The major in Religious Studies aims to provide the student with a comprehensive understanding of the origin and historical development of the world’s major religious traditions and a perceptive insight into the roles those traditions play in the world today. Religious ideas and values fundamentally shape the way every culture views itself and organizes its society. In the twenty-first century we have witnessed a resurgence of religious thinking. Today, religion provides the fundamental motivation for a great number of social and political events worldwide, and religious leaders—popes, imams, patriarchs and Buddhist monks—play very high profile roles on the world stage. Given its importance in shaping world events, we need to understand this phenomenon in all its complexity. Courses in Religious Studies, therefore, help students to develop both a sympathetic and a critical understanding of the religious dimensions of human societies. To this end, the department’s courses aim to equip students with the historical knowledge, methodological tools, and scholarly resources necessary to understand and appreciate religious beliefs and religious behaviors in all the ways they affect human life and culture.
The majority of students who take Religious Studies courses are not majors but from these courses gain valuable information and insight for a span of careers ranging from law and politics to medicine, social work, and even international business. As religion has come to be an increasingly critical factor for understanding the enormous diversity of the modern world, the importance of courses in religion for a great variety of careers has correspondingly increased.
The course of study followed by each Religious Studies major is tailored specifically to match the student's individual needs, interests and career goals. Although once thought to be the starting point for those interested primarily in religious ministry, the major in Religious Studies now serves as a springboard for many different careers. CSU Religious Studies majors have gone on to graduate and professional schools at leading universities, and to fields as diverse as law, journalism, psychology, social work and management.
All degree-seeking students are required to complete a specific number of General Education (GenEd) courses. Students are responsible for ensuring the appropriate selection of courses to satisfy GenEd requirements and are encouraged to consult with their academic advisor regarding the applicability of selected courses. A comprehensive description of Cleveland State University’s General Education Requirements for undergraduate students is available online at http://www.csuohio.edu/academic/gened/.For more information, contact:
For official requirements for a degree in this major, see the Undergraduate Catalog.