For Current SMC Students

For students who entered Saint Mary's College before the fall of 2012, the TRS Core Curriculum requirements are as follows:

General Education Requirements

Students entering Saint Mary's College with fewer than 16.0 units are required to complete two Theology & Religious Studies (TRS) courses. Students who transfer in with 16.0 or more units must complete one TRS course. Please note that TRS 97 ("The Bible and Its Interpretation") or its equivalent is a prerequisite to all upper-division classes in theology & religious studies. Students may apply TRS courses beyond those required to their Area A (Humanities) requirement.

TRS classes, like Collegiate Seminar courses, are integral to the Saint Mary's experience and are expected to be completed in residence. As such, transfer courses are not routinely accepted in fulfillment of this requirement after establishing residence at Saint Mary's College. For courses taken as part of study abroad to count toward the core requirement in TRS, they should be shown in advance as not only academically rigorous but also as enhancing the study abroad experience in that particular country.

Upon successfully completing the two-course requirement in Theology & Religious Studies...

Students will know:

  • The basic biblical story, from Adam to Revelation, as understood in the Christian tradition, including major names, places, events and themes; 
  • The basic historical-cultural background to the biblical texts; 
  • The steps in the formation of the bible; and
  • Some of the diverse ways in which the bible has been read throughout history.

Students will be able to:

  • Employ historical-critical method on biblical, religious and theological texts; 
  • Make connections between the biblical story and the topics studied in their second course; 
  • Use the tools of scholarship commonly accepted in the academy to study religion; 
  • Converse respectfully and critically about religion, especially with those of differing views; and
  • Write an essay (of at least several pages and conforming to standard norms for good writing) that demonstrates an ability to analyze religious texts (understood broadly), and to recognize and struggle with their contexts, contradictions and implications.

Students will:

  • Take growing pleasure in the reading and study of religion; 
  • Critically appreciate the Christian tradition; 
  • Develop a growing awareness both of the mystery of life and of themselves as called by that mystery; 
  • Develop an increasing sensitivity to the dignity of persons, as taught in the Catholic tradition; and
  • Gain greater clarity about their beliefs and values, leading to the development of a mature and responsible personal philosophy.

Interested in pursuing further TRS coursework?

Students often find that they are fascinated by what they learn in their two TRS courses. If you have found yourself enjoying your TRS classes, the TRS Department encourages you to consider a major or minor in Theology & Religious Studies. The TRS major and minor are flexible programs that allow students to construct a course of study suited to their special interests, and the interdisciplinary nature of TRS coursework means that these programs can be a perfect complement to other disciplinary study (e.g., a TRS major often works well for students wishing to complete a double major). If you are interested in a TRS major or minor, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Tom Poundstone
Chair, Theology & Religious Studies Department

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