B.A. in Religious Studies
Understand the world's religions, and explore the phenomenon of religion as a prominent component of human life and culture.
Religious studies majors at the University of Mississippi explore the means by which human beings have expressed themselves religiously, both historically and cross-culturally. This exploration involves studying myths, rituals, symbols, divine figures, and scriptures, as well as mastering the methods and analytical tools required by an academic approach to religion.
As cultures continue to be influenced by religious traditions and ideas, citizens who make well-informed judgments about the cultural forces shaping global events are in high demand. Religious studies majors cultivate skills such as critical thinking, textual analysis, curiosity, open-mindedness, ethics, decision making, and understanding of these cultures.
A liberal arts education prepares graduates to deal with complexity and change. They gain key skills in communication, problem-solving, and working with diverse groups. Related careers in religious studies include religious professions, non-profit work, law, medicine, education, public relations, social services, and counseling.
Religious studies majors have the opportunity to study religious life from a perspective unlike that offered in traditional religious institutions, and allows students to study different religions of the world in a systematic way. They take classes that involve visits to the places of worship of different religions, and they can apply to participate in community-based internships.
B.A. in Religious Studies Faculty
Religious Studies faculty in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Mississippi have different areas of expertise ranging from Judaism, Chinese religions, Buddhism, biblical studies, religious ethics, feminism and religion, Islam, and Christianity, as well as comparative religion.
A B.A. in religious studies consists of 30 semester hours that must include Rel 102, 103, and 497; one course in sacred texts chosen from Rel 310, 312, 327, 353, 370; one course on Asian religions chosen from Rel 308, 311, 320, 325, 353, Inst 343; and 15 additional hours of religion courses from a list consisting of any Rel courses (including the courses listed above) as well as a maximum of 6 hours from the following approved electives taught outside the department: AH 330, 332; Anth 308, 312, 314, 323, 327, 404; Clc 327; Eng 376; Hst 310, 311, 319, 355, 434, 455. Philosophy courses that are not cross-listed with religion do not count toward a religious studies major.
Admission requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in religious studies degree program are the same as the general undergraduate admission requirements.
Jessica (2014) was a Writing Center tutor, a teaching assistant for religious studies professors, and a global ambassador to international students. She served on the leadership team for the Reformed University Fellowship, was president of the Theta Alpha Kappa honor society, and helped plan a religion festival. For her honors thesis on Jews in the South Jessica traveled to the Mississippi Delta to research the Jewish tradition. After graduation Jessica served in Albania as a Peace Corps volunteer for two years. She is currently earning her M.A. in social work at the University of Kent in England. Jessica has a passion for young people and wants to work with a non-profit outside the United States, maybe starting in Albania.
Why study religious studies at UM?
"The major broadened my horizons and opened my mind to move to another country. The things I learned were intriguing and vital to who I am today. As an aspiring social worker, I know that my degree will help me to accept those that are different from me. I will have at least a basic understanding of their religious worldview."
Join Theta Alpha Kappa, the honor society for religious studies.