B.A. in Theology

APU theology majors are equipped for further theological studies, service in the Church, and participation in the concrete work of justice in today’s world.

36-39 units

The theology that guides Department of Theology programs is a reasoned response to God’s self-disclosure in Jesus Christ. This theology is a careful articulation of the mystery, grace, and hope of that story, which takes place among the people of Jesus—the Church. The theology major serves students who wish to give themselves to this particular way of truth and life. It aids in preparing students for graduate work in related disciplines and for Christian service in the Church and the world.

The theology major equips and encourages undergraduate students to become effective and faithful theologians, well-prepared for further theological education as well as for service to the Church, by developing in them suitable analytical, reflective, and expressive skills and bringing them into fruitful engagement with a broad range of theological resources as they learn to apply Christian theology to contemporary issues.

Program Goals

  1. Through the General Education courses, the theology program seeks to prepare all undergraduate students to demonstrate an understanding of the essential components of theological reflection and an ability to give thoughtful consideration to current and historical issues in light of the Church’s Scriptures and traditions. Graduates should be able to articulate a Christian worldview of truth and life and apply biblically based ethical reasoning skills to problems.
  2. The theology program cultivates collegial scholarship for faithful engagement with students, the Church, and the academy.
  3. The theology program continues to develop and refine mechanisms that bring theology majors into fruitful firsthand engagement with contemporary theological work as it is carried out in the academy. This may develop through projects of their own or through collaborative efforts with faculty. Graduates should demonstrate a practice of continual intellectual growth through personal scholarship and development.
  4. The theology program continues to develop and refine methods of teaching and mentoring that further students’ theological contributions to the Church and society. Graduates should practice a respect for the worth of all persons with appreciation of individual and cultural differences, demonstrating truth telling and grace in their relationships, and should be able to articulate the importance of extending genuine community to all peoples locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.
  5. The theology program encourages and cultivates students’ growth in the ability to think critically about the historical, doctrinal, biblical, and practical aspects of the Christian faith, including appreciating, understanding, and valuing the Church. Students grow into a greater awareness of the personal and social relevance and spiritual richness that informed, disciplined theological reflection can bring to their Christian existence and their own impact upon the world in which they live.

Career Opportunities

The theology major is offered as an avenue of sustained and thoughtful devotion to the God of the Gospel. At the same time, it provides students with the discipline and practices that are requisite for graduate study or other service in the Church and the world. APU theology alumni have pursued graduate studies at Duke Divinity School, Fuller Theological Seminary, Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, Princeton Theological Seminary, Vanderbilt Divinity School, Yale Divinity School, and other institutions in fields such as education, sociology, law, theology, Church history, biblical studies, philosophy, and international relations. Alumni have also served as pastors, chaplains, teachers, social workers, community organizers, nonprofit program administrators, and relief workers, and in parachurch ministries.


THEO/UBBL Double Major Guidelines: Should a student choose to double major in theology and biblical studies, he/she must take 3 additional upper-division courses in a single discipline of either THEO or UBBL (THEO 4XX or UBBL 3XX/4XX) to meet the guidelines for double majors.

A minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA is required in all major courses. The theology major may be earned by completing all of the following courses:

Major Course Requirements
WRIT 200Writing 2: Writing for Christian Practice 13
THEO 352Church History: Apostolic Era to the Eve of the Reformation 23
THEO 354Church History from the Eve of the Reformation to the Present 23
THEO 363Contemporary Christian Theology3
THEO 4XX400-level Theology Course 33
THEO 4XX400-level Theology Course 33
THEO 4XX400-level Theology Course 33
THEO 410Systematic Theology I3
THEO 411Systematic Theology II3
THEO 496Senior Seminar: Theology and Social Issues 43
UBBL 3/4XXBiblical Studies Elective3
Select one of the following:3
History of Ancient Philosophy
Medieval Philosophy
History of Early Modern Philosophy
History of 19th and 20th Century Philosophy
Total Units36

Church History Concentration

9 units

The Church history concentration in theology develops analytical, reflective, and expressive skills in the study of theology in a historical context. Students are trained in the use of interdisciplinary methods from history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, cultural anthropology, and theology to perform a thoughtful examination of the history of the Christian Church in light of the Church’s Scriptures and traditions. Students who complete the Church history concentration will be well equipped for graduate study in ministry, church history, historical theology, or systematic theology as well as the history of religion. Students seeking a church history concentration in theology complete all of the requirements of a theology major listed above, but sub out the three unspecified upper-division theology courses for three Church history seminar courses as listed below:

Select three of the following:9
Seminar in Church History
Writing 3: The Formation of Early Christianity 1
Writing 3: American Christianity 1
Writing 3: The History of Christian Spirituality 1
Global Christianity 2
Christian Traditions
Total Units9

 Systematic Theology Concentration

12 units

The theology major may choose an optional concentration in systematic theology by completing three (3) advanced systematic theology electives from the list below in addition to a single 3-unit advanced Church history seminar that also meets the General Education Writing 3 requirement. 

Select three systematic theology electives from the following:9
Global Christianity 1
The Theology of John Wesley
Theologians and Theological Movements
Doctrinal Theology
Theological Ethics
Christian Traditions
Theology from the Margins 2
Topics in Systematic Theology
Select one Church history seminar that also meets the Writing 3 requirement from the following:3
Writing 3: The Formation of Early Christianity 3
Writing 3: American Christianity 3
Total Units12

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program shall be able to:
  1. Articulate and critically engage the historical, doctrinal, biblical and practical aspects of the Christian faith.
  2. Demonstrate a comprehension of the contextual nature of Christian theology and church history through proficiency applying methodologies sensitive to the multi-faceted aspects of historical analysis.
  3. Integrate theological knowledge and praxis as evidenced by scholarship skillfully incorporating transdisciplinary and transcultural perspectives.
  4. Demonstrate thoughtful consideration and resolutions to current and historical issues in light of the Church's Scriptures and traditions.
  5. Demonstrate continual intellectual growth through personal research and scholarship.
  6. Manifest skills enabling them to be strong candidates for a graduate program in theology.