Under the patronage of our Lady on this feast of her Assumption into Heaven, The Aquinas Institute is pleased to announce a new online masters in theology program.
The aim of the Graduate Theology Curriculum is simple: to impart the fundamental principles of theology. The means to this end is correspondingly simple: reading Scripture, the Fathers of the Church, and her greatest doctor, Thomas Aquinas. The mode is likewise straightforward: live conversations guided by faithful and experienced Catholic theologians.
The curriculum, which can be found here, is an integrated sequence of twelve courses in Scripture, Patristics, Dogmatic Theology, and Moral Theology. If they so choose, students can take just one course at a time. This fall we will offer three courses, namely “The Book of Job,” “Existence and Attributes of God,” and “Church Fathers I”.
The program culminates in a Masters of Arts in Theology. But we also envision this program as helpful to those who may not complete the program: to priests who want to flesh out their seminary formation, to seminarians who feel the need to spend more time with source texts, and more generally to any student of theology who feels the need for something more.
The conclusions of theology can be learned or at least recited from second-hand compilations. But there is a great deal more to the science of theology, the actual application of principles to its essential questions, and hence ultimately to the meaning behind its conclusions, than can be spelled out in some definite number of propositions. The only way to learn theology as a science is through extended, immediate contact with the sources of theology in the presence of the masters of theology, namely the fathers and doctors of the Church.
Similarly, one cannot acquire the science of theology without attempting to “theologize” for oneself. Science is a personal, intellectual grasp of reality: to recall the words of Aquinas or Augustine is not the same thing as to be a theologian. The beginner must spread his own wings, try out the arguments for himself, and discover whether the principles will behave the same way in his hands as they do in the hands of the great authors. In our experience, the best way to do this is through live conversation with others.