Degrees / Courses

Two Year Rotation of Courses (pdf) Degrees
Four-Year CE Completion (pdf) Courses


Major Requirements
A minimum of thirty-six (36) semester hours which includes TY120, 131, 170, 250, 293, 345; one or two courses in Sacred Scripture; one course in Spirituality; 12 semester hours of Theology electives. At least 21 credits should be earned at Aquinas College.
Minor Requirements
The Theology Department offers a minor in Theology. A minor is designed to provide an organized format of courses beneficial to students in supplementing their major with courses from the Theology Department. A minor requires a minimum of 24 semester hours, the specific courses determined in consultation with the department. In conjunction with the Department of Music, the Theology Department supports Bachelor of degrees in Liturgical Music. Consult Music Department entry for requirements.
Aquinas College, in cooperation with the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, Michigan offers students the opportunity to acquire a certificate in youth ministry. Students must complete eight (8) semester hours of study to obtain their certification. See department chairperson for further details. Courses for the Youth Ministry Certificate are listed after the regular departmental offerings.


TY120 Sacraments (3) TF
An introduction to Sacramental Theology and Liturgy that explores the biblical, historical and liturgical aspects of the Church's Sacraments.
TY131 Bible as Story (3) TF
A theological and literary introduction to the biblical story, from creation to apocalypse. Follows the great themes of the Bible, such as paradise, peoplehood, and the presence of God. Students will learn to interpret biblical stories, discover the images and themes that appear throughout the Christian Bible, and gain an appreciation of scripture as the root of Christian faith today.
TY140 Faith and Meaning (3) TF
Explores faith, worldview, and the meaning of life from a Christian perspective guided by biblical readings and the writings of C.S. Lewis. Students will discover the connection between the biblical story and its language, theology, and distinctive Christian forms of life.
TY147 The Catholic Vision (3) TF
This course introduces students to Roman Catholic tradition and its faith, doctrines, 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.
TY170 Wrestling with God (3) TF
Considers the question of God's existence. Investigates the human capacity to know, love and speak intelligently about God. Examines arguments both for and against God's existence and gives special consideration to the challenges suffering poses to faith. Explores the relationship between faith and reason, and science and religion. Evaluates the effect secularization has on religious belief and pays special attention to the challenges that a postmodern situation presents to traditional belief in God.
TY210 Theology of the Person (3) TF
Discussions and readings (biblical, classical, and contemporary) related to the topic of Christian Anthropology. Topics covered include: Creation; Being Human (imago Dei, free, relational, etc.); Sin; Grace; Death; Judgment; Heaven and Hell.
TY211 Jesus (3) TF
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.
TY212 Vatican II and the American Catholic Experience (3)
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.
TY215 Introduction to Christian Spirituality (3) TF
Introduces students to contemporary spirituality grounded in the quaternion nature of the human person who is called to live in relationship with God, self, others and material creation. The course helps students understand spirituality as living in the presence of God and to appreciate how the major themes of the Christian spiritual tradition have concrete implications for responding to this gracious mystery.
TY224 Theology of Christian Marriage (3) TF
Explores the meaning of love, marriage, and human sexuality from a theological perspective. Aided by the insights from the psychological and social sciences, as well as ethical philosophy, this course seeks to comprehend an appropriately Christian vision of the meaning and purpose of human sexuality and love.
TY230 Seasons and Cycles of Faith (3)
Historical, theological, and scriptural study of the seasons and feasts of the Liturgical Year; meaning of celebrating and living liturgical spirituality for contemporary persons.
TY240 Theology of Paul (3) TF

Probes the Apostle's theology in its Jewish context. The course focuses upon the form of Paul's letters, the different situations he addressed, his understanding of Jews and gentiles together, his vision of Christ, and his interpretation of the Jewish Bible (the Old Testament).

TY250 Christian Morality (3) TF
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.
TY255 Catholic Social Teaching (3) TF
An introduction to the official social teachings of the Catholic Church and the lived experience of the Judeo-Christian tradition in the United States since the end of the nineteenth century. Attention is given to the theological vision, the anthropology, and the principles used by the Church in its moral reflection on the various social problems of our day including rights and duties of workers and employers, racism, sexism, attacks on the dignity of human life and the family, political tyranny, economic injustice in the Third and Fourth worlds, and war.
TY267 Women and Spirituality (3)
This course will explore the topic of spirituality focusing especially on women. We will approach our studies through readings, class presentations and discussions on Scripture, Tradition and Church history; the anthropology/sociology of gender relations; the lives of women mystics; the experience of women in selected works of literature; the experience of contemporary women (guest speakers) and the experience of class participants. Class readings, presentations and discussions regarding all of the above will strive to incorporate varying experiences of race, culture and life stage development.
TY271 Judaism at the time of Jesus (3)
An exploration of the diverse theology and literature of early Judaism. Includes an extended study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Other foci include early Jewish biblical interpretation, the Old Testament Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, the so-called rewritten Bible, Jewish apocalyptic, the Jewish historian Josephus, and the Jewish philosopher Philo. Students will gain an appreciation of the Jesus movement in its native context and discover the Jewish roots of Christian theology.
TY275 World's Living Religions (3)
Discussions and readings related to the great living religions of East and West with the purpose of helping students to learn about religions other than their own.
TY293 Christology (3)

An introduction to the Christian tradition’s understanding of Jesus as the Christ. After a brief review of the biblical data, this course considers the tradition’s reflection on Jesus of Nazareth as found in the early Christological councils and later theologians.

TY310 Special Topics in Theology (3)
Prerequisite: Theological Foundations Requirement or Instructor Approval
TY312 Liturgy and Ministry (3)
Development of skills in liturgical planning and liturgical ministries by guided experience, evaluation, readings, and discussion.
TY315 Eucharist: Past, Present, Future (3)
An in-depth study of the liturgy of the Word and the liturgy of the Eucharist in its historical, theological, liturgical, and pastoral aspects; Eucharist as symbolizing the Christian vision of meaning in personal, communal existence.
TY 315 Eucharist: Source and Summit of Christian Life (3)
The Second Vatican Council teaches that the Eucharistic sacrifice is “the source and summit of Christian life” (Lumen Gentium, no. 11). The goal of this course is to see how the Eucharist had been the source and summit of the life of the early Church, and remains as the center of the Church today, and will continue to do so to the end of time.
TY320 Theologians of the Great Tradition (3)
A focused study of the work of a theologian or theologians of the Christian theological tradition. Prerequisite: a theology course or instructor approval. Credits may be earned under different titles. Offered as TF when instructor approves.
TY345 Church and Spirit (3)

This introduction to ecclesiology sets the church within the contemporary historical, sociological and theological context. Models of the church, how the church saw itself throughout various historical periods, its nature and mission as formulated in Vatican II, and challenges for the future are considered.

TY370 Theology of Ministry (3)
A biblical and historical examination of Christian ministry. Compares pre- and post- Vatican II Catholic ideas. Topics include lay and ordained ministry, gender issues and recent advances in faith formation.
TY377 Languages of the Bible (3)
Introduces students to biblical Hebrew and Greek vocabulary, verb systems, grammar and syntax. May include a brief introduction to biblical Aramaic. Prerequisite: A Scripture course or professor approval.
TY397 Field Experience in Theology (Variable)
Approved career-related work experience in the Theology field, established by contract between Career Development, major advisor and student. Prerequisite: Approval of the chairperson.
TY398 Readings in Theology (Variable)
Individually-negotiated program of readings on selected topic established by contract between instructor and student. Contracts filed with Registrar. Prerequisite: Approval of the chairperson.
TY399 Independent Project (Variable)
Individually-negotiated project of defined nature established by contract between instructor and student. Contracts filed with Registrar. Prerequisite: Approval of the chairperson.

Youth Ministry Certificate Courses with the National Center for Ministry Development

TY150 Principles of Youth Ministry (1)
Presents the foundational understandings and principles for developing an effective, comprehensive ministry with young and older adolescents. It examines the dynamics of promoting healthy adolescent development and faith growth. It presents the vision and principles for comprehensive youth ministry and a model for developing comprehensive youth ministry which incorporates developmentally appropriate youth programming, strengthens family life, involves young people as integral members of the faith community, and collaborates with civic organizations in a common effort to promote positive youth development.
TY151 Foundations for Ministry Leadership (1)
Explores the theology, principles, and practices of effective leadership in Christian ministry. Participants will explore current leadership concepts and approaches, as well as Christian perspectives on leadership. Participants will also learn how to empower individuals and teams of leaders for ministry with youth. The course combines theory presentation with experiential learning as participants explore (a) leadership theory and an assessment of styles for effective leadership; (b) theological and pastoral foundations for understanding leadership and empowerment; and (c) processes and tools for inviting, preparing and nurturing adult and youth leaders in ministry.
TY152 Practices of Youth Ministry (1)
Explores the development of comprehensive youth ministry through the collaborative sharing of the resources in the community. Rooted in a theological and pastoral vision of community life, this course develops foundational understandings that will assist leaders in setting and implementing a vision for dynamic ministry with youth. This will include skills for advocacy, planning and organizing youth ministry efforts. Methods for collaborative leadership among ministries and within ministry teams will also be developed.
TY153 Skills for Christian Leadership (1)
Addresses the theories and skills needed for principle centered leadership in ministry. Participants will develop a practical, working understanding of leadership process and skills, and the experiential ability to use the skills. This course stresses the application of leadership skills to various ministry settings, problems, and issues.
TY154 Fostering the Faith Growth of Youth Through Evangelization and Catechesis (1)
Develops the foundations and practices for nurturing faith growth and Catholic identity in young and older adolescents through evangelization and catechesis. Participants will explore a variety of ways to learn about and from Jesus and how to promote a living relationship with Jesus in the lives of adolescents. They will examine a contemporary approach to developing Catholic identity and Catholic practices in the lives of adolescents today. Participants will experience and analyze the 'postmodern' culture and develop strategies for faith formation with adolescents in a postmodern world. They will learn creative approaches for evangelization and catechesis and develop skills and methods for evangelizing and catechizing adolescents.
TY155 Fostering the Faith Growth of Youth through Prayer and Worship (1)
Investigates the foundational role that prayer and worship have in fostering the spiritual growth of youth. Participants develop understandings and practical skills necessary for: (a) preparing liturgy and worship experiences, (b) fostering the prayer life of youth and preparing prayer services, and (c) understanding the role of youth retreat experiences. Participants will apply these understandings by developing a realistic and integrated approach to worship within a comprehensive ministry to youth.
TY156 Fostering Faith Growth of Youth through Justice and Service (1)
Explores the foundations for fostering a justice and service consciousness and spirituality in youth drawn from: Scripture, Catholic Social Teaching, adolescent development, and contemporary catechetical principles. It develops skills for creating integrated, action-learning models for the justice and service component of a comprehensive youth ministry.
TY157 Fostering the Faith Growth of Youth through Pastoral Care (1)
Explores the principles and methods of caring for young people from various cultures and their families. The course develops an understanding of the breadth and depth of pastoral care, of family systems and adolescent development, and the role that cultural identity plays in the development of adolescents. The goal is two-fold: (a) it aims to promote healthy adolescent development from a pastoral care perspective and (b) to develop preventative interventions for families with adolescents.