Saint Xavier University Chicago Campus Residence Halls

Philosophy, Religious Studies and Theology Department


Mission

The Philosophy, Religious Studies and Theology Department is proud to serve the mission of Saint Xavier University, offering classes directly related to the core values of our institution and its students. Coursework and faculty research in both programs advocate critical thinking, thoughtful engagement with historical and current questions about the common good, practical skills in writing, reading and information literacy, as well as dedication to the spirit of life-long learning.

Graduates of our department have gone on to pursue careers and work in a variety of fields, including:

  • Teaching, entering M.A. and Ph.D. programs in philosophy, religious studies and related disciplines
  • Law
  • Environmental policy
  • The Seminary
  • Social-justice work

For specific information about each program, its courses and its faculty, please click on the program title in the menu bar.

Faculty

A. Morton, Chair; M. Bathgate; A. Canty; N. Lee; T. Martin; M. O'Donnell; M. O'Keeffe; F. Perry; T. Thorp; K. Waller

The Philosophy Curriculum

Courses are divided into three categories:

  • 100-level: The Examined Life (PHIL 140, PHIL 150, or HONOR 151) offers an introduction to philosophical reflection and is a prerequisite for all other philosophy courses
  • 200-level: These courses focus on an area or field of philosophical concern (e.g., ethics, epistemology, philosophy of religion).
  • 300-level: These courses offer more advanced work in philosophy and include the following courses: (a) courses in the history of philosophy (PHIL 304-308); (b) intensive readings of topics and philosophers from specific periods in the history of philosophy (PHIL 374-378); and (c) a senior research project, culminating in a research paper and an oral presentation and defense of it (PHIL 390).

Requirements for a Major in Philosophy

The Examined Life (3 credit hours)

  • PHIL 140 or PHIL 150 or HONOR 151: The Examined Life

Logic and Argument (3 credit hours)

  • PHIL 210: Logic and Argument (3)

History of Philosophy (9 credit hours)

  • PHIL 304: Ancient Philosophy (3)
  • PHIL 305: Medieval Philosophy (3)
  • PHIL 306: Early Modern Philosophy 93)

Advanced Courses in Philosophy (6 credit hours)

(at least 3 credit hours must be from courses numbered 374-378)

  • PHIL 307: Late Modern Philosophy (3)
  • PHIL 308: Contemporary Philosophy (3)
  • PHIL 374: Studies in Ancient Philosophy (3)
  • PHIL 375: Studies in Medieval Philosophy (3)
  • PHIL 376: Studies in Early Modern Philosophy (3)
  • PHIL 377: Studies in Late Modern Philosophy (3)
  • PHIL 378: Studies in Contemporary Philosophy (3)

Senior Seminar (1 credit hour)

(Students are required to submit and present a senior philosophy paper in their senior year.)

  • PHIL 390: Senior Seminar (3)

Additional Electives in Philosophy (12 credit hours)

Total Credit Hours for the Major in Philosophy (34)

Philosophy Minor

Requirements for a Minor in Philosophy

The Examined Life (3 credit hours)

  • PHIL 140 or PHIL 150 or HONOR 151:The Examined Life

History of Philosophy (3 credit hours)

Choose one of the following courses:

  • PHIL 304: Studies in Ancient Philosophy (3)
  • PHIL 305: Medieval Philosophy (3)
  • PHIL 306: Early Modern Philosophy (3)

Additional Electives in Philosophy (12 credit hours)

Total Credit Hours for the Minor in Philosophy (18)

Major in Religious Studies

The major in religious studies consists of a minimum of 31 credit hours, with a choice of two tracks: Theological Study (for students seeking careers in theology and ministry) and Religion, Politics and Civil Society (for those who plan to work in activism, inter-faith and social justice leadership).

The department strongly encourages students who major in religious studies to develop a significant body of complementary work, perhaps leading to a second major or a minor program of study in another academic area of the University.

Common Core (13 credit hours)

All majors will complete the following 5 courses:

  • FYS 175: First Year Seminar (3) (or appropriate elective)
  • RELST 263: Christian Theology: Christ (3)
  • RELST 300: Religious Studies Internship (3)
  • RELST 363: Theologians and Movements (3)
  • RELST 390: Senior Seminar (1)

Track 1 -- Theological Studies (15 credit hours)

Scriptural Foundations (6 credit hours)

  • RELST 220: Bible I - Old Testament Religion (3)
  • RELST 221: Bible II - New Testament Christianity (3)

Topics in Theology (6 credit hours)

Choose two courses from the following:

  • RELST 264: Christian Theology: The Human Person (3)
  • RELST 266: Suffering and Death (3)
  • RELST 268: Church and Sacraments (3)
  • RELST 269: Theologies of Oppression and Empowerment (3)
  • RELST 360: Theology Seminar (3)

Track 2 -- Religion, Politics and Civil Society (15 credit hours)

Religious Traditions Past and Present (6 credit hours)

Choose two courses from the following:

  • RELST 242: The Buddhist Tradition (3)
  • RELST 247: The Jewish Tradition (3)
  • RELST 249: The Islamic Tradition (3)

Religion in the World (6 credit hours)

Choose two courses from the following:

  • RELST 211: Introducing Mercy Critical Concerns (3)
  • RELST 240: The Religious Other (3)
  • RELST 254: Catholic Social Teaching (3)
  • RELST 255: Religion in the Media (3)
  • RELST 361: Religion and Society Seminar (3)

Professional Skills (3 credit hours)

Choose one class from the following:

  • HIST 201: Digital Humanities (3)
  • COMM 203: Intercultural Communication (3)
  • COMM 337: Leadership Communication (3)
  • ENGL 224: Professional Writing and Communication (3)
  • ENGL 352: Writing in Digital Environments (3)
  • ENGL 353: The Writing and Editing Process (3)
  • ENGL 359: Rhetoric, Writing and Society (3)
  • MGMT 330: Diversity in Organizations (3)
  • MGMT 362: Negotiations and Conflict Resolution (3)

Minor in Religious Studies

The minor in religious studies consists of 18 credit hours, 6 of which may be fulfilled by the general education requirement in religious studies. Minors may fulfill the requirements by successfully completing any 4 or more additional courses from those offered by the department, including one seminar.

Minor in Catholic Studies (18 credit hours)

The minor in Catholic studies consists of 18 credit hours, 6 of which will fulfill the general education requirements in religious studies. The program of study should include the following:

  • RELST 210: Roman Catholic Tradition (3)

Choose two courses from the following Theological Studies offerings:

  • RELST 260: Christian Theology: Church (3)
  • RELST 262: Christian Theology: God (3)
  • RELST 263: Christian Theology: Christ (3)

Choose at least one course from the following Historical Studies offerings:

  • RELST 278: Encountering the Bible Through the Centuries (3)
  • RELST 284: Religious Experience in the Early Church (3)
  • RELST 286: Medieval Spirituality (3)
  • RELST 287: Christianity and Modernity (3)

Choose two elective courses to complete the program.