Occidental 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 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: 

The department of Religious Studies seeks to cultivate an understanding of religion as a significant, widespread, and diverse human phenomenon.

To this end, courses explore the literature, history, thought, ethics, institutions, and practices of some of the world’s major religious traditions. Special attention is given to clarifying the role that religions have played in the cultural and social worlds of which they are a part, and to the contribution which they make to the development of the intellectual and ethical life of their societies. Attention is also given to the interaction and confrontation between religion and other dimensions of culture.

The major in Religious Studies provides a firm grounding in the liberal arts. It is well suited to students who wish to develop skill in critical thinking, and who may anticipate professional careers in law, medicine, business, social services, government, or religious vocations. It also provides effective preparation for students who intend to pursue graduate work in the humanities, theology, or social science.