We are a multidisciplinary academic faculty within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and rooted in a Roman Catholic, Augustinian heritage. We investigate Christian and non-Christian religious practices, beliefs, and traditions as we explore faith, reason, and culture in their many, textured relationships. Moreover, we emphasize the study of Catholicism in dialogue with other Christian traditions and world religions. With this endeavor, the Department serves as a resource for the University community, the extended local community, the national and global communities, and the Church.
We are committed to the Augustinian vision of “understanding what we believe” (On Free Choice of the Will 1.4). Just as Augustine engaged the cultural, intellectual, and religious traditions of his time to elucidate the nature of faith, we seek “the wisdom of truth” (veritas) in dialogue with learners different from ourselves (unitas) and with care for the world and its peoples (caritas). In so doing, we pursue a distinctively Augustinian way of knowing and loving God and neighbor that is holistic, integrative, and transformational.
We involve students of every religion, culture, and worldview in examining the enduring quest of faith seeking understanding. This quest is Christianity’s gift to a liberal arts education and a cornerstone of the Villanova experience. Furthermore, we regard religious, theological, and cultural literacy as the mark of a person educated in the Augustinian tradition and an indispensable resource for transforming global society into one enlightened by compassion, justice, and peace.
April 02, 2014
Motivated by love for God, for human beings created in God’s image, and for all creation, the members of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies honor and preserve practices of diversity and inclusion in their manifold forms. We understand diversity to be the kaleidoscope of human differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, disability, socioeconomic status, or political views. We understand inclusion to promote the vision of diversity by respecting the inherent dignity of all people—their talents, values, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of living—and by empowering and uniting them.
We believe that diversity and inclusion practices are unique and central tasks of theology and the study of religion at their best. They protect differences while simultaneously bridging them. Thus, we recognize them as integral components of our mission and as essential elements of the ongoing intellectual, social, and spiritual development, in community, of every one of our members, consonant with the vision of an inclusive church.
This vision of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accountability applies to all faculty, staff, administrators, and students as well as to all departmental programs, curricula, and events. Accordingly, we aspire to create vibrant communities that foster respect and appreciation for the spectrum of human diversity and, free from harassment of any nature, a genuine understanding of the many differences that enrich them. Likewise, we aspire to integrate diversity and inclusion practices into all levels of instructional life. In particular, in our courses and events, we cultivate sensitivity to the variety of human experiences present on campus and in global society, nourish receptivity to knowledge generated through intercultural connections, and promote growth in love and commitment for the creation of a sustainable world wherein all creation will flourish.
The Department of Theology and Religious Studies offers comprehensive programming in undergraduate, master’s and doctoral studies. Villanova’s Augustinian heritage is reflected in a “faith engaging culture” approach integrating the mind and heart in service of the church and world. We are in the process of employing a portfolio review system to assess each of our programs in light of their distinct learning goals. Theology and Religious Studies undergraduate majors pursue a wide array of careers including ministry, education, medicine, law, and graduate studies.
Master’s students find placements in ministry, education, and doctoral studies. The PhD in Theology program was launched in Fall 2016. The integral Theological Education Formation Program will prepare doctoral students for roles of educational leadership within the academy and beyond.