The study of theology embraces diverse interests and diverse faith backgrounds. Some students come to gain a deeper grasp of what it is that they believe and their reasons for believing it. Others want to explore how religious teachings and ethics intersect with fields like medicine or psychology, while yet others study theology because the Jewish and Christian traditions have had such vast influence on the culture in which we live, including musical traditions from classical to hip-hop, politics, literature, the visual arts, and economics.
As practiced at Loyola, theology embraces these diverse interests and offers courses in four main areas: Bible (Jewish and Christian Scripture), History (how Christianity has shaped and been shaped by the world throughout history), Theology (big questions and key thinkers), Culture (including how Christianity interacts with other world religions like Islam), and Ethics (including areas like bioethics and environmental ethics).
Whatever a student’s own faith might be, the study of theology provides a crucial perspective for understanding both the past and our present.
When Jesuit priests founded Loyola University Maryland in 1852, they looked to the very heart of their order for inspiration in choosing a name. They found their inspiration in St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, and that’s how Loyola—our Loyola—became the first institution of higher education in the United States to bear his name. To this day, we remain committed to the ideals embodied by the priests of the Society of Jesus throughout its rich history. Those Jesuit ideals include an emphasis on academic excellence, the importance of the liberal arts, and cura personalis—the education of the whole person. We strive to live up to the ideals set by St. Ignatius, and know they are integral to what Loyola has become.