The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies is dedicated to helping students acquire the skills which are central to a traditional liberal arts education. Additionally, in the complex, fast-paced, and increasingly globalized world of the 21st century, our students are equipped with the necessary skillsets to navigate and participate in a competitive and diverse workforce in an information economy. To that end, the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies offers students two distinct but complimentary major programs.
The mission of the philosophy major is to provide students with skills in reasoning, evaluation, argumentation, and communication that will prepare them for their chosen profession; to encourage critical engagement with the major ideas, figures, and theories in philosophical traditions; and to provide extensive knowledge of the field of philosophy in preparation for further study on the graduate level. Through quality teaching and engaged learning, our majors acquire the ability to express ideas effectively, to appreciate great works in philosophy, and to make reasoned, thoughtful, and compassionate judgments in the complex and diverse world in which we live.
The mission of the religious studies major is to provide students with the skills to understand and communicate the role of religion in public and private life, global diversity, and social tensions and conflicts; to encourage critical engagement with theories and methodologies in the academic study of religion; and to provide extensive knowledge of major religious ideas, figures, and texts. In doing so, majors acquire a critical, analytical understanding of religion and its manifold forms throughout the world, past and present.
The department encourages students to apply these skills to current issues relevant to their lives, and it is dedicated to creating a supportive learning environment that helps students of all backgrounds to mature intellectually and emotionally so that they are prepared for life in our diverse, global society. In addition, the department advances the mission of the University to promote personal integrity and responsible behavior in a range of fields, including business, medicine, law, and government, and to prepare students for global citizenship by promoting understanding and acceptance for cultural and religious differences.