USML | S.T.L. Course Descriptions

Licentiate of Sacred Theology (S.T.L.)

S.T.L. Course Descriptions

Required Courses

DT811              History of Christian Thought I (3 cr)

During this semester, we will make a close examination of the emergence and development of the Catholic Tradition in both the East and West from the New Testament to 381 AD. We will emphasize a critical reading of texts from significant authors that highlight the major themes of Christology, Trinitarian Theology and Theological Anthropology. The texts will be set in the context of the general history of the Christian Church during these centuries. We will place particular emphasis on the disputes over the doctrine of God in the course of fourth century Christianity.

                                                            Lupton/ Fall

DT812              History of Christian Thought II (3 cr)

In this course, we will continue our close examination of the development of the Catholic Tradition in both the East and West from 431 to 800 AD.  We will again emphasize a critical reading of texts from significant authors that highlight the major themes of Christology, Trinitarian Theology, and Theological Anthropology.  The texts will be set in the context of the general history of the Christian Church during these centuries.  We will begin with a survey of the doctrine of Christ as it emerged from the great Patristic conciliar tradition (Ephesus, 431 to Nicaea II, 787), and then move to a survey of the theological contribution of the foremost Latin Father, St. Augustine of Hippo (353-430).  The texts of St. Augustine will be set in the context of Peter Brown’s classic biography, Augustine of Hippo.

                                                            Lupton/ Spring

DT813              History of Christian Thought III (3cr)

This course surveys the development of Catholic doctrine in from the 8th century to the 15th century, focusing on how Augustinian, Dionysian and Thomist theological paradigms functioned as the basis for the variety of theological schools and methods which formed the theological landscape of medieval Christendom.Theological developments in the doctrine of God, Christology, and Christian anthropology will be discussed, with special emphasis on progress in understanding in the doctrines of the human person and the dynamics of salvation.

                                                            Hebden/ Spring

DT814              History of Christian Thought IV (3 cr)

This course explores some of the major themes in the history of Christian theology from 1500 until 1900.  It engages Martin Luther and John Calvin and discusses the Catholic response, especially as expressed in the Council of Trent.  It presents the Age of Enlightenment as also the logical outgrowth of these religious contestations. Taking Immanuel Kant and G.W.F. Hegel as the points d’appui, it discusses next the contributions of Friedrich Schleiermacher, Johann Adam Mohler, Soren Kierkegaard, Vatican I, John Henry Newman and Matthias Scheeben.

                                                            de Gaál/ Fall

DT815              History of Christian Thought V (3 cr)

This course will cover the issues and theologians from the period of the Modernist Crisis in 1860 through the twentieth century and the recent debates over the theology of Hans Urs von Balthasar.integrating theme will be theology’s engagement with the intellectual currents of the Modern world.course will examine the emergence ofso-called “liberal theology” and trace the various reactions across the years.

Levering/ Spring

DT819              Thesis Proposal (3 cr)

The goal of this course is the crafting of a S.T.L. Thesis Proposal.  Topics covered will include theological method, status quaestionis, second level bibliographical sources, and theological argument. In addition, students will also meet regularly with their director.                            

Faculty/ Spring

DT820-21          Thesis Writing  (2 cr)

                                                       Faculty/ Fall & Spring

DT822-828        Ongoing Thesis Writing (1 cr)

Students must register for this course each semester until the thesis is officially approved.

Faculty/ Fall & Spring     


Elective Courses 

DT831              Mystics of the Eastern Christian Tradition (3 cr)

Whether described as following God, the unmediated experience of the presence of God, union with God, or becoming God (by grace and participation), the mystical element permeates the theology and spirituality of the Christian East. The mystical fathers of the Christian East offer particular insight into the integration of mystical experience, spiritual discipline, and theological understanding.  This course will examine the writings of key directors of the mystical life from the Orthodox East as it explores the interdependence of theology and mystical experience, and will read texts from across the centuries, from the second century to the modern era, and from across the Greek, Russian, and Syrian Orthodox traditions.

                                                     Theodoropoulos/ Spring

DT852              Pauline Christology (3 cr)

St. Paul was the Church’s first theologian, and the history of Christian theology begins with him and can never wander far from his inspiration. Paul, however, wrote letters in response to pastoral problems. He did not leave any systematic essays. Therefore, there have been many attempts to summarize his theology using many different organizing principles. Our attempt will proceed by taking “Living in Christ” as Paul’s central concept. We will try to uncover the elements of Paul’s Christology by following the thread of this theme through the Pauline corpus of thirteen letters.

                                                            Lodge/ Fall 

DT821               St. Thomas on Temperance (3cr)

This course explores the relationship of moral temperance and intellectual temperance.  In his treatise on temperance, St. Thomas Aquinas draws upon rich veins of biblical, Greco-Roman, and patristic thought.  He portrays the place of temperance within the graced life of following Christ.  It is well known that temperance pertains to moral virtue (as opposed to gluttony, sexual sins and so forth), but it is less known that under the rubric of temperance Aquinas also treats intellectual vices such as pride and mere cleverness.  The wholeness of human life, intellectual and moral, is what is at stake here.  We will also explore what it means to speak of "human nature" and how Aquinas construes human nature, in light of philosophy and the Gospel.  Full human flourishing in Christ is the subject of this course.  Attention will be paid to pastoral applications of Aquinas's teaching.

                                                                         Levering/ Fall

 DT822                  Topics in Theology and Science (3cr)

This STL seminar course will explore questions posed by the contemporary interface between theological and scientific investigation.  The basic methodology will be to place the student’s already-acquired theological acumen in dialogue with the implications arising from the latest scientific research.  Participants will gain a well-informed layman’s working knowledge of both classical and recent findings in the physical and biological sciences.  Through intensive readings and discussions of such authors as Wittgenstein, Popper, Kuhn, Chandrasekhar, Torrance, Plantinga, Polkinghorne, Greene, Dawkins, and McGrath, we will address the contributions that science makes to our understanding of such areas as Trinitarian theology, Christian anthropology, and eschatology.  Special focus will be placed on the epistemological consonance and dissonance between theology and science.  Students will be expected to complete a substantial research paper on a topic of their choice and present their findings to the seminar participants at the end of the course.

                                                                        Kartje/ Fall

DT838                  The Book of Revelation

 This course provides a detailed reading and exegesis of one of the most important - and often most misunderstood - books in the Bible.  Along with a careful consideration of the historical background to the text within the Roman Empire and the early Christian communities, we will explore the canonical placement of the book within the Bible as a whole, its composition and transmission, and its rich depth as a spiritual guide to holiness.  Particular emphasis will be given to a liturgical reading of the text and an appreciation of its significance to the Catholic Mass.


Kartje /Spring




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