Meet Your Major

As a religious and theological studies major, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the role religion plays in human life and development.

What You’ll Learn

In the religious and theological studies program, you will:

  • Gain knowledge of the historical, social, and cultural contexts that have influenced—and are influenced by—religion and religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam.
  • Examine religious texts from 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.
  • Develop your writing, research, analytical and critical thinking skills.
  • Better understand your world, your values and what makes you happy and fulfilled.

Two Tracks

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

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

Hands-On Learning

You will have opportunities to learn outside the classroom.

Career Options

With a degree in religious and theological studies, you will be well equipped to pursue a career in business, law, management, international relations, education, medicine, law enforcement, government or social services. Understanding the basic beliefs and convictions of others prepares you to succeed in our increasingly interconnected world.

 Positions may include:

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

What You’ll Take

Religious and theological studies must complete a minimum of 38 credits in the major, as follows:

Emphasis in Religious Studies

RTS 1XXX Any Introductory RTS course (1000 level)
Three courses in: World Religions
One course in: Biblical Studies
One course in: Systematic Theology or Christian History
One course in: Religion, Society and Ethics 
Two electives in:  Religious and Theological Studies 
RTS 4900                      Seminar in Religious and Theological Studies (taken in junior or senior year)


Emphasis in Theological Studies

RTS 1XXX Any Introductory RTS course (1000 level)
One course in: World Religions
Two courses in: Biblical Studies
One course in: Christian History
One course in: Systematic Theology
One course in: Religion, Society and Ethics 
Two electives in: Religious and Theological Studies 
RTS 4900                      Seminar in Religious and Theological Studies (taken in junior or senior year) 


Elective

One elective may be selected from the following list of approved courses outside the department:

FAA 3100 Music and Spirituality
HIS 3355 Barbarians and Holy Men: The History of Late Antiquity
HIS 3360 Medieval Civilization
HIS 3365 The History of Muslim Communities, 600-1600
HIS 3366 History of Modern Middle East
HIS 3370 Renaissance, Reformation and Exploration
PHL 2330 History of Medieval Philosophy
PHL 2350W Philosophy of Augustine
PHL 2420 Asian Philosophy
PHL 3040 Philosophy of Religion
PHL 3180 Existentialism


Notes
Major GPA: The GPA for the religious and theological studies major will be calculated by taking the average of courses designated RTS.

Honor Society: Merrimack College is a member of the National Honor Society for Religious Studies and Theology (Theta Alpha Kappa), which is open to students who have completed at least 12 credits in religious and theological studies and have at least a 3.50 GPA in the major and an overall GPA of at least 3.00.