Diploma in Theological Studies

Diploma in Theological Studies

Successful completion of the modules below qualifies a student for the diploma in theological studies. 

While each module covers a 15-week span, a student may decide to study two modules together to achieve the diploma in three semesters. However, a student may also decide to study one module at a time, thus making the diploma achievable in three years.

All of these modules are offered every semester (15 week term). In addition if a student elects to study a module during it's listed semester, as well as having lectures available on line, the student may also attend lectures/tutorials in person here at the institute in Tallaght.

Modules

These are the modules available in each semester. Click each module title to view its details.

Spring

This short, introductory module demonstrates how distance learning fits in with the human experience of lifelong learning. It shows how learning styles are quite personal, and involve a great deal of reflection and self-appraisal. Reading is important, as is the discipline of writing assignments. The module also touches on study skills, time management and examination techniques. Every student must take this module to begin studying with us. There is no fee for this module.
This module examines the need for theologians to study the great philosophers, not least because these philosophers have exercised an indelible influence on the development of theology. But it also outlines the questions being asked by philosophers independently of theologians. The module looks back to the philosophy of ancient Greece, and to the great figures of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. It then explores the era of greatest integration between philosophy and theology – the Middle Ages – when theologians such as Augustine and Aquinas successfully integrated the Scriptures with philosophy. The central theme of metaphysics – the mind’s attempt to grapple with everyday reality – is examined.
From the outset the Christian community has identified itself as ‘an assembly’ – a church – with rituals and sacraments. How the Church developed its understanding of itself as the Body of Christ is traced through the patristic period, the Middle Ages, the Reformation and the Council of Trent. The most comprehensive expression of this theology – the Second Vatican Council – shows that a theology of worship now occupies a central place in the Catholic Church. The sacraments of initiation – Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist – are examined in detail. Participation in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, has focussed the ecumenical search for a common Christian theology. The sacraments of Orders, Marriage, Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick are defined as sacraments ‘for the time of waiting’.

Autumn

This short, introductory module demonstrates how distance learning fits in with the human experience of lifelong learning. It shows how learning styles are quite personal, and involve a great deal of reflection and self-appraisal. Reading is important, as is the discipline of writing assignments. The module also touches on study skills, time management and examination techniques. Every student must take this module to begin studying with us. There is no fee for this module.
Jesus made people think! And Christianity from its earliest days has honoured the human capacity for reflection. Whenever human enquiry touches on the big issues of life – its origin and destiny – and relates these issues to the question of God, then the world which opens up is the world of theology. This module traces how the Judeo-Christian tradition reveals a God who is unique, personal and involved in human affairs. The module highlights the work of many contemporary theologians whose work has been profoundly shaped by the social context in which they live. The module also treats of moral theology and the Church, and shows how a questioning mind is a key element in the journey of faith.
The concepts of creation, grace, sin, virtuous living and eschatology are explored by this module in a manner which reveals how this approach is shared between Christianity and the science of anthropology. The module then gives an ecological response to the creation accounts in Genesis. The concept of Original Sin and its impact on human flourishing is examined in detail, leading to a study of grace as articulated by Paul, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas andMartin Luther, followed by contemporary approaches to what it means to live virtuously in a complex world. The Christian belief in life after death is explored – living well so that we may die well.
Ever since Vatican II Catholic theology has developed a position of openness and dialogue towards other religions. The first part of this module deals with the phenomenon of religious pluralism and the variety of responses to its challenge, for example, exclusivism, inclusivism and pluralism. One religion may or may not be open to the content of other faiths. Key issues such as truth and salvation are also examined. The second part takes a closer look at Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, and examines the theology and rituals associated with each of these traditions. The historical origins, essential characteristics and ritual practices of each of these faiths is demonstrated, and their relevance and importance to the modern world is explored in detail.
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