Theological Notebook: Marquette's New Undergrad Major in Catholic Theology
After considerable and admirable work in the Department, particularly by our senior scholar in American Religious History, Patrick Carey, who replaced my old advisor Fr. David Coffey as the William Kelly Chair in Theology (and who greatly honoured me by asking to be on my dissertation board), we have rearranged our undergraduate options. This sets up a much more thorough program focused on putting highly-formed undergraduates in education at the secondary level, which I enthusiastically support, given my own experiences teaching high school theology.
New major in Catholic Theology approved
The Board of Trustees Wednesday approved a new major in Catholic Theology. The major will replace an existing teaching major in religious studies.
Mike McKinney, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said the major was developed in conjunction with the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s newly revised curriculum for theology in Catholic high schools and will meet the standards for high school theology teachers that the archdiocese is expected to set. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has called for Catholic colleges and universities to develop theological education programs that meet the needs of those involved in the religious instruction of Catholic youth, and curriculum standards for theology are being developed in dioceses across the country.
“This is a specific program designed to teach Catholic doctrine and theology,” according to Rev. John Laurance, S.J., chair of the Theology Department. He said the department’s theology major introduces students to Christian and Jewish traditions, as well as world religions.
The major in Catholic Theology will require 36 credits in theology, including eight required courses and three electives. In addition, students will be required to take 19 credits in the School of Education. The new major will begin in fall 2007.
I'll be interested to observe its results. It looks like a solid set-up to me, strong in core formation and with enough flexibility to take advantage of the rich variety our Department offers. Required courses for the major are:
Introduction to Theology Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament Overview New Testament Overview Theology Through the Centuries Jesus the Christ Theology of the Church Sacraments and Christian Life Special Topics in Moral Theology Capstone Seminar