Religious and Theological Studies

Our religious and theological studies program offers students a deep intellectual engagement with the Christian religious tradition, including our Catholic heritage, as well as a rich, comparative approach to the great religions of the world.

Our Program

To both majors and minors, we offer four optional areas of focus - Christian theology, scripture, ethics and world religions - allowing them to choose a path of study that best meets their needs and captures their interests. Beyond the classroom, we sponsor activities that complement our curriculum - from bringing to the University guest speakers who explore the relevant religious issues of the day to sponsoring study abroad courses in destinations such as Belize, Turkey and Israel.

Our graduates possess a strong liberal arts foundation for postgraduate work, including the study of religion, history or law, as well as careers in social services, education, business and church-related contexts.

Program Spotlight: Gritty Questions

The faculty are unparalleled. They’re amazing – they get to know each and every student. You really do feel that you can ask them the gritty questions that are inherent to religious studies.

I think that this program has made me a more conscientious and spiritual person. It’s brought me a peace of mind that I hadn’t known before. I just feel confident going out into the world.

Effie Gianitsos ’18, English literature and religious and theological studies major

Our Faculty

We help students pursue a path in which religious faith and critical thinking are mutually enlightening. This kind of dialogue - across disciplines, cultures and religious traditions - is at the heart of the Catholic intellectual tradition. We embrace this tradition and help students bring their critical and creative intelligence to bear on religious practices and beliefs, particularly as they intersect with daily life.​

 

Meet Our Faculty

Life After Salve

A degree in religious and theological studies provides students with fascinating, versatile and challenging coursework and gives them the opportunity to read, discuss and write about serious issues. Students explore the most important aspects of human life, sharpening their liberal arts skills in the process.

Both for-profit and nonprofit companies seek employees who are smart, interesting and quick learners. While employees can be taught necessary technical skills, employers want them to have real exposure to ideas, different worldviews and the ability to speak, read and write effectively. This is precisely what the religious and theological studies degree offers.

In the Workforce

Our graduates have worked successfully in a wide variety of careers, including:

  • Social services
  • Conferences and events planning
  • Legal assistance in major law firms
  • Journalism
  • College admissions teams
  • Community mental health centers
  • Management positions in for-profit businesses
  • College Newman Centers
  • Teaching in private schools, both Catholic and non-Catholic

Graduate School

Our graduates have pursued advanced study in architectural history, business, law, psychology, religion and theology and social work at the following institutions:

  • American University
  • Catholic Theological Union
  • Claremont Graduate University
  • Harvard Business School
  • Rhode Island College
  • Roger Williams University School of Law
  • University of Maryland
  • Yale Divinity School

Major in Religious Theological Studies (B.A.)

10 courses | 30 credits

Required courses:

  • RTS225: The Quest for the Ultimate: Dialogue With Global Religious Traditions
  • RTS262: What the Bible Really Tells Us: The Essential Course for Biblical Literacy
  • RTS305: The Spiritual Quest
  • RTS341: Explorations in Christian Theology

Students also choose one course in scripture, one course in ethics and one course in non-Christian traditions, along with three upper-level elective courses in religious and theological studies. While a thesis is not required, the option is available for those who are planning to pursue graduate study or who would otherwise benefit from the experience.

Minor in Religious and Theological Studies 

6 courses | 18 credits

Required courses:

  • RTS225: The Quest for the Ultimate: Dialogue With Global Religious Traditions
  • RTS305: The Spiritual Quest

Students also choose four elective courses in religious and theological studies.

Areas of Focus

Both majors and minors may choose to build their program of study by focusing their elective courses in specific areas. We suggest the following areas of focus.

Christian Theology

  • RTS340: Church in the 21st Century
  • RTS341: Explorations in Christian Theology
  • RTS345: Engaging the Catholic Experience
  • RTS347: Symbol, Icon and Beauty in Religious Traditions
  • RTS355: Christian-Jewish Relations: From Hostility to Hope
  • RTS356: Contemporary Christian Spirituality

Ethics

  • RTS321: Superheroes, Saints and Sinners: Spiritual Themes in Contemporary Fiction
  • RTS325: Who is My Neighbor? Mercy in the Christian Life
  • RTS327: Technohuman? Technology, Genetics, God and the Future of Humanity
  • RTS332: Care for Creation: Christianity, Ethics and the Environment
  • RTS334: Global Ethics
  • RTS335: Social Ethics
  • RTS336: Marriage and Family Life
  • RTS337: Biomedical Ethics
  • RTS338: Sexual Ethics
  • RTS339: Friendship, Love and Romance: The Call to Relationship

Scripture

  • RTS262: What the Bible Really Tells Us: The Essential Course for Biblical Literacy
  • RTS364: Understanding the Hebrew Scriptures
  • RTS365: The Psalms and the Prophets: A Quest for God and Justice
  • RTS372: Jesus and the Gospels: Who Do You Say That I Am?
  • RTS374: The Life and Letters of St. Paul
  • RTS375: Good Girls, Bad Girls: Women of the Bible

World Religions

  • RTS345: Engaging the Catholic Experience
  • RTS381: Engaging the Jewish Experience
  • RTS382: Engaging the Muslim Experience
  • RTS383: Engaging the Hindu Experience
  • RTS384: Engaging the Buddhist Experience
 

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