "Asian Philosophies" and "Medieval Pilgrimage." In addition, two of the student’s courses may be taken at the 400 level. In all, at least five out of the twelve courses must be taken at the 300 level or higher.

5. One required Major’s Seminar, namely Theology 353, "Studies in Religious Traditions." This course will focus on the methodological approaches to the study of religion.


172. Introduction to Classical Judaism. (RCS 272)

174. Religion in America. (RCS 274)

176. African-American Religious Experience. (BWS 288) (RCS 276)

177. World Religions. (INTS 277) (RCS 277) (ASIA 277)

178. Women and Religion. (RCS 278) (WOST 278)

195. Introduction to Islam. (INTS 295) (RCS 295) (ASIA 295)

196. Introduction to Hinduism. (INTS 294) (RCS 296) (ASIA 296)

197. Introduction to Buddhism. (INTS 297) (RCS 297) (ASIA 297)

198. Jews and Judaism in the Modern World. (RCS 298)



Two tracks: Christianity and World Religions.

Christianity: 31 credit hours in religions studies


Intro to World Religions

Old Testament as Literature

New Testament as Literature

Christian Ethics

Early Christian Thought

Medieval Christian Thought

Modern Christian Thought

3 Electives

Special Topics Seminar

World Religions: 31 credit hours in religious studies


Intro to World Religions

Old Testament as Literature

New Testament as Literature

1 of either Early, Medieval, or Modern Christian Thought

1 Elective not in the common curriculum

6 Additional Electives

Special Topics Seminar


RELS A310 – Religions of Asia

RELS A411 – Hindu Theology

RELS A412 – Islam, Muhammad, and the Qur’an

RELS A442 – Millennium Seminar

RELS H233 – Honors Religious Studies 1: World Religions

RELS T122 = Introduction to World Religions

RELS U133 – Zen I

RELS U146 – Judaism

RELS U153 – Hindu Paths to God

RELS U165 – Spiritual Ways of China

RELS U169 – Death: Comparative Views

RELS U177 – Buddhism

RELS U181 – Women in World Religions

RELS V160 – Discovering Islam

RELS V167 – Native American Religions

RELS C460 – Peoples and Their Religions



Thirty-three hours, Theology 001 plus 30 upper division hours:

Either two-course sequence, THEO 100/103 or THEO 101/102; THEO 106; THEO 135; one course from THEO 137, 140, 142, 146; two courses from THEO 155, 157, 158; one course from THEO 165, 166, 167, 168; one course from THEO 182, 184, 185, 186; and THEO 197. Depending on a student's preparation and educational needs, other courses may be substituted by approval of the departmental adviser who may also suggest cognate courses in other departments. Students preparing for graduate studies in theology are encouraged to begin courses in a necessary classical (Greek/Hebrew/Latin) or modern language (French/German).

Teaching Major in Religious Studies

Thirty-six hours, THEO 001 plus 33 upper division credits, including the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction requirements:

1. A. Study of Major Religious Traditions, one course from THEO 182-186.

2. B. Role of Religion in Contemporary Society, two courses: THEO 146 or 148 or HIST 115 or 116; and THEO 116 or 150 or 165 or 166 or 167 or 168 or 180.

3. C. Religion and Other Institutions, one course: ANTH 112 or SOCI 134.

Additional requirements are: Either two-course sequence, THEO 100/103 or THEO 101/102; THEO 106; THEO 135; THEO 155; THEO 157; and THEO 158.

Students wishing state certification also need the regular teacher education sequence: 27 hours, including a special methods course and student teaching. See the School of Education section of this bulletin for the university and state requirements for teacher education.


001. Introduction to Theology 3 sem. hrs.

126. Bible in the Jewish Community 3 sem. hrs.

180. Theology of Religious Pluralism 3 sem. hrs.

182. Survey of World Religions 3 sem. hrs.

184. Jewish Thought and Practice 3 sem. hrs.

185. Islam 3 sem. hrs.

186. Hinduism, Yoga and Buddhism 3 sem. hrs.



In order to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies, a student must complete three lower-division courses and seven upper-division courses for a total of thirty semester hours. A senior project is also required for all majors.

Lower-Division Requirements:

RS 200 - Introduction to Religious Studies

RS 300 - Introduction to Biblical Studies

RS 310 - Historical Introduction to Christianity

Upper-Division Requirements:

RS 425 - Christianity Through the Centuries: Ethics and Spirituality

RS 426 - Christianity Through the Centuries: Theology and Doctrine

RS 499 - Senior Project

Four (400-level) Religious Studies (RS) or Religion and Culture (RC electives (at least one course in non-Christian religion or non-theological approaches to religions)


RC 351 – Asian Philosophies and Religions

RC 410 – Native American Religious Traditions

RC 451E-W – Themes in Asian Philosophies and Religion

RC 460 – Women and Religion



Department of Theology and Religious Studies Major

The concentration in theology and religious studies consists of a minimum of 27 semester hours of upper-division work. These 27 hours, together with the 12 semester hours of related upper-division courses, are subject to the approval of the major adviser. The lower-division prerequisite for this concentration major and for all upper-division courses is TH 1000 or TH 1050. A senior exit activity/interview is required. Also required are two semesters of college-level study of one language other than English. This requirement may be fulfilled by completing two semesters of college-level literature in one language other than English. In either case, the language courses must be taken for college-level credit. [Neither College Level Examination Program (CLEP) nor Advanced Placement (AP) exams fulfill this requirement.] A grade of C or better is required in each upper-division course of the major. (A grade of C- will not satisfy the requirement.)

Majors are urged to take more than the minimum of 27 hours of upper-division work. The 12 hours of related course work are to be chosen with the guidance of the major adviser. These 12 hours of related course work must pertain directly to the major concentration. Select courses, or a combination of courses, in history, philosophy, sociology, or other disciplines approved by the major adviser, constitute related course work.

In the normal course, for both majors and non-majors, TH 1000 or TH 1050 ought to be followed by TH 3000 or TH 3050. Non-majors have the option of taking an additional "swing course."

The department prefers that the six hours contained in the liberal core be fulfilled in two separate semesters. The two required core courses are not to be taken simultaneously.


TH 3400. Special Topics in Jewish Studies (3)

TH 4180. Religion in America (3)

TH 4190. New Religious Movements (3)

TH 4280. Religion, Ethnicity and Race (3)

TH 4450. World Religions (3)



GER Common Courses: six courses

GER University Distribution: fourteen courses

GER Divisional Distribution: One course in Fine Arts (included in above fourteen courses)

GER Electives: any thirteen courses

Major Concentration: Seven theology courses, in addition to the three required in the

GER, as follows:

Four courses, one in each of four areas: biblical, systematic, historical, and ethical.  

Three additional courses consisting of seminars, if offered, or otherwise chosen from any course numbered 1500-2999.


THE 1811 Comparative Religion     3 credits

THE 1821 Women and Religion in the Ancient World     3 credits

THE 1901 Religions of Ancient India     3 credits

THE 1911 Hinduism     3 credits

THE 1921 Indian Buddhism     3 credits

THE 1931 Mahayana Buddhism     3 credits

THE 1941 Judaism     3 credits

THE 1951 Jewish & Christian Responses to the Holocaust     3 credits

THE 1961 Islam     3 credits

THE 1971 African and Caribbean Religions     3 credits

THE 2631 Spiritual Disciplines in Comparative Perspective      3 credits



Through the Department of Theological Studies the College of Arts and Sciences offers a major in theology. This requires thirty hours in addition to the other core requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts and Sciences.

After the introductory course, Theological Foundations, nine hours are required in one of the following areas of theology: biblical, historical, systematic and moral / spirituality.

Six hours may be taken as electives and seventeen hours in fields related to theology may likewise be pursued.

Senior seminars and a senior synthesis are required of each student.


THA-100 Theology Foundations: Discovery

In response to the mission of this Catholic, Jesuit University, the Theological Foundations course (THA-100) seeks to educate students from all the undergraduate programs in a critical discourse with human experience, biblical origins, historical foundations, and historical developments of the Christian tradition. The course provides opportunity for human enrichment through creative questioning, awareness of Christian cultures, access to other cultural and religious contexts through comparative study, and a balanced appreciation of Christianity as a vital element in our global heritage.

200 Level: Insight

Courses on the 200 level are more advanced and more specific studies of comparative theology, biblical studies, historical and systematic theology which have all received a fundamental treatment in the 100 level course. Thus, there are courses in oriental religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. There are focused courses on the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian New Testament. There are historical courses on early, medieval, and American Christianity. And there are systematic courses on specific themes in systematic theology like God, Jesus, Church, Sacraments and the like.

300 Level: Integration

Courses on the 300 level are more advanced and more specific studies of various religious traditions as well as the application of religion and theology to morality or ethics, to life in specific spheres both personal and social, and to spirituality. All of these applications have received an initial treatment in the 100 level and a more advanced and more specific treatment on the 200 level.



In addition to fulfilling the core curriculum requirements (60 credits), Theology majors must complete the following courses:

Th300 Methods and Sources of Theology

Th301 Modern Christian Community: The Church

Th320 Survey of the Old Testament

Th330 Survey of the New Testament

Th350 Who is Jesus Christ?

Th One other elective in systematic theology

Th Theology Electives



Th110 Religious Faith in the Modern World

Th/As443 Black Religion

Th444 The Religious Story of the American People

Th450 The Faith and Thought of Judaism

Th453 The Zen Spirit

Th/Hp463 Introduction to Holocaust Studies



The major program is designed to combine flexibility with a solid foundation. To that end students are required to fulfill the following requirements:

Lower-Division Courses: Complete four lower-division courses, one from each of the distribution areas (1) Scripture and Tradition (SCTR); Theology, Ethics and Spirituality (TESP; and Religion and Society (RSOC), plus one in any area, and

Upper-Division Courses: Complete eight upper-division courses. Of these eight, four must be specifically designated Religious Studies Seminars (RSS), with one in each of the three areas, the fourth in any area. Two seminars are offered each quarter for majors and minors.

Senior Research Paper: In addition, students are required to complete a research project under the direction of a faculty member during their senior year, preferably fall or winter quarter. The paper may be completed in Religious Studies 199 (Directed Reading and Research) or in a religious studies seminar course (RSS) course.


Note: Introductory courses are 1-19; intermediate, 20-99; advanced, 100-199.

7. South Asian Traditions

9. Ways of Understanding Religions

10. Asian Traditions

11. World Religions

13. Religion and Modernity

61. Religion of Oral Peoples

69. Jewish Traditions

70. Women in the Biblical Traditions

71. Women in Muslim Societies

73. New American Religions

75. American Judaism

76. Representing the Holocaust

77. History of Jewish/Christian Relations

81. Islam

82. Shia Islam

83. Faith and Politics in the Middle East

85. Hinduism

86. Buddhism

88. Chinese Religions

89. Japanese Religions

91. Native American Religions

120. The Bhagavad Gita

150. Gnosticism and the Gnostic Imagination

153. Zen in Time and Thought

162. Asian Religions in the Bay Area.

168. Gender and Judaism

173. Modern Jews and Judaism

176. Religion in America

179. Magic, Science, and Religion

180. Religion in the Theories of Freud and Jung

182. Law and Justice in the Middle East

183. Comparative Fundamentalisms and Religious Resurgence

184. Race and Religion in the United States

185. Gender and Religion in Asia

186. Dreaming: Religious and Scientific Approaches

187. Ethical Issues in Asian Culture

189. Religion in Culture and Society

190. Islam and the Modern World

192. Mysticism



Major Requirements

60 credits in theology and religious studies, including

Introductory and Intermediate Courses

Choose one of the following World Religions Courses:

TRST 267 – Spiritual Traditions: East and West

TRST 268 – Topics in Symbol, Ritual, and Myth

TRST 371 – Christian-Buddhist Dialogue

Choose one of the following Hebrew Bible Courses

TRST 200 – The Hebrew Bible

TRST 201 – Torah: The Birth of a People

TRST 208 – Women and the Hebrew Bible

Choose one of the following New Testament Courses

TRST 211 – The Gospel of Jesus Christ

TRST 217 – The Message of Paul

TRST 221 – John: A Different Gospel

TRST 224 – Women and the New Testament

Choose one of the following Systematics Courses

TRST 300 – Themes of Christian Faith

TRST 301 – Women and Theology

TRST 303 – Theology of the Person

TRST 310 – Christology

TRST 312 – Rethinking God

TRST 317 – Church as Community

TRST 321 – Sacraments: Doors to the Sacred

TRST 334 – Jesus and Liberation

Choose one of the following Ethics Courses

TRST 330 – God, Money, and Politics

TRST 338 – Human Sexuality: The Challenge of Love

TRST 341 – Contemporary Ethical Issues

TRST 345 – Biomedical Ethics: The Giving and Taking of Life

TRST 347 – Religion and Ecology

Advanced Courses

Choose one of the following two Courses

TRST 407 – Interpreting the Hebrew Bible

TRST 414 – Interpreting the Synoptics

TRST 401 – Theology of Religions

TRST 419 – Early Christian Theology

TRST 420 – Medieval and Reformation Theology

TRST 429 – Modern and Contemporary Theology

TRST            Elective (approved by advisor)


TRST 201 Torah: The Birth of a People

TRST 208 – Women and the Hebrew Bible

TRST 268 – Topics in Symbol, Ritual, and Myth

TRST 275 – Jewish Faith and Life

TRST 370 – Asian Religions

TRST 371 – Christian-Buddhist Dialogue

TRST 401 – Theology of Religions


No information



Religious Studies majors, and students who choose Religious Studies as a secondary area of concentration, are required to earn 30 credit hours in the field. Half of these credits must be earned in upper level courses (300 and 400 level).

To encourage a wide encounter with the varieties of religious expression, a student must take at least one course in each of the five areas into which Religious Studies is divided: world religions (other than Christianity), Biblical studies, Christian theology and spirituality, contemporary issues in religion, and ethics. A representative selection of courses in these areas will be offered days and evenings.

Near the end of their junior standing, majors are also required to submit a portfolio of exams and papers which, in their judgment, give evidence of their knowledge of the field, their skills of research and expression, and their personal appropriation of the materials they have covered. This is normally done in consultation with the student's faculty advisor. A faculty committee will review the portfolio and make such recommendations as may be appropriate for strengthening the student's senior year of study.

At the conclusion of the senior year, students are required to submit a completed portfolio of exams and papers for the department records. No additional grades are given for the portfolios. Their purpose is to assist the department in advising the students and assessing the effectiveness of the program.


RS 100. Introduction to Religion

RS 202. Eastern Religions

RS 203. Western Religions

RS 212. Introduction to Judaism: An Ecumenical Approach to Jewish Life and Thought

RS 217. Religion in U.S.A.

RS 218. Black Religion in America

RS 219. 20th Century American Jewish Life

RS 248. The Holocaust

RS 252. American Jewish History and Thought

RS 301. Anthropology of Religion

RS 302. Contemporary Religious Movements

RS 303. Hinduism

RS 305. Islam

RS 306. Buddhism

RS 359. Religion, Health and Healing



Major in Theology and Religious Studies

Requirements for the Major

Requirements for the major include fulfillment of the Core Curriculum, and thirty-six (36) units in either Theology or Religious Studies. All students must complete the Theology and Religious Studies Core Curriculum component in addition to their major requirements.

Theology Major

Required Course Areas

Students are required to take a minimum of one course in each area:

Scripture (300-309)

Systematic Theology ((310-319)

Historical Theology/Interdisciplinary Theology (320-329)

Moral Theology (330-339)

Spirituality (340-349)

Major/Minor Seminar (two)

Elective (two)

Religious Studies Major

Required Course Areas

Students are required to take a minimum of one course in each area:

Methods and Theories in the Study of Religion

Region and Religion

Genealogies of Religious Traditions

Social Issues in the Study of Religion

Ethical Dimensions of Religious Traditions

Major/Minor Seminar (two)

Elective (two)


Lower Division

Note: The course titled "The Sacred Quest," or a lower division course in Theology, is a prerequisite for all Religious Studies courses.

0128 - 103 Introduction to Theology: Christian Experience

0128 - 104 Mystery of God/Mystery of the Human Person

0128 - 105 Personal Growth and Christian Becoming

0128 - 306 Love and Loyola: Catholic Ethics and Ignatian Spirituality

0128 - 112 Theological Foundations

0128 - 200 Exploring Life Choices

Upper Division


0128 - 300 Hebrew Scriptures

0128 - 302 Christian Scriptures

0128 - 309 Special Topics in Scriptures

Systematic Theology

0128 - 310 Celebrating Sacraments

0128 - 311 The Theology of Karl Rahner

0128 - 312 Christian Marriage

0128 - 314 Christ Today

0128 - 315 Vatican II

0128 - 318 Jewish Traditions

0128 - 319 The Jews: Faith and History

Historical Theology/Interdisciplinary Theology

0128 - 320 Patristic Theology

0128 - 322 Liberation Theology

0128 - 324 Christians in Dialogue

0128 - 326 Dialogue(s) Between Theology and Science

0128 - 328 Ignatian Discernment and Christian Theology

Moral Theology

0128 - 338 Moral Theology and the Christian Vocation


0128 - 342 Catholicism

Major in Religious Studies

Lower Division

0128 - 101 Introduction to Religious Studies: Sacred Quest

Note: The course titled "The Sacred Quest," or a lower division course in Theology, is a prerequisite for all Religious Studies courses.

Upper Division

Methods and Theories in the Study of Religion

0128 - 350 Method and Theory in Religious Studies

0128 - 352 Seminar for Majors and Minors

Region and Religion

0128 - 361 Religion and the Environment

0128 - 363 Religion in Latin America

0128 - 364 Voice, Memory and Landscape

Genealogies of Religious Traditions

0128 - 370 Mythic Traditions and Ritual Practice

0128 - 371 Hinduism

0128 - 372 Jewish Traditions

0128 - 373 Introduction to Islam

0128 - 374 Christians in Dialogue

0128 - 375 Hebrew Scriptures

0128 - 376 Christian Scriptures

0128 - 378 Trialog: Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity

Social Issues in the Study of Religion

0128 - 380 Women, Society and Religion

0128 - 381 Women, Art and Religion

0128 - 382 Ethnic Minority Religious Traditions

0128 - 383 Women and Religion in Latin America

0128 - 384 Religion and Nonviolence

0128 - 386 Religion and Sexuality

0128 - 387 Religion and Marx, Darwin, Freud

0128 - 388 Religion, Society and Modern Literature

0128 - 389 Religion and Health

Ethical Dimensions of Religious Traditions

0128 - 390 Religious Ethics


0128 - 101. Introduction to Religious Studies: Sacred Quest (4)

0128 - 318. Jewish Traditions (3)

0128 - 319. The Jews: Faith and History (3)

0128 - 325. Modern Jewish Thought (3)

0128 - 361. Religion and the Environment (4)

0128 - 370. Mythic Traditions and Ritual Practice (4)

0128 - 371. Hinduism (4)

0128 - 372. Jewish Traditions (4)

0128 - 373. Introduction to Islam (4)

0128 - 378. Trialog: Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity (4)

0128 - 380. Women, Society and Religion (4)

0128 - 381. Women, Art and Religion (4)

0128 - 382. Ethnic Minority Religious Traditions (4)

0128 - 397. Theology Internship (3)



Bachelor of Arts in Theology / Religious Studies:

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology / Religious Studies requires 30 credits in the major, including the two introductory courses required of all students. To ensure a well-rounded background in the discipline, each major must take at least one course in each of the following categories: Old Testament, New Testament, Systematic Theology, Historical Theology and Moral Theology. Theology majors must also take at least one semester of T/RS 490, the capstone seminar offered in the Spring.



In order to earn a major in theology/religious studies, students must:

Complete the following courses:

RST 106 The Religious Quest or

RST 107 Catholicism (3 crs)

RST 200 Introduction to the Old Testament (3 crs)

RST 203 World Religions or

RST 303 Studies in Living Religious Traditions (3 crs)

RST 204 Jesus the Christ (3 crs)

RST 305 Christian Morality Today (core course) (3 crs)

RST 484 Senior Thesis (3 crs) (Optional, see below #2)

Take one course from three of the following groups:

Group A:

RST 206 The Church in the Modern World (3 crs)

RST 207 Christian Marriage (3 crs)

RST 304 The Quest for God (3 crs)

RST 306 Christian Ritual and Worship (3 crs)

RST 307 Studies in Church History (3 crs)

Group B:

RST 201 The New Testament: An Introduction (3 crs)

RST 202 The Gospels (3 crs)

RST 300 Studies in the Old Testament (3 crs)

RST 301 Studies in the New Testament (3 crs)

RST 302 Paul's Letters (3 crs)

Group C:

RST 208 A Theology of War and Peace (3 crs)

RST 209 Issues in Sexual Morality (3 crs)

RST 308 Issues in Bioethics (3 crs)

RST 309 Religion and Economic Justice (3 crs)

Group D:

RST 401 Contemporary Theological Trends and Issues (3 crs)

RST 402 Action and Contemplation in Christian Life (3 crs)

RST 403 Great Theologians: Past and Present (3 crs)

RST 404 Religion and Science (3 crs)

Complete FIVE other theology electives.


RST 107 Catholicism (3 crs)

RST 203 World Religions (3 crs)

RST 303 Studies in Living Religious Traditions (3 crs)



Students majoring in theology are required to complete 12 courses (36 credit hours) in theology along with the other required liberal arts courses. Theology courses should be taken according to the sequence proposed by the department. Theology majors also have 30 hours of free electives which could be used for a second major or specialized area of concentration.















THEO355 ISLAM (3.00)






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