Do I have to be religious to major or minor in Theology and Religious Studies?
No, all you need is curiosity about how religion and spirituality relate to people’s lives and how they have an impact on societies and cultures. More broadly, what you need is an interest in how people make meaning in life and derive their values. Some of our majors and minors are atheists or agnostics who just find religion fascinating as a powerful influence on history and on the contemporary world. Others are committed to a religious tradition and are interested in exploring it more deeply. Our courses do not require a faith commitment, although such commitments are welcome. We have courses in Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam so that students can learn about a variety of traditions or delve into one or two of them deeply.
What can I do with a major or minor in Theology and Religious Studies?
Right after graduation our majors and minors have gone directly into the workforce at • Not-for-profit organizations such as L’Arche • Churches in professional ministry positions • Catholic high schools as theology teachers Some of our graduates have gone on to Master’s programs in theology and religious studies at Boston College, Notre Dame, Harvard, Union Theological Seminary, Duke, and Emory as well as Seattle University’s own School of Theology and Ministry. Others have gone on to law school or graduate programs in Social Work
Does a Theology and Religious Studies major work well as a double major as well as a primary major?
Absolutely. Many of our majors are double-majors who combine their interests in political science and Catholic social teaching, for example, by majoring in Theology and Religious Studies (THRS) and Political Science. Those who are interested in working for not-for-profits, NGOs, or local government might find it helpful to combine a major in Public Affairs and THRS, especially if they are considering the possibility of working for faith-based organizations. Since we have faculty interested in exploring the relationship between science and religion, we have had science majors pursue either a double major or double degree with THRS as one of their majors. Still other students are considering graduate work either within theology and religious studies or other fields, such as law, and choose to combine THRS with another major to expand their background before specializing.
Are there activities on or near campus where I can put my major into action?
Yes, many of our majors and minors are active in
• Campus Ministry where they have opportunities to be student ministers for retreats, liturgy, ecumenical and multifaith activities, and social justice;
• The Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture (ICTC) where they engage in research, dialogue, and scholarship that furthers a greater understanding of Catholic thought and culture.
Are there Theology and Religious Studies faculty members teaching in the University Core?
Yes. Our faculty teach most of the UCOR 2100 and 3100 courses in the University Core. UCOR 2100- Theological Explorations courses are in Module II of the Core, Engaging Jesuit Traditions. UCOR 3100- Religion in a Global Context courses are in Module III of the Core, Engaging the World.
UCOR 2100-Theological Explorations
These courses provide an introduction to theology as an academic discipline and an examination of some of the theological beliefs that have shaped Christian understandings of the divine, especially in the Catholic Jesuit theological tradition. They also offer an opportunity for students to reflect on their own spiritual life and become more thoughtful and articulate in expressing their own spiritual values. For more information, see here
UCOR 3100—Religion in a Global Context
These courses examine religious traditions, spiritual practices and worldviews in a global context. These courses examine diverse religious traditions with respect to sacred texts, doctrines and beliefs, rituals, ethics, and spiritual practices in a global context. For more information, see here