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The TRS department offers a wide variety of courses to fit different student needs and interests. Students can find TRS Core courses that relate to almost any major program or field of interest.

  • Lower-division (100– and 200–level) Core courses involve introductory surveys of a topic in theology and/or religious studies.
  • Upper-division (300-level) Core courses allow a deeper dive into a more precise topic.

Graduate seminars in TRS (400- and 500-level courses) provide intensive work in important focus areas for students preparing for professional careers, advanced studies, or who benefit from the intellectual stimulation and spiritual challenge of formal coursework.

The basic areas of TRS coursework include:

  • Scripture (TRS 100–109, 200–209, 300–309, 400–409, 500–509)
  • Judaism (TRS 110–119, 210–219, 310–319, 410–419, 510–519)
  • History of Christianity/Sociology of Religions (TRS 120–129, 220–229, 320–329, 420–429, 520–529)
  • Systematic Theology (TRS 130–139, 230–239, 330–339, 430–439, 530–539)
  • Islam (TRS 140–149, 240–249, 340–349, 440–449, 540–549)
  • Asian Religions (TRS 150–159, 250–259, 351–359, 450–459, 550–559)
  • Religious Ethics (TRS 160–169, 260–269, 360–369, 460–469, 560-569)
  • Spirituality (TRS 170–179, 270–279, 370–379, 470–479, 570–579)
  • Pastoral & Practical Theology (TRS 180–189, 280–289, 380–389, 480–489, 580–589)
  • Capstones and Special Topics (TRS 190–199, 290–299, 390–399, 490–499, 590–599)

Course Descriptions

Biblical Studies and History of Christianity/Sociology of Religions courses
  • Biblical Studies (TRS x0x)
    • 105. MYTH MATTERS 3 cr. An introduction to the Bible through its various literary genres (e.g., myth, history, poetry, satire), with comparisons to contemporary literature and other media that follow the same or similar forms. Involves project-based service learning.
    • 200. HEBREW BIBLE 3 cr. Historical and cultural environment of the Jewish Bible (the collection of scriptures in the Torah, Nebi’im , and Kethubim, or “Tanakh,” which Christians call the “Old Testament”), its nature and composition, and its religious and theological developments.
    • 205. NEW TESTAMENT 3 cr. Development and composition of the New Testament; the historical, cultural, and religious environments out of which it arose; and the various theological perspectives found within it.
    • 300. THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST (HS 300) 3 cr. History, culture, and religions of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Syro-Palestine.
    • 301. ARCHAEOLOGY AND THE BIBLE 3 cr. Principles and methodologies of archaeology; examination of how archaeology broadens and informs our understanding of the world and events of the Bible.
    • 302. THE BIBLE THROUGH THE EYES OF THE HUNGRY 3 cr. The Bible presents the poor as objects of God’s special protection and views their treatment by the wider society as the litmus test of whether a society is righteous or wicked. Focus on the Bible’s critique of the dynamics of food scarcity, displacement, exile, drought, despair, and other basic hungers of the human race. Typically involves service learning. Prerequisite: TRS 105, 200, 205, other prior coursework in scripture, or instructor permission.
    • 306. JESUS IN FILM & HISTORY 3 cr. Introduction to the words and deeds of the historical Jesus of Nazareth, as understood by his contemporaries. Comparisons to how Jesus was later understood and portrayed by his followers (e.g., in the New Testament) and in popular media (art, literature, and film).
    • 308. HEALING IN EARLY CHRISTIANITY & THE GRECO-ROMAN WORLD 3 cr. Explores the understanding of health and healing in the gospels and other early Christian traditions, and of Jesus’ role as healer, in comparison to other contemporaneous Greco-Roman religious traditions (e.g., Galen, the author of the most influential medical text in the West, and the Asclepius cult, the world’s first system of holistic medicine).
    • 309. SPECIAL TOPICS IN BIBLICAL STUDIES 1–3 cr. Selected topics relating to the Bible and biblical archaeology. Specific content and number of credits to be announced when offered. May be repeated with a different topic.
    • 400. SCRIPTURE & REVELATION 3 cr. Problems of and approaches to understanding the Jewish and Christian scriptures as “revelatory texts.” Special focus on the methods essential to exegesis and biblical interpretation; digital and text-based tools for biblical research; and contemporary uses of the scriptures.
    • 405. “REJECTED BOOKS” OF THE BIBLE 3 cr. Introduction to the non-canonical writings of formative Judaism and early Christianity. Intensive study of selections from the intertestamental, apocryphal, and pseudepigraphical literature of the Old and New Testaments; the Mishnaic and later Talmudic literature; and the writings of early Christian authors.
    • 406. NEW TESTAMENT ETHICS FOR CONTEMPORARY CULTURE 3 cr. Ethical perspectives and prescriptions conveyed by the New Testament. The teaching and praxis of Jesus, including concern for the poor and solidarity with the marginalized, provide the center of gravity for analysis of a cross-section of the paraenetic teaching and ethical traditions in the New Testament. Students develop sophisticated tools for understanding its contribution to contemporary ethical debates.
    • 408. LIFE & LETTERS OF PAUL OF TARSUS 3 cr. Introduction to the cultural and historical background of the life and career of the Apostle Paul, examination of his major writings, writings in the Pauline traditions, their impact in their original historical-cultural settings, and uses of these texts in other settings today.
    • 501. HEBREW BIBLE EXEGESIS 3 cr. Detailed analysis of a major Hebrew Bible text that will be specified when the course is offered.
    • 502. THE BIBLE THROUGH THE EYES OF THE HUNGRY 3cr. Application of a hermeneutic of hunger to various Biblical texts with a view to addressing particular contemporary issues relating to hunger, water shortage, famine, and other challenges to human sustenance and environmental sustainability. Students will recover a vivid sense of the Bible’s critique of the dynamics of food scarcity, displacement, exile, drought, despair, and other basic hungers of the human race.
    • 505. NEW TESTAMENT EXEGESIS 3 cr. Detailed analysis of a major New Testament book that will be specified when the course is offered.
    • 506. JESUS IN FILM AND HISTORY 3 cr. History of research on the historical Jesus from David Friedrich Strauss through Wilhelm Wrede and Albert Schweitzer to the present. Analysis of the primary data using the standard criteria of authenticity. Comparisons with contemporary appropriations of the figure of Jesus in visual media, especially film. Examination of the value of historical Jesus research for contemporary Christology.
    • 507. SYNOPTIC GOSPELS 3 cr. In-depth analysis of current research on theories of synoptic relations; the relationship of the Synoptic Gospels to such non-canonical gospels as the Gospel of Peter and Gospel of Thomas; and the literary and theological characteristics of each of the Synoptic Gospels.
    • 508. HEALING IN EARLY CHRISTIANITY & THE GRECO-ROMAN WORLD 3 cr. Exploration of understandings of health and healing in the gospels and other early Christian traditions, and of Jesus’ role as healer, in comparison to contemporaneous Greco-Roman religious traditions (e.g., Galen, the author of the most influential medical textbook in the western world, and the Asclepius cult, the world’s first system of holistic medicine).
    • 509. SPECIAL TOPICS IN BIBLICAL STUDIES 1–3 cr. Selected questions from the text and background of the Old or New Testament. Specific content and number of credits to be announced when offered.
  • History of Christianity/Sociology of Religions (TRS x2x)
    • 120. HOW RELIGION WORKS 3 cr. Explores various understandings of the "how," "what," and "why" of religion as fundamental to human experience, personal and communal; strategies for thoughtfully probing and creating coherent meaning out of manifold life experiences, emotions, and activities. Topics covered include the nature of religion; religious experiences and practices; revelation; symbol and ritual. Involves service learning.
    • 222. AMERICAN CHRISTIANITIES 3 cr. Development of Christianity in the U.S. from colonial times to today. Emphasis on interaction between Christianity and American culture and on the development of Roman Catholicism in the U.S. Topics include the Puritans, religious liberty, abolition, revivalism, immigration, nativism, Industrial Revolution, Catholic education, prohibition, fundamentalism, rise of the laity, and modern secularism.
    • 223. AFRICAN-AMERICAN RELIGION 3 cr. The African-American religious experience, including historical roots of African religion essential to slave Christianity, development of the institutional church, and spiritual expressions influencing African-American worship styles. Important political and social foundations of the church from which political and social organizations grew, as well as African-American theology.
    • 225. RELIGION IN POPULAR CULTURE 3 cr. Examines the dynamic relationship between religion and popular culture by investigating the role of religion in such “secular” phenomena as mainstream U.S. literature, music, and film. Emphasis on the particular influence that Catholic authors, actors, and musicians have had in shaping contemporary U.S. popular culture.
    • 226. RELIGIONS OF OHIO & THE WESTERN RESERVE 3 cr. Investigates the rich religious history of Ohio and the Western Reserve, which has served as an incubator for several well-known religious groups and significant religious modes, from the ancient mound builders to the present day. Case studies raise broader theoretical concerns about the role of place in the religious lives of individuals and communities.
    • 227. RELIGIOUS ENTHUSIASM IN MODERN AMERICA 3 cr. Sociological inquiry into religious fervor in the 20th- and 21st-century America. Examines the histories and the lived religious experiences of several modern/contemporary “enthusiastic” religious movements, paying particular attention to the discrepancy between the appeal they exert over adherents versus the fear and mistrust they often excite in society at large. Case studies explore dynamics of contemporary American religion and offer ways to think about American religious history. This course forms a Core Curriculum Link with HS 240 “Spiritual Awakenings in Early America.”
    • 321. HISTORY OF THE PAPACY 3 cr. Origins of the papacy in the Roman world; growth of papal influence in the Early Middle Ages; papal responses to, and interactions with, Protestantism, the Catholic Reformation, absolute monarchy, the Enlightenment, European revolutions, European totalitarianism, the Third World, and modern democratic trends.
    • 322. CONSTRUCTING RELIGIOUS IDENTITY 3 cr. Religious people are not born but are made according to context-specific norms. An examination of the various processes of religious socialization by which religious identities are constructed, maintained, transformed, and sometimes discarded. through contemporary case studies, and using theoretical frameworks from sociology, anthropology, and psychology. Theoretical issues of identity and boundaries as they pertain to religious groups and people.
    • 323. MARTIN, MALCOLM, & BLACK LIVES MATTER 3 cr. Life, career, and teaching of the civil-rights leader and Christian theologian, Martin Luther King, Jr. Sources of King’s unique theology; analysis of speeches and writings; King’s relationship to other thinker-activists of his time, such as Mohandas K. Gandhi and Malcolm X; milestones of justice and peace; connections and comparisons with the contemporary “Black Lives Matter” movement.
    • 324. HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS 3 cr. Origins of the feast; gospel infancy narratives; apocryphal traditions; Christology; Christmas in Medieval art and drama; cult of Saint Nicholas; origins and growth of Christmas music; Puritan attack on the feast; decline of the feast in 18th century; impact of the Industrial Revolution; the establishment of modern Christmas; modern commercialization; contemporary developments.
    • 325. WOMEN WHO SHAPED CHRISTIANITY 3 cr. Lives and writings of prominent women who have shaped the Christian tradition from its earliest period. Emphasis on the women’s contributions in light of their historical contexts.
    • 326. HISTORY OF THE IDEA OF EVIL 3 cr. The construction of the idea of evil, from the pre-biblical period up through modern times, examined through various theoretical approaches and applied to specific case studies (e.g., early Christian martyrdom, European witch hunts, Nazi Germany, the Satanic Panic).
    • 327. MINORITY RELIGIONS 3 cr. Examines the histories, traditions, and lived religious practices of select minority religious groups by exploring their interaction and exchange with wider American culture (e.g., through architecture, commerce, food, law, and media). Case studies consider such questions as the shifting contextual meaning of the labels minority/majority and marginal/central; ways American religious groups affect one another while maintaining their distinct identities. Involves experiential learning.
    • 328. THE FRANCISCAN MOVEMENT 3 cr. Franciscan movement from its origins with Francis of Assisi to its contemporary manifestations. Historical and spiritual aspects of the Franciscan phenomenon and its import for the Church today.
    • 329. SPECIAL TOPICS IN CHRISTIAN HISTORY 1–3 cr. Selected topics relating to the history of the Christian community in its various manifestations. Specific content and number of credits to be announced when offered. May be repeated with a different topic.
    • 420. THE RISE OF CHRISTIANITY 3 cr. Emergence of Christianity into the Greco-Roman world during the first six centuries. Key topics include: establishment of Trinitarian theology and Christology; relations of Church and State; roles of women; origins of monasticism; interaction with pagan culture; establishment of ecclesiastical structures; early Christian art; major figures (Constantine, Athanasius, Augustine); and the Church’s growing self-understanding.
    • 421. CRADLE OF CHRISTIANITY: EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN SYRIA & ASIA MINOR 3 cr. Rise of Christianity in Roman Syria and Asia Minor (modern Turkey) through study of significant literature and sites. Traces Christian development from northern Palestine through Syria, Cappadocia, and Anatolia, to Ephesus, the “metropolis of Asia.” Often done “on location” during a study tour of Syria, Turkey, and/or Greece.
    • 422. AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO: LIFE, THEOLOGY, INFLUENCE 3 cr. Introduction to the life, theology, and influence of Augustine of Hippo (CE 354–431), a magisterial figure in the history of Christian thought who remains significant for contemporary Christianity. Topics include Augustine’s views of church and state, marriage and sexuality, original sin, dynamics of human freedom.
    • 522. CONSTRUCTING RELIGIOUS IDENTITY 3 cr. Examination of the various processes of religious socialization by which religious identities are constructed, maintained, transformed, and sometimes discarded. Working through contemporary case studies, and using theoretical frameworks from sociology, anthropology, and psychology, analyze the various ways people learn how to be religious (or spiritual, or not religious) according to a particular group’s expectations. Engages theoretical issues of identity and boundaries as they pertain to religious groups and people.
    • 525. WOMEN WHO SHAPED CHRISTIANITY 3 cr. Lives and writings of prominent women who have shaped the Christian tradition from its earliest period. Emphasis on the women’s contributions in light of their historical contexts.
    • 529. SPECIAL TOPICS IN CHRISTIAN HISTORY 1–3 cr. Selected topics on the history of the Christian community in its various manifestations. Specific content and number of credits to be announced when offered.
Systematic Theology and Spirituality courses
  • Systematic Theology (TRS x3x)
  • 130. WORLD OF GRACE 3 cr. Exploration of the Christian vision of the entire world as grace-filled, resonant with the Holy. Humanity is innately attuned to this Transcendent Mystery; the hallmark of the Christian spiritual life is finding and honoring “God in all things” (St. Ignatius Loyola). This world of grace grounds the possibilities of human freedom, trust, and hope, fostered by life in the community of graced seekers (i.e., the church), and flowing into a life of compassion and justice in the world today. Involves service learning.
  • 131. ULTIMATE QUESTIONS (of Life, the Universe, and Everything) 3 cr. An examination of life's ultimate questions: those profound mysteries and fundamental issues all humans must confront, which demand a personal response; how these questions have been articulated and expressed through the centuries. Religion as the story we inhabit: the narrative we “believe into”; that shapes identity, influences decisions, forms actions, and provides the context within which humans respond to the ultimate questions . Involves service learning.
  • 132. IDENTITY MATTERS 3 cr. An exploration of Christian spirituality, religion, and theology from the LGBTQ+ perspective. Topics include the origin, history and themes of queer theology and its relation to Queer Theory; queering scriptural interpretations and theological doctrines; intersections of queer people of color; and societal and ecological engagement in the post-colonial western world. Case studies on queerness, race, and ethnicity in Womanist, Asian-American, Latina/o, and Two-Spirit Indigenous theologies. Involves service learning.
  • 230. CONTEMPORARY CATHOLIC THEOLOGY 3 cr. Overview of Roman Catholic theological themes and issues since the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) with attention to selected areas: scripture, grace, sin, redemption, the role of Jesus, the Church, ethical norms and morality, and sacraments.
  • 232. JESUS: HISTORY AND THEOLOGY 3 cr. The ways Christians have understood the person and work of Jesus. Use of scripture and tradition to illumine how those who confess him as Savior have defined him and to provide means for traditional and creative thinking about the central figure of Christian faith.
  • 233. SAINTS AND SOCIETY 3 cr. The theological significance of saints in the Roman Catholic tradition. Topics include the origins of the cult of the saints, changing models of sanctity, ritual and devotional practices, the process and politics of canonization, and the implications of the veneration of saints for a theological treatment of God, the church, and the human person.
  • 238. CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH 3 cr. Overview of Roman Catholic theology, based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as a look at various themes and issues since the Second Vatican Council that find their roots and explanation in the Catechism. Emphasis on scripture, grace, sacraments, sin, redemption, the role of Jesus, the Catholic Magisterium, ethical norms, and morality. Offered at the Center for Pastoral Leadership.
  • 330. MODELS OF GOD 3 cr. Comparison of several models for understanding God and God’s relations to the world.
  • 331. SIN, GRACE, & WHOLENESS 3 cr. Introduction to theological anthropology, the study of the human being in relation to God and in conflict with evil.
  • 332. CHRIST & THE PASCAL MYSTERY 3 cr. Study of the principal developments in theological reflection on the meaning and significance of Jesus Christ in the New Testament and in later church tradition; consideration of how contemporary Christology is both affected by and responds to crucial concerns of today’s culture.
  • 334. CHURCH & SACRAMENT 3 cr. Introduction to the concept and nature of “sacrament” and to the historical, liturgical, and theological development of the seven sacraments. Emphasis on sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation/Chrismation, Eucharist) with consideration of sacraments of healing (Penance, Healing of the Sick) and of Church service/government (Matrimony, Holy Orders). Also examines the “sacramental imagination” and its role in the Catholic spiritual tradition.
  • 335. WHAT HAPPENED AT VATICAN II 3 cr. The Second Vatican Council as a historical, sociological, and theological event. Explores what happened at Vatican II, in particular its causes and effects in the life of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • 336. CHURCH & MINISTRY 3 cr. Survey of the theology of church and ministry taking into account the biblical background and historical developments and focusing on issues and ideas surrounding ministry today. Locates ministry and church mission within a broadly Christian ecumenical perspective, with an emphasis on the Roman Catholic experience.
  • 337. GLOBALIZATION, THEOLOGY, & JUSTICE 3 cr. Surveys and analyzes contributions of Catholic theology and tradition on issues related to globalization, such as economics, demographic shifts, ecology, consumerism, migration, human trafficking, and interreligious conflict. Approached through the lens of Catholic social teaching, possible responses are evaluated based on the principle of the common good and the potential impact upon the most vulnerable members of society. Involves service learning.
  • 338. CATHOLICISM IN A DIGITAL AGE 3 cr. The theological significance of the digital revolution for the Catholic experience of faith, focusing on communication technologies and their implications for the church as a global religious institution. Surveys the historical impact of technological innovation on the church and explores in depth theological topics currently being rethought in light of technological change.
  • 339. SPECIAL TOPICS IN SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY 1–3 cr. Selected problems or authors in systematic theology. Specific content and number of credits to be announced when offered. May be repeated with a different topic.
  • 430. INTRODUCTION TO SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY 3 cr. Consideration of concepts key to understanding how theology works: faith, revelation, scripture, symbol, tradition, community, and method. Explores how these concepts work in the writings of significant theologians. Places these thinkers within their historical and cultural worlds to help students reflect on what it means to do theology out of their unique commitments, contexts, and life experiences.
  • 431. READINGS IN FEMINIST THEOLOGY 3 cr. Exploration of the way in which the feminist movement has affected the articulation of Christian doctrine through a reading and analysis of the works of contemporary feminist theologians. Includes a survey of feminist theory from the late 18th century to the present.
  • 530. GOD IN CONTEMPORARY THEOLOGY 3 cr. Investigation into the various ways in which the classic Christian confession of a Triune God has been explored in recent theological reflection.
  • 531. SIN, GRACE, AND WHOLENESS 3 cr. Introduction to theological anthropology, the study of the human being in relation to God and in conflict with evil, in order to secure a doctrinal foundation for the understanding of Christian spirituality. Readings include biblical, classical, and contemporary Christian sources.
  • 532. CHRISTOLOGY 3 cr. Study of the principal developments in theological reflection on the meaning and significance of Jesus Christ in the New Testament and in later church tradition; consideration of how contemporary Christology is both affected by and responds to some crucial concerns of today’s culture.
  • 533. UNDERSTANDING CHURCH 3 cr. Study of the origin, nature, and mission of the Church in light of its evolution from the preaching and mission of Jesus and his disciples, through its developing history, to its current self-understanding since Vatican II.
  • 534. SACRAMENTS 3 cr. Introduction to the concept and nature of “sacrament” and to the historical, liturgical and theological development of the seven sacraments. Emphasis upon sacraments of initiation (baptism, confirmation/chrismation, Eucharist) with consideration of sacraments of healing (penance, healing of the sick) and of Church service/government (matrimony, holy orders). Also examines the “sacramental imagination” as a way to understand theological assumptions that play a large part in Catholic spiritual tradition.
  • 535. WHAT HAPPENED AT VATICAN II 3 cr. Study of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) as an historical, sociological, and theological event. Explores what happened at Vatican II, in particular, its causes and effects in the life of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • 536. CHURCH AND MINISTRY 3 cr. Study of the theology of church and ministry. Taking into account the biblical background and historical developments, the course focuses on issues and ideas surrounding ministry today. With an emphasis on the Roman Catholic experience, the course locates ministry and church mission within a broadly Christian ecumenical perspective.
  • 539. SPECIAL TOPICS IN SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY 1–3 cr. Selected problems or authors in systematic theology. Specific content and number of credits to be announced when offered.
  • Spirituality (TRS x7x)
  • 270. FIGUREHEADS, FOUNDERS, VISIONARIES 1–3 cr. Focus on one or more key individuals who have influenced the historical development of one or more religions and spiritual pathways. Specific content and number of credits to be announced when offered.
  • 271. CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY 3 cr. The interior life studied from the perspective of spiritual freedom and transformation grounded in the life and teaching of Jesus. Probes the deepest longings of the heart and their relationship to human and spiritual fulfillment. Involves experiential learning.
  • 272. SOUL FOOD 3 cr. African-American spirituality, religion, and identity formation through religious and food experiences within the family and the greater African-American cultural group. History of food availability and preparation. Film portrayals of African-American family unity maintained through cultural traditions related to food. Involves experiential learning. This course forms a Core Curriculum Link with IC 208 “Food for the Soul, Soul Food.”
  • 274. ARTFUL SPIRITUALITY 3 cr. Exploration of the elements of Christian spirituality and its expression through the arts. Imaginative expression through art-making can enrich spirituality, facilitating deep, authentic encounters with God. A CAPA course in the Integrated Core Curriculum .
  • 275. THEOLOGY IN MUSIC 3 cr. Broad survey of church music as a carrier of theology and spirituality, from the early church to Vatican II. Examines the history of western church music to understand the relationships between music, worship, theology, and spiritual life, within the cultural and historical settings of the church. Involves experiential learning. A CAPA course in the Integrated Core Curriculum.
  • 371. IGNATIAN SPIRITUALITY: ORIGINS & DEVELOPMENT 3 cr. Study of the life and writings of Ignatius Loyola and the spirituality that emerged from his religious experience, the dissemination of Ignatian spirituality through the creation of the Jesuit order, the mission and ministry of the first Jesuits, the development of Ignatian spirituality, and its contemporary relevance. Involves experiential learning.
  • 372. THEOLOGY OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN SACRED MUSIC 3 cr. Survey of theological issues and constructs in African-American sacred music. Musical theology of Negro spirituals as starting point in discovering expressions of biblical and societal musings. Gospel music and anthematic presentations as expressions of a basic understanding of life and being in the African-American experience.
  • 373. THE TRANSFIGURED BRAIN 3 cr. Explores intersections of neurology, psychology, philosophy, ritual practice, and the Christian contemplative-mystical life. Brings the Christian understanding of the human person, liturgical ritual, spiritual growth, and mystical experience into conversation with empirical science. Includes guided participative ritual and prayer practices intended to heighten awareness of students’ transcendent potential, followed by mystagogical reflection on human consciousness and the encounter with God.
  • 379. SPECIAL TOPICS IN SPIRITUALITY 1–3 cr. Selected topics relating to the work of great spiritual leaders and/or to spiritual practices such as prayer, worship, and meditation. Specific content and number of credits to be announced when offered. May be repeated with a different topic.
  • 472. THEOLOGY OF THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISES I (ISI 401) 3 cr. Prerequisite: acceptance into the Ignatian Spirituality Institute. First of a two-part sequence exploring the theological foundations of Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises. Focuses on theological themes underlying the First Principle and Foundation and the First Week of the Exercises: creation, the nature and images of God, theological anthropology (human nature, grace, and sin), and a theology of prayer. Emphasis on practical application to directing the Exercises.
  • 473. THEOLOGY OF THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISES II (ISI 402) 3 cr. Prerequisite: TRS 472 or ISI 401.Second of a two-part sequence exploring the theological foundations of Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises. Focuses on theological themes underlying the Second, Third, and Fourth Weeks of the Spiritual Exercises : the reality of Jesus, human and divine; the historical Jesus and the Risen Christ of faith; the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ; an introduction to exegetical skills necessary for spiritual direction.
  • 474–475. PRACTICUM IN SPIRITUAL DIRECTION Prerequisite: TRS 473 or ISI 402. A praxis approach to the ministry of spiritual direction, this supervised internship is combined with readings and seminar discussions exploring the broader areas of knowledge that have an impact on that practice: discernment of spirits, ethical issues, adult psychological and faith development, and sexual and gender differences.
    • 474. PRACTICUM IN SPIRITUAL DIRECTION I (ISI 403) 2 cr. Prerequisite: TRS 473 or ISI 402. The first semester of the supervised spiritual-direction internship that constitutes the culmination of the student’s work leading to the Ignatian Spirituality Institute certificate .
    • 475. PRACTICUM IN SPIRITUAL DIRECTION II (ISI 404) 2 cr. Prerequisite: TRS 474 or ISI 403. The last semester of the supervised spiritual-direction internship that constitutes the culmination of the student’s work leading to the Ignatian Spirituality Institute certificate.
  • 570. CLASSICS IN SPIRITUALITY 3 cr. Selected readings from the works of religious leaders with attention to historical and cultural background, theological and psychological insights, and practical application. Specific texts and authors to be announced when offered .
  • 579. SPECIAL TOPICS IN SPIRITUALITY 1–3 cr. Selected topics relating to the work of great spiritual leaders and/or to spiritual practices such as prayer, worship, and meditation. Specific content and number of credits to be announced when offered.
Judaism, Islam, Asian Religions, and Interreligious Studies
  • Judaism (TRS x1x)
    • 210. INTRODUCTION TO JUDAISM 3 cr. Historical overview of the development of Judaism from its biblical beginnings through the modern period, including a discussion of the major religious ideas of classical Judaism.
    • 312. JEWISH MESSIANISM 3 cr. Surveys the broad outlines of Messianism throughout Jewish history and how it has changed shape and form, interacted with other belief structures, become secularized and re-enchanted again. Examines its place in modern politics (especially Zionism) and how these developments affect contemporary politics, history, and theology.
    • 315. THE HOLOCAUST AND ITS MEANING 3 cr. Reaction of Jewish and Christian intellectuals to the Nazi attempt to destroy the Jewish people; analysis of accounts of Holocaust survivors; the singular witness of Elie Wiesel; significance of the Holocaust for Jewish-Christian dialogue.
    • 316. THE RABBIS ON SEX AND GENDER 3 cr. The Rabbis of late antiquity devoted substantial attention to the relationship and rituals of marriage, both during the betrothals and in a couple’s ensuing married life. Mishnaic tractate Kiddushin provides a prime location for investigating Rabbinic attitudes towards marriage as well gender and sexuality more broadly construed. Explore this tractate (in English translation) through a wide variety of reading strategies, including legal analysis, text criticism, form criticism, Feminist criticism, and Queer theory.
    • 319. SPECIAL TOPICS IN JEWISH STUDIES 1–3 cr. Selected topics relating to the history, culture, faith, and practice of the Jewish people. Specific content and number of credits to be announced when offered. May be repeated with a different topic.
    • 516. THE RABBIS ON SEX AND GENDER 3 cr. Explorations of the legal and narrative sections from Talmudic tractate Kiddushin utilizing a wide variety of reading strategies (e.g., legal, text- and form-critical methods, Feminist criticism, and Queer theory).
    • 519. SPECIAL TOPICS IN JEWISH STUDIES 1–3 cr. Selected topics relating to the history, culture, faith, and practice of the Jewish people. Specific content and number of credits to be announced when offered.
  • Islam (TRS x4x)
    • 240. INTRODUCTION TO ISLAM 3 cr. Surveys the history of Islam, impact of Islamic belief and culture on global social and political development, and fundamental tenets and practices of Islam. Includes a modern interpretation of the Islamic tradition.
    • 245. ISLAM & ISLAMISM 3 cr. Islamic political thought in the modern period. Uses primary and secondary sources to explore key ethical norms and principles that shape Muslim reflection on social justice, the modern state, and justifications for violent action; authoritative sources for discerning just actions, including the Muslim as exemplar, Sharia, and related concepts in Islamic ethical/legal tradition. Critical analysis of the recent Islamist movement that calls itself the Islamic State and reflections on the prospect of “Post-Islamism. This course forms a Core Curriculum Link with PO 215 “Islam & Politics.”
    • 341. ISLAM IN AMERICA 3 cr. Introduction to the history of Islam and its arrival in the New World. Focus on the experience of American Muslims, including African-American Muslims, immigrant Muslims, and new American converts. Considers all levels of the Muslim public sphere in the U.S. and current U.S. relations with Muslim countries.
    • 342. ISLAM & THE ENVIRONMENT 3 cr. Overview of environmental issues and Islamic approaches to these challenges based on the major sources of Islam: the Qur’an and the Hadith. Islamic principles regarding the natural world and humanity’s place within it, and Islamic legal strictures to protect the environment. Special emphasis on contemporary Islamic activism to protect the natural world.
    • 344. ISLAMIC SPIRITUALITY 3 cr. Explores the spiritual tradition of Islam, also known as Sufism, focusing on three major themes: the emergence of Islamic spirituality through the Qur’an and hadith; the lives of Islamic mystics such as Harith al-Muhasibi (d. 857), Junayd al-Baghdadi (d. 910), Abu Hamid al Ghazali (d. 1111), and Jalal al-Din Rumi (d. 1273); and mystical interpretations of Islamic verses.
    • 349. SPECIAL TOPICS IN ISLAMIC STUDIES 1–3 cr. Selected topics relating to the Qur’an and/or the history, faith, and practice of the Muslim community. Specific content and number of credits to be announced when offered. May be repeated with a different topic.
    • 541. ISLAM IN AMERICA 3 cr. Introduction to the history of Islam and its arrival in the New World. The experience of American Muslims, including African-Americans, immigrants, and new American converts. Considers all levels of the Muslim public sphere in the U.S. and current U.S. relations with Muslim countries.
    • 542. ISLAM AND THE ENVIRONMENT 3 cr. Overview of environmental issues and Islamic approaches to these challenges based on the major sources of Islam: the Qur’an and the Hadith. Islamic principles regarding the natural world and humanity’s place within it, and Islamic legal strictures to protect the environment. Special emphasis on contemporary Islamic activism to protect the natural world.
    • 544. ISLAMIC SPIRITUALITY 3 cr. An elaboration of the mystical/Sufi tradition of Islam and the emergence of Islamic spirituality. Detailed study of the Qur’anic verses and paradigms from the sayings of the Prophet that constitute the main sources for the spiritual dimensions of Islam, as well as an examination of the writings of historical and contemporary Muslim mystical figures.
    • 549. SPECIAL TOPICS IN ISLAMIC STUDIES 1–3 cr. Selected topics relating to the Qur’an and/or the history, faith, and practice of the Muslim community. Specific content and number of credits to be announced when offered.
  • Asian Religions (TRS x5x)
    • 252. RELIGIONS OF INDIA 3 cr. Study of interpretation of India’s religions and cultures, including the discussion of methods and cultural biases in the study of foreign religions and cultures. Focus on Hinduism and Buddhism in the Indian subcontinent and how these were transmitted to other Asian countries.
    • 253. CHINESE RELIGIONS 3 cr. Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Ancient Chinese beliefs and practices, and the introduction and adaptations of Buddhism. Philosophical and cultural manifestations and the gradual development of the major Chinese religious movements up to the modern period.
    • 254. JAPANESE RELIGIONS 3 cr. Ancient Shinto beliefs; importation and modification of Korean and Chinese cultures and religions up to the modern era. Emergence of the Japanese empire in the seventh century CE, and the developments of Tendai, Kegon, Zen, and Shingon beliefs and practices.
    • 351. SILK ROAD RELIGIONS 3 cr. Focuses on religion, art, and politics on the international trade routes of East, Central, and South Asia, from the second through the twentieth centuries. Representative examples are presented chronologically and carefully situated within their political and religious contexts. Interdisciplinary methodology includes consideration of histories, religions, arts, and politics of the times.
    • 352. PILGRIMAGE 3 cr. Examines pilgrimage as a unifying theme in the study of world religions and as a key component of religious life. Treats pilgrimage as a perspective on the unity of spirit, mind, and body as an expression of the inseparability of individuals and larger religious communities; uses it as a point of departure to investigate symbols, rituals, myths, laws, doctrines, faiths, and visions manifested in world religions.
    • 359. SPECIAL TOPICS IN ASIAN RELIGIONS 1–3 cr. Selected topics relating to the religions of Asia and/or manifestations of western religions in an Asian context. Specific content and number of credits to be announced when offered. May be repeated with a different topic.
    • 551. BUDDHISM 3 cr. Begins with the Indian contexts and messages of the life story of the historical Buddha, and traces the evolutions of Buddhist thought in India. Explores Theravada, Mahayana, and tantric Buddhist theories and practices in selected Asian contexts in Tibet, China, Japan, and Southeast Asia.

Interreligious Studies

  • 249. FAITHS OF ABRAHAM: JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY, & ISLAM 3 cr. Cross-cultural approach to the study of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, all of which claim Abraham, the Biblical patriarch, as their “father in faith.” Uses American and selected international religious communities as case studies. Involves experiential learning.
  • 350. SPECIAL TOPICS IN INTER-RELIGIOUS STUDIES 3–12 cr. Specific content and number of credits to be announced when offered. See the Tuohy website (http://go.jcu.edu/tuohy) for further information. May be repeated with a different topic.
  • 449. FAITHS OF ABRAHAM: JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY, AND ISLAM 3 cr. Cross-cultural approach to the study of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, all of which claim Abraham, the Biblical patriarch, as their “father in faith.” Uses American and selected international religious communities as case studies. Involves experiential learning.
  • 452. PILGRIMAGE 3 cr. Study of the phenomenon of pilgrimage as a unifying theme in world religions and as a key component of religious life. Treats pilgrimage as a perspective on the unity of spirit, mind, and body as an expression of the inseparability of individuals and larger religious communities. Uses pilgrimage to investigate symbols, rituals, myths, laws, doctrines, faiths, and visions manifested in world religions. Sometimes offered with a travel component.
  • 550. INTER-RELIGIOUS STUDIES 1–3 cr. Specific content and number of credits to be announced when offered.
Religious Ethics and Pastoral/Practical Theology
  • Religious Ethics (TRS x6x)
    • 260. MORAL DECISION-MAKING 3 cr. Examination of contemporary moral issues with a focus on methods for analyzing and evaluating moral problems; sources from the Christian tradition that form moral identity and ethical decisions. This ISJ course in the Core curriculum involves service learning.
    • 261. AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHRISTIAN SOCIAL ETHICS 3 cr. Nature, origins, and functions of African-American ethical response as related to social, political, and religious belief systems. Emphasis on historical and social translation of values dictated by African-American religion and theology. Topics include African-American social Christianity, ethical/political issues of religion, womanist ethics, and current ethical dialogues.
    • 262. RELIGION, FREEDOM, & LAW 3 cr. Introduction to issues framed by legal and religious context. How morality and religion contribute to ethical dilemmas for individual lawyers; history of American interface between religion and law; how religion and law address similar questions in different ways; dilemmas pertaining to morality and freedom where religion and law interface; public forum and judicial system’s approach to religious issues; religious topics debated and litigated in public life.
    • 263. ECOLOGY, RELIGION, & JUSTICE 3 cr. The world today is in the midst of a major ecological crisis. This course explores how the Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity and Islam—are addressing this ecological crisis based on the principle of the common good and the potential impact on the most vulnerable members of the global community. Topics include eco-theology, eco-feminism, globalization, migration, violence against women and children, food security, water scarcity, loss of biodiversity and climate change. Involves class-based service learning project.
    • 360. CATHOLIC MORAL THEOLOGY 3 cr. Methods for making informed and prudential moral decisions, in the interpersonal and social spheres, grounded in experience, Scripture, church teaching, and rational discourse. Addresses such topics as conscience; virtue; individual and social sin; the common good; political, economic, and social problems such as war and peace, poverty, and prejudice; and major themes of Catholic Social Teaching.
    • 361. LIBERATION ETHICS 3 cr. Focuses on the ethics that arose out of the moral indignation of Latin Americans, Africans, and Asians in response to injustices. Begins with the concrete reality of the poor and oppressed and moves towards the transformation of persons and structures as its goal. Includes reflection on a people’s experience in light of social-scientific analysis and scripture
    • 362. RELIGION, ETHICS, & PUBLIC POLICY 3 cr. Focuses on debates about the role religion should play in the formulation of public policy in the United States. Considers works of Rawls, Hauerwas, Stout, and others.
    • 363. BIOETHICS 3 cr. Examines the ethical principles and forms of moral reasoning that typically guide decisions in health care and frame public policy debates generated by contemporary biomedicine. Includes materials from both religious and secular traditions of thought, with particular attention to Catholic teaching on bioethical issues (e.g., assisted reproductive technology, euthanasia, genetic manipulation, stem cell research).
    • 364. CHRISTIAN SEXUALITY 3 cr. Study of human sexuality, its meaning and mystery, and ethical issues related to sexual behavior and attitudes, all from a Christian perspective. Christian wisdom and wisdom of the ages in light of human experience and contemporary theories of the meaning and significance of sexuality. Special attention to the inherent relationship between spirituality and sexuality.
    • 365. JUST & UNJUST WAR 3 cr. Introduces the ethical issues posed by the use of violence. Particular emphasis on the just war tradition, which has significantly shaped contemporary international law and military ethics. Examines some of the canonical texts of just war tradition, explores the evolution of the tradition, and investigates how contemporary terrorism challenges the tradition.
    • 366. SOCIAL JUSTICE & THE ECONOMY: MORALITY & MONEY 3 cr. Examines the religious, moral and ethical assumptions at the heart of various economic systems, policies and practices, as well as the economic teachings of major religious traditions. Explores the social justice implications of personal, local, national and global economic decisions. Involves service learning.
    • 367. RELIGION, TERROR, & CULTURE WARS 3 cr. Ethical and practical issues regarding the importance of cultural memory and the destruction, recovery, and protection of cultural assets in a politicized global environment. Examination of past and present national and international threats to cultural assets. Involves project-based learning.
    • 461. CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING 3 cr. An introduction to Catholic Social Teaching, from its historical origins through today, focusing on its basic principles and norms for discernment and judgment, leading to criteria for action to address contemporary social challenges.
    • 560. CATHOLIC MORAL THEOLOGY 3 cr. Methods for making informed and prudential moral decisions, in the interpersonal and social spheres, grounded in experience, Scripture, church teaching, and rational discourse. Addresses such topics as conscience; virtue; individual and social sin; the common good; and major themes of Catholic Social Teaching.
    • 561. LIBERATION ETHICS 3 cr. Focuses on the ethics that arose out of the moral indignation of Latin Americans, Africans, and Asians in response to injustices. Begins with the concrete reality of the poor and oppressed and moves towards the transformation of persons and structures as its goal. Includes reflection on a people’s experience in light of social-scientific analysis and scripture.
    • 569. SPECIAL TOPICS IN RELIGIOUS ETHICS 1–3 cr. Selected issues or authors in the history of Christian ethics. Specific content and number of credits to be announced when offered.
  • Pastoral & Practical Theology (TRS x8x)
    • 381. TEACHING THEOLOGY & RELIGIOUS STUDIES 3 cr. Introduction to pedagogy for theological educators. Topics include the nature and goals of theological education, the vocation of the theology teacher, the sociological research relevant to religious education, the developmental needs of adolescents and young adults,diversity in the classroom, and concrete pedagogical strategies. Special attention given to practical implementation of the learning goals of the U.S. Catholic Bishops High School Curriculum Framework.
    • 389. SPECIAL TOPICS IN PASTORAL/PRACTICAL THEOLOGY 1–3 cr. Selected topics in the area of pastoral theology and ministry. Specific content and number of credits to be announced when offered. May be repeated with a different topic.

Spiritual Wellness Certificate Program

  • 582. SPIRIT & PSYCHE (CG 582) 3 cr. Prerequisite: permission of program coordinator. Draws from works of literature, psychology, and religion to investigate the role of spirit and psyche in the development of a healthy individual. Students compare spiritual and psychological developmental theories, assess individual development from a psychological and spiritual perspective, and compose a personal narrative of psycho-spiritual development.
  • 583. TRADITION & THEORY (CG 583) 3 cr. Prerequisite: permission of program coordinator. Reviews major religious traditions and major psychological theories. Students explore the religious traditions, which have influenced their clients, and/or patients, summarize and explain major psychological theories, and analyze potential conflicts between a particular spiritual tradition and a specific psychological theory. Attention will be given to discriminating between the roles of spiritual guide and psychological helper.
  • 584. HOLINESS & WHOLENESS (CG 584) 3 cr. Prerequisite: permission of program coordinator. Investigates religious and spiritual views of human wholeness, identifies impediments to spiritual and psychological growth, and distinguishes between a spiritual and psychological crisis. Students learn how to discern when an individual needs to be referred for either spiritual or psychological guidance.
  • 585. ENLIGHTENED SELF-CENTERING (CG 585) 3 cr. Prerequisite: permission of program coordinator. Focuses on the responsibility for caregivers to attend to their own needs in order to avoid undermining their effectiveness, falling into ethical lapses, or suffering from compassion fatigue. Students will demonstrate an understanding of their ethical responsibility for self-care by designing a program to guard against caregiver burnout.
  • 586. ENCOUNTERING EACH OTHER (CG 586) 3 cr. Prerequisite: permission of program coordinator. A capstone course in which students return to their professional settings to apply what they have learned by implementing a personally designed project or conducting a case study. Faculty and peers provide mentorship and support throughout this process. Students analyze and assess the effectiveness of their interventions. Concludes with students designing a personal development plan to continue their professional and personal growth.
  • 589. SPECIAL TOPICS IN PRACTICAL THEOLOGY 1–3 cr. Selected topics relating to pastoral ministry, pedagogy, and other practical contexts for application of contemporary theology. Specific content and number of credits to be announced when offered.
Capstones and Special Topics
  • 399. SPECIAL TOPICS 1–3 cr. Selected topics in one of the areas of theology and religious studies. Specific content and number of credits to be announced when offered. May be repeated with a different topic.
  • 491. INTERNSHIP 1–4 cr. An internship/practicum experience in the field(s) of ministry, religious studies, and/or theology. Involves supervised work at a religiously-affiliated institution or agency engaged in direct service to and/or advocacy in the local community. Each student is placed in a local institutional context best suited to individual skills and interests, receives on-the-job mentoring, and engages in guided reflection through a written journal and weekly seminar discussions. Course done by arrangement and with permission of department chair. May be repeated with a different topic or placement. This is a service-learning course.
  • 492. INDEPENDENT STUDY 1–3 cr. Prerequisites: permission of department chair. In-depth study on a tutorial basis of a particular problem, approved by the chair and directed by a member of the department. Requires a research paper.
  • 493. SENIOR SEMINAR 3 cr. Capstone seminar for TRS majors and minors. Meets the AW, OP and Capstone Core requirements for the major.
  • 494. THE CATHOLIC EXPERIENCE 3 cr. Capstone seminar for students in the Catholic Studies program. Normally taught in spring semester.
  • 499. SPECIAL TOPICS 1–3 cr. Selected topics in one of the areas of theology and religious studies. Specific content and number of credits to be announced when offered. May be repeated with a different topic.
  • 592. INDEPENDENT RESEARCH 1–3 cr. Prerequisites: permission of department chair and instructor; completion of Independent Study Contract Form. Directed research on a topic selected by the student, in consultation with a faculty member who will supervise the project, and culminating in one or more papers. Approval for the course should be obtained no later than three weeks prior to the semester in which the student wishes to enroll.
  • 593. M.A. ESSAY. Culmination of the work leading to the Master of Arts degree. A research essay or creative project designed to show skills at analysis, organization, and expression. Research is less extensive than that for the thesis. The essay or project must be approved by one faculty reader.
    • 593A. M.A. ESSAY 3 cr. Prerequisites: permission of department chair and instructor. Students should register for this course in the semester in which they intend to begin work on the M.A. essay. Approval for the course must be secured no less than three weeks prior to the semester in which the student wishes to enroll, and requires completion of the M.A. Essay Contract form, which is available through the TRS M.A. Program Canvas site.
    • 593B. CONTINUING ESSAY RESEARCH 0 cr. Prerequisite: TRS 593A. Continuation of work on the M.A. essay. Required if the M.A. essay is not completed in the first semester during which the student takes TRS 593A. Students must continue to enroll in TRS 593B each semester until the M.A. essay is completed, approved, and accepted toward the Master of Arts degree.
  • 599. M.A. THESIS. Prerequisite: approval of thesis topic. As a demonstration of a student’s research ability, the M.A. thesis is expected to show originality, clarity of thought, and power of mature expression. It may bring new facts to light, organize facts available in standard sources, or evaluate critically a technique, method, or trend. The completed thesis must be approved by the thesis advisor and at least one additional faculty reader.
    • 599A. M.A. THESIS I 3 cr. Prerequisites: permission of department chair and instructor. Students should register for this course in the semester in which they intend to begin work on the M.A. thesis. Approval for the course must be secured no less than three weeks prior to the semester in which the student wishes to enroll, and requires completion of the M.A. Thesis Contract form, which is available through the TRS M.A. Program Canvas site.
    • 599B. CONTINUING THESIS RESEARCH 0 cr. Prerequisite: TRS 599A. Continuation of work on the M.A. thesis. Required if the M.A. thesis will not be completed in the semester following the one in which the student takes TRS 599A. Students must continue to enroll in TRS 599B each semester until the one before which they anticipate that the M.A. thesis will be completed, approved, and accepted toward the Master of Arts degree.
    • 599C. M.A. THESIS II 3 cr. Prerequisite: TRS 599A. Students should register for this course in the semester in which they anticipate that the M.A. thesis will be completed, approved, and accepted toward the Master of Arts degree.