Philosophy & Religious Studies

General Info About Religious Studies

Religious studies is the academic examination of one of the most important phenomena of human culture. Its objective is to illuminate the diverse ways that religion confers meaning and value and to examine religion's power to transform lives and cultures. It investigates the ideas, practices, and styles of life basic to religion, as well as the role religion plays in human culture, society, history, and psychology. Religious studies is a cross-cultural, interdisciplinary approach to human values and meaning systems and does not advocate any particular religious ideas or beliefs. Instead it encourages an appreciation of the rich diversity of religious perspectives.

Why a Major In Religious Studies?

"The study of religion leads in many directions, qualifying undergraduates for further study in graduate school and giving them a leg up in certain areas of the job market. Most religion departments offer students training in a unique combination of skills, including direct observation, critical thinking, and cross-cultural understanding. In many professional fields, such skills are in high demand. In addition, many religion majors or minors go on to study law, business, education, and medicine in graduate school. Some students choose to make religion the center of a professional career, either as the leader of a religious community, or as an academic specialist in higher education. In short, the study of religion offers a wide array of opportunities and a firm foundation for a successful and fulfilling career." Source:

Religious Studies Faculty


Some examples of courses include:

  • Exploring Religion
  • World Religions
  • The Christians
  • The Bible
  • Religion in America
  • Women in Religion
  • Great Religious Thinkers
  • Hinduism
  • Buddhism
  • Judaism
  • Islam
  • Jesus

For more information about courses, view the catalog listing.

Mary Olive Woods Scholarship

View the Mary Olive Woods Page for more information.

Study Abroad Opportunities:

"Stories of India" is a ten day trip to North India led by Dr. Haynes and Dr. McIlvaine-Newsad (Sociology & Anthropology).  The January 2012 trip will allow students to earn Religious Studies and/or Anthropology credit.   Email Dr. Haynes or Dr. McIlvaine-Newsad for more information.  

Next interest meetings:

September 8th at 1:00PM, Room TBD

September 20th at 3:300PM, Room TBD