Word in Action: Theology as “an intellectual, creative, and active habit.”


International Samaritan was recently mentioned in the Journal of Catholic Higher Education.  The essay, Service Learning and the Core Curriculum: Two Models for Doing Theology as Service Learning in the Core, was written by Christopher McMahon, PhD.,  a veteran leader of six IS Service Learning Immersions. Dr. McMahon is Associate  Professor of Theology and Acting Chair, Department of Theology at St. Vincent College. The article discussed the essential integration of theology in the curriculum of Catholic colleges and universities.  Reflecting on combining spirituality and action, McMahon noted, “The aspect of doing makes the study of theology a more concrete experience, one that compels students to use the Christian tradition to wrestle with questions of poverty and justice.”

Using IS Service Learning Immersions as an example, McMahon cited research showing service learning helped students become agents of change in their communities and enabled them to think critically about the claims of the Catholic tradition. 

“The service learning approach,” he asserted, “empowers students to examine theology from the perspective of history as well as that of personal commitment.”

Dr. McMahon claims service learning experiences like those offered by International Samaritan present theology as “an intellectual, creative, and active habit.”