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Religious Studies

Program Mission Statement

Religious Studies is the multidisciplinary hub at UNF for discovering the roles and functions of religions in human life and culture. Students investigate religion in ways that foster intellectual, civic, and global engagement; gain cross-cultural awareness by describing and analyzing religious systems as they exist in historical and social contexts in an impartial, academic manner; develop clear thinking and writing skills; and learn to see the world through the eyes of others. Internationally recognized faculty mentor students and handcraft individualized programs of study. Faculty conduct scholarly research that contributes to the understanding of religions and regularly engage in public scholarship.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates will be able:

Content/Discipline-Specific Knowledge/Skills

  • Explain religion as a product of particular social, historical, and cultural contexts.
  • Explain and identify the major theories of religious studies and recognize the complexity of defining religion.

Communication Skills

Communicate complex ideas coherently through written and/or oral presentations.

Critical Thinking Skills

  • Identify the strengths and limitations of major theories of religious studies.
  • Excavate religious systems to recognize the embedded assumptions on which they are based through comparison and analysis, through either ethnographic or historical analysis.

Assessment Approaches

The religious studies major will be assessed in a 3-year cycle through tests that require students to know and describe elements of religious traditions, to compare the historical development of religious traditions, and to be able to compare and contrasts religion in their specific cultural and social contexts in order to develop critical thinking skills. Majors will also be assessed through papers, some employing original research, that require them to bring together the theoretical and methodological skills developed in the major and apply them to a specific area of data.