Alma College

Department Name: 
Religious Studies
Approximate Enrollment (entire institution): 
Number of Religion Majors: 
Number of Full-Time Departmental Faculty: 
Public Institution?: 
Related to a religious denomination or body?: 
Which best describes the institution?: 
Grants bachelor degrees only
Department offers undergraduate coursework in ministerial preparation (either a track, a minor, or a major)?: 
Department or institution offers masters programs in religious studies or theological studies?: 
Department or institution offers doctoral programs in religious studies or theological studies?: 
Description of Undergraduate Major: 

The department of Religious Studies encourages an inquisitive, analytical, and open approach to multiple religious perspectives; it also encourages students’ awareness of their own value frameworks through the exploration of the value frameworks in various religious perspectives.

The goal of the department is to foster a broad understanding of human religious traditions that is applicable to virtually any profession Alma students might choose (see “What Can I Do With a Major in Religious Studies?”).
As the name implies, Religious Studies intersects with many other disciplines, such as history, sociology, psychology, economics, literature, political science, philosophy, or gender studies. Because scholars in the field of religion employ such diverse research methods, majors and minors in Religious Studies are encouraged to double-major or minor in another field that interests them.

The Religious Studies department at Alma is relatively small and allows for plenty of personal contact between students and faculty members. The relatively low number of core courses in the department also allows for a highly individualized course of study; this means that with guidance from faculty members, students have freedom largely to create their own major or minor with an eye toward their own goals.

Alma students who go on to seminaries report that their Religious Studies courses have prepared them well and even given them a head start toward their next degree. Because of this, as well as because of their personalized recommendations from faculty members, Religious Studies majors and minors from Alma have a high acceptance rate into their first choice schools.