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Department Chairperson: Fr. Kevin Scalf, C.PP.S., M.A.T., M.A.B, M.Div.

Program Director: Fr. Kevin Scalf, C.PP.S., M.A.T., M.A.B, M.Div.

Instructors: Laura Ieraci, M.S.; Rabbi Scott B. Saulson, Ph.D.; Rev. Kevin M. Scalf, C.PP.S.; Dr. Tony Bonta, PhD.; Rev. Andrew J. Summerson, S.Th.D.

From a captivating historical investigation into sacred Scripture, to a life-changing study of the moral life; from a careful study of the Doctrine of God, to an enthusiastic exploration of Catholic Social Justice; from a fascinating foray into Liturgy and Sacraments, to a meaningful pursuit into Christian Spirituality, the Theology program at Calumet College of St. Joseph offers graduates a foundational, yet critical understanding of Christian faith, seated in the Catholic tradition, yet welcoming students of all religious backgrounds and those without any religious background or affiliation.

Note: Theology program not accepting students for the 2019-20 academic year.

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Students in the Theology program will learn to engage in interfaith and intercultural dialogue and to work for positive social change, based on a Christian vision of the dignity of the human person, reconciliation, peace, justice, and the flourishing of all creation.

Mission Statement

As an academic discipline within a Catholic university, the Theology program is committed to implementing the four essential characteristics of a Catholic university described in the Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities, Ex Corde Ecclesiae.

Since the objective of a Catholic university is to assure in an institutional manner a Christian presence in a university world that is confronting the great problems of society and culture, every Catholic university, as Catholic, must have the following essential characteristics:

  • A Christian inspiration not only of individuals but of the university community as such.
  • A continuing reflection in the light of the Catholic faith upon the growing treasury of human knowledge, to which it seeks to contribute by its own research.
  • Fidelity to the Christian message as it comes to us through the church.
  • An institutional commitment to the service of the people of God and of the human family in their pilgrimage to the transcendent goal that gives meaning to life (para. 13).

Rooted in Tradition

Rooted in Roman Catholic tradition, the Theology program engages dialogue with diverse traditions and academic approaches to the study of theology. We strive to:

  • Engage in genuine search for truth through conversation between faith and reason,
  • Critically examine religious dimensions of human knowledge and experience with particular emphasis on theological inquiry,
  • Explore how faith promotes justice,
  • Support and challenge students to become authentically free human beings with an ability and desire to understand and serve our world—especially through constructive dialogue with its diverse religious and humanistic traditions, and
  • Collaborate with each other as well as faculty from across the College in our teaching, research, and service for the common good.


Objectives of the Theology Program

These objectives reflect a high regard for the National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers, the needs of the Catholic Diocese of Gary and our sister Christian communities in the Region, the mission of the College, and the charism of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood as guiding ideals. Graduates will

  • Appreciate, analyze, and apply an understanding of the dignity of human persons and communities as foundational to theological study and ministerial relationships.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the breadth and coherence of Christian theological studies.
  • Apply moral principles and ethical guidelines from Catholic teaching to issues in ministry and contemporary life.
  • Create positive social change based on the relationship between faith and justice from a Catholic, ecumenical, inter-religious, and global perspective.

In addition, graduates in the Ministry Concentration will demonstrate a range of leadership, communication, and pastoral skills necessary to function effectively in ministry.

Systematics Concentration Learning Objectives

Graduates in the Systematics Concentration will:

  • know the key ideas and works of major thinkers in the Western philosophical tradition that provide the groundwork for systematic theologies; and
  • demonstrate the research, writing, and classical language skills necessary for successful study of Theology at the graduate level.

Scripture Concentration Learning Objectives

Graduates in the Scripture Concentration will:

  • Know the condition of the sacred authors' times and cultures, the literary genres in use at those times, and the modes of feeling, speaking and thinking then current;
  • Interpret Scripture in a way that is intelligible to context and appropriate to the Christian tradition; and
  • Use Scripture as an essential source in pastoral ministry.


We offer small, discussion-based and project-based courses, with true one-on-one faculty mentoring, and a disciplined yet supportive approach to your learning.

Rev. Kevin Scalf, C.PP.S.

Rev. Kevin Scalf, C.PP.S.

Director of the Theology Program & Special Assistant to the President for Mission and Ministry
Room 626
(219) 473-4351

Rev. Kevin M. Scalf, C.PP.S., is a member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood religious order. He is Chairperson of the Humanities Department at Calumet College of St. Joseph, Hammond, IN., and serves in the President’s Office. He is also Director of Mission and Ministry.

Fr. Scalf holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount St. Joseph University, Cincinnati, OH., in Religious Studies, Philosophy, and Communication Arts. He completed a Master of Arts degree in Theology at Xavier University, Cincinnati, a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Cincinnati, and a Master of Divinity degree at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago. He is currently a doctoral student at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago.

Fr. Scalf has taught at several Catholic high schools, and was a member of the part-time religious studies faculties at the University of Dayton; a full-time member of the faculty and administration at St. Joseph’s College, Rensselaer, IN, and part-time faculty member at a graduate seminary in Tanzania, Africa. He has also served as parochial vicar for several parishes in Whiting, IN.

Fr. Scalf has taught for many years in the Lay Ecclesial Ministry Program and Deacon Formation Program for the Diocese of Gary, Diocese of Lafayette, and Archdiocese of Chicago. Fr. Scalf currently serves as chaplain of Bishop Noll Institute, Hammond, IN.

In 2015 he was appointed by His Holiness, Pope Francis, as one 800 priests throughout the world to be a “Missionary of Mercy” throughout the Jubilee Year of Mercy, and that appointment continues today.   Download Word Document copy of Father Kevin's Biography

Laura Ieraci, Dr.

Laura Ieraci, M.S.

Laura Ieraci, PhL, MS, has scholarly interests in communications and theology, in particular how they intersect in their practical application in church settings. She holds a Bachelor of Education degree from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, with minors in English and history. She completed a Master of Science degree in Communications at Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York, and a Licentiate at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the Pontifical Gregorian University. Her research is on the use of advertising in the Catholic Church and its impact on evangelization.

Mrs. Ieraci is a five-time award-winning journalist and has been published in English Catholic media worldwide. She is the founder of AVIVA Media / Communications, a production and communications consulting firm for nonprofit organizations. As a journalist and communications specialist, she worked or consulted for: Catholic News Service, Vatican Radio, Archdiocese of Montreal, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma, Salt+Light Television, Catholic Times Montreal, Canadian Religious Conference and Catholic News Agency, among others.

Prior to her work in communications, Mrs. Ieraci taught Catholic religious and moral education at several high schools in Canada, as well as English and research methods at Unity College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She also has a ministry as a financial coach, helping to renew marriages through the application of sound biblical principles in finance.


Rev. Andrew J. Summerson, S.Th.D.

Rev. Andrew J. Summerson, S.Th.D. is pastor of St. Mary Byzantine Church, Whiting, IN., and Director for Doctrine and Worship for the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma. He holds a Doctorate in Patristic Theology from the Pontifical Patristic Institute Augustinianum, Rome. He has served as adjunct professor of Theology at John Carroll University, Cleveland.

Fr. Summerson has published widely on the Christian East and the Fathers of the Church, notably, through syndication by Catholic News Service. He has also been a guest commentator for papal events for Vatican Radio and EWTN.

A frequent speaker at parishes, universities, and college campuses, Fr. Summerson is popular facilitator for retreats, workshops, seminars, and parish missions.

Great Theology Quotes

“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. Saint Augustine,” Sermons, 43:1.

"For I do not seek to understand in order that I may believe, but I believe in order that I may understand." St. Anselm. Proslogion, Chapter One.

God is the beyond in the midst of life. Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Community Partners

Career Opportunities

Calumet College of St. Joseph is located at the crossroads of the Midwest, and this location provides strategic access to one of the largest centers for theological praxis in the world, Chicago, Illinois. Students may gain experience and employment in the following areas, among others:


  • Graduate studies and research
  • High school theology instructors
  • Campus mission and ministry
  • Religious life


  • Denominational hospitals, homes, school boards, and agencies
  • Churches and religious entities
  • Religious publishers and bookstores
  • Religiously affiliated schools

Chaplaincy (with additional credentials):

  • Military service
  • Correctional institutions
  • Homes for children, youth, and senior citizens
  • Hospitals, police, and fire departments

Local Church Ministries:

  • Missionary outreach
  • Music ministry
  • Public relations
  • Adult and child day care

Social Services:

  • Advocacy and counseling
  • Camp administration
  • Industrial and vocational training
  • Programming

For a more detailed list, see careers in this major.

What can I do with this major?

B.A. in Theology (120 hours)

The following courses are required for a baccalaureate degree

  • 38 hours, General Education requirements

  • Core Courses in Theology: 18 credit hours
    THEO 131 Theological Foundations
    THEO 310 Introduction to the Old Testament
    THEO 320 Introduction to the New Testament
    THEO 370 Christology: The Person and Work of Jesus
    THEO 380 Doctrine of God: One and Triune
    THEO 390 History of Christianity

  • Upper Level Courses in Theology: 15 credit hours
    THEO 340 Christian Worship and Sacraments
    THEO 430 Christian Moral Theology
    THEO 450 History of Christian Spirituality
    THEO 496 Selected Topics in Theology (6 credit hours)

  • Electives: 49 credit hours

Theology Minor (15 hours)

The Minor in Theology allows a student pursuing another degree at the College to explore the discipline beyond the requirements of the General Education program, by completing five courses from among the Theology courses.

Diocesan Ministry Formation Program

In collaboration with the Diocese of Gary, the College offers undergraduate credit in Theology, upon Program Director Approval, for courses given in the Diocesan Ministry Formation Program.


THEO 110 Social Justice
3 hours
In this course, students will explore and analyze social justice issues, and then suggest positive action for social change. The foundation incorporates experiential service-learning in dialogue with Scripture, Catholic Social Teaching, and great thinkers of the twentieth century who engage religion and social justice. College-level skills are emphasized. (This course is a CCSJ General Education requirement.)
Prerequisites: This course must be taken in the student's first semester at the College.

THEO 131 Theological Foundations
3 hours
In this course, students gain a broad overview of the academic study of Christian theology and its articulation within the Catholic tradition. Topics include the human search for meaning, human nature and human destiny, the nature of God, faith and reason, divine revelation, biblical interpretation, the person of Jesus Christ and the Trinity, worship, theology of Church, and sacramental spirituality for a post-modern world.
Prerequisites: EWPC 103

THEO 150 Biblical Literature I
3 hours
This course will explore the Bible's literary techniques and its enormous variety of genres— everything from myth to history, from genealogy to poetry, from prophecy to biography—as well as the historical periods that produced and are reflected in it. Students will also consider issues arising from the history of the translation of the Bible from its original Hebrew and Greek. The goal is to understand and appreciate more fully both the richness and the complexity of the biblical texts, as well as the importance of those texts to our culture.

THEO 151 Biblical Literature II
3 hours
This course continues the exploration begun in Biblical Literature I, with an emphasis on the New Testament. Although the two courses are related, they can be taken independently.

THEO 230 The Search for Ultimate Meaning
3 hours
In this course, students gain a broad overview of the academic study of Christian theology and its articulation within the Catholic tradition. Topics include the human search for meaning, human nature and human destiny, the nature of God, faith and reason, divine revelation, biblical interpretation, the person of Jesus Christ and the Trinity, worship, theology of Church, and sacramental spirituality for a post-modern world. (This course is a CCSJ General Education Requirement.)
Prerequisites: EWPC 103, EWPC 204

THEO 310 Introduction to Old Testament
3 hours
This course will explore the Old Testament with a special attention to the historical and cultural context in which the various books developed. Introducing and using modern critical tools for studying scripture, the course will survey the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible), the historical books, and the prophetic and wisdom literature and will raise questions concerning the theological meaning of the Old Testament both then and today.
Prerequisites: THEO 131

THEO 320 Introduction to New Testament
3 hours
This course will explore the New Testament with a special attention to the historical and cultural context in which the various books developed. The course will introduce modern critical methods for examining the Gospel texts, with a focus on the historical Jesus question, and will survey the other literature of the New Testament, including Paul's letters and the Book of Revelation. The theological meaning of these books both then and now will be discussed.
Prerequisites: THEO 131

THEO 340 Christian Worship and Sacraments
3 hours
Worship and reverence are the nearly universal human responses to the presence of the divine. This course will examine the specifically Christian response to the divine initiative in Jesus Christ: worship and liturgy through word and sacrament. Using the Eucharist or Lord's Supper as a focus, this course will examine both the history of Christian doctrines and practices with regard to the sacraments, and the many ways in which Christians worship today.
Prerequisites: THEO 131

THEO 345 Religion in America
3 hours
This course surveys the history of religion in America, with an emphasis on the development of both American Protestantism and Catholicism from the time of the first European settlers down to the present. The course will also survey such topics as Native American religion, Judaism in America, African-American religion, and the relationship of religion and American culture.
Prerequisites: THEO 131

THEO 350 The Gospels
3 hours
The four canonical Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) are the main sources for the Christian narrative about the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus. This course will study these Gospels using the tools of contemporary historical-critical and literary scholarship in order to understand how each Gospel theologically portrays Jesus. One of the four Gospels will be studied in depth.
Prerequisites: THEO 131; THEO 320 recommended.

THEO 370 Christology: The Person and Work of Jesus
3 hours
One central claim of Christianity is that God is most fully and finally revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. This course will explore the wide range of Christian understandings of Jesus, examining first the scriptural sources, then the historical development of Christian doctrines and church teachings about Jesus and finally the writings of contemporary theologians and other thinkers.
Prerequisites: THEO 131; THEO 320 recommended.

THEO 390 History of Christianity
3 hours
In this course, students will survey the two-thousand-year history of the Church, focusing primarily on key events in the life of the Church and society, and development in the Church’s structure and theological self-understanding. The modern period, from the close of the Middle Ages through Vatican II, will be emphasized, including such historical and ecclesiastical events as colonization, Reformation, the Enlightenment and its effects on religion, the Industrial Revolution and the beginnings of modern Catholic Social Teaching, the ecumenical movement, and the present expansion of the Church to a diverse global community concentrated in Africa and Latin America, reflected in the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. Cross-listed: HIST 330
Prerequisites: THEO 131

THEO 400 Contemporary Catholicism: Church, World and Theology
3 hours
The Catholic Church has undergone a massive amount of change in the thirty years since the close of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). This course will examine the Council in detail in order to understand what changes it began in Catholic worship, practice and thought. Particular emphasis will be given to the new styles of theology, which have become prevalent in the Catholic Church. Selected theologians will be read on a series of important theological issues such as God, Christ, church, ministry, etc.
Prerequisites: THEO 131

THEO 430 Contemporary Christian Morality
3 hours
This course will examine both the process of moral reasoning and a range of contemporary moral issues using critical tools drawn from theological ethics. Drawing on Scripture, tradition, reason and the contemporary situation, the course will examine Christian ethical responses to such issues as sexuality, family life, medicine and health, the environment, business, violence, and euthanasia.
Prerequisites: THEO 131

THEO 435 The Doctrine of God: One and Triune
3 hours
The mystery of God is at the heart of religion. This course will examine the particularly Christian doctrine of God, the claim that God is One and Three, a Trinity of Father, Son and Spirit. Beginning with the scriptural sources about the relationship of God and humanity, this course will survey the development of the Christian doctrine and the understanding of this mystery today.
Prerequisites: THEO 131; THEO 320 and THEO 330 recommended.

THEO 450 Religions of the World
3 hours
This course will introduce students to the basic teachings, practices and contemporary expressions of the major world religions. The course is designed to facilitate understanding of differences and interactions among these religions in shaping the contemporary religious experience.
Prerequisites: THEO 131

THEO 496 Selected Topics in Theology
3 hours
Topics courses in this program will examine areas of special interest in the fields of Theology. They will allow students and professors to explore such wide-ranging topics as Intercultural Hermeneutics, Suffering and Salvation, Action and Contemplation, the Gospels, Pauline Writings, and many other related topics.

THEO 497 Research in Religious Studies
3 hours
By participating in a semester-long research program, students earn credit for their degree. Training in research methodology provides students with the opportunity to pursue this discipline by designing, implementing, and constructing a formal report on a research topic. This course requires senior status, a cumulative 3.25 index in the major, and the approval of the Program Director.
Prerequisites: THEO 131 and THEO major

THEO 499 Senior Seminar in Religious Studies
3 hours
This capstone course is designed to assist students in the integration and critical examination of the various concepts, theories, and methods of inquiry presented both in general education and the major. Learning outcomes for both the general education program and the major are reviewed. Course assignments assist students in assessing the degree for which learning outcomes have been mastered. Senior standing is required.
Prerequisites: THEO 131 and THEO major

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