PROGRAM OVERVIEW A major or minor in religion at Drake University is a study of sacred texts and their interpretation, of theological and ethical reasoning, of the breadth of religious thinking and practice, and of the meaning of the religious quest for a comprehensive understanding of reality. Our courses can prepare students for an understanding of the diverse religious traditions of the world, for graduate study, and for critical reflection on the ways in which human communities experience and describe the sacred.
In addition to the possibilities that the study of religion itself offers, we have much to offer as a department. Our size affords us the luxury of really getting to know our students. We take seriously Drake’s commitment to collaborative learning between faculty and students. As faculty, we value time we spend with students beyond the classroom, engaging in conversation, mentoring students, and building community.
FACULTY The Department of Philosophy and Religion has six full-time faculty, four of whom teach religion courses. Brad Crowell teaches courses in biblical texts, religious studies, and the history of the ancient Near East. Jennifer Harvey teaches courses in religion and ethics, theology, and religion and society. Leah Kalmanson teaches courses in East Asian religion, Buddhism, and comparative religion. And Tim Knepper teaches courses in South Asian religion, comparative religion, and method and theory in the study of religion.
ACADEMIC PREPARATION There are no prerequisite high school courses or requirements needed for enrollment in the religion program, but students should have a well-rounded academic high school curriculum.
REQUIREMENTS FOR MAJOR 33 credit hours
REQUIREMENTS FOR MINOR 18 credit hours
DRAKE CURRICULUM The Drake Curriculum, required of all undergraduates, is designed to help students meet personal and professional goals as they acquire fundamental knowledge and abilities in ten Areas of Inquiry, including communication, critical thinking, artistic experience, historical consciousness, information and technology literacy, international and multicultural experiences, scientific and quantitative literacy, values and ethics, and engaged citizenship. Students work closely with their academic advisers to craft a program of study in general education that prepares students for civic and professional leadership.
The Drake Curriculum also requires First Year Seminar, which fosters development of critical thinking and written and oral communication skills through a topical focus, and a Senior Capstone in which students demonstrate the capacity to bring information, skills, and ideas to bear on one project.
INTERNSHIPS & OPPORTUNITIES Students preparing for ministry are encouraged to participate in apprenticeships under local religious leaders. Majors and minors are also encouraged to study abroad.
CAREER OPTIONS The major and minor in religion are non-professional, but are fine preparation for graduate school or seminary. Students who major or minor in religion also go to law school, into business, charitable organizations, and government.
STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS AND ACTIVITIES The Delphian Society is an organization for discussions in philosophy and religion. Interfaith is a student group that discusses issues in interfaith dialogue and comparative religion.