Major in Religious Studies

The Department of Religious Studies offers a large number of courses that enable 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 advisor—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 Religion
  • REL 328 The Problem of Evil
  • REL 347 Theories of Religion

History of Religions

  • REL 240 World Religions: General Introduction
  • REL 241 Introduction to Judaism
  • REL 243 The Religions of India
  • REL 343 Islamic Mysticism and the Poetry of Rumi
  • REL 309 Quest for the Historical Jesus
  • REL 320 The Emergence of Christian Thought
  • REL 346 African American Religious Traditions
  • REL 350 Religion in America

Study of Scriptures

  • REL 200 Introduction to Biblical Studies
  • REL 205 Bible as Literature
  • REL 244 Understanding the Qur’an
  • REL 302 Biblical Prophets and the Current Context
  • REL 305 Visions, Revolts and Messiahs: Second Temple Judaism
  • REL 306 The Synoptic Gospels: The Story of Jesus
  • REL 307 Paul the Apostle: His Letters and Thought
  • REL 314 Women in the Bible: Gender and Culture

Christian Theology

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

Ethics and Social Justice

  • REL 230 Christian Social Ethics
  • REL 242 Issues in Islam: Gender, Politics and Human Rights
  • REL 302 Biblical Prophets and the Current Context
  • REL 331 Religious Ethics and Human Sexuality
  • REL 332 Religious Ethics and Health Care
  • REL 430 The Niebuhr Seminar: God and Justice

Christian Ministry

  • REL 200 Introduction to Biblical Studies
  • REL 280 Ministry: Callings and Practice
  • REL 321 Modern and Contemporary Christian Thought
  • REL 268/368/468 Internship (0.50, 1.00 or 1.50 credit)

Serving Society

  • REL 240 World Religions: General Introduction
  • REL 281 Serving Society: Faith Perspectives
  • REL 268/368/468 Internship (0.50, 1.00 or 1.50 credit)
  • REL 430 The 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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