Master of Arts in Religious Studies Courses

RS 502 - Synthesis Paper

(Credits: 2.00 - 3.00)

This is the final course to be taken as part of the requirement for the MARS degree (for MARS students admitted prior to Fall 2013). The synthesis paper provides the opportunity for students, under the direction and with the approval of a faculty member, to write a final integrating paper on a topic in their chosen area of interest or area of concentration.

RS 505 - 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.

RS 506 - Theology of Church

(Credits: 3.00)

This course explores the development of the Christian Church in all its expressions from the New Testament communities to the current era.

RS 507 - Patristic to Late Medieval Church Theologies

(Credits: 3.00)

This survey course is designed to introduce the student to the theologians of the Catholic Church, from the Early Church up to, and including, the Medieval Period. Through reading, discussion, and theological reflection the student will become familiar with the Apostolic, Patristic, Monastic, Vernacular, and Scholastic traditions of the Church.

RS 508 - 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.

RS 509 - Introduction to Old Testament Studies

(Credits: 3.00)

This course is designed to familiarize students with the composition, structure, and history of the Old Testament along with the tools necessary to study it both critically and faithfully. Emphasis is placed on presenting contemporary biblical methods of interpretation and their application to texts of the Old Testament.

RS 511 - Introduction to New Testament Studies

(Credits: 3.00)

This course is designed to familiarize students with the composition, structure, history and theology of the New Testament along with the tools necessary to study it both critically and faithfully. Emphasis is placed on presenting contemporary methods of interpretation and their application to the texts of the New Testament.

RS 512 - From Reformation to the Present

(Credits: 3.00)

This course provides a survey of developments in Christian theology from the 16th century to the present. Special attention is given to the efforts by Christian theologians in the ongoing series of crises in the post-medieval world, including the Reformations of the 16th century and the Catholic response to them, the rise of the modern nation state and the disappearance of Christendom in the 17th and 18th centuries, the rise of a secularized industrial society and intellectual modernity in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the globalization of Christianity in the late 20th and 21st centuries.

RS 513 - 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. It 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.

RS 514 - Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations

(Credits: 3.00)

In this course, the class will focus on the Roman Catholic church's approach to and practice in ecumenical dialogue by studying the Vatican II Decree on Ecumenism and subsequent encyclicals, and by examining recent agreements between the Roman Catholic communion and the Orthodox, Lutheran, Anglican, and Reformed communities.

RS 520 - Women and Theology

(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.

RS 522 - Johannine Writings

(Credits: 3.00)

This course examines the Gospel of John and the three letters of John (1 John, 2 John, 3 John). Each of these writings is situated within the historical framework of the era and the forces that shaped it. Each different piece of the Johannine writings are analyzed using contemporary biblical methods of interpretation.

RS 523 - Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas

(Credits: 3.00)

In this course, the historical contexts, philosophical backgrounds, and continuing relevance of the theologies of Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas are examined in detail. Special attention is given to their use of scripture and tradition in formulating distinctive theological responses to the ecclesiastical and intellectual challenges of their time.

RS 524 - Synoptic Gospels

(Credits: 3.00)

This course studies the Synoptic Gospels: Mark, Matthew and Luke. Each Gospel is studied individually for its unique theological contributions. Furthermore, the Gospels are examined jointly in an effort to contrast and compare their differing approaches to similar material such as the infancy narratives, Jesus' teachings and miracles, and the passion and resurrection narratives.

RS 525 - Religion in America

(Credits: 3.00)

This course takes an historical approach to the development of the major periods and traditions of religious experience in the United States. Students will examine the impact of these religions on the social, political and cultural patterns and probe current issues (fundamentalism, the role of women, etc.) in the light of these historical roots.

RS 527 - Christian Anthropology

(Credits: 3.00)

This course focuses on the understanding of the human person in the Christian tradition. The course explores the theological understanding of topics such as human nature, grace, sin, freedom, justification, and salvation.

RS 528 - Franciscan Intellectual Tradition

(Credits: 3.00)

The course introduces students to the richness of the Franciscan intellectual tradition. Beginning with Francis and Clare of Assisi, students will examine how men and women passed on the tradition to the present day. Through reading, discussion, and theological reflection, students will identify the Franciscan views of God, Jesus Christ, the world, and the human person throughout the centuries. Finally, students will discover how the tradition interfaces with religious experience, economics, politics, the natural sciences, philosophy and theology in the 21st century.

RS 532 - Introduction to Theological Thinking

(Credits: 3.00)

This course explores what it is that we do when we do theology. It examines various schools of thought that serve as a guide to explore the notion of meaning. Typical topics studied are: human experience as a foundation for theologizing, models of revelation, concepts of faith, God, religious language, development of doctrine, and interpretation of the sources of religious thought.

RS 533 - Catholic Education in America

(Credits: 2.00)

Students will examine the history and mission of Catholic education in America. The course unpacks the unique culture and the successful outcomes of Catholic schools and the role they have played in American society and in the Catholic Church in America. The course also examines the unique challenges of maintaining this culture and success given modern social change, globalization and the realities of the changing Church in America. Special attention is given to Church documents on Catholic education and Catholic Social Teaching and also to best practices for creating community among teaching colleagues, students and parents.

RS 534 - Pastoral Counseling

(Credits: 3.00)

This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of counseling with a special emphasis on the sub-discipline of pastoral counseling. Since all forms of counseling begin with listening, in order to accurately hear counselees and to create a helping relationship, this course trains students in the science and art of listening, as well as the development of basic counseling skills within a pastoral counseling framework.

RS 539 - Letters of Paul

(Credits: 3.00)

This course examines the person and letters of Paul of Tarsus. It begins with an examination of Paul's life and world, as well as that of the communities to which he wrote. Special attention is given to the literary form of the letter as it appeared in the ancient world, as well as Jewish exegetical techniques and Greco-Roman rhetorical methods. This background is used in a literary, exegetical and theological analysis of select letters from the Pauline corpus.

RS 541 - Biblical Greek I

(Credits: 3.00)

This course is an introduction to the language of biblical Greek. It provides students an opportunity to become familiar with the original language of the New Testament texts know as Koine Greek (the 'common' Greek used by people of the New Testament period). The course will focus specifically on the noun and verb systems, with the goal of acquiring basic skills in exegesis for translation and interpretation.

RS 542 - Biblical Greek II

(Credits: 3.00)

This course is an introduction to the language of biblical Greek. It provides students an opportunity to become familiar with the original language of the New Testament texts known as Koine Greek (the 'common' Greek used by people of the New Testament period). The course will focus specifically on the verb systems and build upon Biblical Greek I (noun system), with a goal of acquiring basic skills in exegesis for transflation and interpretation. Prerequisite: RS 541.

RS 544 - Specialized Ministries in the Church

(Credits: 3.00)

This course identifies and describes the barriers to integration into church life experienced by persons with disabilities. Students examine strategies and programs that promote integration, and they design a ministry plan for a specific marginalized group.

RS 545 - Spirituality and Human Growth

(Credits: 3.00)

The spiritual journey moves people toward wholeness as integral human persons. The goals of this class are to explore the dynamic of Christian spirituality; to examine several psychological-theological views of the integration process; and to pursue the implications of the process for pastoral ministry.

RS 547 - Later New Testament Letters

(Credits: 3.00)

This course studies the Letter to the Hebrews and the 'Catholic Epistles' (James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John and Jude) from a literary, historical and theological perspective. This course examines how these letters originally spoke to the New Testament communities of the 1st and early 2nd centuries as well as how these letters speak to us today as 21st century Christians. This course explores the application of these biblical letters in an educational and/or ministerial setting.

RS 550 - Christian Moral Theology

(Credits: 3.00)

This course is an introduction to the biblical/theological foundations of morality in the Christian tradition.