Religion

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In keeping with Georgetown’s tradition and mission, the curriculum of the Religion Department prioritizes the study of Christianity. It does so in an ecumenical context and within the broad scope of religious studies as they are encountered in the past and present. The core curriculum is designed not only to introduce students to content, but also to foster healthy critical thinking and writing skills in religious studies. Students can choose from two Religion major tracks. The Religious Studies track emphasizes critical analysis of a broad scope of religious topics to prepare students for further academic study and a variety of careers, including politics, legal work, social work, and teaching. The Ministry Studies track incorporates practical service learning with classroom experiences to prepare students for vocations in the church or faith-based non-profit ministries. Many Religion majors choose to double-major to enhance their vocational preparation. Outside the traditional classroom, students may have the opportunity to join the Religion honor society (Theta Alpha Kappa), gain experience through supervised internships, lead campus worship, and participate in mission trips. Students who successfully complete the Religious Studies track major will:

  • Demonstrate core content knowledge in the fields of biblical studies, Christian theology, cultural-historical studies in religion, and world religions.
  • Develop critical analysis skills in religious studies.

Students who successfully complete the Ministry Studies track major will:

  • Demonstrate core content knowledge in the fields of biblical studies, Christian theology, and Christian ministry.
  • Demonstrate core knowledge in the fields of world religion or of cultural-historical studies in religion.
  • Develop critical analysis skills in religious studies.

Through the core courses, the department additionally seeks to introduce students to the varieties of religious expression. Majors and minors in the department have the opportunity to gain experience in ministry through courses and an optional supervised internship.

Religion majors complete written comprehensive exams in multiple subject areas (varying by chosen Track) and a capstone paper under the guidance of a Religion professor in their final semester of coursework.  Majors are notified of the details of the exams and capstone paper during their next to last semester.  The student and the Office of the Registrar are notified of exam results by the Department Chair.

Degree Type: Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Program Contact: Associate Professor Derek Hatch

 

Majors and Minors

Classes

REL211 : Introduction to Christian Ministry

Presentation of biblical, historical, and practical information related to Christian ministry as a career. Designed for those interested in ministry, the course should aid students in making more mature, informed career decisions.

Credit Hour(s)

3

REL213 : Missional Community

An examination of the biblical, historical, and theological basis for missional communities. This course will introduce students to missional strategies in the twenty-first century. Students will engage in practical projects and assignments that will help develop best practices in developing missional communities.

Credit Hour(s)

3

REL215 : Biblical Storytelling

A biblical, historical, and theological study of the forms of address employed by the church to share the Gospel. Particular attention will be given to the Gospel as narrative and biblical storytelling in the twenty-first century. Students will engage in practical projects and assignments that will help develop best practices and methods of biblical storytelling.

Credit Hour(s)

3

REL219 : Youth and Family Ministries

A biblical, historical, and theological study of youth and family ministries. Particular attention will be given to ministering to young people and families in the twenty-first century. Students will engage in practical projects and assignments that will help develop best practices and methods for ministry.

Credit Hour(s)

3

REL231 : New Testament I

A survey of the content of the Gospels; attention to historical setting, basic literary problems, the history and teachings of Jesus, and the nature and interpretation of Gospel literature.

Credit Hour(s)

3

REL233 : New Testament II

A survey of the content of Acts, the New Testament Epistles, Hebrews, and Revelation. Special attention will be devoted to the historical, cultural, and literary contexts of these texts.

Credit Hour(s)

3

REL235 : Old Testament Law and History

A study of the content, historical and social context, literary structure, and theological value of the Old Testament books Genesis to Esther.

Credit Hour(s)

3

REL237 : Old Testament Prophecy and Poetry

A study of the content, historical and social context, literary structure, and theological value of the Old Testament prophets, the poetic books, and the book of Daniel.

Credit Hour(s)

3

REL243 : The Christian Heritage

A survey of major events, personalities, and issues in the history of Christianity. Attention will be given to Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism in all its varieties, including Pentecostalism. The course emphasizes the connections between the various Christian “pasts” and current events and issues within Christianity.

Credit Hour(s)

3

REL245 : Religion and Popular Culture

An introduction to the study of religion and popular culture. Special attention is given to the ways in which religious and secular values interact and find expression in mass media products such as literature, film, music, and television.

Credit Hour(s)

3

REL253 : Religions of the Modern World

An introduction to the history, beliefs, practices, and overarching worldviews of the major religions of the modern world. Emphasis is placed upon understanding the perspective of the adherents of each tradition, rather than using a comparative method to make evaluative judgments about the merits of the various traditions.

Credit Hour(s)

3

REL255 : Religions of the Ancient World

An introduction to the religious texts, traditions, rituals, and ideas of the ancient Mediterranean world and the ancient Near East. The focus will be on a comparative analysis of the varieties of religious expression, with particular attention paid to the conceptual approaches to the study of religion, as well as to the historical, social, literary, and cultural contexts of religious practices.

Credit Hour(s)

3

REL257 : Basic Christian Thought

A survey of Christian theology, examining the central ecclesial teachings of the Christian faith with special emphasis given to their biblical foundation, historical context, and contemporary relevance.

Credit Hour(s)

3

REL279 : Topics in Ministries Studies

This course is designed to introduce students to aspects of Christian ministry not covered in other courses, including newly emerging prospects and paradigms. May be taken for credit with different topics.

Credit Hour(s)

3

REL353 : Advanced Topics in World Religions

Advanced study in one of the world’s major religious cultures. It traces the origin of that culture and surveys its major beliefs, practices, traditions, scriptures (when applicable), values, and modern-day challenges.

Credit Hour(s)

3

REL357 : Advanced Topics in Theological Studies

The study of special areas in Christian theology. Examples might include Trinitarian theology, patristic theology, feminist theology, ecclesiology, liberation theology, or the theology of Jürgen Moltmann.

Credit Hour(s)

3

REL375 : Tutorial Topics

The study of a specific topic in Religion using the tutorial method adopted from the Oxford University humanities classes.

Credit Hour(s)

3

REL460 : Internship

Supervised experiences through a cooperative program with a religious worker or an institution as closely related as possible to the type of ministry the student is considering.

Credit Hour(s)

1 - 3

Prerequisites

Consent of the supervising instructor.