Loyola University Chicago

Department of Theology

Core Curriculum

Theological and Religious Studies Knowledge

Learning Outcome: Demonstrate an understanding of theological and religious questions and traditions.

This area of study promotes critical thinking and informed reflection on theology and religion. Students ought to develop familiarity with the basic content of, and modes of scholarly inquiry into, selected theological and religious systems, including forms of religious ethics, and to develop productive intellectual attitudes to guide them in their search.

Competencies: By way of example, Loyola graduates should be able to:

  • Analyze and interpret religious texts, beliefs, and practices using standard scholarly methods and tools.
  • Demonstrate knowledge, with attention to historical development, of the central texts, beliefs, ethical understandings, and practices of at least one religious tradition.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the intersections between religion and selected contemporary issues, including ethics, social, political, economic, or cultural issues.
  • Evaluate one's own religious perspective and the religious perspectives of others.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of central ethical teachings and perspectives of a religious tradition.


Learning Outcome: Demonstrate ethical awareness, the ability to do ethical reflection, and the ability to apply ethical principles in decision-making.

Developing a student's ethical awareness, reflection, and decision-making ability is central to a Core Curriculum. Ethics enables a student to use specific capacities and skills to make moral decisions. Students should develop, demonstrate and act out their ethical abilities. This will occur as a student learns to recognize when situations call for ethical judgment and how to use the language and distinctions of ethics to respond ethically to those situations.

Competencies: By way of example, Loyola graduates should be able to:

  • Recognize the need for ethical judgment.
  • Distinguish alternative courses of action.
  • Articulate the relevant ethical values, principles, rights, and virtues from the point of view of each stakeholder.
  • Formulate and support an ethical judgment.
  • Compare and contrast ethical theories and evaluate them in terms of strengths and weaknesses.

(One course to be taken among courses in either the philosophical or theological and religious studies knowledge areas of the Core.)