Course Descriptions - Systematic Theology

Crucifx at Brent Chapel

Crucifx at Brent Chapel



ST 502 Introduction to Theological Research 2 credits

Preparation for academic theological research on the graduate level, with special attention given to library resources. The skills needed to integrate new theological information with established patterns of understanding and to communicate the results of research in standard form.

ST 541 Fundamental Theology 3 credits

Introduction to theology, its nature, and its sources. Revelation, and the transmission of Revelation in Scripture, Tradition, and Magisterium. Study of the history of theological method as well as contemporary methods.

ST 582 The Trinity 3 credits

Examination of Christian faith in the triune God. Attention will be focused on the development of Catholic teaching on the Trinity and contemporary theological approaches. Discussion of proofs for the existence of God, knowledge of the divine, God in human language, expressing the Trinity in figures and art, the problem of evil, insights from other religions, angels and demons.

ST 611 Christology 3 credits

Scriptural and theological study of Jesus Christ: the quest for the historical Jesus; examination of his ministry, death, and resurrection; Christological controversies and the councils of the first millennium; theological perspectives on Jesus’ self-knowledge, freedom, and virgin birth; the nature and uniqueness of Jesus’ saving work; insights from Latin American, Black, feminist, and other Christologies.

ST 623 Missiology 2 credits

Cross-cultural reflections on evangelization and missionary work.  A multidisciplinary approach will be used, embracing theology, anthropology, history, geography, theories of communication, comparative religions, ecumenism, and interreligious dialogue. The need to distinguish between practices essential to Christianity and cultural expressions of Christianity.

ST 641 Theology of the Holy Spirit 2 credits

The person and the work of the Holy Spirit as understood in biblical and patristic sources and as developed through the centuries. Special attention to recent Protestant, Orthodox, and Catholic writings on the Spirit, particularly  Blessed John Paul II’s Dominum et Vivificantem.

ST 673 Ecclesiology 3 credits

A critical and systematic study of the Church's foundation, mission, nature, and structure in the light of Scripture, Magisterial teaching, the history of theology, and the modern world. Special attention given to lay ecclesial and ordained ministry, the witness of religious life, the nature and function of the Magisterium, the Petrine ministry, ecumenism, and interreligious dialogue.

ST 720 Mariology 2 Credits

A theological study of Catholic faith regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary. Focus on Mary in Scripture, teaching and theology throughout the centuries, Marian dogmas, Marian devotion, and Mary in ecumenism and interreligious dialogue.

ST 721 Theological Anthropology and Eschatology 3 credits

A theological consideration of the human person from the perspective of Scripture, Tradition, and Magisterium. Human origins, human dignity, and Original Sin in the light of the theology of creation and current theories of cosmology. The life of grace and human freedom in relation to the incarnation and the salvific work of Jesus Christ.  This course also treats eschatology.

ST 752 Theology of Sacraments 2 credits

Theological introduction to Catholic sacramental life. The development of teaching on the sacraments in general from Scripture to the present, with attention given to the nature of sacramentality, the minister, effect, administration, and reception, the number of sacraments, ecumenical

concerns, pastoral issues, and the essential link between sacraments and the struggle for a just world.

ST 775 Theology of Marriage 2 credits

Biblical, systematic, and historical study of marriage as a sacrament. Attention will be given to the nature of marriage and to recognition of it as a sacrament, sexuality in marriage, ecumenical and interfaith marriages, marriage and baptized non-believers, theological and pastoral issues regarding divorce and remarriage, and the theology of the family.

ST 780 Liberation Theology 2 credits

Latin American theology of liberation: its precursors  (e.g. Bartolomé de Las Casas), its rise in the communidades de base, and its formulation in theological works and the documents of Medellin, Puebla, Santo Domingo, and Apareicida. The course will cover biblical hermeneutics, theological anthropology, Christology, the ecclesiology, popular religion, and eco-justice. Controversy about relationship between Latin American liberation theology and Black, Feminist,

and Asian theologies of liberation. Criticisms of liberation theology and responses from liberation theologians.

ST 811 The Personalism of Pope John Paul II 2 credits

An introduction to the philosophical and theological aspects of Christian Personalism as manifested in the writings and teachings of Karol Wojtyla (Blessed Pope John Paul II) and its contribution to contemporary culture. Personalism signifies a system of studying the nature of the human being as person; John Paul II invites men and women to rethink their position in the world of things from a transcendental, biblical framework where God and man are presented in a personal, liberating partnership.

ST 842 Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick 2 credits

A scriptural, systematic, and pastoral study of the two sacraments. Treatment of the sacrament of reconciliation including examination of sin and forgiveness in Scripture, development of teaching and sacramental practice, reform at Vatican II, and the present state of the sacrament. Sacrament of anointing focuses on the mystery of suffering, sickness, and healing in Scripture, development of teaching on anointing and sacramental practice, reform of Extreme Unction at Vatican II, and possibilities for the future.

ST 851 Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue 2 credits

In a world of many religions, how do Christians understand other religions in light of Christ? Key to the investigation will be the exegesis of scriptural passages on the uniqueness of Christ, the history of the dictum “outside the church there is no salvation”, attempts at a universal theology of religions, and contemporary theologies of exclusivism, inclusivism, and pluralism. Present day discussions between Christians, Jews, Muslims, and religions of the East.

ST 870 Theology of Holy Orders 2 credits

Theological examination of the orders of bishop, priest, and deacon. The general discussion of orders focuses on Jesus’ ministry and priesthood, Church office in the first centuries, development of Catholic teaching, and ecumenical dialogues. Attention to the history and theology of each order as well as contemporary issues including the history and theology of celibacy, ordination of women, collegiality, and work for justice as constitutive of preaching the Gospel.

ST 890 Seminar on Contemporary Systematic Theologians 2 credits

An opportunity to explore systematic theology and refine skills in its practice by reviewing the lives and writings of contemporary theologians. After an overview of the history of systematic theology since the 18th century, instructor and students will examine the interests, themes, methods, and conclusions adopted by select systematic theologians in the 20th and 21st centuries. A seminar approach, with emphasis on the close reading of principal primary sources.

ST 890a Seminar on the Thought of Blessed John Paul II 2 credits

An exploration of Karol Wojtyla/Blessed Pope John Paul II’s writings, with attention to their philosophical, systematic and moral theological foundations.

ST 990 Directed Study 1-3 credits

ST/MT 890b Science and Religion:  History, Issues, and Prospects 2 credits

   An overview of the relationship between science and religion from the Old Testament to the present.  Analysis of historical controversies involving figures such as John Scotus Erigena (c.810-c. 877), Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), and Charles Darwin (1809-1882).  Discussion on proposed methodologies for a dialogue between science and religion, organizations and conventions dedicated to the dialogue, and issues in the contemporary dialogue relating to systematic theology (e.g. the existence of God, creation, eschatology) and moral theology (e.g. freedom, natural law, and personhood).  The course will make use of the recent substantial grant of books on science and religion to the Maida Alumni Library by the International Society for Science and Religion in Cambridge, U.K.