Today, when international conflicts and national politics are often influenced by religious faith, the need for scholars and students who have a deep understanding of religious faith and traditions has perhaps never been greater. The Department of Religious Studies is dedicated to producing a new generation of interdisciplinary scholars and thinkers in the field, and to fostering an ongoing discussion, both around campus and in the larger community, about the role of faith in the modern world.
Graduates can pursue a variety of careers, ranging from pastoral ministry, college teaching, mission work, church music, and religious publishing to directing children’s homes and lobbying for passage of church-supported legislation. The strong liberal arts background for religious studies also allows graduates to find positions in business, criminal justice, urban planning, journalism and social work.
As a religious studies majors explore the many roles religion has played and continues to play both in society and in individual people's lives. Whether it is Zen monks, ancient Christian martyrs, Muslim and Jewish women, Hindu saints or Chinese philosophers, our courses introduce students to people and phenomena from all over the world. Learning about religion provides an opportunity to explore different cultures and develop a more global perspective.
Religious studies courses help to develop critical-thinking abilities, analytical reading and writing skills and a capacity for interpretation and comparison — abilities that are essential in every field of study. Through Maymester programs and study abroad opportunities, students have been able to travel to India, China, Japan, Greece, Turkey and elsewhere.