Major in Religious Studies

rotunda cross

A major in religious studies provides a comprehensive overview of the religious beliefs, practices, and values of Christianity and Judaism, as well as other religious traditions. 

The major in religious studies requires 36 credit hours. The following courses are required for all majors, regardless of concentration:

  • RST 112 Modern Belief
  • RST 201 Introduction to the Bible
  • RST 213 Jesus in Contemporary Perspective
  • RST 214 The Church Today
  • RST 215 Foundations of Christian Morality
  • RST 225 Sacraments in Practice

Majors have the option of pursuing one of two areas of concentration:

Church Ministry Concentration

This concentration is designed for those who intend to engage in some form of church ministry (e.g. preparing for work as a teacher of religion, director of religious education, or  youth minister). Courses required for this concentration are:

  • RST 340 Seminar: Religion and Education
  • RST 342 Seminar: Church Ministry
  • RST 443 Directed Field Experience
  • Nine credits of electives in Religious Studies

Christian Tradition Concentration

This concentration focuses on the Christian tradition, geared toward expertise in the Christian tradition in view perhaps of graduate study or research in that area. Courses required for this concentration are:

  • RST 205 Seminar: Readings in the Theology of Radical Human Existence
  • RST 340 Seminar: Religion and Education or RST 442 Seminar: Church Ministry
  • RST 444 Senior Research
  • Nine credits of electives in Religious Studies

Complimentary Courses

Regardless of concentration, majors are encouraged to complement Introduction to the Bible with one or more additional sacred scripture courses such as:

  • RST 203, Biblical Themes or 
  • RST 204, Jesus and the Gospels.  
  • The required Jesus in Contemporary Perspective could be complemented with RST 207, The Parables of Jesus. 
  • Foundations of Christian Morality could be supplemented with:
    • RST 216, Social Morality: National Issues or 
    • RST 233, Christian Social Morality: A Global Perspective. 
  • Sacraments in Practice could be deepened with RST 221, Christian Marriage. 

All Religious Studies majors would do well to take a religion course outside the boundaries of Christianity such as

  • RST 218, Contemporary Judaism or 
  • RST 217, Introduction to Eastern Religions.

Majors in both concentrations are further encouraged to complement their studies with specific cognate courses from other departments that relate to their particular interests and needs.  Majors in concentration 1 are advised to take Developmental Psychology (PSY 251), Educational Psychology (EDUC 311) and Social Foundations of Education (EDUC 414).

Plus Core Requirements:

  • PHIL course above 100 level
  • Mathematics course
  • Science course
  • Social Science course
  • English 180 course
  • English course – 300 level or above
  • Foreign Language – Two 3 credit courses
  • Fine Arts course
  • History – Two 3 credit courses

View course sequence