About Us

Theology at Marquette

The Department of Theology functions within the University to investigate and understand the Catholic tradition, its relation to other Christian communions, and to other religions of the world. The Department of Theology is a community of scholars responsible for teaching, conducting research, and serving the theological needs of the wider community outside of Marquette. It aims, in particular, to help educate undergraduates by bringing them to an understanding of their respective faith commitments and traditions in harmony with their overall intellectual, critical, and cultural development.

The Place of Theology in a Jesuit University

Our Mission

The Department of Theology concentrates on theological studies as distinguished from a purely empirical study of religion and from professional training for the ministry. Theology at Marquette explores faith and what it has to say about the fundamental purpose and meaning of all things, including our own existence. It seeks the deeper unity underlying all reality, its common origin and ultimate purpose. The Department of Theology aims to help educate undergraduates by bringing them to an understanding of their respective faith commitments and traditions in harmony with their overall intellectual, critical and cultural development. The department also incorporates into Catholic theology an ecumenical dimension which was made normative by the Second Vatican Council, and which is regarded by the department as an essential service to the Church and the world. Theological questions evoke distinctive responses from the various religious perspectives represented in contemporary society. The department respects the various faith traditions of its students and works for mutual understanding among different faiths.

Read our Department's Mission Statement.

Our Faculty

The Department currently numbers twenty-seven tenure-track faculty publishing and teaching in the areas of Judaism and Christianity in antiquity, historical theology, systematic theology, and ethics. They are research-active, the range, extent, and success of their scholarship are evident in the fact that from June 1, 2017-June 1, 2018 alone, the current faculty published 4 books, 7 edited books, 18 academic journal articles, and 27 book chapters.

Faculty Accolades

  • Dr. Jeanne-Nicole Mellon Saint-Laurent’s book, Missionary Stories and the Formation of the Syriac Churches was awarded the inaugural Hagiography Society Book Prize
  • Dr. Joshua Burns won second place for the 2017 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in Philosophy and Jewish Thought
  • Dr. Ulrich Lehner was informed by his publisher that his God is Not Nice book is among the finalists for the ACP Book Award for Excellence in Publishing, category “Theology.” Dr. Ulrich Lehner also received a fellowship as “Director’s Fellow” for the Institute of Advanced Study at Notre Dame for Fall 2018.
  • Dr. Michael Cover was awarded a Humboldt Fellowship for study in Germany in 2018-2019
  • Dr. Andrei Orlov was awarded the Kelly Chair for three years.
  • Dr. Irfan Omar the de Lubac Chair for two years.

Our Faculty’s Service to Church and Society

The faculty is distinguished by its service and promotion of justice in addressing issues within church and society.

  • Dr. Irfan Omar has been a leader on campus, in Milwaukee, and internationally in Muslim-Christian dialogue. He gave presentation in New Delhi, Morocco, Collegeville, MN, and Seattle. He now serves on the national Catholic-Muslim dialogue.
  • Dr. Jame Schaefer has been a leader in environmental ethics.
  • Dr. Susan Wood has been a leader in ecumenical dialogues, serving on international dialogues with Lutherans and Baptists sponsored by the Vatican in addition to U.S. and North American dialogues with Lutherans and the Orthodox.


Undergraduate Program

The undergraduate program incorporates into Catholic Theology an ecumenical dimension which was made normative by the Second Vatican Council, and which is regarded by the department as an essential service to the church and the world. It also seeks to explore with students the relationship between faith and justice, in accordance with the recent General Congregations of the Society of Jesus. For more information visit our Undergraduate Program Overview page.

Graduate Program

The Department of Theology offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, as well as the Master of Arts in Christian Doctrine (M.A.C.D.). Marquette has traditionally offered an integrated graduate education in theology, providing every student background and methodological training in biblical, historical, and systematics/ethics as well as an in-depth specialization in one of the three. For more information on graduate programs in theology visit our Graduate Program Overview page.

Our M.A. and Ph.D. Programs

The M.A. and Ph.D. programs seek to develop scholars who can make significant contributions to theological research and writing, and college teachers who can teach a broad range of courses to undergraduate students. Because of its classically structured education, Marquette has enjoyed great success in placing doctoral graduates in teaching positions in over 200 colleges and universities, in church work and ministry, and in a variety of other educationally related occupations.

Our M.A.C.D. Program

The M.A.C.D. program focuses on an ecumenical appropriation and communication of Christian doctrine for theology teachers in Catholic high schools, for teachers in other religious education or formation programs, and for persons interested either simply in theological enrichment or in serving various other needs in their religious communities.