Theology Programs

Theology majors study the works of great writers to deepen their understanding of themselves, their faith and the broader world. Majoring in theology is an excellent way to develop skills in critical reading and effective writing. It also can be a great steppingstone to a teaching career, particularly in a Catholic school setting.

Pastoral ministry majors study the great theological questions and then apply what they learn to serve others as lay leaders in the Church’s various ministries. Many pastoral ministry students have already raised families or are pursuing a second career.

Additionally, Dominican’s School of Leadership and Continuing Studies offers the Master of Arts in Leadership for Family Ministry and Faith Development. This program combines online learning with three 10-day campus residencies. A certificate is also available.

The university provides theology and pastoral ministry students with outstanding resources, including the St. Catherine of Siena Center, which brings faith and scholarship to the critical issues of church and society, and the Albertus Magnus Society, which explores the intersection of religious belief and scientific insight.


“I was initially drawn to theology at Dominican because of the professors’ contagious enthusiasm for the material. But I never could have estimated just how much the ideas analyzed in those classes would impact me. They sparked a dialogue that much of my life now centers around—both in my faith and through the journalistic work I did inside Vatican City.”

Tania Mann ’08, former member of the editorial staff of L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s daily newspaper.

The theology curriculum at Dominican is chosen so that majors divide their coursework among six key areas:

  • Theological Foundations
  • Biblical Literature
  • History and Doctrine
  • Christian Ethics and Spirituality
  • Theology, Religion and Culture
  • Advanced Study in Theology

Theology majors must also complete at least two semesters of a foreign language appropriate to the study of theology.

Majors are encouraged to complete coursework in disciplines that complement theology, like philosophy or history. They will consult their advisor to determine which courses are appropriate for their individual academic goals.

The Advising Department has compiled an advising worksheet for each major in the university, including theology.


Pastoral Ministry

“I chose the Pastoral Ministry program because the faculty are outstanding and did an amazing job making me feel welcome. The classes were exceptional and the program fulfills its goal of making students well-rounded and prepared for God’s work.”

 Hannah Demaree ’10, Pastoral Ministry graduate

The Catholic Church needs lay leaders as never before, especially those who can demonstrate ministerial skills and theological competence.

In response to this need, Dominican has created the pastoral ministry program, which includes a pastoral ministry major, minor and certificate.

Students must apply for acceptance into the pastoral ministry major by writing a personal essay that lays out the student’s spiritual and ministerial aspirations and experience. The student must also submit two letters of recommendation that attest to his or her aptitude for ministry.

The pastoral ministry major is individualized. Working in consultation with a specially selected faculty advisor, the student chooses an area of specialization, including:

  • Spiritual care and bereavement
  • Catechesis and evangelization
  • Family ministry
  • Parish management
  • Sacred music
  • Worship and ritual
  • Youth ministry

Students may also draw upon other approved programs. For example, Dominican students may complete the Certificate in Youth Ministry, which is offered in partnership with Loyola University Chicago, to fulfill their specialization in youth ministry.

Pastoral ministry majors must complete an approved internship.

The Advising Department has compiled an advising worksheet for each major in the university, including pastoral ministry.