Religious studies students at Elmhurst expand their horizons and serve their communities through a variety of special programs. As a student here, you might build affordable homes in South Africa, offer incense at a temple in India, observe Coptic worship in Jerusalem, tutor at-risk children, or spend a semester studying and living as a seminary student.
Theta Alpha Kappa
The department maintains an active membership in the national honor society for religious studies, Theta Alpha Kappa. Committed to the scholarly study of religion in all its diversity, TAK members recognize and encourage scholarship excellence in religious studies, research, publications, and presentations. Membership is open to undergraduate and graduate students and to qualified honorary members (e.g., faculty, alumni, and administrators). For more information, please contact the chair of the Department of Religious Studies.
Niebuhr Center for Faith in Action
Elmhurst’s Niebuhr Center offers faith-motivated students of every religion the opportunity to explore their callings to professions of service or ministry through an integrated set of academic programs and activities.
Elmhurst goes far beyond ordinary internships, where you might learn a narrow task in a given field. You’ll take on in-depth, substantive projects in the ministry or with organizations that serve society—such as the Niagara Foundation, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, the Empowerment Zone of Chicago, Mercy Children’s Homes, and the Parliament of World Religions. You might even provide humanitarian service in other world cultures and societies. To find out more about internships, see the Center for Professional Excellence or the Niebuhr Center.
Mentoring & Shadowing
A mentoring relationship gives you the opportunity to interact one-on-one with seasoned professionals in a field of your interest. Our professional mentors invite you to draw on the wisdom they’ve gained in some of today’s most rewarding careers. Shadowing means you don’t have to choose a career sight unseen. You can shadow a variety of professionals as they make decisions, engage colleagues, and complete professional goals. Check with the Niebuhr Center or the Center for Professional Excellence for more information.
A number of the department’s courses incorporate a service-learning component by which students acquire academic knowledge through benevolent service, critical reflection, and discussions in small groups. Past service projects include tutoring at-risk grade school students, helping Cook County Jail inmates complete their GEDs, teaching English to new immigrants, helping severely disabled children in developmental programs, and working in homeless shelters.
Religion majors may take advantage of a variety of study-abroad opportunities, ranging from one-month courses to full-year study programs. Study sites include England, Israel, Palestine, Spain and India.