Philosophy and Theology

The Division of Philosophy and Theology is aimed not only at professional preparation but also at development of the person: a sense of the past, an awareness of great ideas, and critical reflection on ultimate reality.



Philosophy is a systematic reflection on the basic questions that have excited human curiosity and that are the object of profound concern: where we come from, what we ought to do, what we may hope for, who we really are.

As such, the study of philosophy leads students to a healthy critique of personal and social beliefs, prejudices, and presuppositions by confronting the diversity of views that is so conspicuous in the history of philosophy, thereby preparing them to develop their choices in a pluralistic society.

Moreover, as philosophy is value-oriented, it complements those departments that in this regard are necessarily "neutral." Like literature and art, but in a unique manner, it is capable of developing in a person a more sensitive, more appreciative attitude toward life. By its breadth, it can compensate for the specialization that is more and more required by the needs of our scientific age. In fact, inasmuch as philosophy takes all human experience for its province, it can easily constitute the integrating principle in a student's entire intellectual life.


Spring Hill College, as an institution of higher learning, draws its ultimate inspiration from its commitment to religious values. In the language of the Jesuit tradition, the College is committed to "the service of faith and the promotion of justice," which grows out of the Christian gospel. With the view that faith is not simply one isolated area of human experience and reflection but, rather, is the expression of a life vision from which all thought and action flow, the College considers a critical reflection on faith an integral part of its curriculum.

The fundamental rationale of the theology core requirement is to introduce students to serious, critical reflection on questions of ultimate meaning and transcendence. Courses range from the study of world religions and the human experience of faith to an exploration of sacraments, liturgy, and sacred scriptures. Students, regardless of religious affiliation, are challenged to a deeper understanding of their own religious experience and the religious heritage of Western civilization.

For students interested in a broader understanding of theological questions or in preparation for some form of church ministry, there are several special programs: a minor in theology, a major or double major, and a major with a concentration in a particular area of ministry: youth, liturgical, social or catechetical (religious education). Special programs for adult students offer a certificate in theological studies, a lay-ministry certificate (see the Continuing Studies part of this Bulletin for the T.I.P.S. program), as well as the graduate theology degrees and certificates (see Graduate section of Bulletin). In addition to regular course offerings, a complete introduction to Catholic faith and practice is offered by the RCIA program, sponsored jointly with Campus Ministry.