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Religious and Theological Studies

Learn about the Minor


Minor in Religious and Theological Studies

The program for a minor in religious and theological studies is designed to help the students round out their academic careers with an understanding and intellectual grasp of religion as a part of human life and its development, and consists in any four courses in religious and theological studies beyond the introductory course (RTS 1100, RTS 1001 or RTS 1000/15xx).  The minor in Religious and Theological Studies requires completing a minimum of 14 credits at the 2000 level or above.

RTS minors may take one course from an approved list of courses outside the department to complete their RTS requirements.  

Minor in Catholic Studies

The minor in Catholic Studies is an important dimension of Merrimack College’s educational mission as a contemporary Catholic College. This minor presents students the opportunity to explore the richness of the Catholic intellectual, cultural, social and ethical traditions from different academic perspectives. The minor invites students into an appreciative and critical study of the influence of Catholic belief and practice on the development of religion and culture. As part of Merrimack’s Augustinian heritage, the life and thought of Saint Augustine of Hippo is an important dimension of the minor.

There are four parts to the Catholic Studies Minor:

  • 5 courses as described below
  • 20 hours of service with reflection in light of Catholic Social Teaching; service hours done for other classes or programs such as Service Learning or Campus Ministry may be counted.
  • Attendance at 4 co-curricular programs during their time at Merrimack. These may be in the general area of Catholic Intellectual Tradition, Social Teaching, Augustinian Heritage, or other aspects of church life. Examples would include, but not be limited to programs offered by Campus Ministry, The Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations, the Augustinians, and The Stevens Service Learning Center.
  • Catholic Studies Colloquium hosted once a semester by the RTS Department.

The 5 courses (20 Credits) are as follows:

One required course (4 credits):              

  • RTS 2400 The Life and Thought of Saint Augustine (H) or
  • PHL 2350 Philosophy of Augustine (E and W)

Four elective courses (16 credits) from the following approved list of courses;

Two of the electives must be from the RTS Department:

Inside Religious and Theological Studies Department

  •  RTS 2425 Pellegrinaggio in Italia: in Search of Augustinian
  • Community (AL, X)
  • RTS 2450 History of Christian Thought (H)
  • RTS 2300 Introduction to New Testament (AL)
  • RTS 2800 Social Ethics: Christian Perspectives (E,D,X)
  • RTS 2810 Marriage and Family (E)
  • RTS 3400 American Catholicism (H)
  • RTS 3600 The Roman Catholic Church
  • RTS 3610 Sacramental Theology
  • RTS 3620 Theology of the Virgin Mary
  • RTS 3710 Theology through Women’s Eyes (D)
  • RTS 3800 Ethical Witnesses: Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton (E)
  • RTS 3850 War and Peace: Religious Perspectives (E)
  • RTS 4400 Saint Augustine Seminar

 Outside the Religious and Theological Studies Department

  • HIS 3355 Barbarians & Holy Men: History of Late Antiquity
  • HIS 3360 Medieval Civilization (H)
  • HIS 3370 Renaissance, Reformation and Exploration (H)
  • PHL 2330 History of Medieval Philosophy
  • PHL 4030 Metaphysics
  • FAA 2630 The Art of the Middle Ages (AL or H)
  • FAA 2650 Artists, Princes, and Popes: From Renaissance to
  •  Reformation (AL)
  • FAA 3650 The World of Michelangelo (AL)
  • POL 3531 Politics of Developing Nations (SOSC)

This list of courses remains open to additions as suitable offerings are proposed within and to the RTS department. 

Minor in Science and Religion

Religion and science are two of the most powerful influences on human society and culture, and so it is a major premise of this interdisciplinary minor that achieving basic literacy in both areas is desirable for anyone who wishes to understand contemporary Western society. But this minor goes further in that it encourages students to investigate the variety of ways one can think about how these two areas of human activity are related to each other.

 The minor in science & religion will require the completion of a minimum of 18 credits and a minimum of five courses as stipulated below.

  1.  One required course: RTS 2700 Science and Religion
  2. Two Science courses:  Students in this minor must take one course from each of two of the following departments: Biology, Chemistry, or Physics.
  3. Two electives from the following list (only one can be in ethics/values):

Minor in Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations

Religious ignorance is a luxury no one can afford. Religion (like sex, money and power) is one of the great motivators of human behavior. People do amazing and horrific things all in the name of their god(s).  Those who minor in Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations study how these three great faiths have interacted over the centuries, not simply out of an interest in history, but also out of concern for our future.

The Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations minor consists of 5 courses and interfaith justice work.

There are three required components: