Religious Studies, Associate of Arts

Evaluate the phenomena of religions

Are you involved in or interested in religious practices? Do you find yourself thinking about the nature of justice, mercy, suffering and joy? Would you like to join with others who share your desire to learn how people today and throughout history have answered those questions? If so, you might want to consider majoring in Religious Studies.

Religious Studies majors systematically study the beliefs, rituals and institutions of various religious traditions. They take a cross-disciplinary approach to examining the things that provide the framework of both daily life and spiritual reflection for the various peoples of the world.

Our program includes the study of various faith traditions, as well as the urgent issues and ultimate questions that concern all human beings. It also promotes thoughtful original research of an interdisciplinary nature from a secular perspective, but in the religious context of an active community of faith.

Suggested Schedule of Classes

Usual First Semester Classes


Freshman Seminar

Writing I

Computer Literacy

Introduction to Sociology

Study of World Religions

Humanities elective in art, music or language


Usual Second Semester Classes

Writing II

Public Speaking

Religion and American Culture

General Psychology

Introduction to Literature


Usual Third Semester Classes

Introduction to Religious Studies

Introduction to Christian Theology

Science elective

Old Testament

Literature elective


Usual Fourth Semester Classes

History elective


HEBBS division elective (psychology, sociology or history)

New Testament

Religion, Theology, or Philosophy elective

Career Information

Students with an A.A. in Religious Studies can go on to finish degrees to prepare for specific jobs in ministry or pursue higher degrees in Religious Studies and similar programs. As with other Humanities/Liberal Arts majors, many students with these majors use them as preparation to build certain skills without going into a job directly related to religion. These skills include analyzing and synthesizing data, research, critical thinking, working well with people from various backgrounds and perspectives, understanding international/global issues, conflict negotiation, analytical writing, cross-cultural communication, and critical empathy.

Graduates often go into jobs related to social services, education, non-profit organization work, counseling, public relations, and health care (including medicine). However, the coursework helps students develop skills often valued highly in the business world; Religious Studies students’ qualities match well with the business field, particularly positions in management, sales, customer relations, and human resources.

Joel Thomas

Assistant Professor of English, Chair, Division of Humanities

M.A., B.G.S. University of Nebraska Omaha; A.S. Southwestern Michigan College


view office hours
Monday through Thursday

12:05 pm -2:05 pm

Melissa Smeltzer

Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy

BA University of Evansville, MA St. Meinrad Seminary


view office hours
Monday - Thursday

10:30 am - 12:30 pm

What are my career options with this program?

Pastor, priest or reverend

Theology teacher

Church music director

Chaplain hospice assistant

Spiritual counselor

Religious program director