Religious Studies

Religious Studies

Campus Location: 
College of Arts and Sciences

Religious Studies is an academic discipline encouraging students to think critically about the major religious traditions of our world, as well as their scriptures, stories, rituals, practices, beliefs and aesthetic expressions.

We do not seek to advocate a specific religious practice or belief. Instead, we ask students to engage religious beliefs and practices in an empathetic fashion in order to understand not just other belief systems, but also their own. 

A religious studies major allows you to engage in primary historical texts and modern scholarly writings; ancient and modern religious traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam; and the impact of these traditions on the arts and popular culture.

Classes offered include:

  • Comparative Religions
  • Introductory and advanced courses on the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament
  • Upper-level courses on Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam
  • Religion
  • Film

The major culminates in a comprehensive examination and thesis.

The study of religion is fundamentally about making the strange familiar and the familiar strange.  It's about encountering religious ideas, practices, traditions, and institutions that initially appear to us as "other," disturbingly foreign, and coming to a point where we understand how they can make sense given a certain set of circumstances.  Such work requires not only critical rigor and tenacity in order to elaborate those circumstances; it also requires imagination in order to put oneself in another's situation.” (Timothy K. Beal, Roadside Religion, 12)

Learning Environment
  • Introductory courses average 20-25 students
  • Advanced courses range from 5-15 students

Students are active participants in the learning environment and are expected to bring their own ideas and experiences. Expect short lectures punctuated by discussion and writing exercises.

Travel Opportunities

You will have the opportunity to travel on college-sponsored trips to a variety of U.S. sites or international countries each year through Doane's Interterm (in January or May). Past trips have been taken to Paris, England, Africa, Ireland, Guatemala, Mexico, Israel and Sweden.

Travel Scholarship

All juniors and seniors are provided funds to help with costs associated with college-sponsored trips, via Doane's unique travel scholarship. Many students have used this scholarship to travel abroad for the first time.


All students are encouraged to participate in at least one internship while attending Doane. These internships provide hands-on experience in a field matching the student's interests.


View detailed course information

PRE 115 - Comparative Religions (3)
RST 495 - Examination and Thesis (3)
PRE 120 - Introduction to the Old Testament (3)
PRE 121 - Introduction to the New Testament (3)
PRE 110 - Philosophical Problems (3)
PRE 111 - Ethics (3)
PHI 210 - Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (3)
PHI 212 - Modern and Contemporary Philosophy (3)
PHI 271/371/471 - Selected Topics (1-3)
PHI 310 - Comparative Philosophy (3)
PHI 315 - Philosophy of Science & Technology (3)
PSI 330 - Religion in Politics (3)
RST 421 - Religious Studies Internship (0-12)
ACC 103 - Financial Accounting (3)
ACC 104 - Managerial Accounting (3)
BUS 226 - Finance (3)
BUS 242 - Management (3)
BUS 251 - Marketing (3)
BUS 315 - Organizational Behavior (3)
BUS 361 - Contemporary Issues in Human Resource Management (3)
CMS 112 - Small Group Communication (3)
CMS 210 - Public Speaking (3)
CMS 220 - Interpersonal Communication (3)
CMS 321 - Intercultural Communication (3)
CMS 351 - Persuasion (3)
EDU 338 - Children, Youth and the Family (3)
LDR 101 - Introduction to Leadership Studies (1)
MUS 121 - Introduction to Music Education (1)
PSY 234 - Introduction to Counseling Theories and Techniques (3)
PSY 255 - Child and Adolescent Development (3)