Department of Religion
Studying Religion at Denison
Religion is an essential part of humanistic studies in a liberal arts education. The study of religion is one way to establish a view of reality and of the meaning of human existence as individuals and as social beings in relation to ultimate reality.
The goals of the department are to help students:
- understand the nature of religion
- understand both Abrahimic and Asian religious traditions
- develop critical and analytical skills for examining the various religious systems offered in a pluralistic society
- examine their own religious perceptions.
Many religion majors and minors conduct year-long senior research projects, the majority of which are converted into theses for recognition.
The Woodyard Summer Scholar Awards provide six to eight students with scholarships to do individual or collaborative projects in the area of "Religion and Civic Responsibility." These awards provide students an excellent opportunity either to initiate the exploration of a topic, or to explore an area further as part of a senior research or honors project. The research culminates in a major written project.
The Denison Journal of Religion is published annually by the Department of Religion. All articles are written by Denison students of all majors to promote and encourage intellectual reflection on religious issues.
The religion major and minor
To major in religion, students must take a minimum of nine courses selected in consultation with the major advisor, including:
- four out of five core courses Core Course Descriptions
- a concentration of three courses in a designated area Concentrations
- a seminar designed around special topics in a concentration area.
Religion majors take a comprehensive examination at the end of their senior year.
To minor in religion, students must take a minimum of six courses including:
- four out of five core courses
- one elective
- a seminar designed around special topics.
Religion minors take an abbreviated comprehensive examination at the end of their senior year.
What do religion majors do after Denison?
The question of what one can do with a major or minor in religion is answered by the careers of recent graduates.
Some have sought advanced degrees in the study of religion, either with an academic focus or aimed at a career in a religious profession.
However, the majority of our graduates have sought careers in other fields. Some have gone to law school, business school or medical school. Some work for local social service agencies, with environmental organizations or as teachers. Some work for banks, advertising agencies or stock brokerage firms.
The one constant is that all of them report that the skills in critical thinking, writing and research that they developed as a religion major or minor have been a distinct asset in their careers.
The following are the five core courses
REL-201, The Reality of God
REL-204, Religious Pluralism and American Identity
REL-211, Introduction to the Bible
REL-224, Christian Social Ethics