I was a biological sciences major who ended up going on to medical school and am currently in residency training to be a family physician, and I feel my theology classes at Notre Dame were vital to my formation. We as humans are so much more than our careers!
Yes Notre Dame does a great job of shaping young men and women into people with successful careers, but to be honest, I could've gotten into medical school going just about anywhere. Notre Dame is so special because of who it turned me into, not what. I'm a cradle Catholic, but theology courses in my first two years opened me up to the excitement of exploring religion and faith and motivated me to keep seeking.
I was honestly a little bit disappointment when my first year theo was a world religions course and not strictly about Catholicism, but exploring other religions and the universal symbols used by different cultures helped open my eyes to the beauty of our faith as well as others. Other theo classes helped further my understanding of the sacraments and have helped me connect with the Church and the Body of Christ throughout different phases and struggles both in college and beyond.
Without the theology background I gained at Notre Dame, I wouldn't be the doctor I am today.
I wouldn't be as compassionate; I wouldn't be as effective caring for people from other faith backgrounds and finding the human connection we all share as travelers on the journey; and I simply wouldn't be as confident addressing the spiritual side of my patients' lives. That's where I excel compared to many of my peers, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Nor would the Blessed Virgin on top of that shiny dome.
Keep theology a part of the core curriculum at Notre Dame...
And GO IRISH!
Stephen Eckart, MD