Loyola University Maryland

First-Year Programs

Visionary Course Pairing

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Introduction to Theology: Visions of God and the Good

This course will introduce student to the discipline of Theology by asking the question, “How can our understanding of God shape our understanding of what makes for a good human life?” The course will examine texts from the Bible and the Christian tradition, ranging from Augustine to Dorothy Day, to explore how our vision of a good life — a fulfilling life — is related to our notions of God.

Faculty Biography

Dr. Frederick Bauerschmidt has taught theology at Loyola since 1994 and is the chair of the Theology Department. His scholarly interests include medieval and modern theology, theology and the arts, and the relationship between theology and culture. He has published several books, most recently on the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas. He is ordained as a deacon in the Catholic Church and is married with three children.

Theology: The Jesuit Vision from Ignatius to Pope Francis 

Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), is counted among the great visionaries in Christian history. Building on themes introduced during the first semester, this course first explores Ignatius's theological vision as it is witnessed in his key texts. We will then consider the impact this vision– 'incarnated' in the work of the Society of Jesus–has had on the Church and the world, beginning in the sixteenth century and extending to the ministry of Francis, the first Jesuit Pope. This exploration will be interdisciplinary, considering how a primarily theological vision has informed Jesuit engagement in fields as diverse as the fine arts, the natural sciences, and English literature.

Faculty Biography

Tim O'Brien received his bachelor's degree in political science from the College of the Holy Cross (2006), where he also met the Society of Jesus. He entered the Jesuits in 2008 after several years working for the federal government. Since then, he has earned master's degrees in philosophy from Loyola University Chicago (2012) and theology from the University of Chicago (2014). At Loyola, Tim teaches in the Theology Department and assists in the Office of Mission Integration. His scholarly interests range from medieval theology to contemporary poetry, his personal interests involve being the best possible uncle, and his dietary interests include crab cakes and club sandwiches.

Mentor Biography

I am Molly Fredette, Director of The Study at Loyola. The Study’s mission is to provide academic support services to students and help all Loyola students become successful, independent learners. I report to the Dean of First Year Students and work closely with the AASC. In my role, I oversee the peer tutoring program, Supplemental Instruction, organization coaching, professional tutoring services (ESL, math and reading strategies), and I teach a series of Academic Success Workshops and provide 1-on-1 academic coaching to students. I also work closely with DSS, the Counseling Center, ALANA and faculty to identify and help students in academic distress. (This includes many first-years.) Lastly, I teach and advise in the STEP program, which is Loyola’s academic retention program aimed primarily at second semester freshmen and sophomores on academic probation.