Alyssa Gilbert, Class of 2015, writes:
"I received my Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies in December of 2015. I entered the program the Spring of 2014. Within that year and a half I learned how to understand religious traditions and philosophies in a more deep and complex manner than I knew before. I learned how to understand people in a different and more profound way. I learned what empathy was and how to connect to others through empathy and compassion. I learned more oral and rooted critical thinking skills that I can now use to address issues and overcome obstacles. I learned how to analyze information and how to draw conclusions from a limited amount of information. I learned how to address context and to "fill in the blanks" to create solutions and conclusions. In short, I learned how to analyze information and people, create diverse theories and inferences, connect with people on a different level than common connections, and develop relationships with people as well as develop myself to be a better person that is able to form stronger and more meaningful connections with others.
My degree has not only impacted my own life however. I currently work with refugees, immigrants, and other internationals in Louisville. I am the Community Liaison for Americana World Community Center and my degree has paid off more than I could have wished for. I work with people that come from different countries and have different worldviews, cultures, and religions. These diverse ways of understanding the world usually divide those who do not try to understand these traditions. Cultural Competency is an issue that many non-profits that work with internationals face. My degree in Religious Studies allows me to understand those in a deeper fashion than others. Honestly my degree impressed my employers because they knew the skills that I have cultivated and sharpened because of my degree. They knew that I valued cultural competency and understanding, I have communications and writing skills, I have analytical skills, and I have a deep respect for people and what they believe in. An hour after my interview with my employers, I received a call saying I got the job. I wouldn't be here serving underserved and ignored populations in Louisville if it weren't for my degree.
Religious Studies degrees are not only applicable for career paths in theology, seminary, or divinity schools. This degree teaches you valuable skills that are useful in various other fields of life and study."
John Campbell, Class of 2017, writes:
"The Religious Studies faculty at UNF is made up of some of the greatest educators I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. During my time in the Religious Studies program, my professors always made themselves available to advise me both in my short-term academic plans as well as my long-term life goals. The faculty very obviously loves teaching, and they foster a love of learning in their students. I owe so much of my academic and personal growth to the department, and I recommend that every student enroll in a Religious Studies course so they can share my experience."
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