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Religious Studies (B.A.)

B.A., Religious Studies

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

What You'll Do

Spirituality and religion touch individuals and families, cultures and governments. As a Religious Studies major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, your educational experience will be a balanced, nonsectarian, cross-cultural one that is intended to lead you to a deeper understanding of religion in the lives of people around the world.

You’ll take classes covering Western, Eastern, and indigenous religions. Some of the classes you may choose to take are Christianity, Islam, Eastern Philosophy, Religions of India, African Religions, Archaeology and the Bible, and Native North American Religions.

The Religious Studies program emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach and offers a generous number of free electives to accommodate a double major, minor, or internship. Some fields you may want to consider include Journalism, Anthropology, English, Fine Arts, History, International Studies, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.

What You'll Become

The Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies is valuable for those planning a career in religious education, religious journalism, or religious broadcasting. The program also provides an excellent background for those planning to enter Catholic, Jewish, or Protestant seminaries.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, about 404,000 people were employed as members of the clergy in 2006, and growth at a more rapid rate than average in this field is expected from 2006 to 2016.

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Special Features

  • An honors program is available.
  • Students can take part in the R. Thomas Schaub Religious Studies Essay Contest, which was established in 2005 as a tribute to a professor emeritus in the Department of Religious Studies at IUP.
  • The Religious Studies Club is a student-run, social organization. The group discusses religious topics, plans trips to sacred sites, attends academic religious functions, and attends conferences. (This is an academic organization and not a faith-based one.)
  • The Committee for the Study of Culture and Religion, funded by the IUP Student Cooperative and affiliated with the Department of Religious Studies brings speakers and presenters to campus. The group has organized lectures on topics such as Amish practice, Celtic myths, Islam in America, the role of music in Sikh worship, Judaism and psychology, and Neo-Pagan Understandings of Nature. Past performers have included 10 Tibetan Buddhist monks who spent a week creating a sand mandala, Hindu musicians, and a Zen calligrapher.