2020-2021 Faculty of Theology courses

Please note these courses are subject to change. Please contact the Programs Coordinator, Anthony De Feo at inquiry.usmctheology@utoronto.ca for assistance with course selection.

Please be advised that due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, and updates from our health ministers, our Winter 2021 courses will be delivered via remote learning, i.e., online synchronous. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact Anthony De Feo, Programs Coordinator.

  • Fall 2020

    SMB1007HF L9101
    Introduction to the Old Testament

    A survey of the religious traditions of ancient Israel as they are reflected in the diverse types of literature found in the First Testament, with emphasis on their historical development and their relevance for contemporary ministry. Topics to be considered include: Israelite origins, settlement of the land, social structures, the monarchy, prophecy, the exile and return.

    Date: Thursday
    Time: 14:00-16:00
    Instructor: Aleksander Krogevoll

    SMH1010HF L9101
    History of Christianity I (to AD 843)

    From the sub-apostolic age to the “Triumph of Orthodoxy” in the East and the Carolingian revival and Treaty of Verdun in the West. Geographical expansion of the church; the relation of Christian faith to cultural settings and other religions; the development of doctrinal and ethical positions; forms of Christian life and worship; the rise of Islam.

    Date: Monday
    Time: 14:00-16:00
    Instructor: Sean Argondizza-Moberg

    SMT1101HF L9101
    Foundations of Theology

    Elements of theological reflection, with emphasis on theological method. Revelation, faith, scripture, liturgy, tradition, dogma, Magisterium, the theologian, infallibility, and historicity.

    Date: Thursday
    Time: 17:00-19:00
    Instructor: Jean-Pierre Fortin

    SMJ1610HF L9101
    General Introduction to the Eastern Churches

    The course aims at a general introduction to the four families of Eastern Churches: Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Catholic and the Assyrian Church of the East. After reviewing the history of the Eastern Churches and the critical moments that shaped their development (including schisms, attempts at re-union and the impact of Islam), the course will give particular attention to the history and culture of the Assyrian Church of the East, the Coptic and Armenian Orthodox Churches, the Orthodox Churches of Ukraine, Greece and Russia, the Maronite, Melkite and Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Churches. Subsequently, the course will briefly survey the East’s distinctive approaches to liturgy, art, architecture, music, spiritual life, monasticism, social service, hagiography, mission and theology. The course ends with an assessment of the current state of these Churches in North America and their approaches to inter-Christian and inter-religious relations.

    Date: Wednesday
    Time: 17:00-19:00
    Instructor: Alexander Laschuk

    SMT1904HF L9101
    Fundamental Themes in Christian Ethics

    This course explores themes required for an understanding of the moral subject and moral actions. Topics include: Old Testament and New Testament ethics; current ethical theories especially Natural Law; formation of conscience, sin, conversion and the role of the Magisterium.

    Date: Tuesday
    Time: 17:00-19:00
    Instructor: Moira McQueen

    SMT2210HF L9101
    Christ the Saviour: Eastern Christian Perspectives

    A survey of both patristic and contemporary approaches to Christological questions (how the divinity and humanity of Christ come together in one person). Soteriological questions will also be addressed (what is salvation, how Jesus saves, from what and for what He saves}. This will also necessitate some examination of Theological Anthropology (from creation according to the Divine Image to the fulfillment of likeness to God in Theosis/Divinization) and the human condition that requires an Incarnate Saviour. Comparisons will be made among ancient Christological approaches (Alexandria, Antioch, Rome), as well as between Eastern and Western Christian understandings of the means and the content of salvation. Emphasis will be placed on apophatic and antinomic tools for articulating an understanding of Christ the Saviour that operates coherently within the complex of the elements of Holy Tradition (Scripture, Fathers, Councils, Creeds, Liturgy, Iconography, Hagiography, etc.)

    Date: Thursday
    Time: 11:00-13:00
    Instructor: Sean Argondizza-Moberg

    SMT2223HF L9101
    Mystery of the Triune God

    Mystery of God Triune: biblical, liturgical, historical, and contemporary theology on the Trinity. Question of God in human experience, atheism, Trinitarian debates, feminist perspectives, the Trinity in the economy of salvation, implications for prayer.

    Date: Wednesday
    Time: 11:00-13:00
    Instructor: Darren Dias

    SMP2600HF L9101
    Theology of Ministry

    This course will explore the foundations of ministry in the New Testament, the manifold expressions of ministry in the history of the Church, and a variety of contemporary issues related to the theology and practice of ministry from a Roman Catholic perspective. Also important will be the relationship of ministry to other aspects of theology, such as Christology, pneumatology, grace, mission, ecclesiology, and sacraments.

    Date: Monday
    Time: 17:00-19:00
    Instructor: Anne Anderson

    SMB2701HF L9101
    Life & Letters of St. Paul

    This course in an introduction to the content and background of the letters of Paul. Particular attention will be given to the social context of Paul’s churches and to the social implications of Pauline Christianity. Throughout emphasis will be placed on the letters as the remnants of early communities striving to understand the work of God among them.

    Date: Wednesday
    Time: 17:00-19:00
    Instructor: Callie Callon

    SMP3421HF L9101
    Faith Development Across the Lifespan

    Examination of contemporary theories of human growth and development, and the contribution that such theories offer to the understanding of religious development and the praxis of religious education.

    Date: Tuesday
    Time: 19:00-21:00
    Instructor: Jason Mills

    SMJ3505HF/SMJ6505HF L9101
    (Sexual) Abuse & the Catholic Church

    Advanced degree students enrol in SMJ6505HF

    Examining a set of questions through an interdisciplinary theological lens, this course aims to explore how the present sexual abuse crisis informs (and proposes the need to reform) the understanding of Church as the Body of Christ.

    Date: Saturday – September 19, October 3, 17, 24, 31, November 14, 28
    Time: 9:00-13:00
    Instructor(s): Michael Attridge and Darren Dias

    SMT3652HF L9101
    Introduction to Eco-Theology

    Using the writings of Thomas Berry & theologians who work with the new cosmology, the course provides an introduction to eco-theology as well as the ways eco-theologians are articulating new understandings of theological anthropology, revelation, Christology, pneumatology, sin and salvation, and eschatology.

    Date: Monday
    Time: 17:00-19:00
    Instructor: Hilda Koster

    SMH5285HF L9101
    Russian Theologians

    Historical context and enduring influence of key theologians during the Silver Age of Russian culture: Vladimir Soloviev, Sergei Bulgakov, Pavel Florensky.

    Date: Monday
    Time: 11:00-13:00
    Instructor: T. Allan Smith

    SMT5610HF L9101
    Theology of Radical Evil and Suffering

    This course assists students to reflect on the multifaceted experience and reality of radical evil and suffering in light of Christian faith and theology. Drawing from the work of significant contemporary theologians, the course aims at enabling students to meet the challenge formulated in and by the experience and testimony of Jewish, African American and Indigenous individuals and communities who were subjected to extreme evil and suffering by individuals, societies and nations reclaiming the Christian faith, values and way of life. The course will encourage students to contribute to forging and living out a contemporary Christian theology enabling lifelong transformative discipleship and service where Christians learn from their Jewish, African American and Indigenous neighbours how to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ. Central theological concepts such as affliction, kenosis, incarnation, discipleship, vicarious representation, passion and crucifixion will be studied using a methodological approach combining narrative testimony and constructive analysis/interpretation.

    Date: Tuesday
    Time: 14:00-16:00
    Instructor: Jean-Pierre Fortin

    SMB5961HF L9101
    Methods for Exploring Religious Experience

    Acts of prayer, collective effervescence, ritual action, ecstatic experiences have all left a mark in early Judaism and Christianity. However, despite the importance of religious experience to these historical movements, scholarship has been reluctant to explore these phenomena in their own right. The course explores various methodologies, and the theories underlying them, as they are relevant to religious experience. Topics include ritual, emotion, metaphor, and identity. Together we will consider the relationship between the methods and our research questions. Although the examples in the course readings will be drawn primarily from Biblical and contemporary material, students are welcome to explore sources from other historical periods.

    Date: Thursday
    Time: 11:00-13:00
    Instructor: Colleen Shantz

  • Winter 2021

    SMB1501HS L9101
    Introduction to the New Testament

    Introduction to the major methods and issues in the interpretation of the Gospels: the world of the New Testament; the composition, structure and theologies of the Gospels; traditions behind the Gospels; the Jesus of History and the Christ of Faith.

    Date: Saturday
    Time: 9:00-11:00
    Instructor: Callie Callon

    SMP2271HS L9101
    Explorations in Eastern Christian Spirituality

    This course serves as a broad survey of the ascetico-mystical theology (Spirituality) of the Eastern Churches, as represented by a multiplicity of authors and texts (using both secondary and primary texts in English translation). Through required readings, lectures, student class presentations and class discussions as well as a reflection paper, summative exercise and oral exam, both ancient and modem authors will be studied in this intensive course, with a view to examining the unifying characteristics that underlie the various spiritual traditions, as well as those elements that distinguish various trends, themes, regional emphases and personal particularities of individual authors. Connections will be made to Eastern Christian doctrinal emphases where appropriate, and historical contexts will be taken into account. In addition to work done together as a group, students will have the opportunity to choose from a list of authors/texts for individual study.

    Date: Tuesday
    Time: 17:00-19:00
    Instructor: Sean Argondizza-Moberg

    SMP2501HS L9101
    Pastoral Care: Theory and Practice

    Foundational elements for pastoral care: theology of ministry, acceptance of self, relationships, grief and loss, prayer, suffering, art of listening, care with the sick and infirm at home and in institutions.

    Date: Tuesday
    Time: 17:00-19:00
    Instructor: Anne Anderson

    SMF3010HS L9101
    Theological Reflection Seminar

    After completion of Supervised Field Placement, students meet as peers to learn and practice a method of theological reflection on their pastoral practice. Focused on theological, cultural, and personal dimensions of students’ ministry practice and their developing pastoral identity.

    Date: Thursday
    Time: 19:00-21:00
    Instructor: Jean-Pierre Fortin
    Pre-requisite: SMP2600H: Theology of Ministry and completion of 100 hour Supervised Field Education Placement.
    Note: This course is not for open registration, please register through the Student Services Officer.

    SMF3010YS L9101
    Theological Reflection Seminar

    After completion of Supervised Field Placement, students meet as peers to learn and practice a method of theological reflection on their pastoral practice. Focused on theological, cultural, and personal dimensions of students’ ministry practice and their developing pastoral identity.

    Date: Thursday
    Time: 19:00-21:00
    Instructor: Jean-Pierre Fortin
    Pre-requisite: SMP2600H: Theology of Ministry and completion of 250 hours of Supervised Field Education Placement.
    Note: This course is not for open registration, please register through the Student Services Officer. 

    SMT3433HS L9101
    Sacramental Life

    This course is a historical, systematic, and pastoral study of the sacraments of initiation (baptism, confirmation, Eucharist), sacraments of healing (reconciliation, sacrament of the sick), sacraments of vocation (marriage and orders) in Roman Catholic practice.

    Date: Wednesday
    Time: 17:00-19:00
    Instructor: Darren Dias

    SMJ3609HS L9101
    Catholic Social Teaching

    This course traces the development of Catholic Social Teaching and action from an historical and theological perspective. A Christian concept of justice will be explored within Biblical and theological contexts. Cultural developments that have impacted, and those that continue to influence, social thought, teaching and action within the Church will be discussed. The primary texts for the course are the social documents of the Church beginning with the Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum (1891) and continuing to the present day. Students will become familiar with the content of such documents and they will be encouraged to analyze the theological and social foundations upon which the documents have been developed. Key principles of Catholic Social Teaching will be introduced. The course will also explore the Christian call to justice and ways in which the social teachings of the Church can be integrated into personal spirituality and ministry. To facilitate such integration, examples will be highlighted from the lives of social activists within the Church. Teaching and learning methods will include, lecture, discussion, media and biographical analysis.

    Date: Tuesday
    Time: 19:00-21:00
    Instructor: Hilda Koster

    SMT3931HS L9101
    Sexuality & Marriage

    The realities of human sexuality, marriage and family from a Christian perspective. Topics to be considered include: sexuality in the context of the person, marriage as sacrament, marriage permanence, marriage as procreative, marital fidelity, and homosexuality.

    Date: Wednesday
    Time: 11:00-13:00
    Instructor: Moira McQueen

    SMH3427HS/SMH6427HS L9101
    Byzantine and Slavic Church History

    Advanced degree students enroll in SMH6427HS

    The Eastern Roman Empire, known today as the Byzantine Empire, survived until 1453, having spread Christianity among the Slavs in the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Among the topics of Byzantine history surveyed here are the seven Ecumenical Councils and their theological and political implications, iconoclasm and Byzantine art, Byzantine relations with the West (especially during the Crusades) as well as with the Slavs — culminating in various attempts to bring them into both the orbit of Greek Christianity and the Empire. This leads to the study of the Christianization of Kievan Rus’. For the Slavic Churches, the course provides and overview of: Kievan Rus’ Christianity (988-1240) and its decline; the Unions of Florence (1439–1442) and Brest (1596) and their aftermath; the rise of the Church of Moscow, under Patriarch and Synod; the Church in Orthodox Russia and Catholic Austria; and Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches under totalitarian and post-totalitarian rule, especially in Ukraine. Simultaneously with these Slavic developments, the course will look at the East-West Schism, attempts to heal it, and the struggles and eventual collapse of the Byzantine Empire. The rise of hesychasm and monasticism in both Greek and Slavic Churches will also be examined, delving into theological and political aspects.

    Date: Tuesday
    Time: 11:00-13:00
    Instructor: Sean Argondizza-Moberg

    SMB5071HS L9101
    Scribes, Manuscripts and Translations of the Hebrew Bible

    This course focuses on text-critical study of the Hebrew Bible, providing an introduction to the manuscript evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Septuagint, the Masoretic text and the Samaritan Pentateuch, as well as from other ancient sources. Issues pertaining to paleography, orthography and manuscript production are discussed, as well as processes of textual composition and development, and techniques used by ancient translators (Greek, Latin, etc.). Of particular interest is the state of the scriptural text leading to the time of canonization in the first or second century CE. Students are taught and encouraged to integrate text-critical study as a solid basis for any area of research specialization.

    Date: Thursday
    Time: 12:00-14:00
    Instructor: Sarianna Metso

    SMT 5604HS L9101
    Eco-Feminism, New Materialism and Ecological Theology

    This course studies important theoretical movements in conversation with ecofeminist theology and ecological theology. The attention to ecofeminist thought is key because in analyzing the ways western thinkers have shaped a sense of matter as feminized, passive, or inert, both new materialism and theological responses to our planetary emergency (most notably climate change) are relying on ecofeminist methodologies and analyses. This course starts with examining some key initiating ecofeminist voices, both in ecofeminist theory and in theology, shifting to new materialisms and the multi-vocal conversation with New Materialism in eco(feminist) theology (with special attention to the issue of race), and will put this conversation to use in relation to eco-justice concerns with resource extraction and climate change.

    Date: Monday
    Time: 17:00 – 19:00
    Instructor: Hilda Koster

  • Summer 2021

    SMP3416HS 9101
    Black Lives Matter in the Classroom

    This graduate level course we will uncover how racism disrupts the humanization process and subsequently assails educational development. Through a survey of the foundational scholarship on the politics of race and anti-black racism in education, we will identify the root causes and implications for what manifests in learning domains as racial injustice. A diverse set of voices from course readings will help students interrogate their own assumptions, beliefs, and biases, and identify how these impact on their role in the classroom.

    Date: TBA
    Time: TBA
    Instructor: TBA