Theological Studies

Grounded in the Roman Catholic tradition, the Department of Theological Studies invites students to analyze questions of faith, the divine, and ultimate meaning in the context of religious thought and practice. Through intellectually rigorous exploration of the full range of possibilities and ambiguities of faith, students of Theological Studies come to appreciate both the intrinsic value of religious inquiry and the role of religion in building a more just world. The Department offers several degree programs: an undergraduate major in Theology, an undergraduate minor in Theology, and two Master of Arts degrees (Theology and Pastoral Theology). The MA in Pastoral Theology program includes an additional ministry and counseling emphasis in addition to foundational courses in theology.


  • Thu, 29 Sep 2016 19:00:00 -0700

    You are invited to the annual Hispanic Ministry and Theology Lecture featuring Victor Carmona, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Moral Theology at Oblate School of Theology.

    Join us as we explore how the United States has historically determined where immigrants may come from and under what conditions—including undocumented status—and how Gustavo Gutierrez and Thomas Aquinas offer an understanding of love and friendship that shed light on the hard path that leads to just immigration reform.

    To Attend
    This lecture will be completely bilingual; simultaneous English/Spanish translation will be provided. Free and open to the public, RSVP is requested (click here). Campus parking fees will apply.

    About the Lecturer
    Dr. Victor Carmona is Assistant Professor of Moral Theology at Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio. Before attending Notre Dame, where he earned a Ph.D. in moral theology, Dr. Carmona served immigrants and urban communities with the Mexican Catholic Conference of Bishops and the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. He also taught at the Jesuit University in Tijuana, Mexico. His work on immigration has appeared in Blackwell's Companion to Latino/a Theology (2015), the Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology, and Liguorian magazine. He also writes in El Puente, a blog on the Patheos Catholic channel.

    About the LMU Latino/a Theology and Ministry Initiative
    The Initiative emerged from a need to assess and then respond to the large population of Hispanic Catholics in the United States and is a joint project of the Department of Theological Studies and the Center for Religion and Spirituality. As a Catholic university in the largest Catholic archdiocese in the country, LMU is uniquely situated to gather data and marshal resources that will aid in preparing Latino/a Catholics for leadership and service in the Church. As the Hispanic Catholic population continues to grow, LMU seeks to grow in the capacity to truly serve this important community in the Body of Christ. Learn more at

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  • Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:00:00 -0700

    Three scholars – Rabbi Rueven Firestone, Pim Valkenberg, and Amir Hussain – will spend the Fall 2016 semester at the University of Southern California engaging students, artists, colleagues, writers, politicians and the larger community in a lively, thoughtful and thought-provoking series of conversations and presentations on the subjects of “Race, Faith, and Violence” in the world today. For more information about this program, sponsored by USC's Caruso Catholic Center and the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies, visit the IFACS website.

    Please join the Academy of Catholic Thought and Imagination in welcoming Rabbi Firestone, Pim Valkenberg, and Amir Hussain for an evening dialogue exploring three religious traditions' understandings of mercy. Reception and conversation to follow.

    Religions of Mercy

    Thursday, October 20, 2016

    7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

    Ahmanson Auditorium, University Hall

    1 LMU Drive

    Los Angeles, CA 90293

    Reception to follow.

    For more information and to RSVP, visit


    Amir Hussain, a Canadian Muslim, is professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University, where he teaches courses on Islam and world religions. An expert in the subject of contemporary Muslim societies in North America, Amir is the author or editor of five books and well as over 50 scholarly articles and book chapters and from 2011 to 2015, served as editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion. He is currently finishing a book on how American Muslims have woven themselves into the fabric of American life, titled Islam and the Building of America. His deep commitment to interfaith work (especially among Jews, Christians, and Muslims) is evident in his teaching and his scholarly work, and one of the most important reasons we invited him to take part in the first “scholars in residence” program.

    Pim (Wilhelmus G.B.M.) Valkenberg was born in the Netherlands where he studied both theology and religious studies. His field of specialization is Christian – Muslim dialogue in the context of Abrahamic partnership, both in the present and in the (Medieval) period. He is also interested in Christology, Hermeneutics, comparative theology, mysticism, and the study of the Qur’an. Pim has taught at the (then) Catholic University of Nijmegen, Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore and is currently professor of Religion and Culture in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Among his edited and authored books in the field of inter religious dialogue are: The Polemical Dialogue (1997), Christology and Dialogue (1997, Dutch), God and Violence (2002, Dutch),In the Footsteps of Abraham (2004, Dutch), and Sharing Lights on the Way to God: Muslim-Christian Dialogue and Theology in the Context of Abrahamic Partnership (Brill/Rodopi, 2006). Pim also participated in the “Learned Ignorance” project of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies.

    Rabbi Reuven Firestone grew up in Northern California and was educated at Antioch College, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Hebrew Union College where he received his M.A. in Hebrew literature in 1980 and Rabbinic Ordination in 1982, and New York University where he received his Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic studies in 1988. He serves as is the Regenstein Professor in Medieval Judaism and Islam at Hebrew Union College in Los Angeles and on the faculty of the School of Religion and the Middle East Studies Center at USC. Firestone’s books include An Introduction to Islam for Jews, Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Judaism for Muslims, Jews, Christians, Muslims in Dialogue: A Practical Handbook, with Leonard Swidler and Khalid Duran, and Who are the Real Chosen People: The Meaning of Chosenness in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. He also co-edited, with Professors James Heft S.M. and Omid Safi, Learned Ignorance: An Investigation into Humility in Interreligious Dialogue between Christians, Muslims and Jews. Professor Firestone has served as vice president of the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) and the president of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA).

    He has lived with his family in Israel, Egypt and Germany, and has initiated and been involved in numerous projectswhich bring together Jews and Christians and Muslims, Jews and Arabs, and Israelis and Palestinians.

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Join us for the 2016 Mary Milligan Endowed Lecture in Spirituality, featuring Dr. M. Shawn Copeland.