In addition to being prepared to live lives of active faith and service within faith communities, our graduates are ready to approach the challenges of the world, and their diverse career paths, in thoughtful and creative ways.

Our graduates work at Genesis Health System, in ministry, as community advocates and religion teachers. 

Read the latest Theology Newsletter, Spring 2021

Ambrose Advantages

  • Rooted in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition
  • Outstanding Program, Exceptional Faculty
  • Challenge Your Perspective

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Students in Beehive

St. Francis

Our theology faculty challenge you to develop wider perspectives, preparing your to address cultural, social, political and theological challenges within your personal and professional life.

Read Our Fact Sheet on the Theology Program

More Information on the Theology Program

What will I learn?

Our courses address contemporary theological issues, ethics and moral life, prayer, spirituality and worship, and specialized topics such as Bible and justice, women theologians, and the Jewish and Black experiences.

Courses include introduction to the Sacraments, moral issues, theology and religion, Old Testament, and New Testament; the history of Christianity; theologies of liberation; Jewish literature; the Torah; peace and justice in comparative religions; and reconciliation and peacebuilding in Northern Ireland.

What is unique about SAU's Theology program?

Committed Faculty
Our Faculty are very available. They have regular meetings with theology majors over dinner, movie nights, and other discussions. They will know who you are, what you want to do, and will be a resource for you for years to come.

Double major or Minor
Your theology degree is a great companion major. We have students pair theology with sociology, communications, nursing, pre-OT, pre-physical therapy, and more.

Study or serve in another country
When you major in Theology, you can study abroad. Students tell us these trips have changed their lives, their outlook on the world, and what they want to do after college. View locations

If you are adventurous with a deep personal drive to act and seek to be immersed in countries and cultures outside of your own, our Peace Corps Prep program will help you gain the intercultural skills you need for a life-changing service experience. This program makes you a stronger candidate for volunteer positions within the Peace Corps or other service programs.

Employers value the skills and cultural worldview you gain in Peace Corps, and best of all, most students can earn the Peace Corps certificate without taking extra courses.

Faith in Action
We give you opportunities to work with churches, human services agencies, educational organizations, and advocacy programs. SAU coordinates service trips to Appalachia and inner-city shelters to work with the less fortunate.

The Quad Cities community is an active supporter of the environment and for peace and justice. You can get involved with churches and affiliated groups and associations such as the Pacem in Terris (Peace on Earth) Coalition, Quad-Citians Affirming Diversity, Churches United, and River Action.

What are some potential career outcomes?

You can go directly into ministry with a theology degree. We have graduates who teach religion, work in parishes, and serve in other types of ministry.

Many theologians pursue careers in social services or graduate studies in social work, theology, theater, and other areas.

What have alumni of this program done?

Ana Kelsey-Powell '15 is the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at Court Street Methodist Church in Rockford, Ill.

Joseph Norris '12 is the Director of Mission Integration and Regional Ethics at Mercy Medical Center in Dubuque. After Ambrose, Joseph earned master's degrees at Saint Louis University and Aquinas Institute of Theology.

Patrick Schmadeke '13 is the director of evangelization at the Diocese of Davenport


Lisa Powell, PhD, Professor and Chair

Mara Adams, PhD, Professor
Matthew Coomber, PhD, Professor
Robert Grant, PhD, Professor
Ella Johnson, PhD, Asst. Professor
Rabbi Henry Karp, Adjunct Professor
Micah Kiel, PhD, Professor
Michele Petersen, Lecturer

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts in Theology (33 credits)

Majors must maintain a B average in theology courses with no grade lower than a C.

View Theology courses and descriptions in the online course catalog

+THEO 100 Just Theology
+THEO 110 Introduction to Moral Issues
+THEO 120 Introduction to Christian Faith
+THEO 130 Introduction to Scripture
THEO 499 Senior Seminar
6 additional credits at the 300-level or above
3 credits from Historical Theology:

+THEO 140 Historical Theology
+THEO 241 Ambrose of Milan
THEO 306 Medieval Women Mystics
+THEO 344 Rome and Christianity

Three credits from at least three of the following areas: Systematic Theology, Biblical Theology, Moral Theology, Spiritual/Pastoral Theology

Systematic Theology:
+THEO 320 Jesus Christ: His Person and Mission
+WI-THEO 321 Theologies of Liberation
+WI-THEO 322 The Church: Its Meaning and Mission
+THEO 323 Problems of Faith
+THEO 325 Models of God

Biblical Theology:
+THEO 332 The Theology of the Synoptic Gospels
+THEO 333 Paul's Letters: Theology in Context
+THEO 334 Apocalypse: Then and Now
THEO 336 The Bible and the Arts
THEO 338 Bible in Political Thought
THEO 339 Hebrew Prophecy: Mysticism in Action

Moral Theology:
+THEO 310 Social Justice
+THEO 311 Environmental Ethics
+THEO 316 Peace and Justice in Comparative Religions
THEO 319 Bioethics and Health Care

Spiritual/Pastoral Theology:
THEO 303 Suffering/Compassion/Healing
THEO 305 Theology of Christian Marriage
THEO 306 Medieval Women Mystics

Second Major in Theology (27 credits)

+THEO 100 Just Theology
+THEO 110 Introduction to Moral Issues
+THEO 120 Introduction to the Christian Faith
+THEO 130 Introduction to Scripture
THEO 499 Senior Seminar
One course from Historical Theology (see course listing above)
One course from three of four areas: Moral, Systemic, Biblical, or Spiritual/Pastoral Theology

Minor in Theology (15 credits)

+THEO 100 Just Theology
12 THEO credits (6 of which must be at the 300-level)

Scholarships and Grants


St. Ambrose offers excellent scholarships and grants, work-study and other financial aid options! Full-time students may be eligible based on your strong academic performance in college, your talent in fine arts or athletics or your demonstrated financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code for the FAFSA is 001889.

First-Year Scholarships and Institutional Aid 2024-2025

Merit-Based Scholarships

4.0 GPA: $24,000
3.75-3.99 GPA: $22,000
3.0-3.749 GPA: $20,000
2.5-2.99 GPA: $18,000
2.0-2.49 GPA: $14,000
If GPA is 2.0-2.49, additional documents and review required for admission.

Merit-Based Scholarships

4.o GPA: $17,000
3.75-3.99 GPA: $16,000
3.0-3.749 GPA: $15,000
2.5-2.99 GPA: $14,000
2.0-2.49 GPA: $13,000
If GPA is 2.0-2.49, additional documents and review required for admission.


Ambrose Advantage Full-Tuition Scholarship
Pell-eligible Iowa residents, learn more here

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarship: $500 per year
Parent is a St. Ambrose graduate

Catholic Traditions Scholarship: $1,000 per year
Students with Catholic religious denomination or plans to graduate from Catholic high school 

Minority Scholarship: $500 per year
Ethnically diverse student

Athletic Scholarships: varies
Performance and ability

Fine Arts Scholarships: varies
Performance and ability in music, art and theatre

Faith Learning Justice Campus Ministry Scholarships: $2,000 per year
Recognition of involvement in church and community service and interest in strengthening faith and growing as a leader in campus ministry

Scholarships are determined by unweighted GPA, and are renewable for four years of undergraduate student. Increases in scholarship awards due to change in GPA will be reviewed until March 1.

State and Federal Grants, Work Study

Grants are money that you don't repay, and they can come from government or private sources. SAU receives all financial aid funds directly - including loans and grants - then applies them to your account: once in the fall term and once in the spring term. Grants can be used to cover your tuition, books, and housing costs. You must apply for grants each academic year. If you have any loan funds in excess of your costs, you may receive a refund. If you are a first-time borrower, there is a 30-day hold on your first disbursement. For all of these grants, you must complete the Free Application Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as it is available.

Iowa Tuition Grant
To be eligible for the Iowa Tuition Grant, you must be a resident of Iowa as defined by the State Board of Regents and currently enrolled or planning to enroll in an undergraduate degree program at an eligible Iowa college or university (SAU is eligible). Iowa College Aid administers need-based college financial aid for Iowans, such as the Iowa Tuition Grant.
Award: $7,500 maximum

Federal Pell Grant
Awarded to students of the highest need based on how much your family can contribute to your education. The U.S. Department of Education sets a threshold. Then, when you file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), it computes where you land within that threshold and determines if you qualify for the grant and for how much.
Award: $6,895 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
You must file a FAFSA to qualify for a Pell Grant. This grant is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to students who have submitted all required documents for review and in time for the review to be complete. If you are eligible for a Pell Grant or SEOG, the awards will appear on your financial aid award letter.
Award: $400 maximum

Federal Work Study
Must secure campus employment.
Award: $2,560

Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant 
Provides aid to students intending to teach in a high-need field at a school that serves low-income families (as determined by the U.S. Department of Education or a state education agency). Review criteria and all details here.
Award: up to $4,000

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Student Financial Services where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.

Clement and Mary Dunn Ecclesiastical Scholarship

The Clement and Mary Dunn Ecclesiastical Scholarship
This endowed scholarship for theology students at St. Ambrose University was established in memory of Clement and Mary Dunn, cousins to Reverend Edmond Dunn, who provided leadership and taught theology at St. Ambrose for more than 35 years. An inspiration to generations of Ambrosians, Fr. Dunn continues to be an active presence on campus and a champion for peace and social justice. The scholarship can to be awarded to students involved in intellectual formation and majoring in theology.

Scholarships of $1,000 to $2,000 are available to students who want to study theology at St. Ambrose University. If you would like to be considered for a Clement and Mary Dunn Ecclesiastical Scholarship, please contact the Department Chair.

Isabel Watts '19

Isabel's St. Ambrose education and experience was transformative. In four years, she grew from her self-description of "naive" to an educated and dedicated social justice advocate who knows who she is, for what she stands, and the unlimited potential she holds and will pursue. In December 2019, Isabel graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology degree and a second major in Theology.

Read her story

Katie Zorn

Bachelor of Arts in Accounting, International Business, and Theology,Cost Accountant at HNI Corporation in Cedartown, Georgia,Class of 2015

When Katie talks about her Ambrosian experience she describes a community that values academics, professionalism, spiritual life, and personal growth. With us, you will get an education rooted in the liberal arts and Catholic Intellectual Tradition, and so many opportunities to discover your path in life.

See My Story

Apply Visit Info


Lisa Powell, PhD, Chairperson

Theology Department
Lower Chapel
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

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