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Religious Studies

Here at Young Harris College, we engage in understanding and evaluating diverse perspectives and backgrounds. By discussing new and intriguing ideas with professors and peers in an open-minded environment, you learn from others around the world who believe in and practice vastly different ways of life. Such engagement profoundly empowers your confidence as a globally-minded individual. The Pew Research Center published its in September of 2010, and their findings suggest a strong correlation between knowledge about religion and general academic achievement. Put simply, those who know about religion know more.

Studying religions is fundamentally an initiation into ways of responding well to cultural diversity. With courses in Buddhist thought, Christian scriptures, Islamic law and more, the study of religion gives you the opportunity to explore vastly different worlds of meaning and purpose in relation to the sacred. A Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies also equips you to better understand yourself in light of similarities and differences with those of other religions—or even those of at all. Through comparison, you can see your own values, interests and spirituality more distinctly, and thus more carefully adapt to our ever changing cultures.

For students interested in ministry, this is the major for you. It prepares you for academic success in seminaries and divinity schools. Moreover, the academic study of one’s own religion as well as others’ religions makes for better ministers. Religious Studies majors pursue careers in ministry (including pastoral ministry, music and youth ministry, and pastoral counseling), but also in law, government, journalism, public service, social work, and teaching. Some majors work in the corporate world.

We have an impressive record of sending students to excellent graduate schools. Of majors graduating between 2014-2017, one earned a full-ride scholarship to Vanderbilt University in a Doctoral program in Philosophy and another earned a full-ride scholarship to University of Georgia – Athens in a Master’s program in Religious Studies. Numerous graduates are enrolled currently in Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in the Masters of Divinity program. One graduate started a self-owned business as a contractor to develop business profiles. Another graduate entered the Armed Forces. Another graduate works full-time in outdoor adventure settings. 
Your faculty are experts in religious studies and philosophy and are here to help you become good interpreters and creators of culture, while remaining sensitive to diversity. As a religious studies major, you’ll engage in a course of study that demands critical rigor toward the ways religions have at times enhanced and at other times undermined human flourishing. You will also gain an empathetic understanding of diverse responses to humanity’s deepest and most fundamental questions, as well as a thorough academic understanding of the histories, practices and doctrinal perspectives of religions and philosophical positions.
Religion and interfaith understanding play a crucial role in maintaining a just and peaceful world. People who possess such understanding can make an important contribution in any field, such as human rights, education, public policy, international relations, law, government and nonprofit organizations.



Questions? Contact Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Religion and Philosophy Department Chair Dr. Eric Dickman.

Division of Humanities