Religion

The study of religion is the study of beliefs, practices and texts that have sustained people over time. Our majors encounter the diversity of global and historical religious traditions, and they investigate the ways religion has been used to both bolster inequality and also fight injustice.

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100%
of religion majors from the classes of 2017-2019 were working or in grad school within six months of graduation.
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66%
Nearly two-thirds of our students go on to graduate school within six years of graduation.
Outcomes

Top job industries for 2017-2019 graduates included nonprofits and government.

Exploring the big questions

Our faculty members are accomplished scholars, whose work helps enrich classes. James Logan’s acclaimed Good Punishment?: Christian Moral Practice and U.S. Imprisonment informs his class Mass Incarceration and Moral Vision, and Rebekah Trollinger’s current book project on Shaker visionaries undergirds her class Prophetic Black Women.

Student-led research

You will have the opportunity to do intensive, interdisciplinary research, such as Celia Carr’s recent honors thesis titled “Toward a Mycotheology,” which brought together her biology and religion majors and asked, how might fungi interdependence help us think differently about our relationship with creation?

Off-campus study

Earlham offers off-campus programs that include the study of religion within India among Tibetan communities, Buddhist studies in Thailand, and off-campus programs in China, France, Japan and Spain.

Learn more

Our faculty

By drawing on the expertise of a range of fields, our faculty demonstrate the diversity and creativity of the study of religion.

Program details

The study of religion at Earlham offers you a strong foundation in critical thinking and communication skills. Among the many careers our alumni pursue are social work, law, conflict resolution, counseling psychology, food production and policy, and entrepreneurship in the arts.

As a liberal arts college, Earlham offers multiple disciplinary and interdisciplinary majors and minors in which students cultivate deep and specific knowledge and experience. Equally important, the College expects every student to develop broad, general skills and proficiencies across the curriculum.

As part of their general education, students complete six credits in each academic division of the College: humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and visual and performing arts. In addition, students meet requirements for first-year courses, analytical reasoning, perspectives on diversity and wellness.

Learn more about general education at Earlham.

To earn a Bachelor of Arts in religion, you must complete the following courses, in addition to general education requirements.

Students majoring in religion will complete a minimum of 32 credits.

  • The following two courses are required:
    • REL 310 Is Religion “T(t)rue”?
    • REL 488 Senior Capstone Experience: Research Seminar
  • One course from each of the three subject areas — Texts, Histories, Moral Vision — is required:
    • Texts
      • REL 144 Bible in Politics
      • REL 171 Saints in South Asia
      • REL 209 Religion and Popular Literature in the United States
      • REL 309 Prophetic Black Women
      • Another Religion course approved by the Department Convener.
    • Histories
      • REL 172 Buddhist Traditions of the World
      • REL 205 Introduction to Quaker History
      • REL 230 History of African American Religious Experiences
      • REL 232 Women, Gender and Sexuality in the Jewish Tradition
      • Another Religion course approved by the Department Convener.
    • Moral Vision
      • REL 204 The New Promised Land
      • REL 299 Religion and Culture of Hip Hop
      • REL 303 Human Rights in the Muslim World
      • REL 304 Judaism, the Other and the State: Encounters in Modern Jewish Thought
      • REL 330 Mass Incarceration and Moral Vision
      • REL 333 Gender and Sexuality in Muslim Middle East and North Africa
      • Another Religion course approved by the Department Convener.
  • Four upper-level (300+) elective courses in Religion are required.

Religion as a major field of study provides a center around which to integrate liberal arts studies as well as a background for vocations such as ministry, teaching, counseling and social work.

View a full list of courses and their descriptions.

Yes! Students minoring in religion will complete a minimum of 20 credits.

  • The following course is required:
    • REL 310 Is Religion “T(t)rue”?
  • One course from each of the three subject areas — Texts, Histories, Moral Vision — is required:
    • Texts
      • REL 144 Bible in Politics
      • REL 171 Saints in South Asia
      • REL 209 Religion and Popular Literature in the United States
      • REL 309 Prophetic Black Women
      • Another Religion course approved by the Department Convener.
    • Histories
      • REL 172 Buddhist Traditions of the World
      • REL 205 Introduction to Quaker History
      • REL 230 History of African American Religious Experiences
      • REL 232 Women, Gender and Sexuality in the Jewish Tradition
      • Another Religion course approved by the Department Convener.
    • Moral Vision
      • REL 204 The New Promised Land
      • REL 299 Religion and Culture of Hip Hop
      • REL 303 Human Rights in the Muslim World
      • REL 304 Judaism, the Other and the State: Encounters in Modern Jewish Thought
      • REL 330 Mass Incarceration and Moral Vision
      • REL 333 Gender and Sexuality in Muslim Middle East and North Africa
      • Another Religion course approved by the Department Convener.

Two upper-level (300+) elective courses in Religion are required.

View a full list of courses and their descriptions.

Yes! Religion majors are encouraged to consider off-campus study. Learn more about available programs through the Center for Global and Career Education.

Religion majors get excited by thinking deeply about matters of faith and humanity. They are open-minded, critical thinkers who seek to understand the human condition so that they might find ways to better the world around them.

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