Why Major in Theology and Religion?

Theology is about the big questions:

Theology is also about life's deepest joys:

Or, to put it in more popular terms:

Can I Afford to Double Major?

Yes! Students from other colleges sometimes fear double majoring would delay their graduation. That is almost never the case. If you choose the courses well (e.g. take Theo credits for Diverse Culture, which will count for the UCC, the core of the College of Communication and towards the major) and find together with the Director of Undergraduate Studies cognate courses in your field, double majoring is sometimes only 19 credits away.

Theology and Religion -- Important in Today's World

A good grasp of religion and theology is crucial for understanding today's world. As a major in Theology and Religion you will be challenged to think both critically and faithfully about life's most meaningful questions, developing a set of skills--habits of heart and mind--that will serve you well wherever you may go, whatever you may do. Theology will help liberate you. It will help you find your way, not just in a career, but in life.

An Edge in the Job Market

The Theology and Religion Major is practical. As a major, you will learn to think and read carefully and critically, to write and speak clearly and persuasively, on some of the most complex topics. You’ll learn about other religions, such as Islam and Judaism. And you’ll learn to understand better how religious convictions shape us ethically, as responsible members of the human community. What employer would not consider that an advantage?

Down Arrow But what do Theology and Religion Majors do?

  • Ministerial work. Some go directly into church work, as a youth minister, for example. Others head off to seminary or divinity school to prepare for a career in church ministry, including the Catholic priesthood.
  • Teaching. Many Theology majors are preparing for careers as Catholic or Christian elementary or secondary school teachers, or as directors of religious education in parishes.
  • Public Service. Theology provides an ideal background for a career in public service--politics, social work, international relations, etc.
  • Graduate School and a Career as a College or Seminary Professor. Many students embrace the challenging goal of graduate study in Theology, leading toward a career in teaching at the college level or above. The Marquette Theology Department has its own superior MA and PhD programs. The Theology major prepares you well for further success, here at Marquette or wherever you decide to go. In recent years, our grads have gone on for graduate work at such institutions as Boston College, Catholic University of America, Harvard University, and many more.
  • Seize the Opportunity! Many students choose Theology because they see graduate or professional school--business, law, medicine--in their future. They know they may never have a chance to study Theology again, and decide to take advantage of the opportunity now.
  • Theology as a Secondary Major. Secondary Theology majors put Theology together with their other interests--nursing, business, anthropology, psychology, whatever!--and then go on to study and work in a wide variety of professions. For example:

A recent alumna currently working as a neo-natal pediatrician said that “my theology background has allowed me to examine ethical issues that I encounter with challenging patients (infants who are premature or are critically ill) in a different light.  I also think it helps me personally as I try to make sense of the pain and sorrow these babies' families experience.

In addition, our graduates are currently enjoying a variety of careers in public policy, medicine, law and publishing. Combine a secondary Theology major with just about anything else, and the chances are you’ll have a winning combination.

Down Arrow So, who will I learn all this from?


Faculty members in Theology are outstanding scholars, and teachers.


  • Our Theology faculty is recognized not only for excellence in research and publication, but also for a singular dedication to teaching. Many of us also have connections to our churches and religious communities, for example, as pastors, priests, and religious. Some of our best are also members of the Society of Jesus, which founded Marquette University.
  • We are both Catholic and ecumenical, and we include in our number not only Catholic theologians, but Protestant and Orthodox, Jewish and Muslim as well.
  • Our more than thirty full-time faculty members offer expertise in a wide variety of topics, from the Bible and ancient church history to the history of the Catholic Church in America, from Moses to Martin Luther.
  • The Theology Department is also home to one of Marquette’s premier graduate programs. Many of our outstanding PhD students teach their own Theology courses, and they serve as teaching assistants for some undergraduate courses taught by regular faculty. Others teach courses of their own. Just like the regular faculty, our teaching assistants and instructors are there to help you develop all the skills you need for success at Marquette, and beyond.
Down Arrow Major in Theology and Religion Requirements

Requires 33 credit hours in Theology, including:


    • THEO 1001, Introduction to Theology
    • One two-course sequence in Scripture
    • One course in each of the four theology areas (Historical Theology, Systematic Theology, Ethics, World Religions)
    • Three upper-division theology electives
    • The Capstone Seminar, THEO 4997 (also fulfills the Senior Experience Requirement)

Depending on a student's preparation and educational needs, other courses may be substituted by approval of the departmental advisor, who may also suggest cognate courses in other departments. Students preparing for graduate studies in theology are encouraged to begin courses in a necessary classical (Greek/Hebrew/Latin) or modern language (French/German).

Down Arrow What about a Minor?

It is simple. The Theology Minor consists of six courses, including THEO 1001, one course at the 2000-level, and four upper division (3000 or 4000) courses. One upper division requirement can be substituted by a course related to theological questions or concerns (biomedical sciences, health sciences, political sciences).

Minor in Theology

Down Arrow Interdisciplinary Minors


Reflect upon the ethical dimensions of environmental issues with studies in biology, economics, philosophy, physics, theology and other disciplines.
Click here to learn more.


Courses focusing on conceptualizing justice and peace, bridging social communities, promoting social and economic justice, and resolving violent conflict.
Click here to learn more.

For information on all of the Interdisciplinary Majors and Minors offered through the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, click here.

Double Major in Social Welfare and Justice and Theology and Religion

Courses that emphasize social justice and forgiveness:

THEO 2100 New Testament Overview
THEO 2310 Explorations in Christian: Theology and Globalization
THEO 2310 Explorations in Christian Theology: Theological Anthropology
THEO 2400 Christian Discipleship
THEO 2500 Theology, Violence, and Nonviolence
THEO 3010 Hebrew Scriptures: Prophets
THEO 3110 New Testament: Selected Books
THEO 3420 Bridging the Racial Divide
THEO 3530 Theology and Economics
THEO 4390 Studies in Systematic Theology: The Quest for Christian Identity
THEO 4440 Foundation of Ecological Ethics
THEO 4400 Christian Faith and Justice
THEO 4410 Family, Church and Society

Need help with a double major?
Dr. Ulrich Lehner, Director of Undergraduate Studies, will work to accommodate your needs so that you can successfully graduate with your double major.


For more information regarding the Theology Majors or Minor, contact:

Danielle K. Nussberger, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Theology



(414) 288-3749



Dr. Danielle Nussberger





Theology Department Mission Statement

Theology Department Mission Statement

Marquette University defines itself as Christian, Catholic, Jesuit, urban, and independent. 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. Read more of our mission statement.