Theology

The Department of Theology offers both a major and minor in Theology.

MAJOR IN THEOLOGY

Students majoring in Theology focus on one of four concentrations and must set up a program with the advisor designated for the chosen concentration. “Intermediate” level courses are those in the 011–199 range. “Advanced” courses are numbered 200 and above.

Christian Theology Concentration    This concentration provides a grounding in the sacred writings, history, and systematic elaboration of the Christian faith. The requirements are: three core courses (one course in Systematic Theology 272; one Scripture Seminar in the 257–259 or 266–268 range; and one course in the History of Christian Thought, either 281 or 282), three other advanced courses to be selected in consultation with the designated theology advisor for this concentration, two other approved courses at either the intermediate or advanced level, and the Senior Seminar in Religious Pluralism 297.

Biblical Studies Concentration    This program is designed for students who wish to study extensively the books of the Bible, the traditions contained therein, the process of their formation, as well as the methodology for uncovering their meaning. The requirements are: two core courses (one Hebrew Scripture Seminar in the 257–259 range; one New Testament Seminar in the 266–268 range), three other advanced courses to be selected in consultation with the designated theology advisor for this concentration, three other approved courses at either the intermediate or advanced level, and the Senior Seminar in Religious Pluralism 297.

Ethics Concentration    This concentration is designed for students who wish to understand the sources, methods, and topics of ethics from a religious perspective. Students may concentrate on  Christian ethics, on ethics within a different religious tradition, or on religious ethics more generally, and may also focus on areas such as social justice, comparative ethics, or social and cultural moral issues. The requirements are: three core courses (one introductory course, Ethics and Issues 076 or 100; one course in Sources for Religious Ethics: Scriptures, Theologies, and Traditions; one advanced level ethics course in the 200 range or above), two other advanced courses, three other approved courses at either the intermediate or advanced level, and the Senior Seminar in Religious Pluralism 297. All courses are to be selected in consultation with the designated advisor for this concentration.

Religious Studies Concentration    This concentration is available for students interested in the comparative and critical study of a variety of religious traditions such as Hinduism and Judaism, as well as theoretical issues in the study of religion. Among the theoretical issues are how religion relates to science, art, literature, and politics. The requirements are: three core courses (Approaches to Religion 273; one advanced course in the Study of a Religious Community in the 200 range or above; one advanced course in Problems/Boundaries in Religious Studies in the 200 range or above), five additional courses at the intermediate or advanced level (to be selected in consultation with the designated theology advisor for this concentration), and the concluding Senior Seminar in Religious Pluralism 297.

A Senior Honors Thesis (THEO-310) may be undertaken by all Theology majors under the direction of a faculty mentor with departmental approval. Consult the department website for procedures.

INTEGRATED WRITING REQUIREMENT    

All Theology majors are required to take at least three advanced Theology courses (i.e., 200 level and above).  These courses are seminars, with enrollment capped at 20, and are open only to upper-level students.  The seminar format is meant to encourage student initiative in exploring topics and concerns within theology and religious studies and to help students develop the tools necessary for the academic study of religion.  Finally, these courses have a strong writing component and are intended to improve students’ skills at written communication (e.g., critical thinking; analysis of texts and communication of insights; organization; the development of an argument based on appropriately justified claims, etc.).  Together these courses fulfill the university's Integrated Writing requirement.

Required Courses for the Major

Regardless of concentration, the major requires a total of 11 courses -- the two core courses in Theology and nine additional courses. Specific requirements as below:

  • 2 core courses in Theology (001 or 011 and one additional course 011-199)

Note: It is recommended that students majoring in any area of Christian studies fulfill the core requirements by taking both The Problem of God (THEO-001) and Introduction to Biblical Literature (THEO-011). Students majoring in other areas of religious studies are encouraged to fulfill the core requirement by taking The Problem of God (THEO-001) and a course in their area of interest.

Christian Theology Concentration
  • Systematic Theology (272)
  • 1 History of Christian Thought (281 or 282)
  • 1 Scripture Seminar (from 257–259 or 266–268)
  • 3 advanced level electives approved by advisor
  • 2 other approved electives
  • Seminar on Religious Pluralism (297)
Biblical Studies Concentration
  • 1 Hebrew Scripture Seminar (257–259)
  • 1 New Testament Seminar (266–268)
  • 3 advanced level electives approved by advisor
  • 3 other approved electives
  • Seminar on Religious Pluralism (297)
Ethics Concentration
  • 1 Ethics and Issues (076 or 100)
  • 1 Sources for Religious Ethics: Scriptures, Theologies, and Traditions
  • 1 advanced level course in ethics
  • 2 advanced level electives
  • 3 other electives approved by advisor
  • Seminar on Religious Pluralism (297)
Religious Studies Concentration
  • Approaches to Religion (273)
  • 1 advanced level course in Study of a Community
  • 1 advanced level course in Problems/Boundaries in Religious Studies
  • 5 other electives approved by advisor
  • Seminar on Religious Pluralism (297)

Limits and Maximums: Students may transfer a maximum of three courses to the major from coursework taken during a semester or full year abroad abroad. Courses must be taught by someone credentialed in Religion or Theology, have religion or theology as their primary focus, and be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Transfer students majoring in Theology may transfer a maximum of five courses taken at a previous institution to the major with approval of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Finally, note that all majors are required to complete a minimum of 18 credits in Theology in residence at Georgetown.

Minor in Theology

The minor in theology requires a total of six courses: the two courses to fulfill the core requirement in Theology plus four additional electives. Minors are encouraged but not required to take some courses at the advanced level (200+). Note: at least four courses in the minor must be THEO courses, taken in the department (i.e., no more than two courses can be courses cross-listed with Theology that originate in other departments, transferred from study abroad, et al.)

(For course listings for Theology see http://courses.georgetown.edu)