• SEMESTER: Fall 2021 

    COURSE TITLE: Foundations of New Testament Theology


    TIMES/DAYS: W 7:20pm-10:20pm

    INSTRUCTOR: Sarah Emanuel



    This graduate level course engages New Testament texts and contexts. While a primary focus will be on situating New Testament writings in their own historical settings—a traditional starting point within the field of New Testament Studies—the course will also examine how New Testament sources have been analyzed in contexts beyond their own times. Throughout the class, students will discuss the theological foundations of the early Jesus movement; the construction of the New Testament canon; the development of New Testament Studies as an academic field; and the relationship among text, context, and interpretation. No prior knowledge is needed.



    1. To gain familiarity with the theological complexities of New Testament and ancient Jewish/early Christ-centered texts;
    2. To become familiar with the social and historical contexts of New Testament and ancient Jewish/Christian texts in order to explore what they might have meant to those who lived at the time in which they were written;
    3. To recognize the relationship among text, context, interpretation, and interpretive histories;
    4. To think ethically about the ways in which the New Testament might have been significant to its communities of origin;
    5. To think ethically about the ways in which the New Testament continues to influence contemporary culture;
    6. To become familiar with the methods and vocabulary scholars use to discuss the Bible and New Testament writings;
    7. To learn to read texts closely, attending to multivocality and multiplicity of meaning;
    8. To develop a vocabulary to talk about the relationship between ancient Judaism and Christian origins.






    The Jewish Annotated New Testament (JANT), ed. Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler (2nd edition; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).

    Bart D. Ehrman, The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings (7th edition; New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019).



    Class Attendance and Participation—15%

    Four Reading Responses—20%

    One Essay—25%

    One Presentation—20%

    One Podcast Assignment—20%                 

  • Course Title: Foundations of Historical Theology

    Course No. and Section: 6020.01                                                                                                           

    Time: Wed., 4:00-7:15 PM                                                                                                             

    Instructor: Charlotte Radler

    Course Description (principal topics covered):

    This course explores the foundations of historical theology in Eastern and Western Christianity from late antiquity (ca. 100 CE) to the early modern period (ca. 1600). Attending to theological, philosophical, historical, gender, cultural, and political issues, we will examine major themes, including: 1) martyrdom, persecution, and suffering; 2) asceticism, monasticism, and religious orders; 3) the development of Christian theology and tensions between heresy and orthodoxy; 4) church, empire, and reform; 5) the flowering of mysticism and spirituality; and 6) women in Christianity. The objective of the course is to appreciate the diversity of the early, medieval, and pre-modern Christian theological traditions. The disparate voices of martyrs, theologians, philosophers, reformers, mystics, politicians, and heretics have tremendous import for contemporary theologies.

    Student Learning Outcomes:

    In virtue of taking the Foundations of Historical Theology course, the students will:

    • Students will identify central themes and developments in Christianity from late antiquity

      to pre-modernity.

    • Students will know the chronological sequence and geographical framework appropriate

      to the subject matter of this course.

    • Students will be able to analyze primary sources of multiple varieties and distinguish them

      from scholarship (secondary sources).

    • Students will understand that historical knowledge emerges from debates over the

      interpretation of evidence.

    • Students will learn to construct arguments about the past based on evidence and utilizing

      critical language and terminology appropriate to the subject matters and disciplines of

      history and theology.

    • Students will value the complex process by which the present emerged out of the past.

    • The students will appreciate the richness and diversity of the Christian traditions.

    Prerequisites/Recommended Background:

    Graduate status

    Required Texts/References:

    Elizabeth A. Clark, ed. Women in the Early Church. Message of the Fathers of the Church, 13. The Liturgical Press (Collegeville): 1990.

    Elizabeth Spearing, ed. Medieval Writings on Female Spirituality. London: Penguin Books, 2002.

    ***Many of the sources will be uploaded on Brightspace.***                                                                 

    ***Additional books may be added to the list above.***

    Course Work/Expectations:

    • Active class participation: 10%
    • 1 Presentation: 15%                                                                                                                         
    • Analysis Paper 1: 15%                                                                                                                     
    • Analysis Paper 2: 20%
    • 1 Final Research Paper (including a proposal): 35%
  • SEMESTER: Fall 2021

    COURSE TITLE: History of Christian Spirituality


    TIMES/DAYS: M 4:10-7:00

    INSTRUCTOR: Christie, Douglas



    This course offers a close, critical examination of the history of Christian spirituality. Spirituality in its broadest meaning and as a dimension of lived experience can be defined as “conscious involvement in the project of life integration through self-transcendence toward the ultimate value one perceives” (Schneiders).The distinctively Christian form of spirituality, born of Jesus’ own sense of God’s intimate presence and expressed through the dynamic unfolding of the Holy spirit in the life of the community, has continued to develop and evolve across the entire history of Christianity. This course will examine some of the key figures and texts that have shaped the Christian spiritual tradition, from its earliest expressions to the present moment. Particular attention will be given to understanding how social-historical context has influenced Christian spiritual thought and practice and how Christian spirituality has in turn offered a response to and critique of unjust social structures.  Students also will be invited to consider the challenges and possibilities inherent in retrieving ancient spiritual ideas and practices for contemporary use, including pastoral practice.



    +Learning to situate and interpret classic Christian spiritual texts in their social, historical contexts.

    +Learning to assess and evaluate the relationship between thought and practice within Christian spiritual experience.

    +Learning to interpret classic Christian spiritual practice in light of contemporary questions and concerns.

    +Learning to retrieve classic Christian spiritual thought and practice in response to contemporary pastoral realities.





    +Evagrius, Praktikos and Chapters on Prayer

    +Augustine, The Confessions

    +Teresa of Avila, The Interior Castle

    +Bernard McGinn, The Essential Writings of Christian Mysticism.



    +Regular and engaged participation in class (20%)

    +Two Short Papers (30%)

    +Personal Essay 15%)

    +Final Paper (35%)

  • COURSE TITLE: Psychological Foundations of Pastoral Ministry


    TIMES/DAYS: Monday 7:15-9:45 PM

    INSTRUCTOR: Fr. Jim Clarke Ph.D.



    This course explores the psychological aspects of pastoral ministry, and in particular, the ministry of spiritual direction as a helping relationship.  The focus in this course is the cultivation of the communication skills needed to be an effective pastoral minister and spiritual director. Principal topics to be covered: pastoral counseling, basic listening skills, formation in various pastoral settings, the importance of self-knowledge and personal awareness on the part of ministers, the nature of empathic understanding and its relationship to psychological and spiritual growth.



    Develop skills of active listening, empathic understanding, and facilitative intervention in the helping relationship through structured classroom experiences

    Deepening of self-knowledge by reflecting on their personal traits, attitudes, and characteristics that relate to their effectiveness as spiritual directors and pastoral ministers

    Demonstrate their understanding of the difference between spiritual direction, pastoral counseling and psychotherapy by describing the process of spiritual direction



    For those concentrating in Spiritual Direction in the Master’s in Pastoral Theology, THST 6051, The Theory and Practice of Spiritual Direction, is a prerequisite for this course.



    A Course Reader (to be purchased on the first day of class)

    Urgings of the Heart: Toward a Spirituality of Integration, Noreen Cannon and Wilkie Au (Paulist Press, 1995)

    Transforming Our Painful Emotions, Evelyn and James Whitehead, (Orbis Books 2010)

    How to be an Adult: A Handbook on Psychological and Spiritual Integration, David Richo (Paulist Press, 19910)

    Care of Mind, Care of Spirit: Psychiatric Dimensions of Spiritual Direction, Gerald May, M.D. (Harper and Row, 1982)



     Class attendance and active class participation

     Read the required reading and turn in a weekly reflection paper (1-2 pgs.)

     Keep a weekly journal of reflections on listening sessions (to be explained in class)

     Write a final 10 page integrative paper

     Give a short class presentation based on your integrative paper

  • SEMESTER: Fall 2021

    COURSE TITLE: Foundations in Pastoral Theology


    TIMES/DAYS: Mondays 4:10-7:00PM

    INSTRUCTOR: Rev. William D. Roozeboom, Ph.D.



    Pastoral theology is a term used to describe various dimensions and facets of ministry for both lay and ordained ministers. But what exactly do we mean when we this use term? This course will explore the theories and practices of pastoral theology, noting, in particular, how pastoral theology describes not simply a branch of theology inquiry, but a way of doing theology contextually.

    We will locate pastoral theology within larger concept of practical theology, which entails the ministries of religious education, preaching and worship, administration, pastoral care, and prophetic engagement with community. In light of this, this course will explore the relationship between pastoral and practical theology and how they relate the other branches of theology and ministry, guided by an interdisciplinary perspective bringing together biblical, historical, sociological, psychological, and theological sources to construct a theology of pastoral ministry appropriate to various settings (churches, parachurch organizations, non-profits, and communities) in a postmodern context.



    1. Understand and situate pastoral theology within the history of Christian theology and the theological activity implicit in pastoral ministry.
    2. Appreciate more fully and broadly the importance of the relationship between academic theology and the practices that shape the life of the church and the world.
    3. Understand and articulate the basic skills of pastoral care for situations which may arise in ministry, such as emotional distress, relational issues, grief and loss, crisis situations, and experiences of trauma.
    4. Reflect theologically and critically on situations and issues of ministry in a complex and diverse world to a develop a “working theology of ministry” that is able to meet the needs of various groups, both within and outside of Catholic contexts.
    5. Understand the neurobiological stress response and why practices of self-care are vital for effective ministry and well-being in ministry.





    Cahalan, Kathleen. Introducing the Practice of Ministry. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2010.

    Available as an ebook in the LMU library. 

    Cooper-White, Pamela & Michael Cooper-White. Exploring Practices of Ministry. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2014. Available as an ebook in the LMU library.  

    Lartey, Emmanuel. Pastoral Theology in an Intercultural World. Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2006.

    Ramsay, Nancy (Ed.). Pastoral Theology and Care: Critical Trajectories in Theory and Practice, 2018.

    Available as an ebook in the LMU library.

    Wolfteich, Claire E. (Ed.). Invitation to Practical Theology: Catholic Voices and Visions. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2014. Available as an ebook in the LMU library.



    Reading, Attendance, and Participation

    Forum posts and responses (periodic 500 word posts and 250 word responses)

    Case study reflection and analysis paper – approx. 5 pages

    Final integrative essay – 8-10 pages

  • Title:  Spiritual Formation for Pastoral Ministry

    Course Number: THST 6074-01

    Section Times/Days: Tuesday, 7:20pm-10:20pm

    Instructor:  Dr. Rachel A. Fox


    Description: This course focuses paths of spiritual formation in the Christian tradition, exploring perspectives from a variety of Christian spiritualities. It will examine theory and practice through both historical and contemporary lenses. It will explore spiritual formation as a balance of cultivating the pursuit of the Divine, pursuit of self knowledge and care, as well as the pursuit of community and care of others. The course will include theoretical and experiential learning, including group prayer experiences as well as critical group reflection on spiritual dilemmas and challenges that arise in the context ministry. Students are asked to meet with a spiritual advisor or director for the duration of the course.


    Student learning outcomes: Students will be able to …

    • identify and define a variety formative paths with in the Christian spiritual tradition.
    • Student will be able to describe a path of formation in terms of theory and practice.
    • Student will be able to describe and critically consider, spiritual practices and theories raised by different formative paths with in the Christian tradition and discuss at least one of these in dialogue with at least one non-Christian tradition;
    • Make sense of their life history and contemporary life and ministry experiences in light of Christian spiritual traditions;
    • Engage in Ignatian and other forms of Christian discernment, with attention to the history of grace and sin in their own lives;
    • Formulate their own approach to spiritual practice, considering their own context and life state, and evaluating that approach in dialogue with Christian formative paths.


    Pre-requisites:  None.



    Text books will be listed in the syllabus.


    Work expectations:

    Expectations for this class include research and written assignments, a scaffolded spirituality portfolio including critical analysis of a spiritual practice, research on a particular tradition of Christian spirituality in dialogue with a non-Christian tradition, and autobiographical reflection in the light of Christian spiritual traditions. All students must be engaged in spiritual advising or direction.

  • SEMESTER: Fall 2021 

    COURSE TITLE:  Comparative Theology 


    TIMES/DAYS: T 4:10pm-7:00pm 

    INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Christopher A. Daily (cdaily1@lmu.edu)



    This course introduces students to the theories and practices of comparative theology. A fusion of the academic disciplines of religious studies and theology, the rapidly growing field of comparative theology draws from the methods of both disciplines to explore the processes by which we might learn interreligiously – that is, by faith seeking understanding across religious and cultural borders. Readings will cover the theories and methods of comparative theologies, as well as an array of primary and secondary texts from a variety of world religious traditions (including Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Christianity, and Islam). Students will be encouraged to bring this learning into dialogue with one’s home tradition by careful comparison and contrast, dialogical reflection and, ideally, a well-informed theological understanding of what it means to belong to one tradition and learn from another.



    Upon successful completion of this course, students will come to understand:

    • the tools and approaches used in the academic discipline of comparative theology;
    • how the practice of comparative theology can deepen spiritual learning & religious understanding;
    • ways to think empathetically across cultural boundaries when interpreting religious texts or ideas;
    • different theologies of the meaning of life, death, dying, afterlife, the cosmos, and the divine, as a variety of religious communities understand them (religions covered during the course include Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, & Chinese religions); and
    • how theology is practiced in multiple religious traditions.



    Graduate status



    Clooney, S.J., Francis X and Karl von Stosch, eds. (2018). How to do Comparative Theology. New

         York: Fordham University Press.

    Clooney, S.J., Francis X (2010). Comparative Theology: Deep Learning across Religious Borders.

         Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

    Cornille, Catherine (2019). Meaning and Method in Comparative Theology. Malden, MA: Wiley-


    The course will also make use of a wide variety of primary and secondary texts (including translated sacred texts and theological works) from an array of world traditions. These readings will be assigned weekly and will be made available online throughout the semester.



    1. Comparative Theology Learning Journal (reflective entries are assigned weekly)
    2. Final Comparative Theology Research Paper
    3. Presentation of assigned readings
    4. Class preparedness and participation
  • SEMESTER: Fall 2021

    COURSE TITLE: Comparative Mysticism


    TIMES/DAYS: Mondays, 4:30 to 7 p.m.

    INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Key Chapple



    In this class we will explore the inner or mystical life as articulated in the life and practice of various religious traditions.  We will begin with a study of Tongva indigenous California culture and the study and practice of elemental meditation techniques from India. We will then turn to two womanist classics: Mysticism by Evelyn Underhill and Patterns of Culture by Ruth Benedict. We will also explore June Singer’s explication of the key ideas of Carl Jung.  We will then examine the emerging field of contemplative Christian ecology as well as Jewish and Islamic mystical traditions. Yoga and mysticism will be examined through the writings of 20th century philosopher Sri Aurobindo.  We will conclude the course with an exploration of music and mysticism. 



    Students will be familiar with the psychological approaches to religious experience .Students will learn the principles and practices of mystical theology from the Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Yoga traditions.  They will be versant with primary figures. They will also be able to write about and discuss this topic.





    Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism; Ruth Benedict, Patterns of Culture

    June Singer, Boundaries of the Soul: The Practice of Jungs Psychology

    Christopher Chapple, Living Landscapes (unlimited e-book on order) (proofs posted)

    Louis Cozolino, Why Therapy Works: Using Our Minds to Change Our Brains

    (please order online, as no e-book is available)

    Douglas Christie, The Blue Sapphire of the Mind https://linus.lmu.edu/record=b2631168~S1

    Anne Marie Schimmel, Mystical Dimensions of Islam      https://linus.lmu.edu/record=b4157146~S1

    Debashish Banerji, Seven Quartets of Becoming: A Transformative Yoga Psychology Based on

     the Diaries of Sri Aurobindo (please order online, as no e-book is available)



    Class participation. Summary paper and presentation of one assigned reading. Final research paper on a topic to be chosen in consultation with the professor of 15 to 20 pages.

  • Title: Graduate Pro-seminar

    Course Number: THST 6090-01

    Section Times/Days: Tuesday 4:30-7 pm                                                                                   

    Instructor: Dr. Brett C. Hoover

    Course Description: Christian theology is disciplined reasoning through the questions raised by human beings as a result of their relationship with God in Jesus Christ. Studying theology is neither catechesis (formation in Christian faith) nor apologetics (defending Christian faith). It means joining an ongoing historical dialogue (occasionally an argument) that Christians call tradition, analyzing and critiquing how and why diverse Christians from the past and present have expressed their relationship to God as they have, but also continuing to seek adequate ways to do so today. This course will also explore some of the foundations of religious studies, that is, the discipline that considers religious traditions irrespective of one’s personal faith commitments. In short, the proseminar course prepares students for further graduate study in Theological Studies. It introduces some of the vocabulary, background knowledge, methodologies, and skills necessary for such study, including theological reading, research, and writing. The seminar includes input and exercises that will expose students to the basic subfields of theology (including biblical studies, historical theology, ethics, systematic or constructive theology, pastoral theology, liturgy, spirituality, and comparative theology). Students will explore methodological questions and procedures appropriate to each.

    Student Learning Outcomes:

    Students will be able to...

    • Say what Christian theology is and demonstrate the foundational mechanics of theological study at the graduate level (critical reading and writing, attention to context, research and citation);
    • Understand theological arguments, offering analysis and critique, learning to make their own theological arguments;
    • Define and use the disciplinary vocabulary of Christian theology and religious studies;
    • Recognize and interpret how theological ideas, practices, and methodologies occur in response to the questions and challenges of different historical eras and different cultures.
    • Responsibly read the primary sources of theological study, including historical texts as well another “reports” from daily Christian life (e.g., liturgical practice, popular religion, and art), learning to honor the original context for these sources but also to connect them to contemporary theological questions, practices, and commitments;
    • Understand and make critical use of vocabulary and central ideas from different sub-disciplines of Christian theology.

    Pre-requisites: None

    Required Texts:

    • Gonzalez, Justo L. Essential Theological Terms. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox, 2005.
    • Johnson, Elizabeth A. Creation and the Cross: The Mercy of God for a Planet in Peril. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2018.
    • Rausch, Thomas. I Believe in God: A Reflection on The Apostles Creed. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2008.
    • Yaghjian, Lucretia B. Writing Theology Well: A Rhetoric for Theological and Biblical Writers (New York: Continuum, 2006).                                                                                                                 

    Course Work:

    Expectations for this class include argument summary papers, glossary contributions, reading response blog, oral presentations in class, midterm and final examinations.

  • SEMESTER: Fall 2021

    COURSE TITLE: Comprehensive Exam Seminar 


    TIMES/DAYS: Thurs 4:10-7:00pm

    INSTRUCTOR: Nancy Pineda-Madrid


    This is the required comprehensive exam seminar for all MA in Theology students. While drawing on students’ previous course work, the seminar also requires students to study additional sources that will help them integrate their theological education and provide a foundation for their research projects. The comprehensive exams are administered as a part of the course requirements.


    At the end of the course, students should be able to . . .
    - Review and assess major Christian thinkers
    - Articulate and analyze major theological themes
    - Appreciate the importance of recognizing an integral relation between theory, practice, and context.
    - Exercise skill in “the art of doing theology” and skill in serving as a resource for communities and persons in their endeavor “to think and act theologically” in a life-giving manner for the common good.



    • Irenaeus, Proof of the Apostolic Preaching                                                                                       
    • Augustine, Confessions                                                                                                                   
    • Anselm, Cur Deus Homo                                                                                                                 
    • Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae (Prima Pars)                                                                                 
    • Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz, El Divino Narciso                                                                                         
    • Karl Rahner, Foundations of Christian Faith                                                                                        
    • David Tracy, Plurality and Ambiguity                                                                                              
    • Gustavo Gutiérrez, A Theology of Liberation                                                                                  
    • Elizabeth Johnson, She Who Is                                                                                                             
    • M. Shawn Copeland, Enfleshing Freedom: Body, Race, and Being


    1. 25% Seminar Discussion
    2. 25% One general exam in theology (20-page take-home exam)
    3. 25% One disciplinary exam in theological studies (Chosen in consultation with the instructor--e.g., biblical theology, spirituality, history of religions, liturgy, ethics, comparative theology, historical theology, philosophy of religion, faith and culture, moral theology, ritual studies, etc. 10-page prepared essay)
    4. 25% One research proposal (10-page proposal of Spring research seminar project)