Theology at Marquette
The Department of Theology functions within the university to investigate and understand the Catholic tradition and 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
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 that was made normative by the Second Vatican Council and that 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.
The department currently numbers 27 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 four books, seven edited books, 18 academic journal articles and 27 book chapters.
- 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. 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 held 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 presentations in New Delhi; Morocco; Collegeville, Minnesota; and Seattle. He now serves on the national Catholic-Muslim dialogue.
- Dr. Jame Schaefer has been a leader in environmental ethics.
The undergraduate program incorporates into Catholic theology an ecumenical dimension that was made normative by the Second Vatican Council and that 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.
The Department of Theology offers M.A. degrees in theology and Christian doctrine and a Ph.D. degree in religious studies. Marquette traditionally has offered an integrated graduate education in theology, providing every student background and methodological training in biblical studies, Church history, systematic theology and theological ethics. For more information on graduate programs in theology visit our Graduate Program Overview page.