What is Theological Studies?
LMU's Theological Studies major provides students the opportunity to reflect on religious experience and fundamental theological and human questions, engage in historical analysis, Biblical exegesis, and interdisciplinary dialogue, and explore a particular religious tradition or dialogue between Christianity and other religious traditions. In the process, students learn how to analyze texts, think and write critically, and integrate reason and faith.
What do Theological Studies Majors do?
Theological Studies majors investigate the broader area of religious experience. Areas of study include biblical, historical, systematic, liturgical and comparative theology; theological ethics, spirituality, and faith and culture; world religions and religious studies; and pastoral theology, with special emphasis on the Roman Catholic theological tradition. Individual courses may study classical theological questions, perform close readings of a seminal text (e.g., Augustine’s Confessions), confront contemporary moral problems and the diversity of theological and ethical perspectives, or address the cultural, religious, and intellectual histories of particular religious traditions. Theological Studies majors also delve into issues relating to theology and gender, race, ethnicity, and other aspects of diversity. Course offerings include: US Latino/a Theology; Women and Religion; World Religions in Los Angeles; and the African American Religious Experience. Majors take courses in various subdisciplines in theology, but the major is designed to maximize student autonomy in shaping his or her own course of study.
Is This Major Right for You?
You might be a Theological Studies major if you:
- Value scholarship
- Follow world events, including the global influence of religion on culture and politics
- Are curious about life’s big questions and social justice issues
- Have interest in religion and contemporary culture
- Are interested in the nature and practice of religion
About Our Faculty
Our tenure-line, visiting, clinical, part-time, and post-doctorate fellows’ faculty members are teacher-scholars whose research and teaching interests address a range of methods, questions, and interlocutors in theology and religious studies. Faculty are actively involved in scholarly presentations, publications, and discourse, including dialogue with local faith communities, international research universities, medical and biomedical organizations, and scholars in the sciences, humanities, and other fields.
About Our Students and Graduates
Upon graduation, majors should be able to: 1) Identify the beliefs and practices of major religious traditions, including Christianity and especially Catholic Christianity; 2) Understand the richness and complexity of theological and religious traditions, especially in light of contemporary issues and diverse voices; 3) Examine and evaluate critically the diverse ways in which religious beliefs and practices change across time and space; 4) Integrate theological and religious questions and problems through the careful study of a major theological or religious thinker or theme; and 5) Develop theological and religious comprehension and reflection through the acquisition of a research language or engaged learning. Majors will have completed an additional Engaged Learning flag or achieved intermediate competency in a language.
Our majors have gone into a range of professions, including teaching, business, film, service industries, publishing, and the arts. Many have participated in post-graduate service in the United States and abroad. Others have attended graduate school in theology, philosophy or other disciplines, including medicine and law. Graduates are also in high demand as high school teachers, campus ministers, parish workers, and pastoral ministers as well as non-profits and corporations of all types.
Our courses have included:
- Hebrew Bible / Old Testament
- New Testament Contexts
- God and the Good: An Introduction to Christian Ethics
- Islam in the Modern World
- World Religions and Ecology
- Pop Hinduism
- Jesus in Gospel and Film
- Theology and Science
- God and the Political Order
- In Search of a Way: Spirituality, Faith, Culture
- Judaism Medieval Theology
- Mystics and Heretics
- God and the Human Experience
- US Latino/a Theology
- Jesus, Kingdom, Church
- Sex and the City of God
- The Sacred, Sinister and Strange
- Women and Religion
- The Cross and the Lynching Tree
- Exploring Catholic Theological Tradition