Religious Studies, BA, BS, Minor


About the Program

The mission of the Religious Studies program is to educate students in the liberal arts tradition through the examination of the complexity, richness, and variety of religion as an aspect of human experience within a dynamic and changing society.  Students acquire knowledge and skills necessary for the graduate study of religion and for a variety of professional careers.

Its goals are to:

  • foster an understanding of human values through the study of religious traditions such as myth, ritual and sacred texts;
  • prepare students for success in further educational pursuits and/or professional endeavors by teaching critical thinking, communication and other relevant skills;
  • stimulate an appreciation of lifelong learning in the humanities, both on and off campus, by offering service learning opportunities;
  • uphold the merit criteria of teaching, scholarship and service outlined in the Faculty Handbook.

Students who major in Religious Studies explore the important role played by faith traditions in shaping the Western intellectual tradition. Religions have played, and continue to play, a profound role in the way people shape their lives. The Religious Studies program examines the nature of religious conviction and explores how those convictions shape our perception of life and death, good and evil, justice and mercy.

A person majoring in Religious Studies can expect to build a solid foundation for his or her own religious experiences and lay the groundwork for further exploration of the Bible, religion and theology. He or she can also expect to develop an enlightened perspective from which to approach other religious traditions and academic disciplines. Students in Religious Studies strive toward a career and lifestyle guided by religious faith and understanding, in religious fields as well as other fields of study. 

Students who graduate with a degree in Religious Studies pursue a wide variety of careers and graduate programs. No matter what your career goals are, a Religious Studies major can prepare you with skills for a variety of professions while enhancing lifelong learning.

Outcomes of Graduates

  1. Students will demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of religious traditions in relation to human religious experience and practice.

  2. Students will critically and reflectively evaluate religious convictions and recognize religious diversity within the context of twenty-first century culture.

  3. Students will discover and evaluate the diversity and similarity of contemporary religious conviction in the context of personal values and Christian heritage.

  4. Students will demonstrate analytical and interpretive skills by means of the written and spoken word as they read and compare canonical texts.  (In this instance, canonical implies both scriptural texts and works of scholarship.)