Carroll College, Helena Montana

Current and Former Students

Who are our Majors and Minors?

Taylor Stewart 

Hometown: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Majors: Theology and Biology

Minor: Chemistry

I chose Theology as a major because I was interested in the development of ethical systems, including those rooted in scripture, historical social teaching, and developed from moral theology.

Theology has enriched my experience at Carroll by providing the total Liberal Arts experience; by majoring in a humanities discipline in addition to a science discipline, I have a more complete undergraduate educational experience. My studies in theology have complemented and added to what I have learned in biology and chemistry, and my studies in biology and chemistry have helped me develop a more complete understanding of theology.

I have had many humorous experiences in theology, most of which have involved metaphors trying to explain an abstract concept. Within that, my favorite is Dr. Brian Matz comparing his hatred of potatoes to a predisposition away from sin as a way of explaining different viewpoints on predestination. 

 Matthew Christiaens

Hometown: Valier, MT

Major: Psychology

Minor: Theology 

I decided to be a theology minor because I was struggling in my Psychology major.  It really bothered me that a person’s faith life was simply dismissed in many areas of psychology.  I wanted to be a Psychology major to eventually help serve marginalized members of society and by choosing to pair my major with theology I am able to better understand the people I hope to serve, and hopefully understand life on a deeper spiritual level as well.    

My Carroll experience has definitely been enriched by my theology degree.  So much of what Carroll is and what we do is steeped in the Catholic tradition.  Theology has first helped me identify these things, but secondly it has helped me form my own ideas and think creatively about how I act as a member of this community.   

Interestingly, I did not do very well in my first Theology class at Carroll with Professor Beth Haile.  Studying theology comes very difficult to me, but it is so enjoyable to learn about.  I credit all of my theology professors for challenging me to think and work hard in the classroom.  Specifically, my Liberation Theologies class was very difficult and many things in that class challenged the way I thought about the marginalized.  The class reshaped my whole experience serving in Guatemala, and I am so grateful for the challenging lessons Dr. Ries taught to expand and develop my own thoughts about the marginalized.

Jared Howes

Hometown: Beaverton, Oregon                                 

Major: Theology

Minor: Philosophy                                                 

I chose Theology first of all because it was the subject that most spoke to me and that I had a passion for. I also chose theology because it is a subject that is not learned merely from books, but also from experience in the real world.

Theology has enriched my time at Carroll by encouraging me to take principles I learn in class and apply them to my life. Whether it’s Catholic social teaching lived out in volunteering, or a greater appreciation of mystical prayer (I was not lifted up into union with the divine sadly, maybe next time!). I have been able to apply theology to a wide range of courses, often providing interesting points of discussion.

I have many memories that I am fond of but the best involve professors either in their office hours, or after class. I will always remember bringing questions to Dr. Matz and getting a response that stumped me, which I go and chew on, which brings me to his office for a follow up question, a seemingly endless cycle. Or of the time that Dr. Ries stayed up rather late with some seminar students talking about application of health care in the United States and the need for a preferential option for the poor. I even look back and laugh about a debate in my Catholic social teaching class about taking a baseball bat to a Jaguar car because one person had one, and another did not. Overall I have found that my time as a theology student at Carroll has greatly impacted all aspects of my life, from my faith life, to my thirst for knowledge. My time as a theology student has been an adventure and an absolute blessing.

Katie Ryan

Hometown: Fruita, CO

Major: Biology

Minor: Theology

I really enjoyed the moral theology courses I was taking and decided to push it further. 

The balance between the black and white nature of biology and the grey nature of theology provided an outlet for me to think critically about issues that aren't necessarily testable.

I always love the theology major/minor get-togethers!

Veronica Jones

Hometown: Tri-Cities, WA

Majors: History and Theology 

I majored in Theology because I wanted to learn more about the history and development of the Christian faith. 

Majoring in theology has allowed me to come into contact with people who are all passionate about Christianity and strive to grow in their own understanding of their faith through interactions with one another. 

One of the best parts of having a small department is the ability all get together in a small setting without it feeling cramped. Taking classes from the theology professors is always fun, but nothing beats seeing those same professors interacting with their kids or BBQing pizzas or sharing a beer at the Staggering Ox.

Theology beyond Theological Education

"I’m not a theologian in the traditional sense, but the person I am today and work that I do is largely the result of studying theology at Carroll.  I chose to major in theology because I found that the classes and the professors challenged me to formulate questions about life and existence.  I graduated knowing that I would spend my life exploring, learning about, and participating in larger conversations about faith.  Because of this, earning a theology degree continues to inspire the way that I live, conscious of the importance of serving others, actively participating in my church community, and thoughtfully engaging as a citizen."

-Stephanie Pung '06

Admission Counselor at Carroll College

Active participation

“My experience with the Carroll College Theology Department was an enlightening and rewarding one. I found myself participating in the open and encouraging atmosphere of my theology classes. It was thrilling to study primary theological texts critically, and to present my views to a group sharing the same interests."

- Nick Mazanec '05

Stronger beliefs

Studying theology has led to an amazing increase in my faith. To know what is behind my beliefs historically has led to stronger beliefs.

- Brock Jones, '04