Together for Good
Skip to main content area Skip to main navigation Skip to institutional navigation Skip to footer

Religious and Theological Studies

Major

As a Religious and Theological Studies major, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the role religion plays in human life and development.

Meet Your Major

In the Religious and Theological Studies program, you will:

  • Explore central terms, ideas, and issues; major theories; and historical, social, and cultural contexts that have influenced—and are influenced by—religion and religions
  • Study the historical and cultural significance of the world’s major religions including Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam
  • Examine notable religious texts including the Bible, Hebrew Scriptures and the writings of St. Augustine
  • Deepen your understanding of the moral dimension of human life through ethical, critical and personal reflection
  • Hone your writing, research, theoretical analysis and critical thinking skills
  • Better understand your world, your values and what makes you happy and fulfilled

Concentrations

To target your academic experience, you may choose from two concentrations:

  • Religious Studies: focuses on a range of religious beliefs, behaviors and historical contexts 
  • Theological Studies: focuses on the nature of God and divinity

Hands-On Learning

Outside of the classroom, you’ll be able to connect with the community, either through a semester-long Internship in Ministry and Religious Education, service projects at hospices, religious centers, and schools, or through the Austin Scholars program, a living and learning community that’s open to first-year students.

Career Options

Upon successful completion of the Religious & Theological Studies program, you’ll be well equipped to pursue a wide variety of careers in business, law, management, international relations, education, medicine, law enforcement, government, or social services. Positions may include:

  • Business professional
  • Doctor
  • Minister
  • Nonprofit director
  • Social worker
  • Teacher

What You’ll Take

All students who enrolled at Merrimack College prior to the Fall of 2012 are required to pass eight (8) credits of religious and theological studies courses as follows:

  • RTS 1100 Christianity in Context
  • All such students are also required to pass one additional RTS course at the 2000 level or above before graduation. 

As of Fall 2012 all incoming students are required to pass the following four (4) credit course: RTS1100 Christianity in Context

Many religious and theological studies courses fulfill the Liberal Studies Core requirements such as Arts and Literature (AL), Ethics (E), Cultural Diversity (D), Experiential Learning (X), and Historical Studies (H).

All Religious and Theological Studies majors take a combination of required and elective courses to satisfy the 38-credit and minimum-of- 10 course requirement. You may elect to concentrate in Religious Studies or Theological Studies.

Religious Studies
Choose one of the following:
  • RTS 1100 Christianity in Context
  • RTS 1001 Introduction to Religious and Theological Studies
  • RTS1000/15xx
3 courses in:            World Religions
1 course in: Biblical Studies
1 course in: Systematic Theology or Christian History
1 course in: Religion, Society & Ethics 
2 electives in:  Religious and Theological Studies 
RTS 4900                      Seminar in Religious and Theological Studies (taken in junior or senior year)
Theological Studies
Choose one of the following:
  • RTS 1100 Christianity in Context
  • RTS 1001 Introduction to Religious and Theological Studies
  • RTS1000/15xx
1 course in: World Religions
2 courses in: Biblical Studies
1 course in: Christian History
1 course in: Systematic Theology
1 course in: Religion, Society & Ethics 
2 electives in: Religious and Theological Studies 
RTS 4900                      Seminar in Religious and Theological Studies (taken in junior or senior year) 

More Info

Linda Tankersley
Admin. Assistant,
Religious & Theological Studies
Cushing 107

978-837-5166

tankersleyl@merrimack.edu

 

Joseph Kelley

Co-Chair and Professor, 
Religious & Theological Studies

978-837-5171
kelleyjt@merrimack.edu

 

Warren Kay

Co-Chair and Professor, 
Religious & Theological Studies

978-837-3512
kayw@merrimack.edu