Because the field of religious studies is multidimensional, a program for majors must acquaint them with each of these dimensions — world religions, sacred texts, theology, ethics — as well as enable them to pursue in-depth the particular area of their own interest.
A major is required to take 10 courses in the department, including one course in each of the following areas: world religions, sacred texts, theology, and ethics; and two intensive courses (seminars or tutorials) in the student’s area of concentration. For those students who intend to pursue graduate studies in religion or theology, the department strongly advises competence in a classical as well as a modern language, and in the social sciences and philosophy.
Tutorial reading programs and individual research projects are available to the qualified student by arrangement with the appropriate instructor and the department chair.
Religious studies minors are required to take six courses in the department. These must include courses from two different religious traditions and represent at least three of the four subject areas the department covers: world religions, sacred texts, theology, and ethics. In addition, at least two courses should be at the 200-level or above, one of which must be a seminar. Minors are encouraged to have an instructor from the department to assist them as they shape their program in the study of religion. A course taken in Montserrat carrying an R designation might be counted toward the minor with the approval of the department chair.