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Religious Studies


Religious Studies is an interdisciplinary minor devoted to the academic study of religion. The Religious Studies program educates students in the scholarly interpretation of religion while cultivating an understanding and respect for religious diversity and secular perspectives.

Religious Studies students become reflective and informed citizens who constructively engage in broader dialogue and debate on the role of religion in our communities and the world.

This program provides an essential background for students pursuing graduate programs in the humanities, social sciences and sciences, and professional programs in business, law and foreign service.

Religious Studies prepares future teachers, business leaders, social workers, healthcare 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.

What are the requirements for a minor in Religious Studies?

The Religious Studies minor is open to ALL students, including those majoring in Engineering, Business Studies or Nursing.  To earn a minor, students are required to take a total of 18 credits, consisting of 2 core courses plus electives.  This is in addition to the requirements of the major.

The Religious Studies Courses and Faculty pages provide specific information about the courses listed below.

 Religious Studies minor core courses:

    • REL 201: Introduction to Religious Studies
    • REL 395: World Religions and Spirituality

    In these two courses, students:

    • Engage in the academic exploration of different disciplinary approaches to the study of religion (historical, social, political, intellectual, philosophical, scientific, literary, and artistic).
    • Learn about the variety of methods employed to understand religion.
    • Study different religious traditions, analyzing the continuities and changes within religious traditions and the operation of religions in particular social contexts.

Religious Studies Elective Courses

Students receive personal advising as to choices of elective courses from different disciplines that reflect their individual interests and academic goals.

  • REL 308/ANT 308 Religion in Social & Cultural Contexts
  • ANT 348/SOC 348 Catholic Culture in America
  • ANT 366/SOC 366 Religion & Music in the African Diaspora
  • HST 302 History of Religion in America I
  • HST 303 History of Religion in America II
  • HST 393 Western Man & the Cosmos I
  • HST 394 Western Man & the Cosmos II
  • HST (329-proposed #) Early Middle Ages
  • HST (330-proposed #) Late Middle Ages
  • HST 332 The Reformation
  • HST 357 Empires of Central Asia
  • HST 359 History of Terrorism in the Middle East
  • HST 397 A History of Christianity to the Reformation
  • HST 402 Seminar: Science and Religion: Historical Perspectives


  • PHL 325 Philosophy of Religion
Political Science
  • PSC 366 Islam and Politics
Special Topics Courses:
  • REL 300/ANT 350 Jews and Judaism
  • REL 300 The Bible and Its Influence
  • REL 300/PHL 300 Israel in the Religious Imagination
  • REL Religious and Ethical Responses to the Holocaust
  • REL 300 Women and the Bible
  • REL 300 Religion and Human Rights
  • PHL 300 Buddhism
  • HST 300 History of Islam