Department of Theology

The study of theology fills several roles within the academic program of Valparaiso University. Education in the Arts & Sciences must seek to understand the profound effect religion has had on our conceptions of human nature and destiny and must probe the interplay between religious belief and aspects of life studied by other disciplines. In addition, Valparaiso's history as an institution founded and sustained by Lutherans explains why the university's General Education requirements include the task of examining, in particular, the shape of the Christian tradition and the perspective it offers for understanding human life.

That perspective also gives structure to the department's course offerings for its major. The Christian faith has authoritative documents (its scriptures); it has a history of thought and institutions; it inculcates a particular way of life; and (as a faith that understands itself in mission to the world) it inevitably seeks to understand and appreciate other religious traditions. Courses in all four of these areas are needed to complete the major.

Why study theology at Valparaiso? Perhaps just for the fun of it! But a major in theology can also provide a pre-professional degree for students who hope to pursue the study of religion beyond the baccalaureate degree or for students who plan to attend seminary or who are training to become deaconesses or to work in youth ministry. More generally, a major in theology can--and does--serve as the focus of a liberal arts education for students who plan no further academic or professional study of theology.

Theology Major and Minor
Theology and Ministry Major
Student Awards

Major: A minimum of 31 credit hours in Theology constitues a major.  Courses must include a course in Biblical studies (311-319), a course in the foundations of Christianity (320-329), a course in theology and ethics (330-353 [when topic is appropriate]), a course in religions of the world (360-369), and seminar 493.  In addition, majors must take at least five more courses at the 300-level and , in their junior year, must intensify one 300-level course.

Minor: A minimum of 18 credit hours in theology, chosen by the student in consultation with the Chair of the Department or the Chair's designated representative, constitutes a minor.  The 18-hour minor requirements includes THEO 200 or, for Christ College students, CC 215. 

Click here for a fact sheet on this major.

In addition to meeting the General Education requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree, this major requires a minimum of 40 credit hours: 28 credits in theology and 12 credits in related disciplines that complement the student’s ministry objectives. One credit must be earned by intensifying the research and writing component of a 300-level theology course. Intensification is normally undertaken during the junior year in preparation for the senior seminar (THEO 493).

Click here for a fact sheet on this major.

Theta Alpha Kappa, Alpha Delta Upsilon Chapter

Theta Alpha Kappa is the National Honor Society for Theology and Religious Studies. VU's chapter, Alpha Delta Upsilon, was founded in 1999.  Local chapters are responsible for nurturing excellence in theological studies and honoring those who excel in them.  More

Senior Theology Paper Award

Each Spring the Theology Department  recognizes the Senior Theology major who has, in the judgment of faculty committee, written the best theology paper during the student's senior year.


Contact Information

Department of Theology
College of Arts & Sciences, Rm. 336
1400 Chapel Drive
(219) 464-5973 Office
(219) 464-5511 Fax

Professor George C. Heider
Department Chair
(219) 464-5303