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Religious and Theological Studies

Learn about the 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
  • Study 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

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 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

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