Academic Catalog 2020-2021

Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy

Department Chair: S. Shauf


Professors: D. Berry, K. Blevins, P. Hildreth, B. Leslie, P. Qualls, S. Shauf, E. Stepp

Assistant Professors: A. Sieges-Beal, T. Jessup

Mission Statement

Within the context of a Christian liberal arts tradition, our mission in both graduate and undergraduate education is to provide an atmosphere of open inquiry, honesty, and integrity where issues of religious understanding, faith, practice, and philosophy can be explored. Our intention is to prepare lifelong learners who are reflective, critical, and analytical thinkers committed to a life of service for God and humanity.

Major Fields of Study

The Department offers the following majors leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree.

Biblical Studies

Discipleship Studies

Youth Discipleship Studies

Philosophy and Theology


Each major listed above can also be taken as a second major.

Minor Fields of Study

      Biblical Studies

Biblical Languages

Discipleship Studies

Youth Discipleship Studies

Philosophy and Ethics


Christian History

Religious Studies

Sports Ministry

General Information

The Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy requires 41 hours of courses beyond General Education requirements.

Though not required for every major, the Department recommends that RELI 245 be taken as part of the Global Heritage General Education requirement and that RELI 354 be taken as part of the Oral Communication General Education requirement. All majors in the Department take RELI 300 and RELI 301 or equivalents as part of the General Education requirement. RELI 300 and RELI 301 are required in order for students to take upper-level Bible classes and are recommended before taking other upper-level courses in the Department. 

All majors are required to take RELI 201 (Introduction to Religious and Theological Studies) as soon as possible after declaring a major in the Department. Additionally, all majors are required to take three of the following four foundational Departmental courses.

PHIL 200 Introduction to Philosophy

RELI 271 Spiritual Formation

RELI 321 Introduction to Christian History

RELI 333 Introduction to Theology

The 11 hours of foundational courses above will be combined with a three-hour seminar requirement, 21 additional hours in the area of one’s selected major, and six hours of departmental electives (except for the Advanced Language option of the Biblical Studies major, which requires 24 hours of material in the major and three hours of departmental electives) for a total of 41 hours to complete the major, as outlined in the specific description of each major.

The Religious Studies Association is the departmental club established to benefit departmental majors and other interested students/faculty by providing additional opportunities for learning and service in the field of Religious Studies. All students majoring in the Department are encouraged to attend four of the six yearly meetings. Students who excel in Religious Studies may be invited to become a member of the University chapter of Theta Alpha Kappa, a national honor society.