• Theology Department


  • Theology Classes


    THE 101*

    FOUNDATIONS OF CATHOLICISM introduces the student to the teaching of the Catholic Church as it is rooted in Scripture and Tradition and faithfully proclaimed by the Church’s magisterium (teaching office). Besides an introduction to Catholic doctrine, the course will also include some discussion of Church history, prayer and liturgy, the moral life, and Catholic life and theology. (Theology Core)
    This course is required for all upper division (200 and above) theology courses except THE 341 Christian Marriage.
    3 credit hours


    THE 102*

    INTRODUCTION TO SCRIPTURE is especially designed for non-majors as a general overview of both the Old and New Testaments. Students will gain an acquaintance with the major block of biblical material, the key issues in biblical study today, major biblical themes, and an appreciation for the place of the Scriptures in the life of the Church and of the individual Christian.
    This course does not qualify as an upper division theology elective for the Theology Major.
    3 credit hours


    THE 103*

    FRANCIS AND THE FRANCISCAN TRADITION is intended to provide that basic and broad knowledge of all things Franciscan that a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville might be expected to possess. It will include a study of the life of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare, aspects of their spirituality, the Franciscan family of religious and secular orders, Franciscan saints and devotions, some important features of Franciscan theology and history, and the influence of Franciscans on world and specifically American culture. This course is seen as a service course for the entire University and is also for students who are interested in the Franciscan Studies Minor.
    (No prerequisite; not a prerequisite)
    This course does not qualify as an upper division Theology elective for the Theology Major.
    3 credit hours


    THE 110

    THE WORD OF GOD: SCRIPTURE AND TRADITION This course studies God’s self-revelation throughout salvation history as it has been received and handed on by the believing community in the forms of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Based on the Catholic doctrine of revelation and its reception as expressed in Dei Verbum, the course examines the central teachings of the Catholic faith [such as creation, fall, and redemption, Trinity and Incarnation, the Church and the Holy Spirit] as these have been expressed in the Scriptures and developed throughout the history of the Church’s tradition. Emphasis is placed on reading primary sources, including major Biblical texts, writings of Church Doctors and Fathers, major theologians, magisterial documents and writings from the Franciscan tradition. (Theology Core)
    3 credit hours


    THE 115*

    CHRISTIAN MORAL PRINCIPLES elucidates the principles of morality that regulate Christian living. These principles are studied as they are found rooted in the New Testament documents and articulated throughout the history of the Christian community’s lived existence, with a thorough look at the contemporary understanding of Christian moral theology as it is articulated by the magisterium of the Catholic Church and by theologians in union with the magisterium. Students will examine these principles as they apply to some perennial moral issues. (Theology Core)
    This course is required for all upper division (200 and above) theology courses except THE 341 Christian Marriage.
    3 credit hours


    THE 206

    INTERMEDIATE BIBLICAL HEBREW II: POETRY is the second semester of the two-semester sequences in Intermediate Biblical Hebrew. This course focuses largely on the Psalms and a few instances of embedded poems in the biblical Hebrew narrative. The particular challenges of translating Hebrew poetry will be addressed. Vocabulary will be developed to include all words occurring 10 or more times in the Old Testament/Hebrew bible. An exegetical paper will be required.
    This course fulfills an upper-level elective requirement for the Theology Major.
    Prerequisite: HEB 205
    Cross-listed with HEB 206
    Can be taken as last course in language requirement sequence for Communications Core (HEB 206) or as a theology elective (THE 206). This course cannot satisfy both requirements.
    3 credit hours


    THE 211

    PRINCIPLES OF BIBLICAL STUDY I is an introduction to the literature of the Old Testament: the Tetrateuch, the Deuteronomic corpus, the prophetic literature, the priestly writings, the wisdom literature, and the Deuterocanonical books. Students will be directed to read selections from the above categories. The theological-historical meaning of the Old Testament will be stressed.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 212

    PRINCIPLES OF BIBLICAL STUDY II is an introduction to the literature of the New Testament: the Synoptic Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the Johannine literature, the Pauline literature, the Letter to the Hebrews, and the “catholic epistles.” The theological-historical meaning of the New Testament will be stressed.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 213

    THEOLOGY OF CHRIST investigates the person and mission of Jesus Christ as articulated in the New Testament documents, in the early creedal formulae, and in the declarations of the Church Councils of the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries AD. Finally, students will be exposed to positions of great Catholic thinkers and contemporary scholars on various Christological questions.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 214

    THEOLOGY OF THE CHURCH examines the nature, history, and problems of the Christian community as understood in the Catholic tradition. Students undertake the task of investigating the biblical foundation of the Church, various branches of the Church, Christian authority, principles underlying church worship practices, church-state relationship, ecumenism, and other ecclesiological topics.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 300

    FRANCISCANS IN HISTORY is an account of the Franciscan movement from the birth of St. Francis until modern times. The course describes the origins and distinguishing characteristics of the three orders of St. Francis and traces their internal development and the ways in which they influenced and were influenced by society. The course enables students to see the Spirit of God at work in the manifold development of Franciscan communities through the ages.
    Cross-listed with HST 300
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 301

    ST. FRANCIS: LIFE AND CHARISM introduces the life of St. Francis and examines his life within the social, political, and religious context of his time. The course explores his unique vision of life and the development of the Franciscan movement and the spirituality of the first, second, and third order traditions.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 302

    EARLY CHRISTIAN LIFE AND THOUGHT studies the emergence of Christianity as a movement within Palestinian Judaism, its gradual growth amidst persecution in the Roman Empire, its conquest of the Roman world under Constantine and the Christian emperors, and its extension into Europe and beyond up to AD 600. Important themes to be discussed include the concepts of Christianity as a movement and its evolving relationship to the state; the development of Catholic doctrine through conflicts, creeds, and councils; the formation of the canon of Scripture; and Christian worship and the beginnings of sacramental practice. Students will also encounter through written texts the great figures who formed (or opposed) the early Christian Church.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 303

    ST. FRANCIS AND ST. CLARE AND THEIR SPIRITUALITY studies the life of Francis through the spiritual theology expressed in Bonaventure’s major biography. Selected writings of Francis, significant for understanding the Gospel way of life as he understood it, are examined within their theological-historical context with some applications to the present day. Also to be explored are the content and nature of the spiritual theology in the writings of Clare within their historical context and some discussion of Clare’s charism today.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 305

    MARIOLOGY examines Church teaching on the Blessed Virgin Mary in regard to her role as Mother of the God-man, Jesus Christ; Mother of His Body, the Church; and Spiritual Mother to every person seeking the path to Jesus Christ. The course will include a theological investigation into: (a) defined Marian doctrine, (b) contemporary Marian documents by the magisterium, (c) examples of contemporary Mariological contributions, (d) principal forms of Marian piety, and (e) the Marian message to the modern world through the domain of private revelation.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 306

    THEOLOGY OF HEALING seeks to explore the meaning of healing by integrating a variety of frameworks and perspectives. Wisdom traditions within Scripture and an existential phenomenological philosophy of the human person will provide a broad backdrop against which we will examine biopsychosocial aspects of human being and healing. Topics may include: the dynamics of personality; person and community; healing and relationships; healing and growth; healing of memories, mind and heart; healing and families; healing and spirituality, including prayer for healing; and healing groups, communities, and nations.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 307

    FRANCISCANS IN THE NEW WORLD is a study of the influence of the Franciscans in the Americas from the arrival of the first friar in 1493 until the present. The course will examine the missionary efforts of the Spanish Franciscans in New Spain and Florida, of the French Recollect Franciscans and Capuchins in Quebec and New France, and of the early Franciscans in English-speaking America. It will also discuss the establishment of new Franciscan provinces in America with the explosion of Catholic immigration in the 19th century, and the founding of parishes, schools, colleges, seminaries, universities, and hospitals. The changes in religious life and activities since the Second Vatican Council will be explored.
    Cross-listed with HST 307
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 309

    HISTORY AND SPIRITUALITY OF THE FRANCISCAN THIRD ORDER (lay and religious) relates a treatment of the Franciscan Third Order’s central charism—the penitential life—to the broader penitential movement in the Church. The course includes contemporary developments and applications, such as the Third Order Rules.
    Cross-listed with HST 309
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 310

    COMPARATIVE RELIGION introduces students to the basic elements of man’s religious experience as found in the major non-Christian communities of the world. Students will investigate the founders, scriptures, history, principles, and particular religious experiences of Eastern and Western religions. Finally, non-Christian religions will be examined in relationship to the Christian religion.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 311

    SOURCES FOR THE LIFE OF ST. FRANCIS is a course where the students will read the major hagiographical accounts of St. Francis’ life, including official and unofficial legends, anecdotal compilations, official documents, and minor testimonies, of the 13th and 14th centuries.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 312

    READINGS IN THE FRANCISCAN MYSTICS will enable the students to read and discuss writings from the Franciscan school of spirituality. Included are Saints Francis and Clare, Bl. Giles of Assisi, St. Bonaventure, St. Margaret of Cortona, St. Angela of Foligno, St. Peter of Alcantara, and Francisco de Osuna.
    Prerequisites: The 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 313

    SELECTED TOPICS IN FRANCISCAN PHILOSOPHY will focus on the thought of Bonaventure, Scotus, Ockham, or other authors of the Franciscan School.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 314

    THE SACRAMENTS presents a general theological consideration of the structure of the sacramental life of the Church and an historic-dogmatic analysis of the major theologies of the individual sacraments. Particular emphasis will be given to baptism and Eucharist. The course will include the Christian response to the sacramental life in filial, salvific, social, communal, and ecclesial dimensions.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 315

    QUESTIONS IN THE THEOLOGY OF BLESSED JOHN DUNS SCOTUS examines the distinct traits of Bl. John Duns Scotus’ theology, which includes his teachings on language about God, the Trinity, the Incarnation, Redemption, the Immaculate Conception, natural law, and the Ten Commandments.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 316

    SELECTED TOPICS IN FRANCISCAN HISTORY will focus on certain historical aspects of the Franciscan movement determined by the professor.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 317

    THE THEOLOGY AND SPIRITUALITY OF ST. BONAVENTURE provides a treatment of Bonaventure’s distinct approach to questions on knowledge about God, creation, the Trinity, the Incarnation and Redemption, and Christian perfection.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 320

    CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING is a broad study of general Church teaching on social questions with strong emphasis on the papal encyclicals and other Church documents. Major issues explored are poverty and the distribution of wealth, prejudice and racism, war and peace, criminal justice, the Gospel and the State, and international community and business ethics.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 324

    HUMAN AND SPIRITUAL INTEGRATION is a seminar in contemporary psychology and Christian Humanism emphasizing the intimate and dynamic correlation of nature and grace. An interdisciplinary approach is designed to critically examine contemporary issues and areas of concern. Psychological perspectives on being human such as development, personality, motivation, value, psychopathology, addiction, and therapeutic interventions will be brought into dialogue with theological perspectives on human being such as finitude, human nature, conversion, holiness, growth, vocation, and spirituality. The primary focus will be on developing skills for practical understanding and application.
    Cross-listed with PSY 324
    Prerequisites: Completion of two courses in psychology and two courses in theology
    3 credit hours


    THE 325

    MARIOLOGY II will focus, first, on the principal Biblical texts upon which dogmatic and doctrinal Mariology is based, with a combination of patristic and medieval exegesis along with the best of contemporary exegetical approaches. An overview of the principal Marian fathers, doctors and ecclesial writers will be offered as well as a deeper penetration into the thought of modern and contemporary contributors, in particular St. Louis Marie de Montfort, St. John Eudes and St. Maximilian Kolbe. A specific treatment of the controversial history of the Immaculate Conception as well as the doctrinal development of Marian Coredemption will be highlighted in this section. An extended treatment of the unprecedented Franciscan heritage in Mariology will be accentuated, with special emphasis on the Mariology of St. Francis, St. Bonaventure and Bl. John Duns Scotus, leading up to its contemporary manifestation in the pneumatology of St. Maximilian. An extended study of the rich Mariology of the Second Vatican Council will also be highlighted, with particular emphasis on the conciliar call for a more greatly developed concept of maternal mediation, as well as the implementation of the Council’s call as manifest in the Mariology of John Paul II.
    Prerequisites: THE 101, 115, & 305
    3 credit hours


    THE 333

    THE TRINITY is an historical-theological study of God’s unfolding revelation of his inner life and nature through the Old Testament, New Testament, the early Church councils, and in the thought of key theologians and Church teaching up to the present day. The implications of this revelation for life and prayer of the Christian community will also be explored.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 340

    FRANCISCAN TRADITION IN PHILOSOPHY starts with the life of St. Francis and the early Franciscan movement, and then studies, above all, the thought of St. Bonaventure, Bl. John Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham. Then attention is drawn to recent thinkers whose work has been influenced by, or resembles, the work of these three.
    Cross-listed with PHL 340
    3 credit hours


    THE 341*

    CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE examines the dimensions of a Christian marriage from a biblical, historical, doctrinal-liturgical, and pastoral viewpoint. Students will be directed to investigate the best available books on the areas listed above, with special emphases upon a Catholic understanding of human sexuality, the major problems involved in premarital and marital love-relationships, and the doctrinal-liturgical expressions of this same relationship. The content and the direction of this course will be dictated by the Catholic, sacramental understanding of marriage.
    3 credit hours


    THE 345

    QUESTIONS IN CONTEMPORARY THEOLOGY addresses selected contemporary questions that demand a mature response from the informed Christian. This course emphasizes guided thought into specific dogmatic, moral, and spiritual issues.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 350

    CHRISTIAN ANTHROPOLOGY is a study of the Christian vision of the human person, the key issues in developing an understanding of the human person, and the development of an integral vision of the human person in the full richness of a person’s ecclesial, sacramental, physical, and transcendental dimensions.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 355

    SPIRITUAL THEOLOGY IN THE MISSION/VALUES OF ST. FRANCIS AND ST. CLARE examines key theological concepts of the Gospel way of life, according to the writings of both St. Francis and St. Clare. Contemporary implications of Franciscan values are studied in light of the Church’s mission.
    Corequisite: THE 356
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 356

    PRACTICUM: MISSION/VALUES OF ST. FRANCIS AND ST. CLARE will integrate reflective theological study of St. Francis and St. Clare and mission experience of service with the poor in the local area. The directed field experience of 30 hours is complemented by 10 classroom hours of reflection and interpretation of this experience. (This course may be offered in certain semesters for 1 or 2 credit hours with adjustments in hours of field experience and reflection, e.g., 20 hours of field experience and 8 hours of classroom contact for 2 credits; 10 hours of field experience and 5 hours of classroom contact for 1 credit.)
    Corequisite: THE 355
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    1-3 credit hours


    THE 395

    THEOLOGY OF THE BODY seeks to examine and understand questions regarding the theological significance of embodiment as developed throughout Catholic Tradition. Historical in structure, the course focuses on the development of teachings and practices regarding the body in early, medieval, and modern Catholicism, with particular emphasis on the theology of the body developed by St. Pope John Paul II during a series of 129 Wednesday audiences spanning the years 1979-1984. Practices such as asceticism, sexual renunciation, marriage and procreation, suffering, and dying are examined in light of the Church’s central doctrines regarding creation and the fall, redemption and incarnation, and death and the resurrection of the body.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 400

    INTERNSHIP is available to senior theology majors with a 3.0 QPA. Students may propose to the department chair an internship for 1 to 6 credits, depending on the type of internship and time spent. Arrangements for the internship must be made by the student and approved in advance by the Career Services Office and by the Theology Department chair. The internship must entail an application of theology in a pastoral project or setting. A sponsoring organization and on-going direct supervision of the student’s work throughout the internship are required. Internships count as general electives.
    Prerequisite: Theology senior standing
    Internships must be preapproved.
    1-6 credit hours


    THE 402

    CHRISTIAN LIFE AND THOUGHT IN MODERN TIMES presents an overview of the history of Christianity in modern times beginning with the Protestant Reformers and proceeding to the present day. It will primarily focus upon the doctrines and belief systems of the Protestant, Catholic, and Eastern Christian churches as they emerged and developed during this period. The contributions of modern Christianity’s great saints, thinkers, and leaders will be highlighted. Attention will also be given to the relationship of these churches to each other (from polemics to ecumenism), to the broader society, and to movements of spiritual renewal and spirituality within modern Christianity.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 408

    WOMEN IN EARLY AND MEDIEVAL CHRISTIANITY is an introduction to the study of women in early and medieval Christianity through a reading of primary source materials. Issues examined include women’s religious choices, dominant view of the nature and roles of women, women’s claims to religious authority, ideals of holiness, and women’s spirituality and ascetic practices.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 409

    CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY is designed to open the student to the themes of holiness in Scripture and to point out the different Fathers of the Church and other spiritual masters and the uniqueness in their spirituality. The course will also investigate some modern authors in the spiritual life and provide the principles of growth in holiness, their applications to historical and cultural situations, and their implications concerning life in the modern world.
    3 credit hours


    THE 410

    GREAT CATHOLIC THINKERS focuses on a particular person or group of persons who have significantly contributed to our Catholic heritage. The topic chosen for a semester’s study may be a particular person such as St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, or Cardinal Newman or it may be a group of thinkers such as third century apologists. This course may be taken more than once if topics are different.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 413

    OLD TESTAMENT TOPICS provides in-depth coverage to a specific Old Testament topic. The topic chosen for a particular semester’s study may be a specialized theme such as Old Testament eschatology, a particular corpus of Old Testament writings such as the Pentateuch, or a specific book such as Jeremiah. This course may be taken more than once if topics are different.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 414

    NEW TESTAMENT TOPICS provides in-depth coverage to a specific New Testament topic. The topic chosen for a particular semester’s study may be a specialized theme such as the Resurrection, a particular corpus of New Testament writings such as the Letters of Paul, or a specific book such as the Gospel according to John. This course may be taken more than once if topics are different.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 418

    LITURGY is an in-depth treatment of the historical and theological aspects of Christian worship: the concept of worship; the nature of liturgy; theocentric, Christocentric, and ecclesial dimensions of the liturgy; and consideration of various liturgical reforms in light of the theological and historical evaluation of the liturgy.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 420

    THEOLOGY OF THE ANGELS provides an examination of the rich Catholic theological and philosophical tradition of the reality, nature, purpose, hierarchical structure, and mission of the angels. Philosophical and biblical foundations of angelology will be examined, along with patristic, medieval, modern, and contemporary commentaries and development in the study of the angels. Papal and magisterial teachings concerning angelology will likewise be examined.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 429

    SEXUAL AND MEDICAL MORALITY investigates two major moral areas: (1) sexual morality—biblical and historical survey, general theological and psychological principles, basic moral foundations, masculinity and femininity, masturbation, homosexuality, pre-marital sexuality, sexuality in marriage, and elements of celibacy; and (2) medical morality—right to life, surgery and transplants, pre-marital laboratory experiments, healing, and death. Major issues such as abortion, euthanasia, and genetic medicine are treated in-depth.
    Prerequisites: THE 101 & 115
    3 credit hours


    THE 434**

    SENIOR THESIS The student’s major advisor will suggest to the student either THE 434 or THE 435 in view of his or her program and career objectives. Those students choosing a thesis will write a 20-25 page research paper on a topic in theology, or a 35-40 page combined thesis for theology and a second major. Each thesis student will find a director in the Theology Department to direct and grade the thesis (or the theological aspects of the combined thesis).
    1 credit hour


    THE 435**

    COORDINATING SEMINAR The student’s major advisor will suggest to the student to either THE 434 or THE 435 in view of his or her program and career objectives. It will be the task of the members of the seminar to explore topics or discuss readings chosen by the faculty member directing the seminar. Normally, the seniors in the seminar will take turns leading the seminar discussion and will be graded on their leadership and their participation.
    1 credit hour

    **All theology majors are required to take either THE 434 (Thesis) or THE 435 (Seminar) in their senior year.

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