Overview & Mission

Through attention to ultimate concerns, reflective thought, critical analysis, reading, and integration of knowledge from diverse fields, the Philosophy and Theology Program advances the mission of the College of Saint Elizabeth by offering distinct degree and non-degree opportunities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. These opportunities support the development of women and men who are skilled critical thinkers and responsible moral agents, and who will continue the quest for meaning, self-realization and fulfillment as social contributors.

In Philosophy, undergraduate students are introduced to the nature of philosophical thinking and to the perennial philosophical questions concerning the nature of reality and humanity's place in reality.

In Theology, both degree and non-degree graduate and undergraduate students encounter a community of learning nourished by belief in God the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Sanctifier, by the treasury of human wisdom, and by respect for the dynamics of inquiry and action.

The Philosophy and Theology Program

  • Is committed to helping students acquire an understanding of truth and value that is supportive of their complete development as persons, to assisting them in obtaining knowledge of some of the core concepts and ideas which have served to shape human civilization, and to guiding students in their development of basic principles of reasoning and method.
  • Affirms that character development is crucial for excellence in any discipline, and especially to the pursuit of wisdom, which is focus of theological and philosophical study, and to inquiry as faith seeking understanding, as well as critical reflection on religious experience.
  • Seeks to provide students with developmentally appropriate opportunities for intellectual and moral growth, as well as for spiritual growth in keeping with the Catholic concern for the dignity of each human person.
  • Serves the College by providing a distinct disciplines and unique opportunities to formulate and examine a coherent worldview, and to integrate knowledge from diverse areas of study.
  • Prepares undergraduates for participation in professional philosophical activity and for future academic study, as well as potential careers in strategic consulting and law, as well as for participation in professional theological activity and for future academic study, and offers academic formation for individuals in ministry.
  • Is committed to the examination of core values of truth, justice, and reconciliation in light of the compatibility of Revelation and reason, as well as to interfaith dialogue, and to helping students better understand and live out their respective religious commitments and traditions in recognition that respect for human dignity extends to the support for religious freedom.


Student Outcomes

The Philosophy and Theology Program provides a variety of degree and non-degree opportunities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, each with distinct learning outcomes; these opportunities include:

Undergraduate degree students in Philosophy will:

  • Convey a competent grasp of the four core disciplines of philosophy: metaphysics, logic, epistemology, and ethics\moral philosophy.
  • Acquire knowledge of the History of Philosophy, its major contributors and movements; and they will develop a basic familiarity with resources in this area.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the nature of the human person, and theories about meaning of human existence

Undergraduate degree students in Theology will:

  • Identify the central Catholic Christian teachings and correlate these with the religious language, concepts, imagery and critical questions central to the Christian study of scripture, doctrine and morality. These will be assessed by course examinations.
  • Recognize the role of religious faith in the life of the human person and its impact on both humankind and other kind in the development of appropriate moral, intellectual and spiritual awareness through encounter with Catholic Christian teaching and praxis. These will be assessed by an evaluation of class participation, presentations and written reflections.
  • Demonstrate basic familiarity and appropriate use of scholarly and catechetical resources which will be assessed through the student's producing quality research papers and catechetical projects.
  • Recognize the major events and movements within Christianity and understand the importance of respect and dialogue between Catholic Christianity and other religious traditions and communities.

Ministry certificate students will:

  • Convey a basic understanding of Scripture and revelation, as well as skills in Scriptural literacy and interpretation.
  • Exhibit a fundamental knowledge of central theologies, including Christological and Trinitarian Theology, Theology of Church, Liturgical Theology, Theology of Ministry, Sacramental Theology, and Theology of the Human Person.
  • Demonstrate a coherent grasp of ethical theories, principles, and application, as well as an informed capacity for sound decision making and moral responsibility
  • Develop personal and pastoral awareness and skills, such as familiarity with ecumenical and inter-faith interactions, information literacy, organizational leadership, and life-cycle issues.
  • Articulate a vision of Catholic faith and demonstrate growth in understanding of self as a minister an adult person of faith and formation-driven activities and interactions.

Graduate Theology students will demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the core areas of theology, inclusive of Christian thought and praxis by being able to:

  • Situate and appraise the doctrinal, spiritual and ethical developments in theology, including Catholic Social Teaching, ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue, as evidenced through the Comprehensive Assessment Process.
  • Read and assess scholarly texts by being able to identify the author’s project and thesis, relevant arguments and correlate these with the factors important to various contexts.
  • Recognize and classify differences in theological thought and apply the methodology appropriate to each of the major areas of theology as specified on syllabi.
  • Construct a theological essay bringing research to written expression in a coherent, analytical fashion.

The Ethics Studies Minor and Certificate is an interdisciplinary and multifaceted program of study providing integrated and substantive training in ethics, meta-ethics, moral philosophy, and moral theology. The program includes the examination of both moral theory and application.

In conjunction with the DePaul Center for Mission and Ministry, the Program provides certificate programs for those interested in preparing for various church ministries. To meet the needs of the students, we offer classes on campus, at off-site locations in New Jersey, and totally online. These programs are designed for those currently serving in parish ministry roles, those wanting to prepare for ministry roles, and those wishing to come for their own personal growth and development. Certificate programs include pastoral internship and formation components. The certificate credits may be transferred into other programs of study leading to baccalaureate degrees.


Graduates

The Program also offers those who are not pursuing philosophy or theology degrees or certificates an introduction to reasoned thought and theological concepts.

Students completing the degree in philosophy or theology are equipped with the background to succeed in advanced educational pursuits, and professional careers.

If a student is preparing for Church ministries, such as Pastoral Ministry, Youth Ministry, Faith Formation, and Pastoral Administration, the Theology major provides the theological foundations for active involvement in Church life, both professional and otherwise.

In addition, the emphasis on rigorous and creative thinking in Philosophy or Theology will enable one to enter higher level training in a variety of professional fields, including:

  • Higher Education
  • Law

  • Literature
  • Philosophical or Theological research and writing

Graduates from the Philosophy and Theology Program have gone on to become:

  • Chaplains
  • Directors of women's rights organizations
  • Editors
  • Lawyers
  • Pastoral ministers
  • Physicians

  • Religious education coordinators
  • Researchers
  • Strategic consultants
  • Teachers
  • Youth ministers

More than half of CSE philosophy and theology graduates go on to receive graduate degrees.

Theology Program


Requirements for the Certificate in Ethics Studies

Any combination of four courses from the following list, at least two of which are Philosophy courses, and at least two of which are Theology courses:

  • PHIL204/304** Morality and the Good Life
  • PHIL233/333** Ethics in Business and Society
  • PHIL331 Ethics in Healthcare
  • THEO135 Ecology and Faith
  • THEO250 Introduction to Christian Ethics
  • THEO263 Ethics and Spirituality
  • THEO200 Bioethics
  • THEO239 Christian Sexual Ethics

Plus the following interdisciplinary Philosophy & Theology Course:

  • THEO385 Ethics and Justice

Total: 20 credits

**Courses designated with two numbers are available to Philosophy majors and minors for more advanced work (i.e. 300 level).

Requirements for the Certificate in Ministry Programs

We offer six Ministry Certificate Programs:

Courses are offered both in English and Spanish. To meet the needs of the students, we offer classes on campus in Morristown, New Jersey, at off-site locations in New Jersey, and totally online. These programs are designed for those currently serving in parish ministry roles, those wanting to prepare for ministry roles, and those wishing to come for their own personal growth and development. These are all undergraduate level courses, 3 credits each. In addition to the 21 course credits, there is also a 4 credit Pastoral Internship that will be completed during the program. The 25 credits may be transferred into other programs of study leading to baccalaureate degrees.

Formation Component

Helping students continue to grow in Christian maturity is core to all Certificate Programs. Students are expected to participate in ongoing spiritual formation, which includes appropriate workshops, liturgies, retreats, and days of reflection for personal faith development. More detailed information is given upon acceptance into the program.

Ministry Integrated Seminar

Includes supervised field education emphasizing pastoral skills and theological reflection coupled with a monthly seminar on pertinent topics for ministry. Each student develops a ministry project to be approved by the Director of the program. The student will also fulfill other requirements of the pastoral practicum: assigned readings, case studies, and periodic written assignments.

Admission

Please call 973-290-4364 (English) or 973-290-4346 (Spanish) for the Ministry Certificate Program Application Packet.

The following are required:

  • Completed Application for Admission Form
  • $35 Application Fee
  • Personal Statement
  • Official High School or College Transcript
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Endorsement Form (if applicable)
  • Admissions Interview

Requirements for the Certificate in Diaconal Ministry

The College of Saint Elizabeth offers deacon candidates the best of its rich heritage and outstanding resources to help prepare deacon candidates for ministry in the Church. The goal of the Center is to challenge its students to cherish the tradition and create the future. The faculty prepares the candidates by educating them in the richness of the Catholic theological and spiritual tradition. This enables the men in this program to be able to serve the Church and its needs in today's world.

The College works in collaboration with various dioceses in creating a program that will meet the needs of each individual diocese. The course of study listed below is just one model that is currently being used. Others can be designed. Each diocese provides the spiritual and pastoral formation of the candidates, which supplements and enhances the theological formation offered by the College.

  • THEO105 Pastoral Counseling for Ministry (4)
  • THEO110 Testament (4)
  • THEO113 New  Testament (4)
  • THEO143 Liturgy, Spirituality, and Sacraments (4)
  • THEO220 Theological Reflection (4)
  • THEO221 Fundamental Moral Theology (4)
  • THEO250 Christian Ethics: Principles and Process for Decision Making (4)
  • THEO300 Homiletics: The Art of Preaching (4)

Total: 32 credits

Related Requirements

Deacon candidates are required to participate in a series of preaching workshops and training over a four year period. In addition, three workshops on various pastoral issues and concerns are offered each year by experts in theology, spirituality, and liturgy. Additional topics, such as Canon Law, are provided by each diocese.

Requirements for the Leadership Certificate in Hispanic Ministry

Passionate for the Gospel, witnessing to the Legacy of Vincent DePaul and Elizabeth Ann Seton, impelled by the Mission and Values of the College of St. Elizabeth, the Leadership Certificate in Hispanic Minstry supports students in their quest for ongoing faith formation as ministers and leaders. This includes formal classes, appropriate workshops, liturgies, days of reflection and retreats. This certificate is infused with a Hispanic/Latino cultural dimension for such ministers to be able to effectively perform their work and live the Gospel with Hispanics in the US Catholic Church.

  • THEO100 Hispanics and the Church in the US (4)
  • THEO110 Hispanic Spirituality – Cultural Expressions of Faith (4)
  • THEO200 Leadership Skills and Competencies (4)
  • THEO210 Challenges in Ministry Today (4)
  • THEO215 Pastoral Leadership (4)
  • THEO280/281 Ministry Integration Seminar (with Capstone Project) (4)

Total: 24 credits

Related Requirement

Students are expected to participate in ongoing spiritual formation, which includes appropriate workshops, liturgies, retreats and days of reflection for personal faith development. More detailed information is given upon acceptance into the program.

Requirements for the Certificate in Parish Life Ministries

This certificate prepares students to minister to a wide variety of pastoral needs across the family life spectrum. Using study of the theological and Scriptural touchstones that inform the pastoral practices of hospitality and compassion, students will examine the sociological and psychological forces that shape family life in all of its markers and milestones.

  • THEO110 Hebrew Testament or THEO113 New Testament (4)
  • THEO153 Foundations in Lay Ministry: Identity and Pastoral Practice with the Living God (4)
  • THEO205 Christian Marriage and Family (4)
  • THEO250 Christian Ethics: Principles and Process for Decision-Making (4)
  • THEO280/281 Ministry Integration Seminar (4)
  • THEO320 Fundamentals of Christian Faith (4)

Total: 24 credits

Related Requirement

Students are expected to participate in ongoing spiritual formation, which includes appropriate workshops, liturgies, retreats, and days of reflection for personal faith development. More detailed information is given upon acceptance into the program.

Requirements for the Certificate in Pastoral Administration

This certificate honors the strong theological and Scriptural foundations that must inform the administration of a parish, recognizing that effective business and personnel management must always point to the implementation of Gospel values. Students will use their study to develop an individualized curriculum which best honors their experience and educational background, coupled with the needs of the parish.

  • THEO110 Hebrew Testament or THEO113 New Testament (4)
  • THEO153 Foundations in Lay Ministry: Identity and Pastoral Practice with the Living God (4)
  • THEO240 Pastoral Administration (4)
  • THEO250 Christian Ethics: Principles and Process for Decision-Making (4)
  • THEO280/281 Ministry Integration Seminar (4)
  • THEO320 Fundamentals of Christian Faith (4)

Total: 24 credits

Related Requirement

Students are expected to participate in ongoing spiritual formation, which includes appropriate workshops, liturgies, retreats, and days of reflection for personal faith development. More detailed information is given upon acceptance into the program.

Requirements for the Certificate in Religious Education

This certificate prepares students to lead others into the lifelong journey of saying yes to faith with both mind and heart. Students will gain knowledge of the theories of teaching and learning for adults, adolescents, and children and will explore the contemporary documents on Catechetics and Evangelization which ground the educational ministry of the church.

  • THEO110 Hebrew Testament or THEO113 New Testament (4)
  • THEO153 Foundations in Lay Ministry: Identity and Pastoral Practice with the Living God (4)
  • THEO230 Religious Education Skills and Competencies (4)
  • THEO250 Christian Ethics: Principles and Process for Decision-Making (4)
  • THEO280/281 Ministry Integration Seminar (4)
  • THEO320 Fundamentals of Christian Faith (4)

Total: 24 credits

Related Requirement

Students are expected to participate in ongoing spiritual formation, which includes appropriate workshops, liturgies, retreats, and days of reflection for personal faith development. More detailed information is given upon acceptance into the program.

Requirements for the Certificate in Youth and Young Adult Ministry

This certificate is designed to develop a vibrant outreach for serving this vital community in parish life – youth and young adults as part of the present and future Church. Using study of Scripture and theology as a foundation, students will examine social and psychological development and will develop tools for evangelization and program design in ministering to this population.

  • THEO110 Hebrew Testament or THEO113 New Testament (4)
  • THEO153 Foundations in Lay Ministry: Identity and Pastoral Practice with the Living God (4)
  • THEO137 Youth Ministry: Skills and Competencies (4)
  • THEO250 Christian Ethics: Principles and Process for Decision-Making (4)
  • THEO280/281 Ministry Integration Seminar (4)
  • THEO320 Fundamentals of Christian Faith (4)

Total: 24 credits

Related Requirement

Students are expected to participate in ongoing spiritual formation, which includes appropriate workshops, liturgies, retreats, and days of reflection for personal faith development. More detailed information is given upon acceptance into the program.

Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Catholic Studies

The certificate consists of 15 graduate credits and is intended for students who wish to learn more about the rich spiritual and intellectual tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.The certificate may be taken alone or in combination with the M.A. in Theology program.

  • THEO603 History of Christianity (3)
  • THEO631 Catholic Intellectual Tradition (Phil.) (3)
  • THEO627 Catholic Moral Theology (3)
  • THEO609 Scriptural Interpretation (3)

Ecclesiology (Choose one)

  • THEO 615 Mystery of Church (3), or
  • THEO 656 Church in an Age of Plurality (3)

Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Care

The certificate consists of 15 graduate credits and is intended for students who work in helping professions such as hospitals, nursing homes and other settings where the combined skills in theology and counseling are required. The certificate provides the theological foundations for these ministries. The certificate may be taken alone or in combination with the M.A. in Theology program.

  • THEO609 Scriptural Interpretation (3)
  • THEO619 Liturgical Theology (3)
  • PSY660 Counseling and Spirituality (3)
  • THEO625 Ministry and Ministries (3)

Ethics (Choose one)

  • MC626 Ethical Issues in Human Leadership (3)
  • THEO627 Catholic Moral Theology (3)
  • THEO663 Spirituality and Ethics (3)

Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Care for the Second Half of Life

With its foundation in the sacredness of human life and the dignity of the human person, the Certificate in Pastoral Care for the Second Half of Life is designed to provide foundational knowledge and skills rooted in a multidisciplinary model of caring for the maturing adult. It offers tools for the integration of the whole person - body, mind, and spirit. Students will acquire effective strategies to support an enhanced quality of life and spiritual well-being. Components of this integrated approach will include examination of issues of reconciliation and forgiveness, quality of life, a sense of purpose, healthy lifestyles and self-transcendence. Students completing the program will have the knowledge and skills to live more meaningful and better-integrated lives and help others to achieve those goals as well.

  • PC600 The Mind-Body-Spirit Connection in Aging (3)
  • PC610 Psychosocial and Spiritual Development in Later Adulthood (3)
  • PC620 Ethical and Theological Issues in Aging (3)
  • PC630 Ethical and Theological Issues in Aging (3)
  • PC640 Techniques in Pastoral Care of the Maturing Adult (3)
  • PC650 Internship (3)

Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Spirituality

The certificate consists of 15 graduate credits. The 15 credits may be earned by taking the 4 courses listed below and one elective course from the courses listed for the M.A. in Theology program. The certificate provides the theological foundations for these ministries. The certificate may be taken alone or in combination with the M.A. in Theology program.

  • THEO641 Spirituality Through the Ages (3)
  • THEO663 Spirituality and Ethics (3)
  • THEO667 The Wisdom of the Mystics (3)
  • THEO674 Christian Spiritualities and Charity (3)

Elective Course (3)

  • Choose one from courses listed for the M.A. in Theology program