Marymount’s Theology and Religious Studies Program invites students to explore the human encounter with the divine through its historical and contemporary expressions in the lives of individuals and communities.
As a Catholic university, Marymount offers courses that examine the richness of the Catholic faith and its theological heritage. The Theology and Religious Studies Program offers introductory and advanced courses in systematic and moral theology, scripture studies, and church history. These theology courses are combined with religious studies courses that introduce students to the complexity of the religious experience in human existence, the major religious traditions of the world, and the interaction of religion and culture. The department reflects Marymount’s emphasis on ethics by offering an array of courses concerned with social justice and employing service learning.
The major in theology and religious studies aims to develop in students a critical understanding of basic religious beliefs and their embodiment in dynamic religious traditions. The approach to theology and religious studies is critical and analytical. Students in the major are expected to take introductory courses in both theology and religious studies. Students will then concentrate their upper-division courses. Senior students complete a senior seminar, which assesses the comprehensive knowledge of the student and requires a thesis. Some Theology and Religious Studies majors pursue graduate studies and have gone on to prestigious institutions of higher learning such as The Catholic University of America and Wesley Theological Seminary.
By the end of the senior year, TRS majors develop the skills to
- Solve problems creatively, both individually and in collaboration with others
- Produce coherent, clear, and well-organized writing for a variety of audiences and purposes
- Adopt a variety of argumentative positions in both oral and written forms
- Think flexibly, understand a topic from a variety of perspectives, and adapt modes of thinking to new circumstances
- Imagine situations beyond their own experience, express empathy and ethical values through their writing, and value the range of human experience
- Synthesize information from a variety of sources and draw appropriate conclusions
- Present material effectively before peers and faculty
- Plan and complete a major research project, including
- Identifying a specific topic
- Conducting research
- Problem-solving, especially when working with fragmentary evidence
- Paying attention to details
- Grappling with the intersection of different branches of learning–both interdisciplinary thinking and integrative learning
- Crafting a coherent written analysis
- Creating original insights regarding religion and its context
- Think critically and engage in self-critique
- Incorporate constructive criticism and adapt a reflective work process
- Manage their time, both among various courses and within a course (e.g., working on a project while continuing with day-to-day class work)
- Come to understand different perspectives and to appreciate different perspectives.
Through studying Theology and Religious Studies you can:
- Absorb and retain complex information and identify key issues
- Sift, select relevant information and think logically
- Express ideas clearly through essay writing and discussion
- Use imagination and creativity
- Develop a critical approach to contemporary issues
- Develop a disciplined approach to problem solving
- Develop investigative, analytical and critical evaluation skills
- Understand and take a sensitive approach to different cultures and beliefs
- Show a real curiosity in people and world cultures