Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies
Objectives and Degree Requirements
Grounded in theology, the Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies offers religious sisters, brothers, and lay people intellectual development, personal faith formation in the Roman Catholic tradition, and practical training for ministries. This program facilitates acquisition of knowledge, critical skills, and spiritual dispositions essential to understand, distinguish, and connect traditional Church teachings and contemporary theological trends to the practice of ministry. In preparation for cross-cultural and international mission, the curriculum takes distinctive SVD approaches to ministry and spirituality while promoting the following: (1) studies grounded in faith; (2) spiritual formation in a community setting; (3) cross-cultural awareness; (4) practical training that emphasizes ministerial experience and theological reflection; and (5) thorough preparation for religious education, other ecclesial ministries, or graduate work. Graduates will be prepared to serve the Church with sensitivity to diverse cultures and local expressions of the Christian faith, to exercise leadership in ecclesial ministries that include religious education in parishes and Catholic schools, RCIA, adult religious education, CCD, youth ministry, campus ministry, coordination of liturgy, and pastoral councils.
Graduates with a major in religious studies:
- understand the basic doctrines and traditions of the Church;
- view these doctrines and traditions in historical and cultural contexts to derive applications for ministry today;
- distinguish between official Church teaching and theological opinion; articulate and draw practical lessons from the interactions between the two;
- recognize how the teachings and traditions of the Church find expression in diverse cultures.
- apply various methods of lay ministry and education to the particular contexts of local churches;
- integrate academic learning and personal faith experience as the foundations of ministry;
- acquire requisite attitudes and skills for dialogue with persons of other faiths, other theological orientations, and secular ideologies.