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Religious Studies, also known as Comparative Religion, the Science of Religion, or the academic study of religion, is a part of the human sciences, and it engages in the analysis of cross-cultural religious phenomena. As such, the mission of Religious Studies is to foster critical awareness of the role religion in society, the ways in which people’s values and worldviews shape their involvement in the world, such as business, law, and government, and to provide tools for students to track and measure these developments socially and reflectively in themselves.

General Education Requirements
Core Competencies12
Writing 1
Writing 2
Communication Foundations
Quantitative Reasoning
Introduction to Logic
Arts and Humanities6
Recommended choices: REL 2608, REL 2610
Natural Sciences (Select 2 - one must include lab of any approved GER lab science course)7
Social Science6
Social and Personal Awareness6
Recommended choices: REL 2617, REL 2631
First-Year Experience3
Select one course from AH, NS, SS, or SPA
Foreign Language (through 2600 unless satisfied by placement exam)
1550 Language
2600 Language
Required Courses for Major (31 s.h. - 22 s.h. must be at the 3700-level or higher)
Religious Studies Core Courses
REL 2602Introduction to Religious Studies3
REL 4825Methods and Study of Religion3
Group A: Select one course from:
REL 2617Introduction to Asian Religions3
REL 3708African-American Religion3
REL 3710African and Neo-African Religion3
REL 3720The World of Islam3
REL 3726Buddhist Beliefs Practices and Debate3
REL 3744Islamic Culture and Literature3
REL 3748Islam and the West3
Group B: Select one course from:
REL 2611Judaism Christianity and Islam3
REL 3732Jesus and the Gospels3
REL 3722Popes Saints and Rebels3
REL 3731Hebrew Scriptures3
REL 3733Women And the Bible3
ANTH 4815Anthropology of Religion3
JUDC 1500Introduction to Jewish Studies3
HIST 3789Jewish History3
Analytics - Select one course from two of the analytic groups:6
Political Science:
Global Ethics
Religion and the Earth
Reform, Revolt, or Revolution in Islam
Islamic Culture and Literature
Liberation Theologies and Revolutionary Change
Religion and Violence
The Holocaust
Hindu Traditions
Anthropology of Religion
Religion and Race
The Examined Life
Religion and Moral Issues
Philosophy of Religion
Feminism, Ecology and Religion
Psychology of Religion
Remaining Hours:
REL 4850Seminar in Religious Studies3
REL 4869Capstone Cooperative Seminar1
REL 4871Senior Capstone Project3
Religious Studies Electives6
Electives Must complete a minimum number of electives to meet the 120sh total graduation requirement
Total Degree Hours = 120 s.h.
Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
REL 2602 Introduction to Religious Studies 3
CMST 1545 Communication Foundations 3
ENGL 1550 Writing 1 3
First Year Experience 3
Foreign Language 1550 4
 Semester Hours16
REL 37XX Group A 3
Social Science 15XX/26XX 3
ENGL 1551 Writing 2 3
REL 37XX Group B 3
Foreign Language 2600 4
 Semester Hours16
Year 2
PHIL 2619
Introduction to Logic
or Quantitative Reasoning
Natural Science 15XX/26XX 3
Minor 15XX/26XX course 3
Social and Personal Awareness 15XX/26XX 3
Elective 15XX/26XX 3
 Semester Hours15
REL 37XX Analytics 3
REL 37XX Analytics 3
Minor 15XX/26XX course 3
Natural Science plus lab 15XX/26XX 4
Social and Personal Awareness 15XX/26XX 3
 Semester Hours16
Year 3
Elective 3
REL Elective 3
Minor 15XX/26XX course 3
Elective 37XX 3
Elective 37XX 3
 Semester Hours15
REL Elective 3
Minor 37XX course 3
Elective 3
Elective 37XX 3
Elective 37XX 3
 Semester Hours15
Year 4
REL 4825 Methods and Study of Religion 3
Minor 37XX course 3
Elective 37XX 3
REL 4850 Seminar in Religious Studies 3
Elective 15XX/26XX 3
 Semester Hours15
REL 4871 Senior Capstone Project 3
REL 4869 Capstone Cooperative Seminar 1
Minor 37XX course 3
Elective XXXX 3
Elective 37XX 3
 Semester Hours13
 Total Semester Hours121

Learning Objectives

  •  Students will understand the various approaches to the study of religion under the field that is called Religious Studies. This is accomplished through enrollment in the two core course, “Introduction to Religious Studies,” and “Methods and the Study of Religion."
  •  Students will develop an appreciation of two discrete religious systems to allow for healthy comparisons. This is accomplished by fulfilling the requirement of taking one course from “Class A,” which addresses Christian and Jewish traditions, and “Class B,” which covers Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, and African-American traditions.
  • Students will accumulate two different methods to study religion. This is accomplished through the enrolment of one course from at least two different analytic groups: anthropology, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology.