Religion helps us to ask and answer essential questions about our relationship to God, self, others, and the world. As a fundamental dimension of human life, religion is vital, pervasive, richly complex, and multi-faceted. Its traditions, values, beliefs, and practices form the basic categories of meaning for both individuals and cultures.
As a Catholic college, Saint Mary's welcomes all students to explore questions of faith and belief. The Theology & Religious Studies Department carries primary, though not exclusive, responsibility for this exploration through its integral role in the College's Core Curriculum. Indeed, the foundational role that the study of religion and theology plays in a Saint Mary's College education underscores the importance of faith itself, and of critical inquiry into it. We strive to provide students with an opportunity to know and intimately understand the richness and fullness of the Catholic tradtion: biblically, historically, theologically, ethically, and aesthetically.
As a liberal arts college, Saint Mary's encourages its students to become critical thinkers. The exploration of essential religious and theological questions occupies an important place in a liberal arts education that seeks to expand the mind and guide students to a deeper level of understanding. The Theology & Religious Studies Department enthusiastically participates in this college-wide goal. Its offerings continually charge students to think for themselves, to challenge preconceived notions, and to integrate what they learn into a personal worldview that remains open to learning from the perspectives of others.
Finally, as a Lasallian college, Saint Mary's respects the difference between a school and a church even as it embraces the need to integrate knowing and doing—and thus the need to enliven a radical concern for justice in the world. In view of our understanding of what it means to be a human being in light of God's love and grace, revealed especially in Jesus Christ, and as part of our Lasallian heritage, we join with the Christian Brothers in being concerned for the whole person and in fostering a genuine concern for justice in the world.
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