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A degree in Religious Studies prepares a student for a wide variety of post-graduate directions, including graduate studies toward careers in academia, parish work, religious education, journalism and more.

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“The search for truth in ever-changing contexts never becomes passe and continues to drive human history. Sometimes the process leads us to reaffirm ancient truths and values and sometimes to challenge them. I hope simply to be a catalyst for students in their ongoing discovery of truth and value.”

Dr. Joseph Raab

Professor of Religious Studies

Dr. Joseph Raab

Learn what the Siena Effect can do for you.

The Religious Studies Program at Siena Heights University challenges students to engage in the academic study of religion, to construct an ethical worldview informed by faith, to strengthen their understanding of God and to hone tools and skills for life-long spiritual development.

A degree in Religious Studies prepares a student for a wide variety of post-graduate directions, including graduate studies toward careers in academia, parish work, religious education, journalism and more.

The Religious Studies program at Siena Heights University attracts students for a number of reasons:

• Some are on fire with their faith and desire to learn more about it.
• Some want to serve people in their faith communities as youth ministers, teachers or pastoral counselors.
• Some students have questions about what they were taught as children and want to re-examine those teachings as adults to see if they make sense.
• Some students intend to go on for seminary study or graduate school, while other students are simply seekers, intrigued by questions of ultimate meaning and purpose. (Is that all there is?)
• A number of students major in another field (psychology, business, social work, information technology) and choose to minor in Religious Studies for personal enrichment or in preparation for service in the community.

Ian Bell
Associate Professor of Religious Studies
Joseph Raab
Professor of Religious Studies
Wendy Crosby
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

Students who major in Religious Studies can choose from three areas of concentration:

  • Pastoral Studies with an emphasis on ministry: Students selecting this concentration within the major will be encouraged to complement their religious studies education with courses from other disciplines that will help them with careers in parish ministry. In such a professional context, skills related to education, counseling, and group dynamics can be of great help, and students trained in these areas will be better suited for careers in ministry.
  • Religious Studies with an emphasis on world religions and philosophy: Students selecting this concentration within the major will explore the historical development, beliefs and practices associated with some of the major religious traditions, become familiar with both phenomenological and philosophical approaches to the study of religion, and consider the intersection between religious belief and socio-political movements on the contemporary stage.
  • Religious Studies with an emphasis on systematic theology, Scripture, and/or theological ethics: Students choosing this concentration within the major will be directed at a more specifically (though not exclusively) Christian education in religious studies. The goal of such a track will be to encourage in these students theological proficiency concerning such topics as the doctrines of the Christian faith, Holy Scripture, and contemporary issues with which the faith is engaged.

The Religious Studies Program also offers three options for students who would like to pursue a minor in the area of Religious Studies. Any one of these minors provides an enriching complement to a wide variety of majors offered at Siena Heights University:

  • A Religious Studies minor with a core of courses offering a broad and ecumenical engagement of religious traditions
  • A Theology minor with a core of courses more concentrated in the Catholic tradition
  • A contracted minor designed to accommodate a student’s particular needs and interests.

  • Two of the three full-time faculty have received the Eileen K. Rice Outstanding Teacher Award
  • Religious Studies majors and minors gather several times a year for faith-sharing, meals and discussions with people with a Religious Studies degree about the sorts of careers they’ve had and how they are using that degree today
  • The program is enriched by the diversity of students’ religious traditions, cultures and reasons for joining the program

When you graduate with a degree in Religious Studies you are well prepared to embark on a wide variety of career paths, such as:

  • Journalism
  • Social services
  • Religious education
  • Graduate school/ higher education
  • Parish ministry/administration
  • Youth ministry
  • Hospital chaplaincy or Pastoral Counseling
  • Religious life/ecclesial vocation

Students who major in Religious Studies and meet specific criteria can be inducted into our chapter of Theta Alpha Kappa, the National Honor Society for Religious Studies and Theology. Many of our majors and minors are also involved in community service clubs on campus and Campus Ministry.

Costs & Aid

We know that college can be expensive, but we don’t want cost to keep you from attending Siena Heights University! We offer numerous financial aid opportunities. Federal aid is available to students who qualify by completing the FAFSA. Feel free to contact us with questions about financial aid opportunities, or click on one of the links below.