Attributes for TRS courses do not reflect the degree of difficulty or imply a sequence of study. Rather, they indicate the focus of the course and the target group of students.
TRS primary majors may tailor their program to their specific educational and professional goals by selecting elective courses that are associated with one of ten possible concentrations that give shape and focus to your major.
A concentration (other departments at Villanova call it a "track") is a cluster of elective courses organized around a field of inquiry or an independent topic of your creation. They are designed to allow you to define your specific theological and religious interests by carefully choosing what courses you take as your electives. Courses from other departments may count towards your concentration, thus enabling you to make your concentration interdisciplinary.
Under each concentration, extra-departmental courses are grouped in Tier 1 and Tier 2 courses. You may take Tier 1 courses to satisfy TRS requirements without seeking prior approval from the Undergraduate Program Director. In contrast, Tier 2 courses need the Director’s prior approval.
Five of the elective courses constitute an academic concentration within the major. Concentrations are organized about a field of inquiry or an independent topic of the student's creation.
In some concentrations, up to 2 elective courses outside the TRS Department may be in a classical language (Latin or Greek) or a critical language (Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, or Russian). They are Tier 2 courses that need the Director of Undergraduate Programs’ prior approval.
This concentration is chiefly designed to give you a sense of the range and diversity in theological studies and permits you to discern the relevance of Christian theology for your live and values. It consists of one elective course in each of the following fields of inquiry for a total of 5 courses:
This concentration is designed to accommodate the interests and career goals of students with broad interests that cannot be satisfied within one of the other concentrations. Students clearly articulate educational and career goals in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Programs, and then choose elective courses consistent with these goals. Students may concentrate in one particular field of inquiry or pursue an overarching theme or cross-disciplinary interests.
Students choose 5 elective courses from the offerings of the THL/RST Department. Students may complete elective courses, including classical or critical languages, outside the THL/RST Department that are approved by the Director of Undergraduate Programs.
This concentration encourages students to understand those whose values and senses of the sacred differ from our own. It consists of 5 elective courses in Christianity and the non-Christian religions of the Middle East, South, Southeast and East Asia.
Gain an understanding of the purposes, central issues, and methods of inquiry standard in theological and religious studies as applied to faith engaging culture.
Analyze fundamental issues that frame theological and religious inquiry using appropriate scholarly methods, with attention to diversity and inclusion within the issues.
Use critical methods to read, analyze, and interpret diverse religious and theological texts (e.g., women, minorities, non-western) and related genres or media, art, and artifacts (e.g., prayer, mystical writings, autobiographies, film, music).
Engage Christianity, with attention to Roman Catholicism, as a living tradition of practices and beliefs that continues to be refined, developed, and extended through time in diverse cultural contexts.
Demonstrate understanding of the unique vocabulary, foundational sources, theological beliefs, historical developments, and diverse thinkers in the Christian tradition, with attention to those that reflect on the experiences of power, privilege, and marginalization.
Articulate how Christian practices and beliefs reciprocally interact with diverse cultural contexts, local and global.
Render theological concepts and religious practices and beliefs intelligible, meaningful, and relevant in contemporary cultural contexts as a basis for transformative action in the world, in dialogue with others.
Recognize the complexity and diversity of religious practices and beliefs and seek to understand people whose values and senses of the sacred differ from their own.
Evaluate the relevance of theology/religion for personal, communal, societal, and global living.