Why Choose Nazareth for Religious Studies?

The Department of Religious Studies views religious and spiritual traditions in their diversity to be vital to human history and culture. We explore how religions contribute to societal challenges such as racism, sexism, economic disparity, colonialism, and environmental destruction as well as their capacity to build structures of equity, justice, and peace. We draw on contemplative practices to discover how spiritual and religious traditions facilitate self-discovery and compassion.

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 multiple perspectives including history, literature, and philosophy; the natural sciences, social sciences, and fine arts; education, health care, and business management.

You will pursue questions of meaning and purpose asked by humanity across every culture and time period as you discover common themes across religions and make sense of their enlivening differences. As part of this intellectually challenging journey, you may find yourself participating with students from multiple religious traditions in study abroad and national leadership programs.
As our students and alumni can attest, there is no limit to how the academic study of religion can contribute to your professional life – from education and health care; business and law; social work and pastoral ministry; or graduate study in a variety of fields.

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, The Konar Center for Tolerance & Jewish Studies, 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.
  • Religious studies makes for an excellent double major for students in Early Childhood/Childhood Education.

Related majors and stories

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

Ceara Curry Kilpatrick '18

Alumni Spotlight: Ceara Curry Kilpatrick '18

Religious studies and music double major; minors in interfaith studies and music history

"The degree blessed me with amazing mentors and an opportunity to dive deeper into my passion for learning more about religion and spirituality in our world — while also being able to continue studying music. I especially carry with me all I've learned from my time spent studying religions at Naz as I continue with my theological education both academically and experientially."

Ceara Curry Kilpatrick went on to pursue a Master of Divinity degree with Boston College School of Theology and Ministry and serves as a Spiritual Care Department chaplain intern at Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, N.Y. "With religious studies and interfaith studies in my toolkit, I feel that I bring more empathy, love, understanding and appreciation to every person I encounter at the hospital, no matter their spiritual or cultural background."

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