Theology

Program Features

Xavier's undergraduate theology major, rooted in the Catholic Jesuit commitment to faith and social justice, provides students the opportunity to explore humanity's experience of the Divine and how it is expressed through doctrines, rituals and moral practices around the world. Theology majors are invited into an interreligious conversation and they graduate with a deeper understanding of their own beliefs, as well as others. Theology majors also have the option in their senior year to begin graduate theology courses as part of our BA/MA 5-year Path.

Our graduate theology program at Xavier University is offered through the Institute for Spirituality and Social Justice. The Institute offers students a rich academic and engaged atmosphere in the Ignatian tradition where they pursue personal enrichment and the grounding for a variety of Christian vocations, career options or future doctoral work.

Concentrations

Theology majors typically choose from one of three concentrations:

Curriculum

The sample course sequence below illustrates class offerings for the Theology major. Consult the official Xavier University course catalog for detailed registration and advising information.

Fall

  • English 101: English Composition............ 3cr.
  • Core 101: GOA Co-Curriculum Program I ............ 0cr.
  • First Year Seminar............ 3cr.
  • Second Language I ............ 3cr.
  • General Elective ............ 3cr.
  • General Elective ............ 3cr.

Spring

  • Theology 111: Theological Foundations ............ 3cr.
  • Core 102: GOA Co-Curriculum Program II ............ 0cr.
  • Historical Perspectives............ 3cr.
  • Second Language II ............ 3cr.
  • General Elective ............ 3cr.
  • General Elective ............ 3cr.

Fall

  • Theology 209: Exploring Christian Past I ............ 3cr.
  • Theology Elective............ 3cr.
  • Philosophy 100: Ethics as Intro to Philosophy ............ 3cr.
  • Mathematical Perspectives............ 3cr.
  • Creative Perspectives............ 3cr.

Spring

  • Theology 210: Exploring the Christian Past II ............ 3cr.
  • Theology Elective............ 3cr.
  • Philosophical Perspectives............ 3cr.
  • Scientific Perspectives............ 3cr.
  • General Elective............ 3cr.

Fall

  • Theology 303: Christian Ethics ............ 3cr.
  • Theology 295: Map to Theological Diversity............ 3cr.
  • English 205: Literature and Moral Imagination ............ 3cr.
  • Natural Sciences Elective ............ 3cr.
  • Oral Communications Flag ............ 3cr.

Spring

  • Theology Elective............ 3cr.
  • Theology Elective............ 3cr.
  • Diversity Core Requirement Flag ............ 3cr.
  • Social Sciences Elective ............ 3cr.
  • Humanities Elective ............ 3cr.

Fall

  • Theology 490: Senior Project ............ 1cr.
  • Theology Elective ............ 3cr.
  • E/RS Flag ............ 3cr.
  • Writing Intensive Flag ............ 3cr.
  • Quantitative Reasoning Flag ............ 3cr.
  • General Elective............ 3cr.

Spring

  • General Elective ............ 3cr.
  • General Elective ............ 3cr.
  • General Elective ............ 3cr.
  • General Elective ............ 3cr.
  • General Elective ............ 3cr.

Sample Courses

Xavier is known for providing an education that’s both challenging and personal. Here are some courses that are part of the theology major at Xavier:

Exploring the Christian Past I  (THEO 209) - Examines major theological themes of the Christian Tradition from its beginnings until the 15th Century. Blends theological analysis with intellectual and social history.

Intro to Christian Scriptures (THEO 328) - An introduction to the literature of the New Testament, its interpretation, and theological import. The student will acquire tools for the critical analysis of Scripture as well as explore the Christian Bible's historical, sociological, and cultural contexts.

Map to Theological Diversity (THEO 295) - Examination of the public role and significance of theology in society and church, with special attention to different methodologies. Aims to help the student synthetically articulate and critically defend their own vision of a theology and spirituality responsive to the signs of the times of the new century.

Christian Ethics (THEO 303) - Introduction to the methods and central questions of Christian ethics.

Student Clubs

The following clubs are popular choices for students in the theology major. 

Alternative Breaks

The 200+ students in Xavier's Alternative Breaks program work onsite with local, national and international organizations focused on social justice issues like immigration, urban sustainability and mountaintop removal. They travel to more than 15 places, including Catalina Island, California and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota during Fall and Spring breaks.

Coalition for Christian Outreach

Members of this campus ministry club meet weekly to explore the claims of Jesus Christ, grow in their faith while developing habits of worship and prayer. Through their time together, they develop an understanding of how their faith impacts every area of life, including academic studies and future vocations.

Life After Sunday

Life After Sunday provides students with practical means for integrating their Catholic faith into everyday life. Life After Sunday does this primarily by praying the Rosary, studying the Bible, sponsoring Eucharistic Adoration, hosting Lord's Day dinners and hosting Holy Power Hours.

Muslim Student Association

The Muslim Student Association fosters an environment wherein Muslim students can interact with each other through a variety of educational exercises, community building and service activities.

Career Outcomes

98% of Xavier students, including those in the theology major, are employed, attending grad school or working in service or volunteer positions within six months of graduation.

Top Jobs: Teacher, religious education coordinator, youth and young adult minister, pastoral associate, development coordinator, community organizer, religion feature writer.  Can also prepare students for graduate studies or for the priesthood or religious life.

Top Companies: Archdiocese of Cincinnati, City of Cincinnati, Habitat for Humanity, Jesuit Spiritual Center, Monroe United Methodist Church, Ohio Organizing Collective, Family Missions Company (Louisiana), Trinity Episcopal Church

Top Graduate Schools for Doctorate Degrees:  Union Theological Seminary (NY), University of Dayton, Wake Forest University

All For One

Xavier is ranked #1 for its excellent academic reputation among top competitors in the region. Students get the most out of their education, from rigorous classroom studies to experiential learning in the real world.

Wilderness Immersion for Theology Majors

Students in the Theology major learning outdoors

Xavier Expeditions offers wilderness-immersion programs for credit and enrichment. These destination-based programs focus on the most basic roles within the life-earth-universe story. Through wilderness immersion, students facilitate self-discovery of earth as our primary reality, healer and teacher.


Expedition Details

Theology Majors Learn in the Ignatian Tradition

Catholic priest presiding over outdoor Mass

At Xavier, theology is an academic pursuit and more. Students will have the opportunity to interpret the circumstances of modern life in the light of the Gospel and to answer questions about meaning raised by people today.


The Ignatian Approach

Theology Alumni Share their Insights

Students in the Theology major learning from Theology program alumni

Recent alumni share their insights about how Xavier's undergraduate Theology program has shaped their life, career and time at Xavier.


Theology Program Alumni Profiles

Theology Major at Xavier University

The Theology Major at Xavier University is a 120-credit hour program that offers students a rich academic and engaged atmosphere in the Ignatian tradition, where they pursue personal enrichment and the grounding for a variety of Christian vocations, career options, or future doctoral work. Theology is the study both of the human experience of God and of the transmission of that experience through religious traditions, doctrines, ethics, and rituals. It is essentially a dialogue between religious traditions and human experience. Rigorous classes presented in a variety of formats (online, evening, weekends, condensed eight-week) allow students to explore theology and topics of social justice, Biblical Studies, Spirituality, World Religions, and Youth/Campus Ministry.

Xavier University’s College of Arts and Sciences challenges students to develop an integrated understanding of humanity, the world, and God by pursuing the questions raised in Xavier's core and departmental curricula. The College of Arts and Sciences is the oldest and largest college at Xavier University. The college provides an excellent liberal arts education in the Jesuit tradition that prepares students for careers, professional or graduate school, and life in a global society.

Xavier University is a private university located in Cincinnati, Ohio, providing a liberal arts education in the Jesuit Catholic tradition. Founded in 1831, the University is the sixth-oldest Catholic university in the nation. It has been ranked among the top 10 master's-level universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report for the past two decades. The Princeton Review names it one of the "Best 385 Colleges in America."