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Degree Options

Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in religion.

Description of Program

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. Courses can prepare students for an understanding of the diverse religious traditions of the world, for graduate professional training for ministry, for an active religious life, or 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, the size of the department affords the luxury of really getting to know students better, offering collaborative learning between faculty and students. The faculty, values time spent with students beyond the classroom, engaging in conversation, mentoring students and building community.

Requirements for Major

39 credits.

No more than 15 hours of <100 level courses may count toward major.

Required Courses

  • Introductory (3 credits):
    • REL 001 (Intro to Religious Studies) OR REL 020 (World Religions)
  • Religious Traditions (two traditions, one of which must be non-Abrahamic) (6 credits):
    • REL 011 (Protestantism)
    • REL 012 (Catholicism)
    • REL 014 (Islam)
    • REL 015 (Judaism)
    • REL 111 / PHIL 124 (Eastern Philosophy)
  • Bible (two courses, one of which must be >100) (6 credits):
    • REL 051 (Old Testament)
    • REL 052 (New Testament)
    • REL 053 (Life and Teachings of Jesus)
    • REL 150 (Prophetic Literature of the Old Testament)
    • Independent Study in Hebrew
    • Other Bible courses as offered.
  • Ethics, Society and Culture (3 credits):
    • REL 091 (Contemporary Ethical Problems)
    • REL 118 (Race, Religion and Civic Culture)
    • REL 120 (Black Christianity and Prophetic Politics)
  • Theories of Religion (3 credits):
    • REL 125 (Philosophy of Religion)
  • Theology (3 credits):
    • REL 153 (Introduction to Christian Theologies)
    • REL 155 (Liberation and Feminist Theologies)
  • Senior Capstone (3 credits):
    • Student will work with faculty member on an independent study topic or participate in a senior seminar.

Elective Courses (12 credits)

Special Notes

  • No more than 15 hours of <100 level courses may count toward major.
  • Suggested fields of study that would nicely complement the Religion major but that do not necessarily count toward the major include philosophy, culture and society, English and history.
  • Individual requirements may be waived with departmental approval only if student has taken additional courses outside the major that substantially strengthen the student’s major and only if the courses waived do not weaken the student’s major experience. This should happen only in extraordinary circumstances.

Requirements for Minor

Eighteen credits

  • REL 001 (Introduction to Religious Studies)
  • PHIL/REL 091 (Contemporary Ethical Problems)
  • Six credit hours to be satisfied by REL 010, 051, 052, 053, or upper-division courses in biblical studies
  • PHIL/REL 125 (Philosophy of Religion)
  • Three credit hours in an upper-division religion course
  • No more than 12 credit hours in the minor may be in courses numbered below 100

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