Division of Social Studies

Through a wide variety of course offerings and assistance with internships, the Religion Program seeks to fulfill several goals. The first is to acquaint students with the interpretations of religious belief and practice offered by the world’s major religious traditions. A second goal is to develop students’ ability to reflect critically and independently on these traditions, to gather and interpret research materials, and to articulate their ideas well. A third goal is to encourage students to contribute to society after graduation through participation and leadership in professional, religious, and civic organizations. A final aim is to prepare religion majors for graduate and professional programs in religious studies or theology if their career goals require additional study.

Graduates who majored in religion at Centre have proved themselves to be well prepared for graduate and professional study in religion. They have acquitted themselves well in the nation’s best divinity schools and graduate departments of religion. Most of the majors, however, go in other directions. They have found the major to be strong general preparation for careers in banking, counseling, law, medicine, theater management, writing, and various organizations in the private and public sectors.

Majors acquire general knowledge in the discipline through survey courses in Biblical and Qur'anic Traditions; Asian Traditions; and/or African, Caribbean, and Indigenous Traditions. They can build on that foundation with their choices among a wide variety of courses at the 200 level and above. Majors and minors in Religion will take a key course on "Understanding Religion," typically during their junior year, that introduces critical methods and theories of the study of religion. Finally, majors will also take the the senior seminar. This experience involves them in discussion with the entire religion faculty, and often with visiting scholars, of important current works in the discipline; in the preparation of critical responses to these readings; and ultimately in the production and presentation of a major research paper.


Matthew Pierce (chair), Richard Axtell, David Hall, Lee Jefferson, Sheila Otieno, Shana Sippy

Student Representatives

Tanner Ray, Ben Scott

Religion Courses

Course Descriptions