When religious beliefs are applied in practical ways, then that is known as applied theology. This term typically refers to Christian theological beliefs that are lived out during the normal activities of an adherent. It also refers to the works or the way of functioning of Christian missions or ministry. Missions in general help to spread theological beliefs and how people should live them. Usually, theological seminars are held where discourses are held in applied theology. Often, such coursework is part of a theology degree program that a candidate undergoes. Other faiths and how they should apply the religious belief inherent in them are similar applications of theology.
Applied theology and its practice are seen in many Christian missionary works. There is evidence of evangelistic efforts, volunteerism, and acts of mercy that are seen as applied theology where a more humane approach is taken. Through such acts, Christian beliefs are impressed upon by adherents to those who do not follow Christian doctrines.
The acts of kindness that are shown to people who suffer are often a field of applied theology. However, such attempts are not without controversy as many feel that such acts are intrusive. However, many charities across the world continue to work with the belief that their religion requires them to offer charity to others. Often, such acts are carried out with theological arguments given in support for such actions.
Often applied theology was misinterpreted by many who tried to impress as well as convert others to Christian beliefs. Legal action is taken around such efforts in order to protect those who practice practical theology. Such laws in the US restrain the evangelistic zeal being shown to the public. In the US there are laws under freedom of religion act where protection is given to those who wish to express their views on applied theology and to ensure that they can draw someone to participate in a ritual or a debate without coercion or persuasion.
Many Christian seminaries offer courses in applied theology and pastors engage in such activities as part of their ministerial duties. Many religious institutions help people who are poor, are in grief or suffering. Many Christian ministers are required to assist such people in order to retain or be suitable for such posts. However, application of one’s faith cannot be restricted to Christianity alone. It might be the first religion that actively advocates such actions, but every other faith needs to create a sense of responsibility towards others among every follower. Indeed, applied theology should transcend beyond the barriers of a specific religion and help people realize humanity as being the greatest religion of all. That would be the ultimate aim of any scientific approach to such a field of studies.