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2016-2017 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Religious Studies - Program Description

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies section in this catalog.


The diverse and often contested religious/cultural perspectives in our contemporary world demonstrate the need for leaders who are educated in religious history and tradition and who have the capability of critically examining their own cultural assumptions while engaging in dialogue with global and local populations. An academic, critical understanding of the world's religions provides a foundation for understanding diverse ideas and cultures. This is particularly important in our post-9/11 culture, where religion is playing such a significant role in political movements and cross-cultural dialogue.

The religious studies major provides core courses along with flexibility. Students have the option of focusing on particular religious traditions through electives in a range of global traditions and disciplinary perspectives. Students are encouraged to work closely with their advisor to determine the electives portion of the major. Close collaboration with faculty in the program through advising, student-centered coursework and independent study opportunities is an important part of the religious studies major.

Religious studies strongly encourages students to take advantage of a wide range of study abroad programs offered by the university. Appropriate courses taken abroad can be credited toward the requirements for the major or the minor. Contact the Padnos International Center or religious studies for more information.

Honors Organization

Theta Alpha Kappa (TAK) is the national Religious Studies Honor Society. To be nominated for membership in Theta Alpha Kappa a student must possess an overall GPA of at least 3.0 and a religious studies GPA of at least 3.5, after having completed a minimum of 12 credit hours toward the religious studies major. At least one years' worth of credits must have been completed at GVSU.

The following programs are available:

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Religious Studies

Religious Studies Minor

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