As “faith seeking understanding,” systematic theology explores the meaning, interrelatedness, and claims to truth of the Christian tradition's basic expressions of faith. The systematics faculty offers a series of seminars which focus on theological method, philosophical theology, and comparative theology, as well as the theological topics of trinity, Christology, ecclesiology, theological anthropology, eschatology, and Christian spirituality. Courses investigate the historical development of major doctrinal and theological themes and their contemporary interpretation from plural theological perspectives.
The program is designed to provide a broad background in the Christian tradition, with particular emphasis on the Catholic theological heritage. Through course work, focused in-depth study in preparation for candidacy examinations, and dissertation research, students develop the hermeneutical and theological skills required for a critical and creative appropriation of the tradition.
Students are encouraged to develop either a minor in one of the other areas of the department or an area of concentration which draws from the resources of several areas of the department and/or University.
How to Apply
Notre Dame uses an online application. For instructions please consult the Application Instructions link from within the application itself once you have received your PIN and logged in.
Requirements for Admission
A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and a master's degree in theology, or the equivalent
Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, with an expectation of at least 4.5 on the analytical section and 310 cumulative on the other two sections (1200 for GRE exams prior to 8/2011), the score for the verbal component being the more important of the two
Facility in some of the languages required for study in the department
The following materials must be submitted via the online application system:
- A statement of intent (300 to 600 words) and a C.V.
- Official transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended • GRE scores (and, for all nonnative speakers of English, TOEFL scores)
- Three letters of recommendation
- A Waiver of Access form for each letter of recommendation
- A Writing Sample with a recommended length of 4,000 to 6,000 words
Graduate Fellowships and Assistantships
Full-time students in good standing are eligible to receive a 12-month annual stipend (an amount of $23,000 for students starting in 2018-2019) for up to five years and a full-tuition scholarship for up to eight years.
5 + 1 Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
Students who complete the program in five years are eligible for a one-year teaching postdoctoral fellowship at Notre Dame.
The Graduate School awards premier fellowships on a competitive basis. These fellowships provide full tuition, an increased stipend, and full coverage of the university's health insurance premium. For more information see the Graduate School website.
In cases where students are funded by an extramural source (e.g., a religious order), the University normally covers tuition costs.
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