Theology Major

51–52 units


The theology program 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.

Theology 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 the 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 contribution to the Church and to 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.


The theology that guides the programs of this department 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 the student for graduate work in related disciplines and for Christian service in the Church and the world.

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.


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:

God’s Word and the Christian Response

18 units

General Education Requirements
MIN 108Christian Life, Faith, and Ministry3
UBBL 100Introduction to Biblical Literature: Exodus/Deuteronomy3
UBBL 230Luke/Acts3
UBBL 3XXAdditional General Education (Approved Bible Class)3
THEO 352Church History: Apostolic Era to the Eve of the Reformation3
THEO 496Senior Seminar: Theology and Social Issues3
Major Course Requirements
MIN 206Introduction to Practical Theology3
THEO 354Church History from the Eve of the Reformation to the Present 13
THEO 363Contemporary Christian Thought 13
THEO 4XX400-level Theology Course 23
THEO 4XX400-level Theology Course 23
THEO 4XX400-level Theology Course 23
THEO 410Systematic Theology I3
THEO 411Systematic Theology II3
UBBL 3/4XXBiblical Studies Elective3
Select one of the following:3-4
Introduction to Philosophy 1
Humanities Seminar IV: Great Ideas (3 units on Azusa campus, 4 units at High Sierra Semester.) 1
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 Units51-52

Meets a General Education core requirement.


Students who wish to earn a Church history concentration in theology may do so by substituting three upper-division theology courses above with three Church history seminar courses as needed.

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 substitute 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
The Formation of Early Christianity 1
American Christianity 1
The History of Christian Spirituality
Global Christianity
Christian Traditions
Total Units9

 Meets Upper-division Writing Intensive requirement