Program Information

REL's Mission, Program Structure, and Goals

The REL Program is part of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies (SIS), located in the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies. With a curriculum grounded in the liberal arts, the religious studies curriculum offers a broad spectrum of courses that foster an understanding of religious issues, encourage critical thinking and exploration of religion, and address religion in relation to broad historical, political, cultural and philosophical themes.

Whether you are pursuing a career in a professional field like business, nursing, allied health sciences, education, or engineering, or if you are thinking about pursuing graduate study in the humanities or social sciences, religious studies provides transferrable skills and deepens understanding of the human experience, culture, and traditions both past and present.

Office and Contact Information

We are located in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, 324 LOH on GVSU's Allendale Campus.


Marie Burnside

Marie Burnside

Program Coordinator of Religious Studies

Teaching Faculty

Classes in REL are taught by a range of excellent faculty who are committed to putting students first. For a current list of teaching faculty and contact information please visit the SIS Department faculty and staff directory.

Program Committee and Advisory Council

The Religious Studies Program benefits from the guidance of its SIS-based Program Committee as well as an external Advisory Council made up of local experts from across the region. Those members include:


Committee Chair: Marie Burnside, Program Coordinator of Religious Studies and Affiliate Faculty of Instruction, SIS


  • Diane Maodush-Pitzer, Senior Affiliate Faculty of Instruction, SIS
  • Anthony Meyer, Affiliate Faculty of Instruction, SIS
  • Dawn Rutecki, Assistant Professor, SIS
  • Brent Smith, Senior Affiliate Faculty of Instruction, SIS
  • Deana Weibel, Grand Valley State University, Anthropology and SIS



  • Jeremiah Cataldo, Grand Valley State University, Meijer Honors College
  • Michael DeWilde, Grand Valley State University, Philosophy Department
  • Jon Keune, Michigan State University, Department of Religious Studies
  • Sheldon Kopperl, Grand Valley State University, Biomedical Sciences and Liberal Studies Department (emeritus)
  • George Lundskow, Grand Valley State University, Department of Sociology
  • Sebastian Maisel, Grand Valley State University, Modern Languages and Literatures and Area and Global Studies
  • Kevin McIntosh, Grand Valley State University, Campus Interfaith Resources
  • Brian Wilson, Western Michigan University, Department of Comparative Religions
  • Laurel Zwissler, Central Michigan University, Department of Philosophy and Religion

Page last modified January 4, 2024