- Where is the department located?
- Why should I major in Theology and Religious Studies?
- What’s unique about the Theology and Religious Studies major at Villanova?
- I am interested in a double major. Can I do this with Theology and Religious Studies?
- What are the requirements for being a Theology and Religious Studies major?
- How do I know which courses fill what requirements for the major?
- I’m thinking about becoming a Theology and Religious Studies major. What do I do now?
- Now I’ve decided to become a Theology and Religious Studies major. What’s my next step?
- What are the requirements for a Theology and Religious Studies minor?
- What kind of variety is there to Theology and Religious Studies classes?
- How much choice do I have in picking my theology and religion classes?
- What can I do with a Theology and Religious Studies major?
- What do Theology and Religious Studies majors actually study?
- Can I also earn a master's degree in Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova?
- What are Concentrations?
Our department is located in the Saint Augustine Center (Room 203) on Villanova's main campus (see campus map). The general office number is 610.519.4730.
Are you the kind of person who searches for meaning in life? reflects upon faith, religion and reason? examines the role of religion in the world? wants to make informed ethical choices? is fascinated by the interplay of religion and culture? Then you are very likely the right person to join fellow Villanovans in exploring these and related issues with our faculty. (We have additional major-related questions listed here.)
In addition to nourishing your personal interests, the study of Theology and Religion is rewarding personally and professionally. It enables you to understand the complexities of life on our planet and prepares you to make a positive difference in the world. In fact, employers in a wide range of fields value Theology and Religious Studies majors for being able to think outside of the box.
We would argue that Theology and Religious Studies might well be among the most enjoyable majors at Villanova, because of the wide range of courses we offer and the inherent interest of our subject matter. Theology and Religious Studies is a very versatile major and has personal, intellectual, and professional advantages leading to many different job possibilities.
Also, our major can be combined with another major or the five-year BA/MA program specially designed for VU Theology and Religious Studies majors. Our major is interdisciplinary even for students who choose not to double major; you can take one elective course from another department that complements your Theology and Religious Studies major.
Finally, Theology and Religion courses at Villanova typically do not rely primarily on lectures; we mostly learn by discussing things thoroughly in class.
Yes indeed. It is easy to combine a Theology and Religious Studies major with other majors. Actually, we are convinced that studying Theology and Religion is an interdisciplinary venture. Therefore, we encourage and welcome double majors. To facilitate studies in diverse fields of inquiry, you may count up to two associated or related courses from the second Major toward fulfilling your Theology Major requirements.
As with other majors at Villanova, you need to complete 11 courses (including the Foundational Course THL 1000). Four of these courses are free electives and five required. There is also a senior seminar. One required course fulfills the junior research requirement. The department’s required courses—chosen from different areas of inquiry—are chiefly designed to give you a sense of the range and diversity in the Theology and Religious Studies major.
Please see the attachment below of specific courses that fill the requirements for the major. For a complete listing of departmental course, click here.
Courses that fill the requirements for the major
Talk to people. One excellent resource is fellow students who major in Theology and Religious Studies who would be glad to give you their perspective on Theology and Religion. You can find their names and email addresses by contacting the secretary to our Department Chair. Don’t be shy about contacting them; our students look forward to speaking to prospective majors.
Theology and Religious Studies faculty are also happy to discuss the major. You probably already know a member of our department from an Introduction class or a second course in Theology and Religion. One faculty member is particularly designated to talk to prospective majors: our Director of Undergraduate Program. Just contact the director and set up an appointment. You can also directly contact our Department Chair, or any other Theology and Religious Studies faculty.
You can also deepen your sense of what majoring in Theology and Religious Studies would involve by taking another Theology and Religious Studies course soon. We recommend, though, that you take one of the required courses. Why? You need your elective courses if you wish to double major or pursue the five-year BA/MA program specially designed for VU Theology and Religious Studies majors. You can also take one elective course from another department that complements your Theology and Religious Studies major.
It’s easy. You simply contact our Director of Undergraduate Program. The director will discuss with you all aspects of the program: requirements; program structure; course selection; and possibilities and opportunities for further studies in Theology.
The Theology and Religious Studies minor involves five courses (plus the Foundational Course THL 1000) offered by our department.
There is great variety to the courses you can take as a major in Theology and Religious Studies. Our department offers traditional courses in major fields (for instance, Hebrew Bible or Religion and Culture) but also courses, to give a few examples, on topics such as “Ethics of Life and Death,” “Global Poverty & Liberation Theology,” “Islamic Political Thought,” and “Catholicism in the United States.” Our faculty members are also always developing new courses, insuring that the variety of courses we offer will continue to expand.
Plenty. Of the eleven courses you would take as a Theology and Religious Studies major, four are entirely free electives, and you can choose the other seven (which fulfill area requirements, the Junior Research requirement, and the Senior Seminar requirement) from among many possibilities.
The academic study of Theology and Religion prepares you to formulate responses to our world's most demanding questions, that is, for anything that requires intellectual, spiritual, and ethical skills in, for example, business or humanitarian, philanthropic and other non-profit, charitable, or religious organizations. There are quite a few career possibilities for Theology and Religious Studies majors.
We analyze religious phenomena, read and interpret religious texts, examine ethical traditions and the complexities and pluralism of Christian beliefs and practices, analyze conditions that enhance or limit human life and dignity and the life of the planet - among others. In short, we study what enables us to formulate responses to our world's most demanding questions. Please explore more about the fascinating facets of studying Theology and Religion.
We offer a master's degree in Theology that is open to all VU students. Students who successfully major in Theology and Religious Studies are highly qualified to enroll. You can read more about our graduate programs on our Graduate Studies page.
Did you know that we also offer a five-year BA/MA program specially designed for VU Theology and Religious Studies majors?
Concentrations are an optional way of giving more shape and focus to your Theology and Religious Studies major. A concentration (other departments at Villanova call it a "track") is a cluster of three or more courses organized about a field of inquiry (for example, bible or religion or history) or an independent topic of your creation (for example, Environment and Morality, or Interreligious Dialogue). It is designed to allow you to define your specific theological and religious interests by carefully choosing what courses you take as your electives. You do not have to take extra courses to complete a concentration, and courses from other departments may count towards a concentration, thus enabling you to make your concentration interdisciplinary.