Theology at BUonline: Interview with Dr. Stuart Squires

man praying over bible

Dr. Stuart Squires Portrait

Most students know that studying theology can qualify them for a career in ministry or pastoral work. However, you may be a little less aware of the versatility that a theology degree can offer you when it comes to getting a job after graduation. We talked with Dr. Stuart Squires, an Assistant Professor in Theology and the Theology Area Coordinator at Brescia University. He has some great insight into how earning a theology degree from BUonline can prepare you for careers both within and outside of the church.

What is the mission of Brescia’s Theology program?

The Theology program is grounded in the Roman Catholic faith tradition and reflects the Second Vatican Council’s commitments to ecumenism, religious liberty, a deeper study of the wellsprings of the sources of the Catholic tradition, and a reaffirmation of traditional religious vocations.

What makes a theology degree at Brescia unique?

Brescia University’s Bachelor of Arts in Theology with an Emphasis in Pastoral Studies is for students who are interested in ministry. The intimacy of our program allows students to have a personal relationship with their professors. Brescia also has partnerships with two nationally recognized graduate programs in theology and ministry: the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis and St. Meinrad School of Theology.

Why get a theology degree?

There are many reasons why students would major in theology; three will be discussed here. First, students gain a substantive knowledge of the Catholicism by studying a variety of topics, including the Bible, theology, history, ethics, liturgy, and social justice. These topics ground students in the breadth and depth of the tradition of the Church. Second, students gain important critical and analytical thinking skills. These skills help students become more than just good employees during their professional careers, they form students into good citizens for their entire lives. Third, this knowledge and these skills allow the student to reflect on the important questions on life, such as: what does it mean to be a human person? How do I live a flourishing life? What does this all mean?

What are some of the classes that I can take?

Brescia offers a variety of exciting theology classes, including: the Old Testament, the New Testament, Catholic Faith: An Introduction to Theology, Introduction to Ministry, Catholic Moral Tradition and Contemporary Issues, the Sacraments of the Catholic Community, Faith and Justice: The Gospel and Social Values, and Spirituality and Vocation (among others).

What am I able to do with a theology degree outside of ministry?

Knowledge of different religions is important to navigate life in our contemporary world. Also, the critical and analytical thinking skills are applicable to a variety of fields. A theology degree can help prepare you for the legal field (including human rights, immigration, and discrimination laws) international development (such as the Peace Corps or other aid agencies), Foreign Service, government, public policy, public administration, nonprofit organizations, parish administration, private enterprise administration, teacher, professor, or medical professional.

What was the educational path you took to become a professor of theology at Brescia?

After graduating from DePaul University with a degree in religious studies, I joined the Peace Corps and was sent to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania where I taught English at the secondary school level. After two years of service, I returned and began my M.A. at the University of Chicago Divinity School where I focused on the history and theology of the 16th century disputes between Catholics and Protestants. I then pursued and completed my Ph.D. at The Catholic University of America where I studied the theology of St. Augustine. Before coming to Brescia, I taught for four years at DePaul University.

Earning Your Degree With Us

If you are interested in a career in ministry, community outreach or other public service position, completing your Bachelor of Arts in Theology is a great way to get started. Our program emphasizes pastoral studies so that you can deepen your knowledge of the Christian faith while working towards your personal and professional goals. No matter how you plan to use your theology degree in your career, BUonline can help you combine your Christian faith with the education you need.