College of Arts and Sciences
Theology and Religious Studies

Program Summary

  • Students majoring in Theology and Religious Studies choose one of two specializations: Christian Theology or Comparative Religion. The Christian Theology specialization offers students an opportunity to explore the beliefs, texts, practices, and ethics of the Christian tradition from an in-depth, theological perspective. If students want to study religions such as Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism in addition to Christianity, they may choose to specialize in Comparative Religion in which they examine these traditions in themselves or in dialogue with each other.

    Degrees and Specializations Offered

    Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Theology and Religious Studies

    In order to earn the bachelor of arts degree with a major in theology and religious studies, students must complete a minimum 180 credits with a cumulative and major/program grade point average of 2.00. The B.A. requires 50 credits in Theology and Religious Studies, which does not include related courses taken for credit toward the requirements of the University Core Curriculum. 

    Christian Theology Specialization Requirements 

    Introduction to Comparative Religion: 5 credits
    Christian Thought: 15 credits
    Hebrew Bible/Old Testament: 5 credits
    New Testament: 5 credits

    Theological Ethics: 10 credits
    Elective: 5 credits
    Senior Synthesis/Capstone: 5 credits

    Comparative Religion Specialization Requirements

    Introduction to Comparative Religion: 5 credits
    Introduction to Sacred Texts: 5 credits
    World Religion: 15 credits
    Sacred Texts: 5 credits
    Christian Thought: 5 credits
    Ethics: 5 credits
    Elective: 5 credits
    Senior Synthesis/Capstone: 5 credits 

    Both specializations prepare students for graduate school (in a variety of fields) and careers in teaching, ministry, or non-profit organizations.

    The Department of Theology and Religious Studies respects and values the diverse backgrounds of students and faculty at Seattle University. Theology and Religious Studies majors and minors need not practice or identify with a particular religious tradition in order to grasp its central ideas and engage in the process of critical reflection that reinterprets a tradition and discerns its values. 

    Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Theology and Religious Studies with Departmental Honors

    The honors major in theology and religious studies offers an opportunity for motivated and capable students to engage in more extensive interaction with faculty and to complete challenging individual research projects that will further their personal and professional goals.

    • Completion of the major: During senior year, departmental honors students will complete 10 credits of independent study and write a 25-40 page thesis under the direction of a faculty member. The thesis is to be presented orally in an appropriate context to be determined by the Departmental Honors Coordinator. The 10 credits must be taken as THRS 477 Theology and Religious Studies Honors Directed Reading and THRS 479 Theology and Religious Studies Honors Thesis Supervision. In order to complete the requirements for departmental honors and receive a notation to that effect on their transcripts, students must earn 70 credits in Theology and Religious Studies courses (10 more than the usual major requirement), earn a cumulative and major/program grade point average of 3.50, and receive an A or A- for THRS 479 Theology and Religious Studies Honors Thesis Supervision.
    • In addition to the Bachelor of Arts major in Theology and Religious Studies requirements, the honors major also includes 10 credits in departmental honors, including THRS 477 - Honors Directed Reading and THRS 479 - Honors Thesis Supervision.

    Theology and Religious Studies Minor

    In order to earn a minor in theology and religious studies, students must complete 30 credits in Theology and Religious Studies. 

    • Students considering a minor should contact the department chair as soon as possible to discuss options.
    • Brochures with sample courses for each area of specialization are available in the departmental office.
    • All minors will work closely with a faculty advisor in their chosen area of specialization.
    • It is strongly recommended that students take one or more 400-level courses.
    • If students design their programs carefully, courses taken to fulfill the Theology and Religious Studies core requirement will count toward the minor.
    Complete course descriptions and degree requirements are in the academic catalog at this link.