Religious and Theological Studies
The Bachelor of Arts in Religious and Theological Studies at St. Edward’s investigates the meaning and purpose of life through a close examination of Christianity and other religious traditions. Through critical inquiry, research and in-depth discussions, you’ll explore the history, thought and ongoing development of Christianity and other world religions. And you’ll prepare for fulfilling careers related to your theological and religious interests, such as ministry, social work or teaching.
Bachelor of Arts in Religious and Theological Studies
As a BA in Religious and Theological Studies major, you’ll examine and evaluate diverse cultures, current affairs and the local and global impact of different belief systems — from Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism to Buddhism and Islam. Within this program, you’ll design your own course of study that suits your interests and goals. For example, you may focus in world religions, systemic theology or biblical studies.
Many students select this degree to prepare for graduate school, seminary or pastoral ministry. Close interaction with faculty at St. Edward’s — and time spent in classes, advising sessions and independent research projects — allows you to learn more about career options and the choice of doing graduate work.
With a Bachelor of Arts in Religious and Theological Studies, graduates work in a variety fields. For example, you could become an editor for a religious publication, a program coordinator for a church, a fundraiser for a faith-related nonprofit, or a teacher within a church-based elementary or secondary school. Graduates of this program often pursue advanced degrees. Many have become college professors, ministers, social workers, doctors and lawyers. Our students have attended leading graduate schools such as Notre Dame, Fordham, Duke and Harvard.
In addition to the general education courses required of all majors, and elective courses, BA in Religious and Theological Studies majors takes courses from these groups:
Students who major in religious and theological studies complete core courses, which include Methods in Religious Studies, Introduction to the Religions of the World, Introduction to the New Testament and History of Christian Theology.
SENIOR SEMINAR AND PORTFOLIO
In their senior year, students participate in a seminar class that culminates in a major research paper and presentation. Past topics include Mysticism, Faith in American Public Life, and Apocalypse Then and Now. Students also compile a portfolio of materials from their time at St. Edward’s as evidence of their experience and research — which gives students an edge when applying for jobs or graduate school.
View the Degree Plan (PDF) for sample course information for the Bachelor of Arts in Religious and Theological Studies.
All BA in Religious and Theological Studies majors are encouraged to complete an internship. Internships are excellent opportunities to explore your passion for a particular aspect of the applied religion experience and to engage in social justice and community service. An internship is an outstanding addition to your résumé and can give you a distinct advantage for graduate school or your career path.
Past internships have included youth ministry, hospital ministry, student teaching, living and working in a Zen Buddhist community, and being a teaching assistant for a Religious and Theological Studies professor.
At St. Edward’s, you’ll participate in professional-level research that’s typically reserved for graduate students at larger universities. A major research paper is central to the BA in Religious and Theological Studies degree. You’ll work alongside professors to conduct academic research, as you build confidence and skills and prepare for graduate studies and your career.
In addition, religious and theological studies majors have presented at the following venues:
- McNair Scholars program conferences
- Southwest Commission on Religious Studies (which includes the American Academy of Religion, the Society for Biblical Literature, the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, and the American Schools of Oriental Research)
- St. Edward’s University Honors Presentations
- Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE) at St. Edward’s University
Students may also publish their research in Arete, the St. Edward’s University academic journal.