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Social Justice

Religion and Social Justice Concentration

As a social justice major with a concentration in religion and social justice, you’ll discover the complex interplay between religious beliefs and human rights advocacy.

Through a combination of liberal arts and education coursework, you’ll prepare to succeed in a world where social justice is more important than ever.

In the religion and social justice program, you will:

  • Explore historical, social, cultural, and ethical perspectives that have influenced — and are influenced by — religion.
  • Dive deeper into topics like women and Islam; war and peace; Latin American politics; and Abrahamic traditions.
  • Delve into core social ethics and religious tenets that drive people’s actions and beliefs.
  • Explore ways to speak and write persuasively to communicate your ideas and spark action.
  • Gain the theoretical, analytical and experiential knowledge that will prepare you for social justice work.

Hands-On Learning

Outside the classroom, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in community-based or nongovernmental organization internships focusing on areas like poverty and homelessness. You can also get involved in Social Justice Week, an on-campus initiative that addresses inequality issues through high-profile speaker events and campuswide discussions. 

Career Options

Upon successful completion of the global justice and human rights concentration, you’ll be well equipped to pursue a career in advocacy, law, criminal justice, conflict resolution or social work. Positions may include:

  • Community organizer
  • Human rights activist
  • Journalist
  • Nonprofit director
  • Religious leader
  • Research consultant
  • Teacher 

What You’ll Take

All social justice majors take required and elective courses to satisfy the 34-credit and minimum-of-10 course requirement. You must take SOJ 1000, a capstone class and participate in an internship.

If you are concentrating in religion and social justice, you will also take courses in the following areas:

Elective Courses

Global Justice

One of the following courses:

PHL 2500 Theories of Justice†
PHL 3030 Global Justice
RTS 2990 Women in Islam
RTS 2950 Ethics in the Abrahamic Traditions
RTS 3850    War & Peace 
Ethics and Theory

One of the following courses:

RTS 2800 Social Ethics: Christian Perspectives 
RTS 2950       Ethics in the Abrahamic Traditions
Legal, Political or Economic Perspectives on Social Justice

One of the following courses:

POL 3521 Latin American Politics*
ECO 3303 Economic Development**
RTS 2950 Ethics in the Abrahamic Traditions 
RTS 3850  War and Peace: Religious Perspectives 
RTS 3900         Women’s Voices in the Holocaust 
Historical or Cultural Perspectives on Social Justice

One of the following courses:

COM 3231 Intercultural Communication** 
HIS 2340  Survey of Latin American History 
RTS 2900  Holocaust 
RTS 2950 Ethics in the Abrahamic Traditions 
RTS 2990 Women in Islam 
RTS 3030                        Humans, Earth and the Sacred: Religion and the Environment 
RTS 3750  Jews and Christians: Conflicts and Reconciliations 
RTS 3800 Ethical Witnesses: Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton 
RTS 3850  War and Peace: Religious Perspectives 
RTS 3900  Women’s Voices in the Holocaust 

Note: Courses with more than one prerequisite are mainly options for students pursuing a minor or major in the same discipline.

†  =   One prerequisite, which is either PHL 1000 or ENG/WRT 1050
*  =   One prerequisite
** =   Two or more prerequisites   

More Info 

Luis Sáenz de Viguera Erkiaga
Director, Social Justice
Associate Professor, World Languages and Cultures

978-837-3471
saenzdevigul@merrimack.edu