About Religious Studies
Welcome! Are you curious about exorcism in medieval art, how the world’s religious traditions might just be on track to make the world more environmentally sustainable, or what ancient sacred texts biblical scholars and archeologists have recently discovered? Then you are curious about religious studies! With a major and a minor in religious studies, Texas A&M University invites students to explore the world’s religious traditions from an interdisciplinary academic perspective.
“Minoring in religious studies allowed me to recognize the extent to which religion is deeply woven into the structures of our world, honor people of other religious traditions, and to meditate upon topics of ultimate concern.”
Allen Junek, Philosophy/Classics Major, Texas A&M Class of ’18, Brite Divinity School Class of ’22; Seminarian, the Episcopal Church of St. Thomas the Apostle
“I loved my RELS minor because it gave me an outlet to use the part of my brain my science-heavy major didn’t give space for. The tools I learned from those classes I take with me to the clinic as I interact with patients from all different backgrounds and belief systems.”
Meagan McGaugh, University Studies Biomedical Sciences major, Neuroscience and Religious Studies minors, Texas A&M Class of 2020; Doctorate of Physical Therapy Student, University of Texas Medical Branch, Class of ‘23
“My favorite part of this program is having the opportunity to learn from incredible faculty who are committed to helping their students better understand the complex effects of religion on our world.”
Sarah Rutherford, University Studies – Religious Thought, Practices, and Cultures Concentration Major, Texas A&M Class of ‘22
Texas A&M offers two ways to study religion:
- Major (BA) in Religious Thought, Practices and Culture
- Minor in Religious Studies
Courses in both curricular options integrate the study of religion with other academic disciplines, to give you a multi-dimensional understanding of religion as an aspect of human culture and experience. All coursework emphasizes critical thinking and written expression.
Why study religion?
Religion has been an essential aspect of human culture for millennia. Today religion is a challenging and fascinating area of study. Studying religion as a human phenomenon, with social, political, and personal dimensions, deepens your knowledge and broadens your perspectives. You will gain analytical skills essential for global citizens as you explore the complexity of human experience. When you take Religious Studies courses at Texas A&M, you’ll consider questions such as these:
- How are religious beliefs and practices intertwined with human interaction — from social and political systems to the family?
- How do people’s perceptions of a divine or sacred dimension shape their actions?
- How do people communicate their religious orientation to others?
- What questions has religion sought to answer, and how do different religions answer those questions?
- How do scholars approach religion as a uniquely human phenomenon?
- What is the role of religion in global conflicts?
- How have religious traditions changed over time?
- What are the implications of religious belief or faith for people’s values and ethics?
- How do religion and science interact?
- How does belief or faith give rise to intellectual and artistic expression?
- What is the relationship between religion and secularity?
The Religious Studies Minor at Texas A&M University invites students to explore the many ways people experience and articulate the sacred. Minoring in religious studies offer students the vocabulary, knowledge, and insight to better understand how religion addresses core concerns of human existence across cultures.
A minor in Religious Studies complements a student’s major program. Students in the minor represent a range of majors in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, and natural sciences. The minor provides greater depth for majors in allied humanities disciplines, such as English and History, provides a subfield concentration for disciplines such as political science and sociology, and provides breadth for majors in fields such as economics and biology. The study of religion offers an excellent intellectual foundation for many careers, among them journalism, medicine, psychology, business, law, public policy, liaison or consulting work, public relations, social work, education, or counseling. Students may also go on to pursue advanced degrees toward research career or religious leadership. The ability to understand the significance of religion at interpersonal, social, and culture levels serves students in any career path that involves contact with other human beings.