Our Academic Approach

Our Academic Approach

Comprehensive, Systematic, Integrative

Since its founding in 1216 by St. Dominic de Guzman, the Dominican Order has held study as central to the life and work of its members. As a result of the influence of St. Albert the Great and St. Thomas Aquinas on the plan of studies (ratio) of the Order, the Dominican academic approach has always included philosophical learning as preparation for theological study.

Bene Scripsisti de me Thoma – Vatican museumAt DSPT, philosophy is studied not only as a vital preparation for theology, but also as its own discipline so as to advance each discipline for the sake of the dignity of the human person and the glory of God.

Comprehensive in nature, our philosophy and theology programs teach students to draw upon other religious and philosophical traditions. DSPT membership in the Graduate Theological Union provides ready access to theology scholars from all faith and cultural backgrounds, and to philosophy scholars from the University of California, Berkeley.

Systematic in scope, our programs explore the whole tradition of Western civilization so as to inspire students to pose questions in light of philosophical or theological traditions, and to apply their learning creatively to personal (vocational) objectives and contemporary issues in Church and society.

The result is an integrative program of studies in a learning environment where each discipline is always open to the influence of the other. This integration is seen most dramatically in our concurrent degree programs – available only at DSPT – which allow qualified students to complete simultaneously MA degrees in both philosophy and theology in a reduced period of time.


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