Major in Religious Studies

The Department of Religious Studies offers a large number of courses that enables students to explore the breadth and depth of their interests in the human condition.

Explore a World of Religious Diversity

Students who major in religious studies will complete a minimum of seven courses in the Department of Religious Studies six of which, are not stipulated while the seventh and culminating course is the departmental capstone, REL 490 Senior Seminar. Student majors may—with the advice and consent of their faculty adviser—choose to study a broad array of diverse courses, or choose to study courses within a particular focus that address a particular concern.

With the approval of their faculty adviser, students may select courses from the following areas of focus or from any of the other departmental courses.

Religious Studies

  • REL 323 Religion and Science
  • REL 325 Sociology of Religions
  • REL 328 Problem of Evil
  • REL 347 Theories of Religion

History of Religions

  • REL 240 World Religions
  • REL 241 Introduction to Judaism
  • REL 242 Issues in Islam
  • REL 343 Islamic Mysticism
  • REL 309 Search for the Historical Jesus
  • REL 320 Emergence of Christian Theology
  • REL 346 African American Religious Traditions
  • REL 350 Religion in America

Biblical Studies

  • REL 200 Introduction to Biblical Studies
  • REL 205 Bible as Literature
  • REL 302 Biblical Prophets & Current Contexts
  • REL 305 Visions, Revolts, and Messiahs: Second Temple Judaism
  • REL 306 The Story of Jesus: The Synoptic Gospels
  • REL 307 Paul, the Apostle
  • REL 314 Feminist Biblical Interpretations

Christian Theology

  • REL 320 Emergence of Christian Thought
  • REL 321 Modern and Contemporary Theology
  • REL 322 Theologies of Liberation
  • REL 324 Problem of God

Ethics and Social Justice

  • BID 355 Native Americans: Public Policy, Religion and Justice
  • REL 230 Christian Social Ethics
  • REL 302 Biblical Prophets & Current Contexts
  • REL 331 Religious Ethics and Human Sexuality
  • REL 332 Religious Ethics and Health Care
  • REL 430 Niebuhr Seminar: God and Justice

Christian Ministry

  • REL 200 Introduction to Biblical Studies
  • REL 280 Ministry
  • REL 321 Modern and Contemporary Theology
  • REL 268/368/468 Internship

Serving Society

  • REL 240 World Religions
  • REL 281 Serving Society
  • REL 268/368/468 Internship
  • REL 430 Niebuhr Seminar: God and Justice

Student majors in religious studies are encouraged (but not required) to complete a second major and/or minor through other academic departments in topics of their concerns. For example, a major in religious studies easily fits with and corresponds to majors in nursing, business, education, pre-med, psychology or social work. In today’s world, it is more apparent than ever for students to be fully equipped after graduation for meaningful employment or for graduate studies—and double majors do just this!

The Minor

Students who minor in religious studies will successfully complete any four courses of their choosing within the Department of Religious Studies. After they have completed their third course, minors are encouraged but not required to register for the department’s capstone, REL 490 Senior Seminar.

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