Certificate in Theological Studies

Theology Certificate Brochure (pdf) Steps to Apply (pdf) Application for Admission: Apply Online  |  Download (pdf)
Aquinas College offers a Certificate in Theological Studies, designed for lay people engaged in ministry and those persons who want to further their theological education.
Whether you are a parish catechetical leader, pastoral associate, youth ministry leader, parish musician, Catholic school administrator or teacher, or adult Catholic seeking a deeper understanding of your faith, Aquinas' Certificate in Theological Studies will enhance your theological preparation and help you to bring a new level of understanding and knowledge to your life and your ministry.
Required Courses
The Certificate in Theological Studies consists in 18 credits of coursework in the form of six 3-credit courses. The curriculum has been designed to build on your current knowledge base and prepare you for further study if that is your desire. The five required courses are:
TY120 Sacraments
An introduction to Sacramental Theology and Liturgy that explores the biblical, historical and liturgical aspects of the Church’s Sacraments
TY 147 The Catholic Vision
This course introduces students to Roman Catholic tradition and its faith, doc-trines, theology, ritual, spirituality and moral life. Its goals include 1) acquainting students with the distinctive spirit of the Catholic vision and tradition as it relates to other Christian denominations and religious traditions; 2) helping students to recognize that Catholicism is a theological heritage that encompasses a rich tradition of persons, doctrines, ways of celebrating, moral living, praying and social justice; and 3) familiarizing students with the challenges that contemporary Catholicism faces in the Third Millennium
TY 211 Jesus
Explores the New Testament portraits of Jesus, including how the first Christian theologians re-interpreted Jewish scripture. Students will compare episodes in the four Gospels and become aware of images of Christ in narrative, epistle and poetry. Also introduces the "historical Jesus" debate and the cultural setting of the Jesus movement.
TY 212 Vatican II and the American Catholic Experience
This course examines the major documents of the Second Vatican Council and how the paradigm shift experienced impacts the Roman Catholic tradition in the United States since 1965. After setting the historical context of Vatican II and its place in the Catholic theological tradition, the major themes of the council are addressed with a careful reading of select documents. Attention is then given to how the shifts in Vatican II, rooted in the documents, has effected contemporary concerns in the United States such as ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue, understanding of church, the nature of theological reflection and relationship of faith to the world
TY 250 Christian Morality
An introduction to Christian ethics or moral theology that, from the Catholic moral tradition, considers ethical sources, the meaning of the acting person, and selected sexual, bio-medical and social justice issues. Themes covered include: ethics in a post-modern world, faith and ethics, church authority, conscience, natural law, sin, virtue and making moral decisions.

Participants in the Certificate in Theological Studies can choose any elective that best fits their needs. For example, they may consider TY224 Theology of Christian Marriage where they will explore the meaning of love, marriage, and human sexuality from a theological perspective or TY240 Theology of Paul that probes the Apostle's theology in its Jewish context focusing upon the form of Paul's letters, the different situations he addressed and his vision of Christ. 


>View the full list of courses


Please Note:  When registering for the elective, the enrollee must inform the Registrar and Student Accounts Offices that this is their elective in the Certificate in Theological Studies for their 50% reduced tuition.

Additional Information

Because Aquinas is a Catholic institution, all students in the Theological Certificate program will receive a fee waiver of 50% for a limited time as an encouragement for enrollment in the program.


To receive a brochure or application or to register for the Theological Certificate, call the Registrar/Academic Advising Center at (616) 632-2866 or e-mail For information on theology courses contact Dr. Robert Marko, Chair of the Theology Department at (616) 632-2846 or