Theology and Religious Studies is an academic department of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Students are required to take "Faith, Reason and Culture" (THL 1000) a foundation course of the core curriculum and at least one upper-level THL course. Some THL courses satisfy the undergraduate diversity requirement. Undergraduates can major or minor in theology and religious studies. The department has M.A. and a Ph.D. Theology degree programs. There is also a combined B.A./M.A. degree program.
Enriched by the tradition of St. Augustine, whose theology powerfully related faith and culture, theology is the study of Christianity as lived experience, and theological studies within the Augustinian tradition aims to relate faith and culture for our time. It is crucial that students recognize that what they believe has implications in relation to the lives of others in our own society and across diverse religious traditions and cultures, the globe (particularly poor and marginalized people) and the planet, and pursue a distinctively Augustinian way of knowing and loving God and neighbor that is holistic, integrative and transformational.
Materials related to St. Augustine of Hippo and the Order of Saint Augustine are to be considered distinctive to the University’s heritage and are therefore to be collected and conserved.
The Department of Theology and Religious Studies offers comprehensive programming in undergraduate, master’s and doctoral studies. Villanova’s Augustinian heritage is reflected in a “faith engaging culture” approach integrating the mind and heart in service of the church and world. Theology and Religious Studies undergraduate majors pursue a wide array of careers including ministry, education, medicine, law, and graduate studies. Master’s students find placements in ministry, education, and doctoral studies. The PhD in Theology program was launched in Fall 2016. The integral Theological Education Formation Program will prepare doctoral students for roles of educational leadership within the academy and beyond.
Goals for THL 1000:
- Articulate how theological concepts and religious practices and beliefs reciprocally interact with diverse cultural contexts, local and global.
- Correlate theological/religious and cultural responses to existential life experiences such as friendship and loss, beauty and suffering, love and injustice.
- Evaluate the significance of Christian practices, beliefs, and traditions for personal, communal, societal, and global living.
Goals for THL Majors:
- Gain an understanding of the purposes, central issues, and methods of inquiry standard in theological and religious studies as applied to faith engaging culture.
- 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.
- 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.
THL master's degree programs:
- Master of Arts in Theology is a general degree that meets a plurality of professional needs, for example, for secondary school education or lay ministry work.
- Master of Theological Studies is a stand-alone, comprehensive, terminal degree, or earned in preparation for a Ph.D. degree.
THL graduate certificate programs:
- Certificate in Theological Studies
- Certificate in Interdisciplinary Theological Inquiry
- Certificate in Pastoral Ministry
Joint graduate programs for M.A. in Theology degree + graduate certificate in:
- Advanced Theological Studies
- Gender and Women’s Studies
- Nonprofit Management
- Pastoral Ministry
Dual graduate degree programs:
- M.A. in Theology with M.A. in Education and Counseling
- M.A. in Theology with M.A. in English
- M.A. in Theology with M.A. in History
- M.A. in Theology with M.A. in Political Science
- M.A. in Theology with M.P.A. in Public Administration
- M.A. in Theology with M.S.C.M. in Church Management
Ph.D. in Theology:
- introduces a distinctive “Augustinian” way of doing theology, inclusive of all dimensions of faith, worship, and human experience, that is, of theory and praxis, social justice and service, ecclesial traditions and cultural pluralism.
- spans ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary thought, inclusive of all departmental disciplines, that is, in a multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and integrative way.
Primary academic departments/programs:
- Theology and Religious Studies, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral
- The Augustinian Institute
Cognate academic departments/programs:
- Art History, undergraduate
- Augustine and Culture Seminar, undergraduate
- Classical Studies, undergraduate and graduate
- Cultural Studies, undergraduate
- Ethics, undergraduate
- Gender and Women's Studies, undergraduate and graduate
- Global Interdisciplinary Studies, undergraduate
- History, undergraduate and graduate
- Honors, undergraduate
- Humanities, undergraduate
- Liberal Studies, undergraduate and graduate
- Philosophy, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral
Subject Areas Supported
Fundamental/Systematic Theology & theories and methods of Culture
Foundational theology and the intersection of theology and culture; study of religions; science and religion; women, marriage and the family from a Catholic perspective; media, consumerism, and postmodernism; the role of body in religions, and the contribution of gender studies and queer theory to theological reflection; papal and conciliar teachings; Augustinian, Thomistic and contemporary approaches to theological themes, such as: God, Trinitarian theology, doctrine of the Incarnation, Christology, eschatology, ecclesiology, dogmatic theology, theological anthropology, philosophical theology, ontology, metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics, and hermeneutics.
Ancient thought and culture, particularly early Christian literature and patristic studies, with special emphasis on the 4th and 5th centuries, North Africa, and specific Latin and Greek Fathers of the Church, such as Augustine of Hippo and Gregory of Nyssa; The philosophy and theology of Thomas Aquinas; Medieval and Early Modern theology and culture; dialogue with between ancient faith traditions and contemporary culture; history of Eastern Christian (Byzantine) faith, order and church life; Christian Ecumenism; and Catholic Church Studies, including the history of the papacy and workings of the Roman Curia, the 2nd Vatican Council, and Catholicism in the world today.
Christian Spirituality & Global Religions
Christian theology and modern philosophy; existentialism; theology and the arts; philosophy of technology, the rise of atheism; consumer culture; contemporary religious life, spiritual formation, liturgical practice, and vocational development; western medieval and early modern Christian spirituality with a focus on monasticism, mysticism, theologies of sanctity; American religions and Christian communities; the history and practice of Global Christianities; Judaism; religions of South Asia; Islamic philosophy and theology; theory and method in the study of religion; comparative theology; and inter-religious dialogue.
Catholic Social Teaching; peace and justice; political theology; philosophy of religion; intersection of religion, race, and politics; liberation theology; natural law; virtue theory; African American religious and political thought; systems of justice, punishment and mass incarceration; family ethics; issues of race, gender, and the environment from a Catholic Perspective; theological ethics; Christian environmentalism; and Catholic fundamental moral theology.
New Testament literature; New Testament ethics and spirituality; Koine Greek; Septuagint and New Testament studies; Wisdom literature and Old Testament studies; Biblical narrative and hermeneutics; ancient Near-Eastern and Mediterranean culture and social history; the Bible and the environment; and biblical theology and commentary.
Practical Theology & Religious and Theological Education
Catholic sacramental and liturgical theology; worship and ethics; philosophy of education; theological pedagogy; education and hermeneutics, mission and identity of Catholic higher education, Christian religious and theological education.
Generally print is the preferred format, especially for monographic or other longform literature.
Digital format is common for journal literature, reference materials, reserve materials such as adopted textbooks, and online surrogates of older books in the public domain.
Due to terms of agreement or identified as having special cultural value some materials may not be removed from Falvey’s collections without further consideration on a case-by-case basis. Cultural value is to be defined, but not limited to the fact that Villanova University is a Catholic Augustinian community of higher education. Books on deposit from the Order of Saint Augustine as part of the Augustinian Historical Institute collection cannot be deselected without consulting either the director of the Augustinian Institute or another OSA representative designated by the Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova.
Essential print series:
- Acta Conciliorum Oecumenicorum, Series Secunda
- Anchor Bible/Anchor Yale Bible Commentary
- Ancient Christian Writers: The Works of The Fathers in Translation.
- Annuarium Statisticum Ecclesiae
- Ante-Nicene Fathers
- Archivum Historiae Pontificiae
- Athanasius, Werke
- Augustinus, Opera/Werke
- Bernard Lonergan, Collected Works
- Bibliographia Patristica. Internationale Patristische Bibliographie
- Biblioteca De Autores Christianos: Obras Completas De San Agustín
- Bibliotheca Ephemeridum Theologicarum Lovaniensium
- Bibliothèque Augustinienne: Œuvres De Saint Augustin
- Cassiciacum: Forschungen über Augustinus und den Augustinerorden
- Cistercian Fathers Series
- Classics of Western Spirituality
- Cogitatio Fidei
- Collection Des Etudes Augustiniennes. Series Antiquite
- Commentario ai Documenti del Vaticano II
- Corpus Christianorum in Translation
- Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis
- Corpus Christianorum, Series Apocryphorum
- Corpus Christianorum, Series Graeca
- Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina
- Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina, Clavis Patristica Pseudepigraphorum Medii Aevi
- Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium
- Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum (CSEL). Veröffentlichungen der Kommission zur Herausgabe des Corpus der Lateinischen Kirchenväter
- Dictionnaire D'histoire Et De Géographie Ecclésiastiques
- Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses: Commentarii De Re Theologica Et Canonica
- Fathers of The Church, Mediaeval Continuation
- Fathers of The Church: A New Translation
- Gregorii Nysseni, Opera
- Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller der Ersten Jahrhunderte
- Handbuch der Dogmengeschichte
- Handschriftliche Überlieferung der Werke des Heiligen Augustinus
- Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi
- Instrumenta Patristica et Mediaevalia
- Joseph Ratzinger, Gesammelte Schriften
- Kierkegaard Research: Sources, Reception and Resources
- Leben: Historisch-Systematische Studien Zur Geschichte Eines Begriffs
- Library of Christian Classics
- Library of Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church
- Martin Buber, Werkausgabe.
- Meister Eckhart, Lateinischen Werke & Deutschen Werke
- Migne. Patrologiae Graecae Cursus Completus
- Migne. Patrologiae Graecae, Latine Tantum Editae
- Migne. Patrologiae Latinae Cursus Completus
- Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers
- Nouvelle Bibliothèque Augustinienne
- Nuova Biblioteca Agostiniana: Opere Di Sant’ Agostino
- Œuvres de Saint Augustin.
- Opera Omnia ad Fidem Codicum Manuscriptorum Edenda
- Patristic Monograph Series
- Patristic Studies
- Patristische Texte und Studien
- Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum
- Sancit Thomae de Aquino, Opera
- Sancti Augustini Hipponensis Piscope, Opera
- Sancti Thomae Aquinatis, Doctoris Angelici, Opera Omnia. Iussu Impensaque Leonis XIII. P.M. Edita
- Sanctorum Patrum Opuscula Selecta
- Sitzungsberichte (ÖSterreichische Akademie Der Wissenschaften. Philosophisch-Historische Klasse). Veröffentlichungen der Kommission zur Herausgabe des Corpus der Lateinischen Kirchenväter
- Sources Chrétiennes
- Studia Ephemeridis "Augustinianum"
- Studia Patristica / International Conference on Patristic Studies
- Talmud Bavli, Schottenstein edition
- Texte Und Untersuchungen Zur Geschichte der Altchristlichen Literatur
- Texts and Studies (Cambridge, England)
- Texts from Christian Late Antiquity
- Victorine Texts in Translation
- Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century
- Writings of Saint Augustine: Fathers of The Church, A New Translation
Essential electronic resources:
- ATLA Religion Database (includes, Catholic Periodical and Literature Index)
- Brepols' Library of Latin Texts
- Brill Dictionary of Religion
- Brill Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics
- Brill Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics
- Corpus Augustinianum Gissense a Cornelio Mayer editum (CAG)
- Digital Karl Barth Library
- Encyclopaedia Judaica
- Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception (EBR)
- Index Religiosus (includes, Elenchus Bibliographicus and bibliography of Revue d’Histoire Ecclésiastique)
- Index to the Study of Religions
- New Catholic encyclopedia
- Old Testament and New Testament Abstracts
- Patrologia Graeca
- Patrologia Latina
- Philosophy Documentation Center Collection (POIESIS)
- Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart : Handwörterbuch für Theologie und Religionswissenschaft
- Religion Past & Present : Encyclopedia of Theology and Religion
- Sacramentum Mundi : An Encyclopedia of Theology
- Theologische Realenzyklopädie
- Thesaurus linguae Latinae (TLL)
- Works of Saint Augustine. New City Press electronic edition
Resources and materials collected selectively or by request:
Multi-media resources are typically acquired only on request. Video streaming is preferred.
Microfiche in combination with volumes of the Corpus Christianorum series.
Microfilm back file for certain periodicals:
- L’Osservatore Romano
- National Catholic Register
- National Catholic Reporter
- Our Sunday Visitor
Resources not collected:
Collaborations within the library
Humanities liaison team, consisting of librarians for: Humanities/Classics/Theology, Philosophy/Ethics, English/Theatre/Romance Languages and Literatures, and the Augustine and Culture Seminar Program.