About the Department
The Department of Religious Studies offers courses about the teachings and practices of the world's major religions from an academic perspective. Courses focus on the history and philosophy of religions including their origins, sacred texts, rituals and practices, beliefs, and subgroups. The courses provide a broad understanding of the nature and role of religion in the world's many cultures, present and past, for students in all fields, as well as integrated programs for majors in religious studies.
The department annually sponsors two programs, the Ira E. Gaston Lecture in Christianity and the Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in Asian Religion, which bring eminent scholars to campus for lectures and seminars.
Preparation. The best high school or community college preparation for an undergraduate program in religious studies is a good general background in social science and humanities.
Careers. An undergraduate major in religious studies can lead to graduate work in preparation for teaching religious studies or to religious education at a seminary in preparation for a career as a religious leader. Recent graduates have gone on to graduate study in China, to law school, to teaching, and to work in social service organizations, among others. A major in religious studies provides broad training and enrichment for any of the humanitarian professions.