Why is religion so critical to understanding contemporary culture, economics and politics? Our BA in religious studies delves into major world religions with an emphasis on how such traditions impact today's global society. World-class faculty connect the past and present with a balance of traditions, methods and theoretical approaches.
In the classroom, you'll sharpen skills in written and oral communication, research methods and problem-solving, and develop a more complex awareness of human diversity. Religious studies is an interdisciplinary field that inspires conversation across disciplines, so we encourage our students to double major.
Beyond the classroom, you'll have opportunities to visit local community churches, mosques, synagogues and temples. By directly engaging religious communities or local non-profits, you can discover the complexity of religious identity and practice. You can also encounter world religions through study abroad opportunities in places like Austria, Chile, India, Indonesia, Israel and Turkey.
You'll graduate with an in-depth, applied knowledge of cross-cultural analytical tools. Many religious studies majors go on to graduate school in law, religious studies and related fields, while others use their skills in business, human resources, social work, government, non-profits and journalism.
Religious Studies Offers
Experiential learning opportunities that get you out of the classroom and into meaningful engagement with religious communities and organizations
Independent research in religious studies where you can hone specific areas of interest with faculty support
For-credit and extracurricular internships at local sites like the Abrahamic Initiative, St. Elizabeth's School, Denver Sister Cities International and more
Award winning faculty whose diverse interests and active research mean you'll work with scholars at the forefront of the field
- Majors take a minimum of 40 credits in religious studies, which include courses with experiential learning, service learning, writing and theoretical components.
- Students may take approved courses in the study of religion taught by faculty members of other departments and are encouraged to participate in accredited international programs with religious studies content.
- Honors students and majors demonstrating high academic achievement in the discipline may pursue "distinction in the major" by completing a thesis or customized project in consultation with a faculty member.
- Secondary major requirements are 40 credits (same requirements as for BA degree). The religious studies minor consists of 20 credits.
For more information about courses, degree/minor requirements and the program, visit the DU Undergraduate Bulletin.
Religion and Film
About this Course
Understanding religion requires us to take culture seriously. In doing so, we must consider products of culture, including popular culture. This course engages both classic and more recent films as “texts” to be analyzed, not as mere entertainments or diversions. We focus not only on those films that identify themselves explicitly as “religious” or reflect a particular religious tradition, but also moved that render the subject more obliquely, which reveal – via image and sound – religion as a complex human activity.
Religion and Diaspora
About this Course
When forced to leave a homeland, displaced communities frequently turn to religion to maintain identity and adapt to--or resist--new surrounding culture(s). This course examines the role of religion and identity in three Jewish and Christian communities living in diaspora and poses questions such as the following: What is the relationship between religion and (home)land? How have the biblical themes of exodus, diaspora, promise and restoration been applied to contemporary experiences? And how have our American stories been interpreted through the lens of the Bible? As part of the service learning component, students have the opportunity to work with religious and immigrant aid organizations in the Denver community.
International Service Learning Colloquium
About this Course
The colloquium is the service learning core of the Vienna faculty-led study abroad program. Undergraduate students must sign up concurrently with RLGS 2401. In conjunction with the colloquium, students perform a total of approximately 60-75 hours of service learning as well as weekly "dialogue" sessions of two hours each. Dialogue sessions focus among students on common experiences, insights, problems, and challenges they have met in an intercultural and international service learning setting. A number of these sessions are conversations with representatives of, or visits to, different United Nations agencies of NGOs pertaining to social justice work and global issues. Dialogue sessions are scheduled in accordance with the availability of personnel and their relevance to the topic at hand.