Master of Arts in Religious Studies
Mount Saint Mary's College
Home » Graduate Programs » MA in Religious Studies » Course Descriptions

Examples of Past Courses click here. 

Course Descriptions (Starting Fall 2012)

Graduate Courses are divided according to the four areas listed below:

I. Scripture

II. Systematics

III. Ethics

IV. Pastoral Theology/Ministry

 

SCRIPTURE (RST200 – 207)

RST200 Scripture and Social Justice  (3)
An introduction to standard methodologies for critical understanding of biblical texts, including historical, literary, rhetorical, and social criticisms; and emphasizes themes of social justice in contemporary interpretive methodologies.

RST203 Special Topics in the Hebrew Bible  (1-3)
An exploration of particular issues, approaches, or texts within the Hebrew Bible and its Ancient Near Eastern context. Course may be repeated for credit.

RST205 The New Testament  (3)
An introduction to the standard methodologies used for critical understanding of the New Testament, including historical, literary, rhetorical, and social criticisms.

RST207 Special Topics in the New Testament  (1-3)
An exploration of particular issues, approaches, and texts within the New Testament. Course may be repeated for credit.

 

SYSTEMATICS (RST220 – 239)

RST220 Theories & Methods (3)
An introduction to the various methodologies used in theological research. It presents the research skills required to study the Church as a living, Christian community constantly interpreting its own life within the context of an ongoing relationship with God. (Required course for all students)

RST222 Liberation Theologies  (3)
An investigation of the primary sources of the history, methods and theories of   liberation theologies. This course will also analyze various contemporary theological literature concerned with liberation and will explore issues and challenges involved in social change.

RST223 Christology (3)
A critical-historical theological reflection on the Christian confession that Jesus of Nazareth is Christ and Savior.

RST228 Ecclesiology (3)
An analysis of the development and presentation of contemporary ecclesiology through dialogue with Sacred Scripture, the Tradition of the Church, Vatican II and contemporary theologies.

RST234 World Religions/Religious Diversity  (1-3)
An in-depth study of contemporary topics in the dialog between the major religious traditions. Course may be repeated for credit.

RST239 Special Topics in Systematics (1-3)
An in-depth study of particular topics within the area of systematics. Course may be repeated for credit.

 

ETHICS (RST243 – 249)

RST243 Catholic Social Teaching (3)
A theological investigation of the collection of Catholic Social Teachings developed since the end of the 19th century when Christian morality, rooted in Scripture and tradition, encountered contemporary social problems.

RST246 Issues of Life and Death  (3)
A study of issues and questions concerning the phenomenon of human life and the process of dying. Topics include reproductive technologies, genetic engineering and euthanasia.

RST247 Sex, Gender, and Ethics  (1-3)
A critical study of biblical perspectives, theological positions, ethical reasonings, church traditions, faith commitments and empirical data which address questions of sexuality and relationships. This course also explores how issues of sexuality and gender engage in issues of power. Course may be repeated for credit.

RST248 Eco-Justice (3)
An investigation of the interconnected realities of ecological sustainability and justice for humans. Course readings and discussions will examine how ecocentric theology can be applied to everyday life. Examining choices, the course will lead to formation of a "deep ecology" code of environmental ethics.

RST249 Special Topics in Ethics (1-3)
An in-depth study of particular topics within the area of moral theology and Christian ethics. (e.g. ethics of globalization, sexual ethics after AIDS, political ethics, etc.) Course may be repeated for credit.

 

INTEGRATED INTER-AREA COURSES (RST250 - 253)

RST250 Sojourners and Strangers (3)
An examination of immigration as a site of inquiry for students of religion, investigating "what immigrants do together religiously in the United States" (Warner 1998:9) rather than immigration politics/policy that so often frames the issues. An integrated inter-area course. 

RST251 Contemporary Ethics of Justice: Human Slavery (3)
A study of human trafficking through an investigation of its history, causes and consequences, as well as an investigation of human slavery in its contemporary international setting. An integrated inter-area course.  

RST252 Christology and Spirituality in the Fourth Gospel (3)
Emphasizing both historical-critical and narrative critical approaches, students will go through the Fourth Gospel studying its literary techniques, its various theological motifs, and ancient as well as more recent developments in its interpretation. An integrated inter-area course.  

RST253 Special Topics in Integrated Inter-Area Studies (1-3)
A multi-dimensional study of a particular topic, presented from the perspective of at least two of the areas of study within the program. These areas will be designated on the syllabus. Course may be repeated for credit.

 

PASTORAL THEOLOGY / MINISTRY (RST266 – 289)

RST266 Leadership in Pastoral Ministry (3)
An introduction to the biblical, theological, ethical and social foundations, for effective leadership in the contemporary Church.

RST280 Pastoral Care: Foundations and Issues (1-3)
An exploration of theological and spiritual foundations for the pastoral care relationship; investigation of particular issues which arise in pastoral ministry. Course may be repeated for credit.

RST282 Spiritual Direction (1-3)
An introduction to the nature of the spiritual direction relationship, the preparation and role of the spiritual director, and the purpose of direction. Course may be repeated for credit.

RST285  Parish/Non-Profit Organizing  (1-3)
An introduction of strategies used for parish and non-profit organizations to develop short and long term strategic plans as a way for faith-based communities and justice organizations to pursue their goals for social change.  Topics will include, values of faith based business ventures, issues faced by non- profit organizations, the nature of goals and directives, collaboration and networking, and legal issues. Course may be repeated for credit.

RST287 Law in Church Life  (1-3)
An historical and theological study of Canon Law within the context of the lived experience of the Church. Presentation will focus on application to pastoral ministry and parish management. Course may be repeated for credit.

RST289 Ministries of the Word: Teaching & Preaching (3)
An exploration of the ministries of teaching and preaching within and for the faith community. The approach will be rooted in theology and also in contemporary understandings of the Good News and of effective praxis.

CAPSTONE PROJECT (RST290-291ABCD)

RST290 Capstone Project Proposal  (1)
A preparation course designed for the Capstone Project culminating in a research proposal. Description provided by the department.

RST291 Capstone Project Research, Analysis, and Presentation (2)
A culminating project of the student’s devising, with a clearly delimited research methods and goals overseen by a capstone committee (2 faculty minimum), ending in a presentation by the student, both oral and written.

RST291ABCD Capstone Project Continuation (1, 1, 1, 1)
Course may be repeated for credit.

RST295 Internship (1-3)
This course is offered by special pre-arrangement with the Program Director, available by request in any term. Mount St. Mary’s undergraduate norms for Academic Internship apply. Course may be repeated for credit.

RST298 Directed Individual Study (1-3)
This course is offered by special pre-arrangement, available by request in any term. A student may apply for directed individual study with the approval of a faculty advisor and the program director. No more than six (6) units of directed individual study may be taken towards the MA Degree. Any exception to this is granted by the Director of Graduate Religious Studies with the approval of the Graduate Dean. Course may be repeated for credit.

RST299 Independent Study (1-3)
This course is offered by special pre-arrangement, available by request in any term. A student may apply for independent study with the approval of a faculty advisor and the program director. Mount St. Mary’s College undergraduate norms for Independent Study apply. No more than six (6) units of independent study may be taken towards the MA Degree. Any exception to this is granted by the Director of Graduate Religious Studies with the approval of the Graduate Dean. Course may be repeated for credit.

RST269 Special Topics in Pastoral Theology / Ministry (1-3)
An in-depth study of particular topics within the area of pastoral theology and/or ministry. Course may be repeated for credit.