NDMU Course Catalog : http://catalog.ndm.edu/ccg

Religious Studies

Women's College and College of Adult Undergraduate Studies

Overview
Major
Minor
Course descriptions

Maeve M. O'Donovan, Ph.D., Chair
Brian D. Berry, Ph.D.
Wakoh Shannon Hickey, Ph.D.
Henrietta L. Wiley, Ph.D.
LaReine Mosely, Ph.D.

Religion touches every aspect of life, and religious studies can help us think more deeply and carefully about all the big issues humans face: love, death, suffering, power, violence, justice, morality, sex, family, money, community, the divine, and the meaning of life. The Religious Studies Department, part of the School of Arts and Sciences, offers a major and minor to students in the Women's College and the College of Adult Undergraduate Studies. The Religious Studies program is based on four pillars: biblical studies, systematic theology, religious ethics, and religious issues (practical theology and religion and culture). Grounded in Roman Catholic and ecumenical Christian traditions, we actively engage in dialogue with other world religions. Women's contributions to spirituality, religious thought and history, as well as the ecumenical and interfaith aspects of the discipline, are woven into the program and are treated in greater depth in courses devoted exclusively to these topics. The program stresses critical thinking and respect for the religious commitments of all persons, and also is seen as a step toward transforming society. Graduates are ordained ministers, religion teachers, guidance counselors, parish educators, directors of religious education, pastoral and youth ministers, campus ministers, hospital chaplains, parish music ministers, leaders in diocesan offices, and employees of Catholic Charities.

In addition to the major, the religious studies department offers minors in Religious Studies and participates in Catholic Studies, Justice and Peace Studies and Women’s Studies, as well as providing a track within the liberal arts major (seven courses for the primary track or five for the supporting track).

Transfer credits from the religious studies or theology department of an accredited college or university will be accepted after assessment by the chair of the religious studies department. Credits should have been earned since 2000.

The general education requirement includes two courses in religious studies, one of which must be at the 300- or 400- level. To fulfill the general education requirement in values, a student may take any of the following courses: RST-303, 304, 306, 331, 345, 411.

The following courses satisfy the general education requirement at the 300- or 400-level: RST-300, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 311, 312, 315, 316, 317, 325, 331, 340, 341, 345, 347, 360, 361, 370, 401, 405, 409, 411, 415, 421, 424, 427, 430, 431, 432, 433, 450, 452, IDS-340.

Religious studies courses that satisfy the general education requirement in cross-cultural studies are: RST-311, 331, 345, 350, 360, 361, 401 (depending on topic), 427, 450, 452.

Religious studies courses that satisfy the general education requirement in gender studies are: RST-305, 308, 340, 341, 390, 411.

All courses credited toward the major or minor must be completed with a grade of C or higher.

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Programs of Study

The religious studies major provides the student with proficiency in four categories: biblical studies, systematic theology, practical theology/religion and culture, and religious ethics.

The curriculum requirements of 45 credits are as follows.

Required Courses for a Major in Religious Studies

Biblical Studies (12 credits)
RST-201 Introduction to Biblical Studies (3)
RST-315 Old Testament (3)
RST-317 New Testament (3)

One of the following:
RST-308 Gender and Power in the Book of Genesis (3)
RST-309 Revelation and the Apocalyptic Imagination (3)
RST-316 Psalms (3)
RST-430 Topics in Pauline Theology (3)

Systematic Theology (12 credits)
RST-312 Sin and Grace (3)
RST-325 Jesus Christ (3)

Any two of the following:
RST-307 Trinity: Images of God (3)
RST-415 Church (3)
RST-421 Christian Worship (3)

Practical Theology/Religion and Culture (12 credits)
Students are required to choose one course from practical theology and one from religion and culture.

Practical Theology
RST-305 Marriage and Family (3)
RST-341 Theology of the Body (3)
RST-347 Introduction to Spirituality (3)
RST-409 Death and Dying (3)
RST-431 Teaching Religion to Adolescents (3)
RST-432 Faith Development of Children and Adolescents (3)
RST-433 Teaching Religion to Children (3)

Religion and Culture
RST-300 American Catholicism (3)
RST-311 World Religions (3)
RST-360 Islam (3)
RST-361 African American Religions (3)
RST-427 Study Tour (3)
RST-445 Islamic Perspectives on Peace and Conflict (3)
RST-450 Judaism, Christianity and Islam (3)
RST-452 Buddhism and Christianity (3)
Students are also required to complete any two other courses from either practical theology or religion and culture.

Religious Ethics (9 credits)
RST-303 Christian Ethics (3)

Any one of the following:
RST-304 Christian Social Ethics (3)
RST-345 Justice and Peace (3)

Any one of the following:
RST-306 Christian Bioethics (3)
RST-331 Comparative Religious Ethics (3)
RST 411H Catholic Women Theologians

For those planning to seek catechist certification from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, it is recommended that at least one course from RST-431, 432 and 433 be selected.
Religious studies majors and minors are encouraged to choose RST-427 Study Tour. Internships in religious studies are also available.

Capstone Experience

The religious studies capstone experience provides students with the opportunity to reflect on their religious studies program and synthesize what they have learned. The capstone experience has three related components: a capstone preparation workshop and compilation of a portfolio, an interview with department faculty, and a presentation to department faculty, current religious studies students and alumnae. It is required of all religious studies majors and is typically completed during the student's final semester. The capstone experience earns 1 credit.

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Required Courses for a Minor in Religious Studies

The curriculum requirements of 21 credits are as follows:
RST-201 Introduction to Biblical Studies (3)
RST-315 Old Testament or RST-317 New Testament (3)
One systematic theology course (3)
One practical theology or religion and culture course (3)
One religious ethics course (3)
Any two other courses from departmental offerings (6)

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Fall Spring 
First year      
IDS-100 Perspectives in Education 3 RST-300/400-level course 3
ENG-101 College Writing 3 Foreign Language 3
Foreign Language 3 General Education/Electives 9
RST-201 Intro. Biblical Studies 3 [15 credits]  
General Education/Electives 3    
[15 credits]      
Second year      
RST-300/400-Level Courses 9 RST-300/400-Level Courses 9
General Education/Electives 6 General Education/Electives 6
[15 credits]   [15 credits]  
Third year      
RST-300/400-Level Courses 9 RST-300/400-Level Courses 6
General Education/Electives 6 General Education/Electives 9
[15 credits]   [15 credits]  
Fourth year      
RST-300/400-Level Course 3 RST-300/400-Level Course 3
General Education/Electives 12 General Education/Electives 12
[15 credits]   [15 credits]  

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Courses

  • RST-201 Introduction to Biblical Studies

    Introduces the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures of the Judeo-Christian tradition, exploring their historical and literary contexts, as well as interpretations of religious meaning. Presents modern methods of biblical study, including Roman Catholic, Protestant and Jewish scholarship. Fulfills general education requirement for 200-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-300 American Catholicism

    Studies Roman Catholicism in the United States. Topics include the history of American Catholic self-understanding; the influence of the Catholic Church on politics, education and social issues; and an examination of American Catholic socio-religious issues. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [ 3 credits ]
  • RST-303 Christian Ethics

    Presents a historical overview of Christian ethics as presented by the Bible, Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin and contemporary figures. Examines selected topics in sexual ethics, bioethics and social ethics. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and values. [3 credits]
  • RST-304 Christian Social Ethics

    Provides students with an opportunity to understand and evaluate various Christian positions on a range of contemporary moral issues related to life in society. Examines selected topics in economic ethics, social ethics and political ethics. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and values. [3 credits]
  • RST-305 Marriage & Family

    Explores marriage as a covenant, human institution and Christian sacrament. Issues include sexuality, human intimacy, responsible parenting and family life. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and gender studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-306 Christian Bioethics

    Provides students with an opportunity to understand and evaluate various Christian positions on a range of contemporary moral issues related to biology, technology and medicine. Examines selected topics in the ethics of reproduction, genetics and research, end-of-life care, and the allocation of scarce resources. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and values. [3 credits]
  • RST-307 The Question of God

    Studies the three persons of God in the Christian tradition from the viewpoint of contemporary scholarship. Historical, biblical and contemporary images of the three persons of God are considered. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-308 Gender and Power in the Book of Genesis

    Examines the book of Genesis in depth both in its historical context and its interpretive history. Explores how gender is constructed in the book of Genesis and the impact of that construction on identity, social status, and interpersonal relationships. Considers the questions of what it means to be a man or a woman and whether these definitions are fixed or dynamic. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and gender studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-309 Revelation and the Apocalyptic Imagination

    Examines the book of Revelation and its historical context and evaluates its interpretation over time. Explores the dynamics of apocalyptic theology from early Judaism to the present, and considers whether and how one can read Revelation responsibly. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-311 World Religions

    Considers the concept of God and perennial religious questions as found in such religions as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Judaism. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and cross-cultural studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-312 Sin and Grace

    Presents a historical overview of traditional Christian understandings of original sin and grace as presented by the Bible, Augustine of Hippo, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther and the Council of Trent. Explores contemporary interpretations of original sin and grace by Roman Catholic, Protestant, feminist and liberation theologians. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-315 Old Testament

    Explores the origin of the books of the Hebrew scriptures, also known as the Old Testament, in light of the history and culture of the people who produced them. Students will be able to identify major themes and characters and will become familiar with the relevant scholarly methodology. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-316 Psalms

    Introduces the major types of psalms, their origins and their artistry, and the major biblical themes they encompass. Also discusses the continuing interpretive life of the psalms in Jewish and Christian worship, art, and literature. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-317 New Testament

    Examines the literature of the early Christian church with an emphasis on content and composition in light of the history and culture of the people who produced them. Students will be able to identify major themes and characters and will become familiar with relevant scholarly methodology. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-325 Jesus Christ

    Studies the person and work of Jesus Christ from the viewpoint of contemporary scholarship. The course explores the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and his central significance for Christian faith as found in the Christian scriptures, in the history of Christological doctrine, and in contemporary Christology. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-331 Comparative Religious Ethics

    Provides students with the opportunity to understand and evaluate various religious positions on a range of contemporary moral issues. Examines Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist perspectives on selected topics in sexual ethics, bioethics and social ethics. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies, values and cross-cultural studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-340 Women in World Religions

    Provides the opportunity for students to evaluate the impact of world religions upon women in Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Students will engage primary and secondary source material to better understand the historical and theological contexts within which the world religions view women. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and gender studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-341 Theology of the Body

    An exploration of the meaning of life lived in a human body. Topics include: creation in the image of God, freedom and person, gender and vocation, theobiology and sexuality. Primary attention is given to the impact of body theology on women's self-understanding. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and gender studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-345 Justice and Peace

    Analyzes contemporary issues of justice and peace, including classism, racism, sexism and violence. Topics such as world hunger, terrorism and heterosexism will be considered from personal, communal and global perspectives within the context of theological and moral teachings of various religious traditions. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies, values and cross-cultural studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-347 Introduction to Spirituality

    Considers the question: Are all persons spiritual by nature? This course explores the meaning and practice of spirituality in contemporary society, considering various religious traditions as well as newly developing forms of spiritual practice. Topics include diverse meditation practices, gender-based spirituality and spirituality for the sake of justice. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-360 Islam

    Examines the foundation, beliefs and practices of this major religion. Issues include the place of women in Islam, the world-wide spread of Islam and the challenges of modernism. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies and cross- cultural studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-361 African American Religions

    Studies African-American Christianity in the United States, historically and experientially. The course explores African and slave roots, historical and political contexts, the centrality of Jesus and the Bible, and themes of liberation and protest. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and cross-cultural studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-370 Christian Hope

    Presents an historical overview of the Christian understanding of hope. The course will explore themes central to the Christian theological tradition's understanding of death, resurrection, heaven, hell and the fulfillment of history from personal and communal perspectives. Focus will be given to biblical origins, historical developments, and contemporary interpretations. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-390 Contemporary Spirituality

    Considers the question: Are all persons spiritual by nature? This course explores the meaning and practice of spirituality in contemporary society, considering various religious traditions as well as newly developing forms of spiritual practice. Topics include diverse meditation practices, gender-based spirituality for the sake of justice. Open to Accelerated College students only. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and gender studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-401 Topics in Religion

    Investigates one specific topic, significant movement or writer, providing an opportunity to consider a matter of interest in depth. May be taken more than once on different topics. Recent courses included: Jewish Thought and Culture, DaVinci Code: Fact or Fiction, and Life and Legacy of Pope John Paul II. Prerequisite: RST-201. Can fulfill general education requirement in cross-cultural studies (depending on topic) and 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-409 Death and Dying

    Examines the phenomena and meanings attending death. What do religion and science tell us about the process of death? What are the various historical and contemporary beliefs about afterlife? The course focuses on dying persons, survivors, health care professionals and providers of death-related services. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-411 Honors: Catholic Women Theologians

    Critically engages recent influential works by major Catholic women theologians in the United States, such as Elizabeth Johnson, Margaret Farley, and Lisa Sowle Cahill. Specific topics to be considered include the theology of God, sexual ethics, bioethics, and social ethics. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirements in 300-400 level RST, values and gender studies; Morrissy students only. [ 3 credits ]
  • RST-415 Church

    Presents an historical overview of the development of traditional Christian understandings of the nature and function of the church as presented by the New Testament, Augustine of Hippo, Martin Luther, the First Vatican Council, and the second Vatican Council. The course will explore contemporary interpretations of the church by Roman Catholic, Protestant, feminist, liberation, and non-Western theologians. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-421 Christian Worship

    Provides opportunities for studying and experienc-ing the diversity within worship practices among Christians. The course examines the history of worship from pre-Christian times to the present with an emphasis on communal rituals such as baptism and communion. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-427 Study Tour

    Provides opportunities to visit and study regions of importance for religious studies. Tours are organized and directed by members of the department and offered periodically in summer and winter. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and cross-cultural studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-430 Topics in Pauline Theology

    Explores the apostle Paul's life, mission, and letters, as well as his historical and social context. Examines the development of his theology on such topics as faith, law, salvation, spirituality, and life in community. Considers the diversity of the early Christian Church and how others eceived and interpreted Paul's message. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-431 Teaching Religion to Adolescents

    Explores the spiritual and religious development of faith in the life of adolescents. The course draws upon studies in spirituality, psychology and sociology to determine the optimal approach for assisting teens in their religious and moral choices. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-432 Faith Development of Children and Adolescents

    Explores the development of religious and spiritual understanding in the lives of children until they reach young adulthood. We will examine various ways that parents, teachers and others can engage in meaningful conversation or teaching with children about matters of faith. While the course focuses on Christian religious tradition, individuals may consider other faith traditions in the required research. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-433 Teaching Religion to Children

    Provides opportunities to practice teaching religious and moral content to children. The practical application is based on the study of spiritual and religious development of faith in the lives of children from pre-school to middle school ages. The course prepares parents, catechetical instructors and elementary school teachers to approach religious topics suitably and at age-appropriate levels. Pre-requisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-450 Judaism, Christianity and Islam

    Examines the three faiths that claim Abraham as their father from historical, contemporary, scriptural, and cultural perspectives. Looks at origins as well as theological similarities and differences, using the Bible and the Qur'an as well as other sources. Prerequisite: RST 201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and cross-cultural studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-452 Buddhism and Christianity

    Introduces the Christian and Buddhist traditions in comparison with each other, as valuable paths to God. Examines the wisdom sayings of Buddha and Jesus, as well as parallel concepts such as Christian self-kenosis and Buddhist emptiness. Prerequisite: RST 201. Fulfills general education requirements for 300/400-level religious studies and cross-cultural studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-460 Capstone Experience

    Provides students with the opportunity to reflect on their religious studies program and synthesize what they have learned. The capstone experience has three related components: a portfolio preparation workshop and compilation of a portfolio, an interview with department faculty, and a presentation to department faculty, current religious studies students and alumnae. Required of all religious studies majors and liberal arts majors with a primary track in religious studies, and typically completed during the student's final semester. [1 credit]
  • RST-463 Independent Study

    Provides an opportunity for individual study of an area or topic of special interest in religious studies. Usually involves research under the guidance of a faculty member of the department. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-465 Directed Readings: Selected Topics in Religion

    Provides an opportunity for individual study of an area or topic of special interest in religious studies. Usually involves regular discussions of written works with a faculty member of the department. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • RST-471 Honors: Theological Investigations

    Engages students in the exploration of current scholarship about a person, event or topic of religious or theological significance. The topic for spring 2013 will be Catholic Women Theologians. Prerequisite: Morrissy scholar or permission. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400 level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • IDS-340 Introduction to Catholic Studies

    Provides an overview of various dimensions of the Roman Catholic faith, including Catholic practices, histories, cultures and doctrines. Topics to be considered are: Catholic spirituality and institutions, Catholic ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue, Catholicism and the arts, sciences and social action; the history of the Catholic Church, global Catholicism, contemporary Catholic theology, and the future of the Catholic Church. Prerequisite: RST-201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400-level religious studies.
  • IDS-373 Honors: Cosmos and Creation: Religion and Science

    Explores the relationship between religion and science as bodies of knowledge, modes of inquiry, and ways of knowing. Examines the complex history of science and religion as social institutions in various degrees of cooperation and tension. Areas of inquiry will include theology, spirituality, scientific theories, and philosophy of science, as well as the intersection of these areas at key historical moments such as the Copernican revolution, natural selection, and the development of quantum physics. Prerequisite: RST 201. Fulfills general education requirement for 300/400 level religious studies. [3 credits]
  • IDS-455 Seminar in Catholic Studies

    Serves as the capstone for the Catholic Studies minor. As such, it provides students with a focused seminar experience that encourages substantial guided research on a topic in Catholic Studies mutually agreed upon by student and professor. May include a service learning component. Prerequisite: IDS-340. [3 credits]

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