Pre-Theology Studies

The Pre-Theology program is designed to serve those students who seek to meet prerequisites for entering graduate theological study whether the prerequisites are those of Oblate School of Theology, the Program of Priestly Formation for seminarians, or those of another institution of higher learning. Through this program the School “provides education for the church’s mission and ministry in the world.” (OST Statement of Purpose)

Goal

Preparation of students with a comprehensive introduction for graduate theological study through the study of philosophy and religious studies.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion the student will be able:

  1. To integrate basic theological learning with personal, spiritual, communal, and pastoral development
  2. To develop the academic and practical skills necessary for graduate study
  3. To apply comprehensive study of basic philosophical questions and their historical development in view of theological studies
  4. To identify the relationship and interaction between philosophy and theology
  5. To provide students with an understanding of the historical and cultural context of their faith

Admission Requirements

  1. Applicants must have completed a high school curriculum preferably in a program which was preparatory for college. An applicant may submit a GED in lieu of the transcript if the composite score is at least 45. Applicants must present the proper documentation of their high school work. Many applicants will have completed an undergraduate degree or finished a number of credits toward an undergraduate degree. Official transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate school attended must be submitted with the application packet in signed, sealed envelopes.
  2. Interview with the Director of Pre-Theology.
  3. For more information see the section, General Admission Requirement for Graduate Students at Master’s Level.

Program Requirements

Pre-Theology students must maintain a 2.5 grade point average and should achieve appropriate progress.

Pre-Theology Curriculum

Religious Studies

The undergraduate religious studies curriculum is designed to offer the student a comprehensive introduction which can serve as a base for future graduate theological study. Given the greatly varied background of those entering ministerial studies, the program uses an adult model of learning, that is, an integrated process of basic theological learning with personal, spiritual, communal, and pastoral development. The program seeks to develop both the academic and practical skills necessary for graduate study.

Philosophy

The undergraduate philosophy curriculum offers a comprehensive study of basic philosophical questions and their historical development, particularly in view of theological studies. The impact of culture and of the principal Christian thinkers is integrated into the course work which emphasizes critical thinking.

Language

Intensive Pastoral English and Intensive Pastoral Spanish are offered through the Mexican American Catholic College for students who are seeking to meet language requirements for admission or for the Master of Divinity degree.

Prerequisites for MDiv Degree

RS 4125 Rhetoric and Proclamation

Pre-Theology Studies for Seminarians

The Pre-Theology program at Oblate School of Theology also follows the guidelines identified in the Program of Priestly Formation. It is designed “to prepare seminarians who have completed college but lack the philosophical and theological background and other areas necessary to pursue graduate-level theology.” (Program of Priestly Formation, PPF 161)

Goal

Prepare of seminarians for graduate theological study.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion the student will be able:

  1. To focus on the fundamental beliefs and practices of the Catholic faith. (PPF 158)
  2. To provide an understanding of the historical and cultural context of the Catholic Faith. (PPF 162)
  3. To acquire an understanding of the relationship and interaction between philosophy and theology. (PPF 153)

Program Requirements:

Seminarians in the Pre-Theology program must maintain a 2.5 grade point average and should achieve appropriate progress. Seminarians are required to complete 12 credit hours of religious studies and 30 credit hours of philosophy.

Pre-Theology Curriculum

Religious Studies

The undergraduate religious studies curriculum is designed “to provide seminarians with an understanding of the historical and cultural context of their faith.” (PPF 162)

“Seminarians should learn to relate theology to the larger mission of the Church in the public sphere.” (PPF 159)

“Seminarians study the themes contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church including courses on Catholic doctrine, liturgy and sacraments, Catholic morality, Christian prayer, and Sacred Scripture.” (PPF 158)

Philosophy

The undergraduate philosophy curriculum offers a comprehensive study of basic philosophical questions and their historical development, particularly in view of theological studies. The impact of culture and of the principal Christian thinkers is integrated into the course work which emphasizes critical thinking. The curriculum allows the student to satisfy the requirements of 30 credit hours outlined in The Program of Priestly Formation over a two-year period. (PPF 152)

The study of philosophy is fundamental and indispensable to the structure of theological studies and to the formation of candidates for the priesthood. It is not by chance that the curriculum of theological studies is preceded by a time of special study of philosophy. (PPF 152)

The seminary philosophy program of studies should be balanced, comprehensive, integrated, and coherent. The philosophy program must include substantial studies in the history of philosophy treating ancient, medieval modern and contemporary philosophy. (PPF 155)

The philosophy program must include the study of logic, epistemology, philosophy of nature, metaphysics, natural theology, anthropology, and ethics. (PPF 156)

Undergraduate Degree Programs in Philosophy or Religious Studies

Students who have not completed an undergraduate degree may choose to complete a bachelor’s degree at the Mexican Catholic College, St. Mary’s University, or Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. These institutions will assist a student to complete a bachelor’s degree in philosophy or religious studies and at the same time complete the required pre-theology courses in preparation for a Master’s degree at Oblate School of Theology. All institutions are familiar with the requirements of the Program of Priestly Formation for pre-theology studies required of seminarians in preparation for the Master of Divinity degree. The bachelor’s curriculum is determined by the student’s program at the degree-granting institution. Cross-registration for courses at Oblate School of Theology, St. Mary’s University and Our Lady of the Lake University is completed at the home institution.