Religious Studies

Major in Religious Studies

Without a knowledge of religion, it is difficult to understand daily newspapers, modern history, and many of our own behavior patterns. In the Religious Studies Department, the methods and interests of the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences converge as students examine the role of religion in history, literature, and science; in human experience and diversity; and in culture, politics, and society.

About The Program

The requirements for a major in religious studies ensure that students not only acquire a broad base of knowledge, but develop skills of interpretation and methodological approaches that characterize a strong liberal arts education. Because these courses involve analysis, comparison, and interpretation and because they require sensitivity to the perspectives and practices of others, the study of religion prepares students well for careers in education, business, law, politics, diplomacy, counseling, public service, and ministry.

Major: Religious Studies (BA)
Religious Studies

Department Chair: Dr. Craig Wansink
College: Susan S. Goode School of Arts And Humanities

The religious studies major is designed to intro­ duce students to the diversity of religious beliefs and values. Students will develop “cultural literacy” in the major religions of the world and be able to understand concrete ethical/social issues from different faith perspectives. The courses in this major involve analysis, comparison, and interpretation and require sensitivity to the perspectives and practices of others.

All students at VWU complete a capstone course called the Senior Integrative Experience (SIE). The goal is to produce a major project that characterizes and integrates knowledge from multiple disciplines and responds to complex issues, problems, and questions within the student’s major area of study. Students majoring in religious studies can fulfill the SIE requirements by completing a course in Topics in Religion or Sports and Religion. Many students also take an intern­ ship course on Servant Leadership that allows them to both work in a particular ministry setting and then, with others, reflect academically on that experience.

The study of religion prepares students well for careers in ministry, education, social services, politics, journal­ ism, public health, and administration. Some students will go on to seminary, law school, or graduate school.