Are you curious about different religious traditions, how religion works, and why people are drawn to it? Do you like to think about sacred texts and questions of ultimate meaning? Perhaps a future career in Religious Studies is for you!
Religious studies explores the sacred texts, traditions, and social practices which compose some of the worldviews that give human beings a sense of meaning.
- Bachelor of Arts in Religion
- Minor in Religion
Religious studies is not necessarily about being religious personally, although our program includes students of many different faiths and beliefs. Instead, religion majors are curious about what religion itself is as an institution, in addition to how and why it shapes the lives and histories of so many people around the world. You will be taught to think critically and creatively about the cultural, artistic, philosophical, ethical, psychological, and political dimensions of religious phenomena.
Religion scholars look at the histories and sacred texts of religious communities around the world – including Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and others – and examine the intersections of religion with other sources of identity and meaning.
- We offer small class sizes, customized and unique curricula, student research opportunities, and connections to other academic fields and perspectives.
- Our professors are award-winning teachers who have been recognized for their excellence in the classroom. You’ll study with people who literally wrote the textbook on the subject they are examining!
- Converse’s religion program emphasizes the true diversity of religions from all around the world. We provide specialized courses of study in Christianity as well as Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism.
- We stress the abundance of methodologies within the field of religious studies, honing students’ skills in textual analysis, theology, historical research, ethnography, and current events. This provides graduates with the skills and versatility to thrive in the ever-changing job market.
- Religious studies at Converse is an excellent stepping-stone for careers in religious ministry. Our graduates have attended seminaries at Harvard, Duke, and Princeton.
- You’ll take multiple seminars focused explicitly on developing critical thinking and research skills.
- Student research projects have received recognition and funding from outside associations; some have been presented at academic conferences.
Religion students are encouraged to integrate their academic studies with life outside the classroom. You will collaborate with the Chaplain’s Office on local volunteer work, charities, and community service. We provide opportunities to participate in college religious organizations, clubs, and services for people of all faiths and backgrounds. Religion students often also receive honors recognition and scholarships, including grant funding, by organizations such as South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU).
Mystical Arts of Tibet
In a rare opportunity, Converse College co-hosted exiled Tibetan monks for a 5-day event. The monks created a one-of-a-kind mandala from millions of grains of sand over a 30-hour time span. Converse’s Dr. Fohr gave an introduction to Buddhism talk during the event.
Converse religion students take a total of 11 religion courses including core curricula emphasizing the diversity of the world’s religious traditions and practices. Students also participate in research-oriented seminars in both their junior and senior years, culminating in an original scholarly project. Recent examples of student research have included:
- The relationship between religion and food in the South
- The ways Hindu deities are depicted in art
- The way that religion is represented in popular media
- The structure of local Wiccan communities
The courses offer wide flexibility to accommodate individual student interests, and to keep with the interdisciplinary spirit of the field. While all religion majors will become knowledgeable about basic religious topics and research methods, you may choose to take courses focused on Western religious traditions while others might focus on issues in contemporary religious sociology.
Most religion courses emphasize expressing and justifying one’s ideas in written and spoken form, considering and evaluating different perspectives logically and fairly, and finding connections between traditional religious questions and issues from other academic fields and the student’s own life experiences.
- Music and Monasticism
- Indian Families in Fiction and Film
- Philosophy of Religion
- Women in Religion
- Jesus in Ancient and Modern Media
What are common careers in religion?
- Social Worker/Activist
What are religion alumnae doing?
- Emory University, Masters in Religion
- Duke Divinity School
- Princeton Theological Seminary
- Harvard Divinity School
- University of Washington, Masters in Religion
- Director of Corporate Responsibility at SkyPower Global (world’s largest solar energy company)
- Presbyterian Youth Minister
- Methodist Minister
- English Teacher