Learning Goals & Mission
The Saint Peter’s University Department of Theology is engaged in academic consideration of the mystery of God’s relationship with humanity. We stress the centrality of theology as “faith seeking understanding” in overall academic goals of higher education. As a department within the University, we are Christian and Catholic in our religious tradition and explicitly Jesuit in our approach to pedagogy. The courses we offer to undergraduate students examine the interpretation and articulation of the Catholic tradition. The various doctrinal, biblical, spiritual, historical, and moral issues that make up that tradition are the focus of our teaching.
Notwithstanding our identification with Catholic tradition, we are open to a wide range of religious perspectives and the Department is ecumenical in welcoming adjunct lecturers from a variety of non-Catholic backgrounds. Aware of the reality of the world of the new millennium and the tensions among the world’s great religions, the members of the Department are committed to dialogue in order to advance respect for all forms of religious belief, as well as the individual right to reject religious belief.
It is important to note that though we are committed to presenting mainly Catholic theology, we do so in light of the vision of the Second Vatican Council in a way that is open to the insights and common beliefs and values of Protestant and Orthodox Christians and invite our non-Christian students to enter into respectful ecumenical dialogue. It is precisely Catholic to be ecumenical. Although we consist mainly of Catholic theologians, we also include and welcome non-Catholic colleagues who are highly valued for the ecumenical perspectives they bring to our department.
The Theology Department has four General Goals:
Goal #1: Students will have academic opportunities to study the Christian tradition, to value the Jesuit perspective, and to consider the human openness to divine transcendence.
Goal #2: Students will receive academic opportunities to achieve maturity of thinking and living, individually and socially, as persons created by God and living in a pluralistic society.
Goal #3: Students will be able to develop self-awareness and an understanding of moral and religious values in an educational process that is student-centered.
Goal #4: Students will be encouraged to appreciate truth above all. Students will be supported and encouraged to pursue and articulate the truth in the Christian tradition, as well as in the faith traditions of the other world religions, with regard to historical facts (historical figures, events, places, and dates). Students will be encouraged to reflect on the significance of these historical facts.