Western Theology is one of the two study programmes in the School of Theology at the University of Eastern Finland. The study programme was launched in 1997 when the University of Joensuu started admitting major subject students who aimed to become subject teachers of religion. Qualifying for positions in the (Evangelical Lutheran) Church has been possible since 2001. In addition, the theology education in Joensuu has provided a basis for working in different positions within society and cultural life.
The majority of the theology students in Joensuu complete their degree in the Western Theology study programme.
Western Theology consists of regular theological subjects which have their counterparts in the Orthodox Theology study programme. Biblical Studies and Comparative Religion are subjects that are common to the study programmes of Western and Orthodox Theology. Cooperation between the study programmes is also possible in varying extent in other subjects.
The greatest asset of the theology education in Joensuu is the ongoing interaction between eastern and western tradition. Our students have the possibility of engaging in ecumenism.
Each subject – with the exception of Comparative Religion – is taught by two teachers: a professor and a university lecturer. The teaching staff conduct high-quality research in their fields. The university lecturer is mainly responsible for basic and intermediate studies while the professor’s main responsibilities are intermediate and advanced studies.
Especially through Applied Studies the theology teaching at Joensuu has diverse connections with the Lutheran Church, its parishes and dioceses mainly in Eastern and Northern Finland. There are also members of other western churches and communities studying in Joensuu.
In keeping with old academic tradition, the teaching and research of theology in Joensuu has maintained its autonomy in relation to the church and the society. Western Theology students’ association Fides Ostiensis was founded in 1997.
- Biblical Studies
- Church History
- Systematic Theology
- Practical Theology
- Religious Education
- Comparative Religion