Undergraduate Studies in Theology
Why Major or Minor in Theology?
Most students major or minor in theology because they find religious and theological questions fascinating and hope to discover more about how religion fits into their lives. Almost all seek to know more about the Christian tradition and its influence. Students often choose to study theology because they plan to do graduate work in theology or religious studies in anticipation of teaching careers in high school, church sponsored catechetical programs, or college. Others are attracted to ministry in their churches. Many do not have specifically church related career goals, but do believe that developing the ability to think critically about issues related to religious beliefs and values will help them to prepare for graduate work or a career in another field.
Usually students elect theology as a second major with an interest in complementing a first major. An inherently interdisciplinary field, theology is an ideal complement for another liberal arts major, but can also complement other fields as well, such as the natural and health sciences, education and business. A theology minor is also a good way for a student to achieve a balanced background for a variety of fields.
The student who chooses to major or minor in theology at Duquesne University will have the opportunity to work with a distinguished faculty, many of whom have earned awards in teaching and scholarship, in the study of the Bible and other religious texts and in an exploration of the beliefs and moral commitments of people of faith. The smaller class size of most upper division courses lends itself to seminar style sessions in which students can be actively engaged in constituting their own learning.
What Are the Requirements of the Theology Major?
In addition to the three-credit theology course in the University Core, students majoring in theology are required to take a minimum of 27 credits (nine courses) at the 200-level and above, chosen in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. These credits will include two courses in Biblical Studies, three in Religious and Theological Studies, two in Ethical Studies, and one elective course from any of the above areas. At least one course in each of the three main areas—biblical studies, religious and theological studies, and ethical studies—must be a writing intensive “seminar” course. The latter are intended primarily for junior and senior theology majors. Others, including theology minors, must seek permission to take a seminar course. Majors should take a biblical seminar in the fall of their junior year, a religious and theological seminar in the spring of their junior year, and an ethics seminar in the fall of their senior year. Advanced students may be encouraged to take a master's-level (500-level) course as an elective, if such a course will help them to achieve their academic goals.
What Are the Requirements of the Theology Minor?
Students who wish to minor in Theology must take 12 credits at the 200-level or above. There are no distribution requirements for the minor. However, students should consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Theology Department to discuss the design of the minor.
Major and Minor Declaration Form
All students must officially declare their major or minor in Theology by completing a "Major and Minor declaration Form." This form is available on-line through DORI here (you may be asked to log-in to gain access to the form). Majors and minors may be declared at the same time on the same form. After completing the form, students should consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies to discuss their course schedules.
For more information about Undergraduate admission and how to apply, click here.
For information about undergraduate studies of Theology, please contact:
Dr. James Bailey, Director of Undergraduate Studies
Fisher Hall 614