University Requirements in Theology

service_cropped_iiUniversity Requirements in Theology allow all ND students the opportunity to examine faith in an academic setting

All Notre Dame undergraduate students are introduced to the practice of theology as faith seeking understanding through a two-course sequence.

Foundations of Theology:
First Theology Requirement

The first course, Foundations of Theology, introduces students to the study of the Bible and early Christian tradition. Following an introduction to the Old and New Testaments, students follow major post-biblical developments in Christian life and worship (e.g., liturgy, theology, doctrine, asceticism), emphasizing the first five centuries. Individual sections will vary according to emphases and themes chosen by the instructor. Foundations is offered in four different formats:
THEO 10001 Foundations of Theology: Biblical/Historical
(First-Year Students Only)
THEO 10002 Foundations of Theology: Biblical/Historical 
(Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors Only)
This version of Foundations is designed for students who did not take the course as freshmen and for transfer students to the university.
THEO 13183 Theology University Seminar
While the topic of study is the same, the Foundations University Seminar involves a smaller class size with an emphasis on class discussion and analytical writing.
THEO 13002 Honors Foundation of Theology 
(Honors Students Only)
The Honors version of Foundations takes place in a seminar format with an emphasis on critical thinking and advanced writing.

A Development of Theology Course:
Second Theology Requirement

The second required course, or the “development” course, involves the development of a major theme of Christian theology through the centuries or across schools of thought.  Development courses are always numbered Theo 2xxxx.  Courses in the upcoming semester that meet the second requirement may be found through Class Search.

The following development courses are recommended for international students and students from non-Christian backgrounds:
Theo 20201: God
Theo 20251: The Catholic Faith
Theo 20605: Intro to Catholic Moral Theology
Theo 20830: Islam and Christian Theology
Theo 20828: Christianity & World Religions

On Satisfying the Requirement Through Credit Transfer

Students sometimes seek to satisfy the university requirement in Theology by taking summer courses at other universities or while studying abroad. Any student seeking to satisfy a university requirement by transferring credit from a course taken at another university must have this course approved by the Department. To do so, contact Assistant DUS Professor Anthony Pagliarini at

One of the two university-required courses in Theology must be taken at Notre Dame. The first university-required course, Foundations in Theology (1xxxx), grounds students in the discipline of theology through the study of the Bible and the theology of the Early Church. It is unusual to find this combination of features at other colleges and universities.

More often, students will be successful in finding a course at another college or university (whether in the summer or while studying abroad) to satisfy the second requirement in theology. However, students should remember that development courses (Theo 2xxxx) examine the development of a central Christian doctrine or theme within Christian tradition through the centuries. Transfer courses receiving approval to satisfy either requirement must match closely the characteristics of the courses offered at Notre Dame. Please review the requirement rationale here before submitting a course for pre-approval. 


If you have questions about our undergraduate programs, contact Assistant DUS Professor Anthony Pagliarini at