Teaching Theology Question


I’ve been thinking about this lately, and was hoping for some external input. I am currently a theology/classical civilizations/ancient Greek major in college, hoping to go specifically into the field of early Christian studies with the intent to eventually teach. I attend a Jesuit University, and the graduate programs I am looking into are all Catholic. My own religious affiliation is Lutheran. I participate and lead in ecumenical worship on campus, and am dating a beautifully-religious Catholic. My own research interests are in theosis and Christian mysticism within context of Christian history, and I also interested in the history and development of Christian narrative as a spiritual tool (i.e. Augustine’s Confessions, Thomas Merton’s Seven Storey Mountain, ect…).

I short, my goal is to become a teacher and writer in these subjects within the context of church history. A friend of mine, who is a Jesuit, told me the other day that Catholic high schools are not allowed to hire theology instructors who are not Catholic, even though the instructors they are forced to hire sometimes are not theological trained, not even to the level of a B.A. Is it not possible to teach theology at a high school when not Catholic, even if one is Catholic-taught and teaching in a field such as church history? I know that it is not an issue at most Catholic Universities, nor is it an issue for Departments of Religious Studies, but my question is specifically for high school, in the event that I feel as though my calling is to teach high schoolers and not university students.

What you were told was correct-to be a religion teacher in a Catholic elementary or secondary school, you must be Catholic.

Interesting - When I was in grade school back in the second half of the 1960’s I had at least one teacher that I know was not Catholic…Of course he taught English and history, not theology…

To the OP…Relax - by the time you graduate maybe you’ll BE Catholic…Just keep dating that good catholic girl…;):thumbsup:


I believe there are Lutheran High Schools, no?

Of course, not every Catholic high school has the same guidelines for hiring teachers (and not all of them follow the guidelines they have). So I suppose anything is possible. I hope you understand, though, why most Catholic schools have such a policy. Handing on the faith is not simply an academic enterprise of passing on information. It involves being a strong Catholic witness. When the very teacher that is handing on the faith does not subscribe to the full Catholic picture, it can serve to undermine that witness.

Not that you’re not a strong Christian nor that you wouldn’t be able to do a good job. You could be more “catholic” than many other Catholic theology teachers out there. But when the theology teacher isn’t buying what they’re selling, it can present problems.

In any case, most Catholic high schools (that I know of anyway) wouldn’t have a full-time theology teacher only for Church History. Under the new curriculum guidelines from the USCCB, Church History is only a one semester elective.

You’d have more luck at the college level, I would think, if this is the area you want to go into.

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