Dec 05, 2023  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
2023-2024 University Catalog

Religious Studies website

Religious Studies, Department of

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Department Chair

Zakyi Ibrahim

Department Office/Website

Gordon Hall 313


M. Zakyi Ibrahim, Paul Levesque, James Santucci, Jeanette Reedy Solano, Bradley Starr, Mugdha Yeolekar



The Religious Studies Department describes, analyzes, and interprets the developments, worldviews, and practices of religions in an academic manner. Through research and teaching, we seek to enhance understanding of the ways religion as a global phenomenon impacts different spheres of life. We equip students with the knowledge to become active and engaged citizens working in a variety of careers.


  1. Offer classes that explore world’s religions in an inclusive environment with a global perspective using relevant High Impact Practices (HIPs)
  2. Provide supportive environment for timely graduation through accessible class offerings and effective advising
  3. Recruit and support high quality and diverse faculty whose research and teaching contribute to an understanding of the varieties of religious thought, experience, and impact on contemporary society
  4. Pursue resources to facilitate effective and continuous support for our students, faculty, and department activities

Within a public university, religion must be approached with academic objectivity and without favoritism for any one tradition. Yet, religion must also be studied with sensitivity and empathy for the millions of believers whose lives are shaped by their faith.

Religious Studies examines the spiritual quest of humankind, especially as it has manifested itself in the world’s living religions. These include Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and other less familiar traditions. No other academic field looks at the origins, sacred writings, rituals, beliefs and world views of the various religions for their own sake, rather than as an aspect of another field of study.

Because the major consists of 36 units of coursework (less than some other fields), it may be possible to add a second major in, for example, Communications, History or Philosophy. Such double majors may strengthen a student’s job preparation or background for graduate studies.

Minors are offered in four areas, depending on a student’s particular interest: Religious Studies; Christian Studies; Jewish Studies; and Islamic Studies.

Degree Description

The Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies is designed for those who: 1) want a humanities undergraduate background focusing on religion as a preparation for further study in such fields as education, law, politics, social work, counseling and government service; 2) wish to pursue graduate studies in religion with the aim of teaching and/or conducting research in the subject; 3) are considering a career in various religious ministries or in religious education. The curriculum provides new ways of understanding the world, exciting methods of analysis, and sophistication in the interpretation of religious texts, beliefs and practices. Interacting with each other and outside communities, students learn to think, write and speak with clarity and precision, conduct research on complex issues and listen and relate to others with understanding and respect.

Learning Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

Programs and Courses Offered


    Bachelor of ArtsNon-Degree


      Religious Studies

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