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Master of Arts in Religious Studies

To be admitted in a program, the following requisites must be complied with. 

All applicants to the Masters of Arts in Religious Studies must have completed the following Bachelor degree courses or its equivalent:

PH103 Fundamentals of Philosophy

TH114 Introduction to Theology

TH117 Ecclesiology

TH120 Fundamentals of Moral Theology

HS123 Church History

SC101 Introduction to Old Testament

SC102 Introduction to New Testament

GS101 Gender Studies: A Theological Perspective

 

Course Description (Core Courses)

PH201 Foundations of Philosophy

This course will help to enable the students to integrate in a dialectical manner the whole history of the discipline while providing critical grounding for theological work.

SC201 Methods of Research and Biblical Hermeneutics

The first part of the course provides an overview of the different methods used in Christian biblical interpretation and research, as well as a brief introduction to Jewish interpretation. The second part is devoted towards obtaining more insight in the total hermeneutics process.

SC210 Torah

This course discusses current issues in Torah studies; the shifting paradigm in contemporary research; and an overview of the five divisions of the Torah: Genesis through Deuteronomy.

SC221 Synoptics and Acts

The course delves in the historical setting, literary relationships, content, and interpretation of the Synoptic Gospels and Acts, with reference to the theologies of Mark, Matthew and Luke.

TH201 Methods of Theological Research

This course discusses the appropriation on the three developments in understanding the complex methods needed for the adequate theological study and research.

TH213 Systematic Theology

Recent decades have seen the rise of a plethora of theologies, from the complex range of feminist theologies to the variety of liberation theologies, political theologies, and ecological-inspired theologies. In the face of this pluralism, the present course strives to reveal an underlying coherence in all such attempts. It raises and creatively addresses the following questions: to what extent do various current theologies meet the exigence of an adequate contemporary systematics? Can the possibility for such systematics be critically established? What is the form of such project?

TH215 Christology

This course lies at the heart of all Christian theology. Using a historical approach, it first deals with the hermeneutical question of the historical Jesus and the Christ of faith. It then proceeds to disclose the foundations of New Testament Christological faith, treating the words and deeds of Jesus and the Christological significance of his consequent death and resurrection. The varied Christologies of the New Testament as well as the significance of titles are then treated. The doctrinal struggles and development of the fourth and fifth centuries are approached form the same historical perspective and the course ends with a sketch of a contemporary systematics of Christology.

TH216 Christology from Feminist Perspective

This course in theology looks into the key Christological statements using historical and feminist critical perspectives in examining, analyzing, and reinterpreting Christologies in order to draw implications for feminist praxis.

Course Description (Pastoral Courses/Practicum Courses)

PC201 Community Involvement

This course intends to expose the students to the realities of life in a community setting. There will be personal and group encounters with families, individuals and the community as a whole. It seeks to provide a concrete context to the application of the students’ theological studies. Activities very as to the needs of the community in focus. The students participate in the institute’s program by rendering family visits, listening to their stories, facilitating rituals, designing modules and conducting seminars, talks, religious activities, etc. that will promote the building of basic ecclesial communities.

PY230 Pastoral Psychology

The course offers a basic understanding of human nature and condition from a pastoral perspective. The course seeks to provide learners an experience of the basic humanistic helping skills for individuals as an aid to pastoral care. The first part of the course deals with the emotional and motivational forces affecting personality development and their influence on interpersonal relationships. The second part of the course tackles the principles of a humanistic-Christian approach to individual pastoral counseling, with focus on basic helping skills. The course ends with the meta-personal (societal) dimensions of pastoral care from psycho-spiritual standpoint. A psycho-spiritual, content-and-process approach is used throughout the course.

SA201 Pastoral Sociology

This course guides the students in preparing models of pastoral-prophetic ministry for the local church which include lectures, discussion and group case analysis.

TH238 Approaches to Pastoral Ministry

This course offers theological and socio-pastoral framework for understanding faith communities, context and strategy for pastoral ministry. Opportunities are provided for reflection and sharing, integration and deepening of experiences in fostering grassroots communities to transform society.

 

Course Description (Major Courses)

a. Major in Scripture

SC211 Prophets

This course provides a brief overview of the prophetic literature of biblical Israel from the schism to the period of dispersion and restoration.

SC212 Psalms with Wisdom Literature

The course provides a systematic study of Wisdom Literature and Deutero-canonical/Apocryphal literature. The course delves into the meaning and value of wisdom in Israelite tradition, the setting of Israel’s wisdom movement in the ancient near eastern world and its development. The course also includes discussion on the historical setting and theological themes of each book. The course also deals with the origin of the psalms, their literary forms, use and significance in the religious life and worship of Israel. It examines the relevance and appropriation of songs of Israel which express their faith, needs and aspirations.

SC222 Johannine Letters

This course provides a study about the essential Johannine themes and an introduction to the Johannine Epistles and the Book of Revelation. Recent research on said themes will also be tackled.

SC223 Pauline Letters

This course presents the life of Paul and his writings. The course also includes some of Paul’s historical letters.

SC252 Biblical Language

This course provides an introduction to elementary Biblical Hebrew or Greek for the purpose of enabling students to make better use of the various tools biblical research (concordes, dictionaries and commentaries) and to expand their possibilities for understanding the First/Old and Second/New Testaments.

TH218 Marian Theology

The course reflects on Mary as a woman of faith, a disciple and a female symbol of authentic religious power.

b. Major in Theology

TH212 Trinity

This course concentrates on explicating the unity and integrity of Christian tradition as Trinitarian, while showing the personally and socially transformative dimensions of belief.

TH222 Contemporary Moral Issues

The course introduces the students to Catholic approaches, principles and moral norms related to sexual ethics and bioethics. The course will be divided into two parts: Part I deals with sexual ethics while Part II, with bioethics. For each part, a discussion of basic approaches, methods, and specific Church teachings will be supplemented by cases applications and pastoral guidelines.

TH235 Theology of Mission

This course discuss the main themes of contemporary theology of mission. The course offers a theological understanding on the nature of mission and on the tasks of mission today. The second part of the course presents important biblical foundations for mission, followed by an historical overview of the ways in which the church has understood Christ’s missionary mandate. The last part will deal on the missionary paradigm and explores new ways of doing mission in Christ’s way.

TH237 Theology of Religions

This course discuss theories of religion from a theological perspective. It examines religion, religious phenomena and religious movements. It also invites students to take a critical account of the basic theological premises of the Christian faith to understand other religions. This course aims to help the students to be able to articulate a theology of religion that is adequate to our pluralistic context while remaining faithful to their respective religious heritage.

c. Major in Women and Religion

HS230 Women in Church History

The course guides the students to understanding women’s place and role in the history of Christianity. It explores and studies the contribution of outstanding women in Christian Church history and its implication to the present context.

SP254 Feminist Spirituality

This course gives a discussion about the different faces of women’s spirituality and their implications for the renewal of the Church and society.

TH223 Feminist Ethics

Taking the account of the importance of justice and care, the course will turn to feminist perspective on some concrete moral issues which are of particular concern to women because they affect women most immediately. We will consider feminist bioethics in the context of reproduction and choose from issues revolving around family, workplace, sexual violence, war and peace, environment, or other feasible and appropriate topics.

TH229 Women in Major Religions

This course provides a framework for analyzing socioeconomic, political and religio-cultural aspects of women’s realities especially in Asia, the historical roots of the “woman question” and its societal and theological implications. It will introduce the students to the different faces of feminism in the major religions and their development in the fields of ethics, theology and spirituality.

TH239 Feminist Theology

This course will help the students to reflect critically on theology from feminist perspective. It discusses the different forms of feminist theologies and their implications for the renewal of the Church and society.

 

Course Description (Mandatory Courses)

CE Comprehensive Exam

A required course for both Academic and Professional Program students, this comprehensive examination includes the foundational courses in the Master’s Program of the three fields of specialization that the Institution provides.

TH299A Thesis Writing A

This course provides direction in completing the thesis proposal and prepares the student for its defense.

TH299B Thesis Writing B

This course provides direction in completing the thesis proposal and prepares the student for its defense.