The Catholic University of America

Arts & Sciences Degree in Theology & Religious Studies

Undergraduate students majoring in the program in theology & religious studies matriculate in the School of Arts and Sciences; however, the program’s curriculum and instruction are offered by the faculty of the School of Theology & Religious Studies.

The program for majors in theology and religious studies (TRS) has the aim of providing students with both a wide exposure to the areas of specialization within theology and religious studies and also an opportunity to delve more deeply into areas of special interest.  Attention to the “Christian difference” and specifically to the Roman Catholic tradition of Christian faith is at the heart of CUA’s curriculum in TRS, but life in the 21st century also requires a broad understanding of religion and culture, so majors will have the opportunity to study other religions, including Judaism, Islam, and the religious traditions of India, China, and Japan.

Courses will include both theology (the insider's or believer's critical reflection on faith and its implications for life) and religious studies (academic inquiry into how religion informs cultures and societies and shapes personal identity).

Although religion majors are expected to select courses in a number of different areas, they could also concentrate their work to some extent in a particular area, such as biblical studies, church history, moral theology/ethics, liturgy and sacraments, systematic theology, world religions, or religion and culture.  All TRS majors also take a capstone seminar in their senior year to hone their research skills by studying a particular topic at considerable depth.

Majoring in religion prepares you, as all liberal studies do, for future leadership in many areas. Do you want to work in a state legislature or in Congress to shape public policy for energy use and the environment? Do you aspire to become a broadcaster or print journalist reporting on and interpreting local or national or international events? Do you see yourself in the future involved in personnel management or in international business? Will you be collaborating in an agency to promote social justice or to improve public health? A religion major will prepare you to understand and interpret the fundamental beliefs and values that motivate individuals and communities in this pluralistic society.

Or you may want to prepare for leadership within the Church. Catholic social services agencies, the Catholic education system, and parish and campus ministry all depend on educated and committed Catholics to direct and staff many institutions the Church operates. In the Church, as in the larger society, people who understand religion and culture and the Catholic tradition need to be around wherever decisions are being made and policies are being formulated. A degree in religion can provide you with the foundation for making a difference in the world.