Elon University

Department Name: 
Religious Studies
Approximate Enrollment (entire institution): 
Number of Full-Time Departmental Faculty: 
Public Institution?: 
Related to a religious denomination or body?: 
Which best describes the institution?: 
Grants bachelor and master degrees
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: 

Elon offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in religious studies that encourages students to examine and discuss religion, and express themselves in discussions and in writing. Graduates begin their careers with an enhanced ability to gather information, think critically and communicate clearly and convincingly. No matter what professional field you choose, a degree in religious studies will teach you a great deal about yourself and other cultures — an honorable goal for an education and a valuable asset for any career.

Religious studies majors are encouraged to tailor their course selections to their personal interests. The credit-hour requirement for the religious studies major allows students to earn a double major or add a minor. The department also offers an increasingly popular minor.

The Department of Religious Studies offers a diverse set of courses, beginning with the Introduction to Religious Studies class, which explores what religion is and its impact on the past and present. Other introductory-level courses examine the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, as well as Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism, among others. Upper-level courses open the door to further study at a deeper level, including specific aspects of the Bible, the history of Christianity from the time of Jesus to the present, the intersection of religion and science, or religion and politics in a global context. You can explore the life of Muslims in America, read the Qur’an, examine the role of religion in environmental issues, or learn how people interpret their sacred texts to form their lives. Other courses focus on specific religions and contemporary issues.

Students also may pursue independent study and research projects with a faculty mentor. Such collaborations have garnered local and national recognition; a recent project won awards from the regional section of the American Academy of Religion for best student paper, and another was presented at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. In addition, a number of semester and winter term study abroad programs give you the chance to learn while you travel. Programs are usually led by an Elon or faculty from another institution.