Theology/Religious Studies

Theology/Religious Studies

Looking for a deeper understanding of one’s own faith tradition, which enables a person to practice it in a more thorough and informed way? You’ve clicked on the right page!


Theology/religious studies acquaints students with Christianity's long and disciplined reflection on the deeply human questions about the quest for God, wisdom and human fulfillment. While accenting the Catholic tradition, our inquiry into these questions includes other Christian and religious traditions, including Judaism and Islam.

Why is Theology in Demand?

  • The study of religion is important because it concerns the deepest questions humans can ask, and it is one of the most ubiquitous aspects of the human experience.
  • Faith has motivated the greatest acts of philanthropy and the most intractable conflicts in history.
  • Religion is everywhere – in popular music, movies, politics, advertising and television shows.  It is the backbone of all culture, and one cannot understand our own culture or others without studying religious faith.
  • The study of theology sharpens one’s critical thinking, critical reading and writing skills, which are necessary skills in any profession. 

Is it for me?

Are you interested in:

  • a wide variety of religious ideas from the Bible and other classical texts?
  • the religions of the world?
  • questions about God?

Five Reasons to Choose Scranton for Theology/Religious Studies

Active learning.   Students in this major will gain a solid understanding of the Christian tradition and the ability to think carefully about the perennial questions of the meaning of life before God.
Be a name, not a number.    Small classes capped at 25-30 students. Undergraduate studies are our focus. Faculty get to know you on an individual basis and are generous with their time and attention inside and outside of class.
Flexibility equals success.    Theology/religious studies is very flexible, allowing students to pursue a double major and/or minor in another area of study such as philosophy, English, communication, biology, education, psychology or counseling and human services.
Experienced faculty.    A 13-member, full-time faculty with diverse religious and educational backgrounds encourages students to explore a wide range of questions about historical and contemporary issues such as medical ethics, economic justice and ecology.
Strong sense of community.    Numerous departmental activities including clubs, associations and honor societies where you will enrich your learning experience while being supported by faculty, staff and peers.
  • Preparing You For Personal & Professional Successplus or minus

    The theology/religious studies program will help you learn how to read carefully, think critically, formulate persuasive arguments and communicate clearly. The skills you gain in reading and discussing the Bible or the works of St. Thomas Aquinas can also be applied to deciphering the annual reports of any company, understanding the chemical make-up of a drug or arguing a case in court. 


    Students have the opportunity to train and work in the regional community in programs and parishes. Opportunities include campus ministry, church-related social agencies, retreat centers, schools and health care facilities. 

  • What You'll Learnplus or minus

    In addition to the major or minor, students can build credits taken in the department into various tracks or concentrations that closely relate to the subject matter covered in theology/religious studies courses. These include:

    • Judaic studies concentration: combines classes taken in theology/religious Studies with courses in Jewish philosophy or literature.
    • Peace and justice studies concentration: directs students through a pattern of courses in theology/religious studies, combined with others from such areas of study as economics or sociology.
    • Catholic studies concentration: introduces students to the Catholic tradition and to the Christian classics in conjunction with courses taken in theology/religious studies and other departments.

    Click here to see the curriculum.

  • Pursue Your Passion and Make a Differenceplus or minus

    The theology/religious studies major prepares students for careers requiring cultural understanding, critical thinking and ethical discernment. Our International Service Program (ISP) organizes 11 annual trips for students, faculty and staff to serve our neediest brothers and sisters in developing countries such as Mexico, Haiti, Guyana, Guatemala and El Salvador.

    Closer to home, we offer significant service-learning opportunities in our local community.  As a Jesuit institution, we encourage students to develop a sense of responsibility for themselves and their community.

    The theology department at The University of Scranton reoriented my goals in a way that allowed me to fall in love with what I was studying. I was in school because I wanted to be, not to simply get a degree.

    Timothy Poole '17


Where will Theology/Religious Studies Take Me?

The Theology/Religious Studies major emphasizes critical thinking, ethical discernment, faith that does justice, and intercultural encounter and dialogue. Graduates of the theology/ religious studies major at The University of Scranton have gone on to careers in:

  • High school teaching in theology or religion
  • Campus ministry
  • Pastoral care or hospital chaplaincy 
  • Youth ministry
  • Directing religious education 
  • Journalism 
  • Law
  • Elementary and secondary education 
  • Government service 
  • Jesuit and other volunteer programs 
  • Ordained ministry (both Catholic and Protestant) 

Graduate Studies

Many are continuing their study of theology in M.A. and Ph.D. programs as well as seminaries across the country. Others are pursuing postgraduate studies in areas such as:

  • Medicine
  • Law
  • Counseling
  • Art history
  • Clinical psychology
  • Journalism
  • Philosophy

How Scranton Gives You a Competitive Edge

Competitive Edge

One of the many things students tell us they love about Scranton is that our faculty are very active in helping them achieve their career goals. As you walk across campus, you’ll often see students chatting with faculty over coffee to bounce ideas.

Whether it’s advising or providing letters of references for a competitive graduate school or that dream job, faculty make it their priority to get to know each student on an individual level. That deep level of understanding means that our faculty are not only dedicated teachers and strong researchers but advocates for you professionally. 

Take the Next Step

Get the Facts

View PDF with Program Overview
& Curriculum

For More Information

Office of Admissions
The Estate
Scranton, PA 18510
1-888-SCRANTON or (570) 941-7540

Department of Theology/Religious Studies
Maria Johnson, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Theology/ Religious Studies
(570) 941-7957