Religious Studies Courses

REL 101 - The Old Testament

(Credits: 3.00)

This course introduces students to the writings of the Hebrew Bible as products of their original historical and religious setting. Using historical-critical methods, the texts are studied as responses to the life situations of the ancient Israelites. While many faith communities understand these writings as a source of divine guidance, the primary focus of this course is the academic study of the text as it was intended for its original audience.

REL 102 - Religious Experience in America

(Credits: 3.00)

This course is designed to do two things: 1) introduce students to the historical developments that produced the diverse religious landscape of today's United States of America and 2) to help them to identify and critically assess the various beliefs and practices that define these religions, including their own. Prerequisite: Enrolled in Early Childhood Education program.

REL 103 - Introduction to Christian Thinking

(Credits: 3.00)

An introduction to the foundational ideas of Christianity as taught by Catholic and other Christian traditions, understood by contemporary theologians, and expressed in the lives of believers. The course provides opportunities for investigation of human/religious experiences at the core of the Christian heritage and some of the diverse ways these have been expressed and passed down through generations, and for critical exploration of the relationships that exist among Christian beliefs, practices and theological expressions.

REL 104 - World Religions

(Credits: 3.00)

This course introduces six major religious traditions: The Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, Islamic and Indigenous traditions. Study includes the major founders, (where applicable), beliefs, scriptures, practices and ethics of the traditions as well as contemporary internal issues, the impact of globalization on the traditions, an introduction to the concept of contextualization in the study of religion as well as interfaith dialogue around common issues of concern to the traditions.

REL 105 - Religion Today: Is it of Any Use?

(Credits: 3.00)

Although the vast majority of the people in the world believe in and practice some religion, religion is often seen as a problem and is often described as hopelessly out of touch with contemporary society. Using some of the world religions, this course proposes to examine the components that make up religion and to see if and how they are able to respond to contemporary life.

REL 106 - Introduction to the Bible

(Credits: 3.00)

This course introduces students to the writings of the Bible as products of their original historical and religious setting, as well as foundational documents for Judaism and Christianity. Using historical-critical and comparative methodologies, the various texts and their representative traditions are studied as interpretive responses to the life situations of Jews, and Christians in the ancient world and normative forming texts of respective religions thereafter. While many faith communities understand these writings as a source of divine guidance, the primary focus of this course is the academic study of the text as it was intended for its original audience.

REL 112 - Psychology of Religion

(Credits: 3.00)

This course explores the psychological implications of religious experience with ideas provided by Abraham Maslow, William James, and Carl Jung. It helps students understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy religious experience and mature and immature religious faith.

REL 201 - The New Testament

(Credits: 3.00)

This course introduces the student to the writings of the New Testament as products of their original historical and religious setting. Using historical-critical methods, the various texts are studied as interpretive responses to the life situations of early Christians. While many faith communities understand these writings as a source of divine guidance, the primary focus of this course is the academic study of the text as it was intended for its original audience.

REL 202 - Modern Science, Living Faith

(Credits: 3.00)

This course will introduce students to some of the central themes and issues that mark the contemporary interaction between Modern Science and Religious Faith (primarily, Christian Faith) by helping them to reflect critically and appreciatively on that interaction. It will include: 1) examining select historical engagements between Science and Faith; 2) investigating the way Modern Science and Contemporary Theology establish and relate their respective claims; 3) probing the questions that the contemporary study of biology, physics and astronomy present for theology; and 4) surveying the thought of select, influential scientists and theologians on the interaction of Science and Faith. Prerequisite: First course in religious studies.

REL 208 - Church and State

(Credits: 3.00)

This is a study of 20 centuries of interaction among Church, State and civil society. Emphasis will be given 1) to understanding the complex history of the changing relationship among these "institutions" from Biblical times to the present and 2) to exploring categories for systematically interpreting and evaluating their interaction that respects the historically contingent nature of their relationship. This is also listed under HS 208. Prerequisite: First core course.

REL 210 - Religions of Asia

(Credits: 3.00)

This course offers a comprehensive introduction to the major religions of India, China and Japan. It acquaints the student with the original writings of these religions and focuses on the basic teachings and rites as well as developments of these religious traditions. Prerequisite: First core course.

REL 212 - Religious Culture of Islam

(Credits: 3.00)

This course introduces the student to Islam. It covers readings from the Koran (in translation), the faith and practices of the devout Muslim, and some contemporary movements within Islam. Prerequisite: First core course.

REL 220 - The Greening of Religion

(Credits: 3.00)

This course is an introduction to the role of religious traditions in addressing key issues created by the ecological impact of humans on their environment and the need for an integrated ethic of stewardship. This course may be used toward an advanced core certificate. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or department consent
Sophomore standing or department consent
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REL 223 - Renaissance and Reformation

(Credits: 3.00)

This period marked a crucial transition between the medieval and modern worlds in Christendom from 1300-1648. This course focuses on the political, social, intellectual, cultural, and religious movements of the era. Cross-listed with HS 223. Prerequisite: First core course.

REL 230 - Religious Dimensions of Sexuality

(Credits: 3.00)

The experience of sexuality directly or indirectly touches every aspect of people's lives. From ancient times to the present, human sexuality has carried religious connotations. At times religion has enriched the meaning of sexuality; at times it has limited the appreciation of sexuality. In short, sexuality is so basic to human experience that it profoundly influences spiritual and religious experience, and vice versa. Prerequisite: First course in religious studies and at least sophomore standing.

REL 235 - Religious/Ethical Principles for Health Science

(Credits: 3.00)

This course is a study of the religious and ethical dimensions of health care, specifically of the nursing profession. Students consider bioethical principles insofar as they apply to practical, concrete cases. They have an opportunity to reflect upon the dignity of human life and the human person as foundational for decision-making in both clinical and research settings. Philosophical treatments of bioethical principles and issues will be supplemented with a Christian understanding of humanity, community, freedom, the body, suffering, and healing. Prerequisite: Nursing students or consent of department.

REL 243 - Peace and Justice in the World's Religions

(Credits: 3.00)

Peace is more than the absence of war. Peace requires that society is built upon justice for all members. Most of the world's religious traditions include teachings on how the truly religious person should care for the poor and the needy in society. A society that strives for just relationships and equality is one in which peace is possible. This course will explore and note convergences in social justice themes between diverse religions such as Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Native American traditions and Far Eastern traditions. By exploring the common language of justice, we hope to find ground for respectful inter-religious dialogue and teachings that will inspire us to work for justice and equality in our own diverse society. This course may be used toward an advanced core certificate. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or department consent
.

REL 250 - Faith Development

(Credits: 3.00)

This course explores the relationship of faith, religion and theology and provides educational processes that foster faith development.

REL 301 - The Letters of Paul

(Credits: 3.00)

This course introduces students to the figure of Paul of Tarsus, the communities he founded, and the letters he wrote. Using some contemporary methods of study, select letters are examined. Prerequisite: First core course.

REL 302 - The Gospel of John

(Credits: 3.00)

This course introduces students to the Fourth Gospel and the community that produced it. Prerequisite: First core course.

REL 303 - Contemporary Judaism

(Credits: 3.00)

This is an investigation of contemporary Jewish life and practice dealing with foundations and developments within Judaism. Current challenges and responses are examined. Prerequisite: First core course.

REL 304 - Contemporary Protestantism

(Credits: 3.00)

This course explores the social, religious and political conditions underlying the Protestant Reformation and examines current theological issues in Protestantism. Prerequisite: First core course.

REL 306 - Contemporary Church

(Credits: 3.00)

This course explores the emergence of the Church from the New Testament communities, provides a variety of models for understanding the Church and explores the role of the laity in the life and the development of the Church. Prerequisite: First core course.

REL 308 - Contemporary Catholicism

(Credits: 3.00)

This course examines the evolution of the life and teachings of the Roman Catholic tradition from the modern period to the present. In particular the course focuses on the documents of Vatican Council II (1962-1965) and the subsequent developments in the life of the Church. Prerequisite: First core course.

REL 310 - Franciscan Tradition: Yesterday/Today

(Credits: 3.00)

This is an introductory course which examines the life and values of Francis and Clare of Assisi, the expression of those values in history and the significance of the Franciscan lifestyle in current times. Prerequisite: First core course.

REL 312 - Myth and Ritual

(Credits: 3.00)

This course is an exploration of myth and ritual as key elements within a religious heritage. Students will investigate how sacred stories and rites of various traditions function narratively and symbolically as expressions of and frameworks for human beings, thinking and acting in relation to communities' understandings of the divine. The course highlights the role of story, symbol and rite in addressing interfaith conflict and social division and in providing a compassionate and reconciling worldview. This course may be used toward an advanced core certificate. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or department consent or common core course in Religious Studies, Philosophy or Sociology.

REL 313 - Sacramental Theology

(Credits: 3.00)

This is an historical, anthropological and theological investigation of the constitutive elements of Christian worship and sacrament (time, space, word, and ritual/symbolic act), with special attention to the sacraments of baptism and eucharist. The course includes an overview of liturgical practices, texts, and theology from Jewish and scriptural origins to the 20th-century Vatican II reforms; basic principles of liturgical and sacramental theology; and groundwork for interpreting liturgical documents and ritual texts with a view to pastoral practice, multi-/inter-cultural concerns, and ecumenical considerations. Prerequisite: First core course.

REL 315 - The Prophets

(Credits: 3.00)

This course introduces students to the writings of the prophets of ancient Israel as interpreted by contemporary biblical scholarship. The nature, origin, and evolution of the prophetic movement within ancient Israel is considered, and key passages from the prophets are examined. Prerequisite: First core course.

REL 316 - Sacred Scrolls: The Bible and the Qur'an

(Credits: 3.00)

This course introduces students to the writings of the Bible and the Qur'an as products of their original historical and religious setting, as well as foundational documents for Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Using historical-critical and comparative methodologies, the various texts and their representative traditions are studied as interpretive responses to the life situations of Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the ancient world and normative forming texts of respective religions thereafter. While many faith communities understand these writings as a source of divine guidance, the primary focus of this course is the academic study of the text as it was intended for its original audience. In the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, this course will seek areas of common ground between these text traditions and the religious worldviews that they represent. This course may be used toward an advanced core certificate.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or department consent.

REL 318 - The Acts of the Apostles

(Credits: 3.00)

This course introduces students to the contemporary study of the history of early Christianity preserved in The Acts of the Apostles. The entire book is read and analyzed in the light of contemporary scholarship. Prerequisite: First core course.

REL 320 - Women and Religion

(Credits: 3.00)

This course examines the historical beliefs about the nature, place and role of women as understood in Christianity and the major world religions as well as an overview of the goddess and wiccan traditions. Topics include a study of contemporary women theologians, women's spirituality and women in ministry. Prerequisite: First core course.

REL 335 - Foundations for Ministry

(Credits: 3.00)

This is an interactive course which utilizes the principles of adult learning. This course examines the theologies of ordered ministry; summarizes theories foundational to formation of children, youth and adults in religious settings; outlines ministry as a leadership function; and explores significant issues which influence and impact ministry in the local faith community. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

REL 336 - Pastoral Dimensions of Ministry

(Credits: 3.00)

This is an interactive course which utilizes the principles of adult learning. This course examines ministry as a vocation, the theological roots of ministry and what it means to have a pastoral perspective in specific situations in the faith community. Students will focus on resources and choose assignments pertinent to their ministry area while becoming aware of common ministry issues.

REL 343 - Catholic Social Teaching

(Credits: 3.00)

This course will examine the historical settings and the biblical and theological foundations for Catholic Social Teaching. By applying a process of social analysis, students will probe the underlying causes of issues of social justice and peace. The course will explore how the principles of Catholic Social Teaching address these issues and how students might apply these principles to their future service experiences. This course may be used toward an advanced core certificate. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or department consent
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REL 350 - Christian Moral Theology

(Credits: 3.00)

This course is an introduction to the Biblical/theological foundations of morality in the Christian tradition. Prerequisite: First core course.

REL 360 - Discovering One's Path in Life

(Credits: 3.00)

This course explores the factors, especially the places and people in one's life, that shape a person's identity and higher calling in life. Prerequisite: Junior standing, first Religious Studies course.

REL 400 - Independent Study

(Credits: 1.00 - 1.00)

This is an independent study course, with topics and materials to be decided in consultation with the instructor.

REL 401 - Research Seminar

(Credits: 2.00 - 3.00)

This research seminar includes the senior culminating experiences, i.e., a research study designed to demonstrate the student's grasp of research techniques, methodology and resources. Prerequisite: Senior standing.

REL 402 - Synthesis Seminar

(Credits: 2.00 - 3.00)

This seminar provides an integration of findings from the history and sociology of religion. Prerequisite: Senior standing.

REL 403 - Religious Studies Practicum

(Credits: 1.00 - 3.00)

Utilizing the resources of theology, psychology, sociology and experience, the course is designed to assist the student toward competency in a religious leadership role.

REL 404 - The Gospel of Mark

(Credits: 3.00)

This course introduces students to contemporary developments in the study of Mark's Gospel. Special attention is given to Mark's unique way of dealing with Jesus' identity (Messianic Secret) and the way it permeates his entire Gospel. Prerequisite: First core course.

REL 405 - Christology

(Credits: 3.00)

This is a study of the person and mission of Jesus as presented in the Scriptures, in ecclesiastical tradition and in religious classics. Prerequisite: First core course.

REL 410 - Selected Topics

(Credits: 3.00)

This is a study of particular topics in theology and/or Christian ministry formation. Prerequisite: Will be determined for each course.

REL 416 - Relational Ministry

(Credits: 1.00)

This course enables participants to realize the importance of building relationships with volunteers through the use of human resource skills, volunteer management techniques and an understanding of peer ministry. It distinguishes between developing relational goals and managing programs. Topics covered benefit those who work in youth and young adult ministry, in adult and family ministry, or as coordinators of other parish ministries.

REL 443 - Theology of Justice and Peace

(Credits: 3.00)

This course examines the historical settings and the biblical and theological foundations for the Christian commitment to a just and peaceful world. Employing a process of social analysis, the latter part of the course explores the ethical challenges facing the Christian community, especially the urban church. Prerequisite: First core course.

REL 444 - Specialized Ministries in the Church

(Credits: 2.00)

This course identifies and describes the barriers to integration into church life experienced by persons with disabilities. Students examine strategies and programs which promote integration, and they design a ministry plan for a specific marginalized group. Prerequisite: Ministry student or consent of department.

REL 445 - Spirituality and Human Growth

(Credits: 3.00)

The spiritual journey moves people toward wholeness as integral human persons. The goals of this course are to explore the dynamics of Christian spirituality, to examine several psychological-theological views of the integration process, and to pursue the implications of the process for pastoral ministry. Prerequisite: First core course.

REL 465 - Introduction to Urban Ministry

(Credits: 1.00)

This course introduces students to the theology and practice of urban ministry. Students will examine the biblical foundations and analytical skills necessary to plan effective strategies in urban ministry. Students will assess the needs of their own professional and spiritual formation for this ministry. The course is the initial learning experience for students seeking certification in urban ministry.

REL 468 - The Bible and the City

(Credits: 2.00)

The course explores the biblical authors' viewpoints about the city as a social and theological reality. Students also will review contemporary approaches to biblical interpretation, applying these skills to the uses of the Bible in an urban pastoral setting.