Religion Studies Major

Religion Studies

The Religion Studies concentration is founded on the study of the ancient multicultural traditions of the Mediterranean peoples, whose multiple worldviews gave rise to religious traditions that, together with the classical heritage, shaped successive Western civilizations. Students begin with a core of classics courses, in order to understand the cultural context within which the traditions of Second-Temple Judaism, Rabbinic Judaism and early Christianities arise. Concentration requirements form an introduction to the content of classical world religions, including major Eastern traditions and Islam, and to the study of religion as an academic discipline. Upper division courses examine the classical and Western traditions in greater depth, explore the reception of and discourse about Western traditions with medieval and modern societies, or take a comparative approach to the examination of non-Western traditions. The program emphasizes critical thinking skills and provides a liberal arts education especially well-suited for those planning on careers as religious professionals.

For all Classics majors, colloquia are regularly offered, covering such thematic topics as violence, gender and sexuality, and ancient Christianities. A Classics major provides an excellent foundation in the Western humanities while sharpening a student’s analytical skills and English vocabulary though the systematic study of the ancient languages. 

Career Opportunities

As a foundational discipline in the liberal arts, Classics does not prepare you for one narrow path of employment. Rather, it develops effective communication and cognitive skills, and provides you with experience in analyzing and solving problems in a variety of contexts: historical, literary, philosophical, and aesthetic. Graduates with a Classics degree have gone on to careers in law, higher education, business, nonprofit, politics and religion. A bachelor's degree in Classics also provides preparation for those wishing to pursue graduate study in a number of fields including classical philology, history, literature, religion and archaeology.

Admission Requirements

General Admissions for Freshman Students: Admission Requirements at the Kent Campus: The freshman admission policy at the Kent Campus is selective. Admission decisions are based upon the following: cumulative grade point average, ACT and/or SAT scores, strength of high school college preparatory curriculum and grade trends.

The university affirmatively strives to provide educational opportunities and access to students with varied backgrounds, those with special talents and adult students who graduated from high school three or more years ago. For more information on admissions, visit the admissions website for new freshmen.

For more information about admission criteria for transfer, transitioning and former students, please visit the admissions website.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum 120 total credit hours and 42 upper-division credit hours. Minimum 2.000 cumulative GPA and 2.000 major GPA.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Religion Studies concentration will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate understandings of the Greek or Roman cultural contexts within which Jewish and Christian texts were produced.
  2. Appreciate the contributions of western antiquity to modern religious thought of a wide variety of faiths and doctrines.
  3. Distinguish between ancient and modern religious values and biases.
  4. Apply critical thinking to matters of difficult interpretation.
  5. Employ a variety of methodologies to study religions of the past and present.
  6. Use primary source materials-both literary and material-to understand better the complexities of religion, in both the ancient Greco-Roman world and the modern world.