Religious Studies

ICA requirement: 40 credits

Church History
Two Semesters
Church History is a year-long course taken by freshmen to enhance and develop their understanding of history and its importance to the present. This will be done through tracing change over time and an analysis of perspective (as it informs the present). Students will examine competing claims; identify themes and examine the flow of events within large frameworks. Students will engage in active inquiry. interpretation, and well-reasoned argumentation through class discussion, individual responses, group work, projects and research.

Scripture: Hebrew Scripture and New Testament
Two Semesters
This full-year course is designed to introduce the student to a theological and historical study of Judeo-Christian Scripture. It will acquaint the student with the traditions, major stories, principal characters, themes and symbols of Hebrew Scripture and the New Testament. The focus of this course is to provide a framework for understanding the historical, political and sociological context in which scripture was written. Students will study various methods of critical reading. In Hebrew Scriptures students will explore the text in relationship to source criticism and form criticism. Students will focus on redaction criticism while studying the text of the New Testament. Students will develop arguments, write essays, research to develop exegesis, critique sources and present findings through oral presentations and use of technology.

Ethics and Morality
Two Semesters
Ethics and morality pose questions about how we ought to act and how we should live. This course will present a philosophical framework with which to approach these questions. The course investigates the history of moral theology and how to develop an ethical lifestyle in a pluralistic society.

The Social Justice component incorporates teaching on a variety of justice issues in order to invite students to develop a sense of responsibility and compassion. Throughout this class, students will learn what the virtue of justice entails, recognize social justice problems in our world, both globally and locally, and be able to articulate causes as well as well-reasoned responses and solution.

World Religions
Two Semesters
Religious inquiry is something that virtually all humans have in common. In all corners of the world and in all eras of history, people have wondered about the meaning of life, how to make the best of it, what happens after this life, and whether there is anyone or anything "out there." In this course, students will undertake a study the world's great religions, both ancient and modern.