Many of our students arrive at the University formed by a culture in which questions of faith and reason are often reduced to a sterile polarity—in which the mystery of God’s revelation to human beings is typically said to be directly at odds with science and rationality. Theology challenges this conceptualization. Theology invites our students to broaden their horizon of understanding by grappling with the mystery of the revealed word and by seeing how, in the light of God’s revelation, they may bring the fullness of reason and experience to bear in comprehending its meaning for all dimensions of human life. At its best, the science of God that is theology introduces our students to a wisdom tradition, a realm of beauty, and a depth of inquiry they may never have experienced or imagined existed.
Upon completion of the core courses in theology, students will be able to explain, appreciate, and engage in theology as a unique mode of inquiry, one that seeks to understand revealed mystery, using reason not to eliminate revealed mystery but to comprehend it, appreciate it, and work out its consequences for our understanding of ourselves and our world. Students will learn and develop the capacity to articulate the uniqueness of categories, such as “creation,” “sin,” “redemption,” “revelation,” “incarnation,” and “grace,” in which this inquiry is conducted, and learn to use them in their relation to other categories (proper to other disciplines) through which we attempt to understand the world.
Two courses in theology are required in the core curriculum. The first course is “foundational.” It makes students familiar with the major elements of the written word of God (Scripture) and sacred Tradition. Further, students learn how Revelation is transmitted through the mediation and interrelationship between Scripture and Tradition. The second course is “developmental” and focuses on doctrine in development and dialogue. Here, students explore in depth important doctrines of Christian faith. They learn how our understanding of them develops in light of new questions and insights.