​The study of theology is at the heart of Thomas More University’s mission for it invites students to ponder the deepest human questions – What is the meaning of life? What is my place in the world? What is my responsibility to others? – in light of divine revelation culminating in the person of Jesus Christ.

The sciences cannot answer ultimate questions of themselves. In the words of C. S. Lewis, even if “science ever became complete so that it knew every single thing in the whole universe. [I]s it not plain that the questions, ‘Why is there a universe?’…‘Has it any meaning?’ would remain?” That’s why we need theology: through faith and reason we can discover the knowledge about ourselves and the path to happiness that we all desire.

The study of theology also provides a deeper understanding of the ethical dimensions of life. An individual’s concept of God and the human person translates into an understanding of how to treat others. By gaining a deeper understanding of God and Christian anthropology, one can better recognize and uphold the dignity of the human person in her given sphere of influence – whether it be law, medicine, business, or the home.

Studying theology is worthwhile whatever one’s religious background may be as it provides the opportunity to study ideas that have radically shaped human history. In so doing, one takes a step toward achieving the goal of any liberal arts program – a greater understanding of the whole of knowledge.

Why study Theology at TMU?

​Thomas More University offers the distinctive opportunity to take three substantive core courses in theology designed to present an overview of the content of the Christian faith (with opportunities to study World Religions). Each TMU student completes a course in scripture, systematic theology, and a unique senior capstone course in social issues which immerses students in Catholic social doctrine regarding the protection of human dignity in the economic and political spheres. Special emphasis is placed on correlating the knowledge gained from these courses with other disciplines.

With just three additional courses, a TMU student can gain a Minor in Theology. This is a wonderful opportunity for education majors looking to teach or administrate at Catholic schools, business administration majors seeking to work at Christian non-profits, nursing and pre-med students pursuing a better understanding of bioethics, or any students desiring a better understanding of the Christian faith.

Theology majors at TMU gain a comprehensive, systematic overview of all major areas of Christian theological study including biblical studies, morality, systematics, liturgy, Christology and Christian anthropology. This robust, rigorous curriculum sets TMU apart from other Theology programs and provides majors with an exceptionally strong foundation in Christian doctrine. Coupled with a rigorous core curriculum which draws from the riches of the Catholic intellectual tradition, students are well-prepared for graduate studies, teaching, and ministry opportunities.

The Theology Department also offers certificate programs at the basic and advanced levels. These programs are especially intended for persons engaged in religious education or various church-related ministries.

What will I be doing?


  • Theology (31 hours): THE 201, 205, 207, 219, 309, 317, 405, 406, 409, 410; one elective
  • Supporting Courses (6 hours): HIS 202, 326, or 327; Philosophy course from among PHI 325 or 401 that is beyond fulfillment of the core requirement
  • Recommended Courses: PSY 214; SOC 215
  • For Religious Education Teachers: THE 124, Catechetics
  • Computer Literacy: CIS 111 or proficiency test


  • Theology (18 hours): THE 201, 205, 207, 309; electives, 6 hours



  • Theology (18 hours): THE 201, 205, 207, 309, 317, 406


  • Theology (30 hours): THE 201, 205, 207, 219, 309, 317, 405, 406, 409, 425
  • Philosophy (6 hours): PHI 205 and 215

Who will I be learning from?

Reverend Ronald M. Ketteler

B.A. – Philosophy (University of St. Mary of the Lake)

S.T.B. – Theology (University of St. Mary of the Lake)

A.M. – Religion (University of St. Mary of the Lake)

S.T.L. – Theology (University of St. Mary of the Lake)

M.A. – Philosophy (Xavier University)

Fr. Ketteler’s areas of specialty are moral theology and Catholic social doctrine.

Caitlin Shaughnessy Dwyer

B.A. – Theology (University of Notre Dame)

M.T.S. (Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family)

Ms. Dwyer’s areas of focus are biotechnology and ethics, and Christian anthropology.

Sr. Fidelis Tracy

B.A. – Secondary Education—Mathematics and Science (Thomas More College)

M.A. – Fundamental Catholic Spirituality (Duquesne University)

M.A. – Theology (Catholic Theological Union)

Sr. Tracy’s area of expertise is Scripture.

Joseph Shadle

M.B.A. (Xavier University)

Master of Divinity (Athenaeum of Ohio)

M.A. – Biblical Studies (Athenaeum of Ohio)

Mr. Shadle is the Director of the Center for Mission and Identity at Xavier University. Scripture is his area of expertise.

Very Reverend Michael D. Barth, JCL

Fr. Barth is the Pastor of St. Paul Parish in Florence, KY and the Judicial Vicar of the Diocese of Covington Tribunal. His areas of expertise are canon law and liturgical theology.

Quinton Jefferson

B.A. – English Creative Writing in Theology (Thomas More College)

M.A.- Secondary Education (Xavier)

M.A. – Theology (Xavier)

Mr. Jefferson has served as an adjunct at TMU since 2012.

Where do alumni work or pursue advanced degrees?

​TMU graduates with majors and minors in Theology have gone on to pursue a broad variety of careers and degrees. In regards to church-related careers, many graduates teach at Diocesan elementary and high schools and serve as coordinators and directors for religious education at local parishes. Others serve in hospital and parish ministry positions. One graduate currently serves as Chancellor of her Diocese.

Graduates have also gone on to pursue advanced degrees in theology at institutions such as Xavier University, the University of Dayton and the Athenaeum of Ohio.

What careers will be open to me?

​The theology program prepares students for a variety of career paths though the department recognizes a distinctive task of serving the needs for formation of religious educators and lay ministers of the Diocese of Covington.

Majors are prepared for various church-related careers including teaching religious education or directing religious education programs, catechetics, parish ministry, social services, and ecumenical dialogue in the community. The theology program also provides students a solid foundation for pursuing advanced study in academic theology, religious education, or pastoral ministry as well as seminary education.*

Minors are given beneficial formation for teaching and administrating in Catholic schools, working for Christian non-profit organizations, serving in the medical field, leadership in the church and society, and service to their local churches, communities and families.

The basic and advanced certificate programs are especially intended for persons engaged in religious education or various church-related ministries.

As with other liberal arts disciplines, study of theology develops critical thinking and communication skills that enable success in many careers and courses of graduate study including law.

* Any student interested in pursuing seminary education should contact the Theology Department Chair before declaring a major.

What experiential learning opportunities will I have?

​The Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati area offers a plethora of opportunities for internship positions in ministry, parish work, teaching religious education, and Catholic social services.

What special requirements exist for admission?

​Admission to the certificate programs presumes demonstrated competency in English 101 and 102 but does not require other preliminary college level courses. Students entering the program with advanced standing in theology must complete one half of the credit hours in theology at Thomas More University.

What scholarships or aid are available?

​Reduced tuition rates are available for the certificate programs for individuals currently working in Catholic ministry in the Diocese of Covington. Please contact Rev. Ronald M. Ketteler for more information (859-344-3393).