Religious Studies (Major, Minor)

Religious Studies (Major, Minor) Department

LaReine-Marie Mosely, Ph.D., Chair

Degrees offered



Main Campus

Religion touches every aspect of life, and Religious Studies can help us think more deeply and carefully about all the big issues humans face: love, death, suffering, power, violence, justice, morality, sex, family, money, community, the divine, and the meaning of life. The Religious Studies Department, part of the School of Arts, Sciences, and Business offers a Major and Minor to students in the Women's College and the College of Adult Undergraduate Studies. The Religious Studies Program of Study is based on four pillars: biblical studies, systematic theology, religious ethics, and religious issues (practical theology and religion and culture).


Women's College

College of Adult Undergraduate Studies

Grounded in Roman Catholic and ecumenical Christian traditions, we actively engage in dialogue with other world religions. Women's contributions to spirituality, religious thought and history, as well as the ecumenical and interfaith aspects of the discipline, are woven into the Program and are treated in greater depth in courses devoted exclusively to these topics. The Program stresses critical thinking and respect for the religious commitments of all persons, and also is seen as a step toward transforming society. Graduates are ordained ministers, religion teachers, guidance counselors, parish educators, directors of religious education, pastoral and youth ministers, campus ministers, hospital chaplains, parish music ministers, leaders in diocesan offices, and employees of Catholic Charities.

In addition to the Major, the Religious Studies Department offers Minors in Religious Studies and participates in Catholic Studies, Justice and Peace Studies and Women’s Studies, as well as providing a track within the Liberal Arts Major (seven courses for the primary track or five for the supporting track).

Transfer credits from the Religious Studies or Theology Department of an accredited college or university will be accepted after assessment by the Chair of the Religious Studies Department. Credits should have been earned since 2000.

The General Education Requirement includes two courses in Religious Studies, one of which must be at the 300- or 400- level. To fulfill the General Education Requirement in values, a student may take any of the following courses: RST-303, 304, 306, 331, 345, 411.

The following courses satisfy the General Education Requirement at the 300- or 400-level: RST-300, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 311, 312, 315, 316, 317, 325, 331, 340, 341, 345, 347, 360, 361, 370, 401, 405, 409, 411, 415, 421, 424, 427, 430, 431, 432, 433, 450, 452, IDS-340.

Religious Studies courses that satisfy the General Education Requirement in cross-cultural studies are: RST-311, 331, 345, 350, 360, 361, 401 (depending on topic), 427, 450, 452.

Religious studies courses that satisfy the General Education Requirement in gender studies are: RST-305, 308, 340, 341, 390, 411.

All courses credited toward the Major or Minor must be completed with a grade of C or higher.

Programs of Study

The Religious Studies Major provides the student with proficiency in four categories: biblical studies, systematic theology, practical theology/religion and culture, and religious ethics.

The curriculum requirements of 45 credits are as follows.

Required Courses for a Major in Religious Studies

Biblical Studies (12 credits)

       RST-201 Introduction to Biblical Studies (3)
       RST-315 Old Testament (3)
       RST-317 New Testament (3)

       One of the following:
       RST-308 Gender and Power in the Book of Genesis (3) 
       RST-309 Revelation and the Apocalyptic Imagination (3)
       RST-316 Psalms (3)
       RST-430 Topics in Pauline Theology (3)

Systematic Theology (12 credits)

       RST-312 Sin and Grace (3)
       RST-325 Jesus Christ (3)

       Any two of the following:
       RST-307 Trinity: Images of God (3)
       RST-415 Church (3)
       RST-421 Christian Worship (3)

Practical Theology/Religion and Culture (12 credits) 

       RST-105 Religion and the Big Question (3)

Practical Theology 

At least on of the following:       

       RST-305 Marriage and Family (3)
       RST-341 Theology of the Body (3)
       RST-347 Introduction to Spirituality (3)
       RST-409 Death and Dying (3)
       RST-431 Teaching Religion to Adolescents (3)
       RST-432 Faith Development of Children and Adolescents (3)
       RST-433 Teaching Religion to Children (3)

Religion and Culture

At least on of the following:       

       RST-300 American Catholicism (3)
       RST-311 World Religions (3)
       RST-360 Islam (3)
       RST-361 African American Religions (3)
       RST-427 Study Tour (3)
       RST-445 Islamic Perspectives on Peace and Conflict (3)
       RST-450 Judaism, Christianity and Islam (3)
       RST-452 Buddhism and Christianity (3)
       Students are also required to complete any two other courses from either practical theology or religion and culture.

Religious Ethics (9 credits)

       RST-303 Christian Ethics (3)

       Any one of the following:
       RST-304 Christian Social Ethics (3)
       RST-345 Justice and Peace (3)

       Any one of the following:
       RST-306 Christian Bioethics (3)
       RST-331 Comparative Religious Ethics (3)
       RST 411H Catholic Women Theologians

For those planning to seek catechist certification from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, it is recommended that at least one course from RST-431, 432 and 433 be selected.
Religious studies majors and minors are encouraged to choose RST-427 Study Tour. Internships in religious studies are also available.

Capstone Experience

The Religious Studies Capstone Experience provides students with the opportunity to reflect on their Religious Studies Program and synthesize what they have learned. The Capstone Experience has three related components: a capstone preparation workshop and compilation of a portfolio, an interview with department faculty, and a presentation to department faculty, current Religious Studies students and alumnae. It is required of all Religious Studies majors and is typically completed during the student's final semester. The Capstone Experience earns 1 credit.

Required Courses for a Minor in Religious Studies

The curriculum requirements of 21 credits are as follows:

       RST-201 Introduction to Biblical Studies (3)
       RST-315 Old Testament or RST-317 New Testament (3)
       One systematic theology course (3)
       One practical theology or religion and culture course (3)
       One religious ethics course (3)
       Any two other courses from departmental offerings (6)

Four-Year Plan

Below is a sample Program of Study for Religious Studies Major in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Business.  Students should select courses with the assistance of the program coordinator. (See course descriptions for a list of required courses and description of course and program options.)

Fall Spring 
First year      
IDS-100 Perspectives in Education 3 RST-201 Intro to Biblical Studies 3
ENG-101 College Writing 3 Foreign Language 3
Foreign Language 3 General Education/Electives 6
RST-105 Religion and the Big Questions 3 [15 credits]  
General Education/Electives 3    
[15 credits]      
Second year      
RST-300/400-Level Courses 9 RST-300/400-Level Courses 9
General Education/Electives 6 General Education/Electives 6
[15 credits]   [15 credits]  
Third year      
RST-300/400-Level Courses 9 RST-300/400-Level Courses 6
General Education/Electives 6 General Education/Electives 9
[15 credits]   [15 credits]  
Fourth year      
RST-300/400-Level Course 3 RST-300/400-Level Course 3
General Education/Electives 12 General Education/Electives 12
[15 credits]   [15 credits]