“Theology,” writes theologian Patrick Granfield in the introduction to his book, Theologians at Work, “is the questing, probing, and searching of the Word of God; it is a rational effort, guided by faith, that attempts to penetrate the message of God.” You might think that Theology is the study of the Christian faith alone. Not so. Although liguisitically “Theology” is Western-rooted (the Greek theos means “god”), the term can be applied to the study of all world religions. As a Theology major, you’ll explore how, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “the believer understands his faith” or how “a religion’s practitioners understand their religion.” You’ll examine the ways in which these believers and practitioners define, defend, and verify various elements of their religious doctrine. You’ll attempt to find a place for religious beliefs among the realms of science, history, and logic. “Theology deals with great words,” writes Granfield, words like “love,” “fatherhood,” “motherhood,” “justice,” and others that describe issues of universal importance no matter what one’s religion is. Your Theology major will involve you in an array of other disciplines, including history, philosophy, literature, international studies, anthropology, cosmology, ethics, science, and languages. This field of study is so variegated, in fact, that the Encyclopedia Britannica considers it “a microcosmic image of the university.”
If you go to a parochial high school, you’re in luck—chances are, some sort of Theology or religion courses will be part of the curriculum. But since Theology involves such a wide variety of disciplines, you’d be wise to explore courses in history, philosophy, literature, ethics, science, and languages.