1.) Become critical readers of complex texts: In every class we teach, we use texts from the religious traditions of our respective fields: either primary and/or secondary sources. Our enterprise is devoted to helping students read complex texts. It is the heart of what we do.
2.) Develop research and analytical skills: Research is done throughout a religious studies major’s career, culminating in a Senior Capstone course. Prior to that time, every seminar we teach requires papers; research papers are common in almost all of our 300 level courses; and our students participate in the analysis of the texts that are part of every course we teach. Even in introductory courses, faculty assign short exegetical papers for religious texts presented in the course.
3.) Develop the ability to communicate clearly, coherently, and effectively in writing and in speech: Again, the Senior Capstone course demonstrates the highest degree of clear, coherent, and effective written communication. The oral component of the exercise stresses the skills of oral expression. All of our classes require written work. Class discussion is encouraged in all of them as a matter of course. While not all require formal oral presentations, seminars expect both written and oral expression.
4.) Acquire knowledge of diverse religious traditions and global perspectives: We introduce students to major world religions as well as other forms of religious life and culture. Combined with reading complex texts, we encourage students to go abroad, and attain competency in a language other than English, to enhance their study of religion.