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Doctrinal Studies

D 3000 Fundamental Theology and Methods

This course introduces students to the fundamental issues and tasks of systematic theology, laying the foundation for further study of various theological loci. Particular attention is given to theologies of revelation, divine self-communication, and faith considered in light of diverse human experience; the role of history and context in theology; tradition, authority, and magisterium; and contemporary currents and methods in theology.

D 4000 Survey of Systematic Theology

This course consists of an overview of topics and themes in systematic theology. Among the areas that will be treated are: revelation and faith, Trinitarian theology, Christology, creation, sin and grace, ecclesiology, Mary and the saints, sacramental theology, and eschatology. The course is designed to give students a broad exposure to the ways in which these central themes are treated in the Judeo-Christian tradition and in contemporary theology.

D 4003/D 5003 Mestizo Theologies Across the Latin@ Americas  

This course looks at the contributions of second- and third-generation liberation theologians and philosophers, both in Latin America and the United States, who expand upon early Latin American liberation theology in some important ways.  Rather than frame their work in terms of the classical categories of systematic theology, these figures think in terms of a more overarching, organic, and non-sectarian sense of spirituality that is highly aesthetic and fully enculturated. Topics include liberation theology, liberation philosophy, critical pedagogy, theopoetics, contextual epistemologies, Latina feminism and mujerista theology, and decolonial thought.

D 4004/D 5004 U.S. Latina Feminist Theologies

This course explores the significant contributions of U.S. Latina feminist theologians, such as María Pilar Aquino, Ada María Isasi-Díaz, Michelle Gonzalez, and Nancy Pineda-Madrid.   We will historicize their contributions by looking at related traditions of feminist thought in Latin America and the United States.  As such, the approach to this class is highly interdisciplinary: we will engage questions of theology, philosophy, Third World Feminism, and post-colonial and decolonial thought.  Students will produce short weekly writing assignments and a final paper of their own design. 

D 4009 Liberation Theology and Religious Faith

This course looks at one of the most important movements of the 20th century and its continuing significance for theology today.  Having emerged in various forms (i.e. Latin American, Black, Latino/a, feminist, etc.), liberation theology stresses that religious faith is not exempt from political questions, it asserts a preferential option for the poor and oppressed, and it affirms the Kingdom of God in the here-and-now.  Special attention will be given to the aesthetic, cultural, and gender dimensions of liberation.

DS 4010 Theology and Spirituality of Religious Priesthood

This course examines the historical and theological origins, development, and spirituality of the ministerial priesthood in consecrated religious life within the context of the common priesthood of all believers and the nature of ministry in the church. It gives special attention to the teachings of Vatican II, post-conciliar theologies of the priesthood, and the identity of the religious presbyter. Furthermore, this course focuses on the spirituality of religious priesthood as expressed in universal church documents and as understood according to the charisms of the particular religious orders, congregations, societies of apostolic life or secular institutes represented in the given semester.

D 4014/D 5014 Christian Faith in a Secular Age

This course offers an examination of the idea of secularism in the context of modern Western society from a theological, philosophical, and sociological perspective. With a focus on Charles Taylor’s epic examination, “A Secular Age,” the course will consider the emergence of secularism in modern society, its significance for theology and philosophy, its social and political dimensions and the risks and possibilities that emerge within a secular society. Additionally, the course will consider the ways in which western secularism stands in tension with ways of understanding the relationship of religion to society in a global context.

D 4017 Karl Barth and Thomas Aquinas: God in Act and Being

In this course, we will compare the theologies of two of the greatest theologians of the Christian tradition: Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth. Aquinas, the architect of Mediaeval Catholic theology, continues to wield an enormous influence on the Church today, while Karl Barth's magnum opus, the Church Dogmatic, was a towering achievement of 20th Century theology. In this course, we will focus on how each of them understood and articulated a theology of the nature and being of God. In doing so, we will shed light on the intersections and divergences within the Catholic and Protestant theological traditions.

D 4018 Wake Up the World: Consecrated Life For Our Time

In honor of the Year of Consecrated Life and Pope Francis’ call to “Wake Up the World” this course will look at particular areas that invite “waking up the world” and “waking up consecrated life” for our time. The course will first look at the time we are in, both on local and global levels, in consecrated life and the world in which we live. The course will then look at various areas of consecrated life that are calling for “waking up,” including, but not limited to, mission in local and global context, vows for today, community, ministry, peace-building and care for the earth.  Through lecture, small group discussion and large group engagement, we will consider what we must let go of and open ourselves to in order to live the call we are given by God’s own Spirit for our time. The readings will be related to consecrated life and also include current readings that call forth consecrated life at this time. Included will be Pope Francis’ upcoming document on the environment. The course will be both foundational and capacity building for theologically engaging, creatively imagining and plan building for persons, communities and congregations. The course is open to persons taking this for academic credit and also to auditors.

D 4019 Political Theology as Contextual Theology: J. B. Metz, Jurgen Moltmann and the Theology of Messianic Expectation

This course will examine of the development of the “new political theology” of Johann Baptist Metz and Jürgen Moltmann in the post-World War II era as a form of contextual theology. Through a close reading and comparative analysis of their writing this course will explore how Metz and Moltmann developed their theologies in response to a changing social and political situation. We will also consider the relationship between political theology and the theology of hope, as well as the major critiques of this project from other contextual settings, such as those of feminist, liberationist and public theological approaches.

D 4020 Romero and Ellacuría: Salvation in History

This blended/hybrid course explores the courageous writings and lived witness of two modern-day prophets and martyrs: Óscar Romero (1917-1980) and Ignacio Ellacuría (1930-1989) of El Salvador.  Students will explore the influences that shaped their lives and thinking, critically analyze select texts, and reflect on the ways that their example may continue to prove significant today. In addition to engaging in bi-monthly, seminar-style (i.e. face-to-face) discussions, students will complete short weekly online writing assignments, as well as a final paper of their own design.  

DC 4100 Trinity and Mission: The God of Jesus Christ

This course is an invitation for students to journey into a deeper understanding of God the Trinity whom Christians witness through their lives. It offers a critical and constructive theological reflection on the mystery of the Triune God–a plenitude of self-giving love–in ways that are relevant to the concrete realities of our present world. The course is informed by the perspectives of the practice of ministry, theological method, the history of doctrine, and contextual-intercultural perspectives.

D 4200 Christology

This course provides a systematic treatment of the foundations of Christology in a post-critical context. It is concerned with the possibility of constructing and evaluating Christology after one has subjected the Bible to the analysis of historical-critical studies, and after one has become thoroughly aware of the profound historicity of the Christian faith-community and its doctrines.

DC 4200 Christology and Culture

An investigation of the meaning of the person and work of Jesus Christ for Christian faith today. Special emphasis given to emerging christologies in the World Church, constructing christologies today, and the final consummation of all things in Christ.

DSC 4200/DSC 5200 Sources and Methods in Latin@ Theologies

The integral relationship between the lived daily experiences of Latino/a communities and the theological reflections that emerge from within these contexts is articulated as teología y pastoral en conjunto. This seminar explores sources and methods developed by Latin@ theologians and biblical scholars in their constructing of theological perspectives that recognize this intrinsic connection between theology and  ministry.

D 4202 Ecclesiology/Mariology

This course consists of an historical and systematic study of the understanding of the church in the Christian tradition and in contemporary thought. Special attention is given to ecclesiological themes and issues which are critical for life in the church today and especially Mary, the mother of the church.

DE 4205/5205  Women in Theology and Ethics

Inspired by the outstanding women who have presented the prestigious St. Mary’s College Madeleva Lectures, and women contributing to the excellent volumes produced from conferences of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church, this course features women theologians and ethicists from across the globe.  While classes will provide an overview the variety of key contributions from these women, opportunities will be provided for students to have direct contact with one of a select group of theologians (in person or through IT) and sustain a dialogue with her as the student studies her work. Students will present a final project or research paper in which the work of the theologian / ethicist with whom they engaged.

DC 4210 Revelation and Liberation

The seminar will explore how selected theologians from non-Western cultures are proponents of a theology of revelation based on our experience of God's intervention in human history.

DS 4210/5210 Reconciliation and Forgiveness

An exploration of the theology and ministry of individual and social reconciliation in a variety of settings today: domestic violence, the Church, immigration and urban issues, and post-conflict settings. Issues treated include trauma, healing of memories, truth telling, justice, and forgiveness. May be taken at the Master's or the Doctoral level.

DH 4220 Rediscovering Vatican II: The Background, the Documents, the Theology

This lecture course will first set the event of Vatican II within its historical context and will offer a brief overview of what happened in the Council's Four Sessions from 1962 until 1965. It will then reflect on the four major Constitutions that the Council produced--documents on the Liturgy, Revelation, the Church, and the Church in the Modern World--and on selected additional documents, such as those on the Laity, Missionary Activity, Non-Christian Religions, and Religious Freedom. The course will be conducted in two periods. Period One will consist in an hour fifteen minute presentation by a CTU faculty member on a particular document. Then, after a break, students taking the class for credit will spend the remaining time discussing the assigned document and readings.

SD 4310 Spiritual Classics of the Patristic Era

In this course students read and reflect on a selection of the most influential Christian spiritual classics from the Patristic Era (the first six centuries of the Christian era)., including Perpetua, Ignatius of Antioch, Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, Athanasius, Desert Fathers and Mothers, Benedict, Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, and others.  Students will have opportunities to practice methods of approaching these texts for spiritual benefit, academic study, and pastoral reappropriation. Themes of history, development of doctrine, physical environment, culture, and gender are also highlighted.

DC 4311 Introduction to Asian Theologies

As Christianity becomes post-western, the church in Asia will have an increasingly significant role in the church of the future. This course is an introduction to the theology emerging from the Asian church. It begins by looking at the context of Asia and then explores how theology addresses the realities of the many poor, many religions, and many cultures of Asia.

D 4336 Theological Anthropology

This course offers an historical and contextual approach to the key themes of theological anthropology including creation, nature, grace, sin, and eschatology, among others. Special attention is given throughout the course to the relationships between theology and science, traditions and cultures, as well as contemporary questions, concerns, and insights about the human person from a Christian perspective in the world church.

DEC 4400 Hope & Solidarity in Global Cinema (Online)

What if cinema can kindle our theological imagination so that we are able to clarify a vision of human hope and solidarity within the contradictions of the world? The course represents an interdisciplinary dialogue between systematic theology and cinema studies. Noteworthy examples of global cinema that spotlight the interweaving issues of culture, class, race, gender, and ecology, are brought into an open-minded but reasoned conversation with a range of theological perspectives that explore the theme of human experience.

D 5001 Theology of Edward Schillebeeckx

Counted among the great theologians of the twentieth century, with more than four hundred published works, Edward Schillebeeckx addresses a wide range of theological questions with great depth and a passionate concern for humanity. The course is an orientation to the main threads of Schillebeeckx's theology, from his early thomistic frame of reference to his praxis-oriented later theology, which continues to find renewed relevance in the global quest for sociopolitical justice and a "livable humanity."

BD 5002 The Cross in Scripture and Theology

The cross is the central symbol of the Christian faith. Yet the meaning of the cross has been interpreted in many different ways through the centuries, from a source of scandal to the “tree of life.” In this course, students will explore interpretations of the death of Jesus on the cross, including those found  in the Pauline letters, the Gospels and other New Testament texts, the works of classic Christian thinkers, and the thought of contemporary theologians writing from a variety of perspectives. The goal of this course is to deepen students’ insight into the meaning of the death of Jesus and the symbol of the cross in Christian life, spirituality and preaching.

HD 5010 Theology of the Second Vatican Council (Seminar)

This Seminar will reflect on the history and theology of the Second Vatican Council as found particularly in the four major Constitutions and in selected Decrees and Declarations.

D 5101 God and the Mystery of Human Suffering

The stark reality of human suffering has challenged the minds of philosophers and religious thinkers through the ages. It also engages the minds and hearts of pastoral ministers. In this course, students explore the ways in which the mystery of human suffering has been addressed in the Bible, the theology of the early Church, medieval theology, and by modern thinkers such as Elie Wiesel, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jürgen Moltmann, Edward Schillebeeckx, Gustavo Gutiérrez, and Elizabeth Johnson. Students are invited to enter into sustained reflection on the way in which they conceive of God’s relation to suffering people.

DE 5200 Methods in Theology and Ethics

In this course, students will become acquainted with the principal methodologies that have been used in recent Roman Catholic theology: in systematic theology, and in theological ethics. Students will be able to compare the strengths and limits of the different methodologies and become more proficient in the critical reading of theological texts.

D 5206 Theologies of Thomas Aquinas and Karl Rahner

The course looks at two important but different theologians. Thomas Aquinas draws from an Aristotelian and medieval world-view. Karl Rahner presents a theology fashioned from the modern world of self and history. Each theologian will be studied out of his historical context and in light of his sources. The focus for both theologies is the presence of God in the world within and beyond creation: what Jesus calls the reign of God and Christians call grace. Other theological areas flow from this.

CD 5210 Theology of Interreligious Dialogue

Takes as starting point the Second Vatican Council's declaration "Nostra Aetate" to examine the Church's relations with other religions. Begins with a historical perspective and then looks at the theologies and forms of interreligious dialogue today. The actual praxis of dialogue will be integral to the course.

DC 5310 Interreligious Dialogue in Asia

Explores the theory and praxis of interreligious dialogue, including the influence of personal, social, and extra-religious factors. Taking into account the contextual realities, the texts of Christian scriptures and teachings are investigated to discern the church's theology of religions.

DC 6000 Theological Anthropology: Intercultural Perspectives on Being Human in the World Church Today

A doctoral seminar in emerging issues in theological anthropology in the World Church today, as well as new challenges to the Christian understanding of the human being. Emphasis is placed on the different contexts in which these issues and challenges are encountered.

CD 6001 Inculturation: Theory and Methods

A seminar intended for doctoral and M.A. students exploring the development of contextual or intercultural theologies in the World Church, with special attention to the theory underlying this development and the methods employed. It serves also as a methods course for D.Min. students concentrating in intercultural ministries.Much misunderstood, inculturation will be carefully explicated, theoretically and practically. Study methods by which Christianity and a culture may actually encounter each other. The outcome (with the Spirit and local people) is a new reality: the People of God Transformed.

DC 6001 History of Religions and Comparative Theology

This course focuses on the historical, critical, and comparative study of religions. It begins by looking at what has come to be known as the History of Religions and especially the history of the academic study of religion. The second part of the course is Comparative Theology and entails reflection on theological themes and methods across religious traditions.