The Religious Studies Minor is an interdisciplinary minor devoted to the academic study of religion and administered by the Philosophy Department. The goal of the program is to educate students in the scholarly interpretation of religion and to cultivate understanding of and respect for religious diversity (and secular perspectives) cross-culturally and historically. It also encourages students to become reflective and informed citizens who can constructively engage in broader dialogue and debate on the role of religion in our communities and the world.
The core curriculum of the Religious Studies Minor involves the academic exploration of different disciplinary approaches (historical, social, political, intellectual, philosophical, scientific, literary and artistic) to the study of religion, exposing students to the variety of methods employed to understand religion (REL 201, Introduction to Religious Studies); and to different religious traditions, providing study of the continuities and changes within religious traditions and the operation of religions in particular social contexts (REL 395, Wold Religions and Spirituality). Students will receive personal advising as to choices of elective courses from different disciplines that reflect their individual interests and academic goals.
Religious Studies provides an excellent background for students pursuing graduate programs in the humanities, social sciences and sciences; and professional programs in business, law and foreign service. At the same time, Religious Studies prepares future teachers, business leaders, social workers, health care professionals, journalists, artists and citizens to reflectively situate religion in their own lives and appreciate the complexities of religious differences in a pluralistic society and world.
The Religious Studies minor is open to ALL students. To earn a minor, students are required to take a total of 18 credits, consisting of 2 core courses and electives. The core courses are REL 201, Introduction to Religious Studies; and REL 395, World Religions and Spirituality (HST 395). Of the 12 elective credits, 9 (3 courses) must be at or above the 300-level.
For the electives, students choose from a developing list of courses from across many disciplines. Individual advising is provided so that student’s electives in Religious Studies reflect his/her interests and educational goals. Independent study with Religious Studies affiliates is also available.