Why Choose Nazareth for Religious Studies?

Understanding the power of religion in human history and culture. Comparing religions to appreciate both their similarities and differences. Arriving at an intelligent, compassionate spirituality of your own—these are just a few of the themes we explore in the religious studies degree program.

In this major, you will join a community of scholars passionate about the connections between the academic study of religion and what it means to engage the challenges and opportunities of living in the 21st century. Our approach is interdisciplinary by nature and in practice, setting the stage for you to draw on the perspectives of history, literature, and philosophy, health care and business management, theology, natural and social sciences, and the fine arts, to name a few. 

You will pursue questions of meaning and purpose asked by humanity across every culture and each time period as you discover the common themes of religions and make sense of their enlivening differences.  And as part of this intellectually challenging journey, you may find yourself participating with students from multiple religious traditions in national leadership programs. 

As our students and alumni can attest, there is no limit to the ways in which the academic study of religion can significantly contribute to your professional life—from education and physical therapy to business and law to public administration and pastoral ministry, among many others. 

Program Highlights

  • Graduates pursue a wide a variety of careers including law, education, social work, business, ministry, and counseling.
  • Our department partners with The Hickey Center for Interfaith Study and Dialogue, The Center for International Education, the Asian Studies minor, and The Shannon Chair for Catholic Studies.
  • Close-knit community of scholars; small classes; opportunities for short-term study abroad programs with department faculty members.
  • Multicultural and interfaith context for the study of religion through Nazareth's First Year Program, service-learning partnerships, community service, and civic engagement.
  • Professional development in a liberal arts context through individually designed internships to prepare for  graduate studies and/or professional careers.
  • Religious studies majors may choose to double major or minor in related areas of study and professional expertise.
  • Study abroad options: Choose to study abroad in one of the many options offered by the Center for International Education.

Related majors and stories

Learn about degrees. See student, faculty, and alumni experiences:

Monika Rabjohn

Alumni Spotlight: Monika Rabjohn ‘18

Religious studies and social work major

"I would really recommend the program to students who have concern about current social issues; the program does a good job at applying issues to our daily lives." Rabjohn appreciated learning from speakers from all around the world through Nazareth's Shannon Lecture Series. Her experience in the religious studies program gave her skills to work with residents of all faiths at St. Ann's Community, where she started as an intern and now works full time as a spiritual care coordinator.

Example Careers

  • Chaplaincy
  • Education
  • Interfaith relations
  • International business
  • Law and conflict resolution
  • Public and social service

Internships/Field Experiences

  • Center for Holocaust Awareness and Information
  • Saint's Place, refugee resettlement
  • Rochester Catholic Diocese Chaplaincy

Graduate Schools/Employers

  • Brown University
  • Chicago Theological Union
  • Duquesne University Law School
  • Fordham University
  • Notre Dame University
  • Yale University Divinity School