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Religious Studies

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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.

Visit CSU's Religious Studies Department’s website for more information


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  • Campus Religious Coordinator 
  • Director of Religious Education 
  • Missionary 
  • Campus Minister 
  • Editorial Assistant 
  • Newswriter 
  • Chaplain 
  • Employment Interviewer 
  • Nursing Home Director 
  • Church Building Engineer
  • Financial Consultant 
  • Paralegal 
  • Church Camp Director  
  • Fund-raiser 
  • Pastor 
  • Church Secretary 
  • Guidance Counselor 
  • Priest 
  • Claims Adjuster 
  • Hospital Administrator
  • Peace Corp/ VISTA worker
  • Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Social Worker
  • Theological Professor
  • University/Seminary Administrator
  • Writer/Author/Editor
  • Youth/Music Minister

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Problem Solving Deductive Reasoning
Communicating in logical manner Interest in pursuing, exploring and explaining intangible ideas
Debating Skills Self-discipline
Theory Development Curiosity
Open-mindedness Close, extensive reading
Objectivity Work Independently


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  • Careers of Religious Studies Majors
    The Department of Religious Studies at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio has developed a web resource for students who wish to explore the full range of careers after completing their religious studies BA.
  • Religious Studies Careers
    Faculty and career development specialists at Indiana University provide general guidance to RS majors thinking about careers.
  • The Office of Career Planning and Placement at CSU, Chico provides resources to majors across the university as they explore these questions and concerns. The Office, located on the ground floor of the Meriam Library complex, has a professional staff willing to assist you in all aspects of career planning.


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