Who Takes Religious Studies Courses?

Students include Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, agnostics, atheists, and the simply curious. Many students have grown up in a religious tradition and, in college, are starting to have serious questions about what that tradition means and about how it has shaped them. Courses are academic and are conducted in a non-partisan manner.

Why Should College Students Take Religious Studies Courses?
  • To learn about the diversity of religious traditions, viewpoints, and activities.
  • To see how religious perspectives shape and are shaped by various academic disciplines (e.g., history, sociology, psychology, art, literature, anthropology, political science).
  • To examine religion's relation to other cultural forms by analyzing beliefs, institutions, and ethical expressions so as to find answers to questions about cultural life.
  • To understand how acts, feelings, attitudes, and songs, drama, philosophy, and architecture shape and reflect values.
  • To place one's own religious life within a broader perspective and become familiar with different answers to life's most basic questions.
  • In addition, without a knowledge of religion it is difficult to understand daily newspapers, modern history, and many of the behavior patterns in which we ourselves regularly are engaged. Religion and religious beliefs actively help to shape not only individuals, but also culture, the social order, and world affairs.
What Careers Do Religious Studies Majors Have?

Students in Religious Studies pursue a variety of vocations. Some go on to seminary, law school, or graduate school. Some become ministers, missionaries, Christian educators, teachers, professors, and administrators. Some go into journalism, social services, counseling, or public service.

I Want To Be A Minister Or Religion Professor. Do I Have To Major In Religion?

No. Religious studies courses at VWU not only prepare students for graduate work but also offer distinctive perspectives on the relationship between religious studies and other disciplines/systems of thought.

Is Religious Studies The Same As Religious Life?

No. "Religious Studies" refers to the study of religion in the classroom; it does not refer to the practice of religion. The practice of religion is guided by the entirely separate Office of University Chaplain. Religious Studies is an academic discipline. Religious life is the "practice" of religion on campus.

For more information, please contact either the Admissions Office at 757.455.3208 or Dr. Craig Wansink, Coordinator of Religious Studies 757.455.3406.