Loyola's online Master of Religious Education consists of 36 credit hours taken as follows:
- Core courses (18 credit hours)
- Focus area courses (9 credit hours)
- Elective courses (6 credit hours)
- Capstone course (3 credit hours)
You can also download the degree program course listing (DPCL) to view program requirements in a helpful worksheet format.
Core Courses (18 credits)
LIM/LIMX 703: Introduction to Practical Theology (3 crs.)
This initial course in ministry education introduces students to a process of “pastoral praxis,” through a method of keeping theological reflection in constant dialogue with action. Students explore the interplay of the Christian tradition and the dynamics of living out that tradition through the sociocultural, personal, and institutional contexts of their ministries. The method of theological reflection is based upon the work of the Rev. Bernard Lonergan, S.J., and David Tracy.
LIM 711: Jewish Roots of Christian Faith: Intro to Old Testament (3 crs.)
This course introduces students to the literature, history, and theology of ancient Israel as embodied in the ancient Hebrew scriptures commonly known as the Old Testament. It examines the major themes of Exodus, promise-fulfillment, and covenant in Israel’s history from the time of the patriarchs to the period of late Second Temple Judaism, which was the context of Jesus’ life and teachings. The texts, events, and beliefs of ancient Israel, which form an indispensable background for understanding the New Testament, are highlighted.
LIM/LIMX 712: Christian Origins: Intro to New Testament (3 crs.)
This course introduces students to the literature, history, and theology of the early Christian scriptures commonly known as the New Testament. It examines the historical context of Jesus’ teachings, his parables and preaching of the “reign of God,” and the theology of Paul and the Gospels. Particular attention is given to the experience of faith that was engendered by Jesus among his first disciples and the lived faith of the earliest Christians.
LIM/LIMX 714: Grace, Christ, and Spirit (3 crs.)
This course introduces students to the rich Christian tradition of theological reflection and teaching on the person of Jesus Christ, the Trinity, and grace, as well as the role of the Holy Spirit in Christian life. In the context of this tradition, students are invited to a deeper understanding of the meaning of salvation in their lives and in their ministry. Contemporary theologies of Christ and salvation are also explored, using Karl Rahner’s writings as an example of a modern theology of grace.
Prerequisite: LIM 703
LIM/LIMX 722: Church, Sacraments, and Liturgy (3 crs.)
This course presents the experience and theology of church, sacraments, and liturgy as they have unfolded throughout Christian history. A major part of the course is dedicated to a deeper understanding of the meaning of sacramentality and the theology of the individual sacraments in the Catholic tradition. Special emphasis is given to Vatican II and post-conciliar developments in the church’s self-understanding and in the theology and practice of ministry, sacraments, and liturgy.
LIM/LIMX 704: Spirituality, Morality, and Ethics (3 crs.)
Traditional Catholic ethics are examined in the light of Vatican II. Students study the nature of the human person and the meaning of freedom and sin. They also explore the role of Scripture, reason and the natural law, norms, conscience, and Church authority in making moral decisions. Throughout the course, Christian living is placed in the context of personal spirituality and the call to discipleship. Sexual ethics and Catholic social teaching are discussed at length in the course.
Focus Area Courses (9 credits)
In addition to completing the core requirements, students will complete a sequence of courses focusing on religious education. These courses will provide educators with a set of multi-disciplinary perspectives and methodologies to enrich their practice. Courses in this focus area include:
LIM/LIMX 837: Foundations of Religious Education (3 crs.)
An exploration of the contextual roots of the field that includes the Christian theological tradition, family, church, and socio-cultural influences and responses, as well as creation itself. Through this model of contextual reflection, participants will trace the evolution of the theory and practice of religious education in its Christian expression with special attention to its contemporary Roman Catholic character and responsibilities in ecclesial and academic settings.
LIM/LIMX 838: Curriculum Development (3 crs.)
This course enables participants to distinguish three models of teaching and learning that are practiced in various educational contexts and to consider their strengths and weaknesses as well as their value, relevance, and appropriateness in the practice of religious education in church and school. Special attention will be given to contemporary guidelines, curricula, and concerns in Catholic religious education.
LIM 839: Religious Education across the Curriculum (3 crs.)
This course envisions a school in which religious education is set at the center of the academic curriculum. Within such a school, religious education would obviously take the traditional form of a discrete subject that is concerned with passing on to students the distinctive teachings of the Catholic faith. This explicit focus of necessity remains but a part of the whole curriculum. What is needed and taken up in the course is a more comprehensive and integrated understanding and practice of religious education in which the religious educator partners with teachers to illumine the presence and activity of God, of the sacred, that ultimately and intimately pervades every subject and discipline as well as to affirm and support these teachers’ more implicit practice of religious education.
Electives (6 credits)
A student will choose two elective courses in consultation with their academic advisor. A selection of sample elective courses include:
- The Universe as a Divine Manifestation
- Digital Media and Ministry
- Foundations of Youth and Young Adult Ministry
- Ministry in the Marketplace
Capstone (3 credits)
LIM/LIMX 886: Pastoral and Educational Praxis (3 crs.)
In this capstone course, students employ the method of practical theology to reflect on concerns related to their ministerial and educational praxis. Careful analyses that include the social and cultural circumstances surrounding their identified praxis will be undertaken, as well as an appreciative and critical retrieval of the voice of the faith tradition. Based on that reflection, possible educational and ministerial interventions that meet criteria of pragmatic feasibility and religious faithfulness will be imagined and articulated verbally and in writing for evaluation and feedback.