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Religious Studies and Ethics Department

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The Religious Studies and Ethics Department examines the impact of religion on local, national, and global communities. In true liberal-arts form, its approaches includes the theological, comparative, philosophical, historical, ethical, literary, scriptural, psychological, socioeconomic, and anthropological. We teach religious studies not as an isolated, esoteric field of study, but rather as a deeply integrated field requiring an invaluable tool set that merges elegantly with other academic disciplines, from the humanities and social sciences to the arts and hard sciences.

Religious Studies and Ethics fits beautifully within the College’s mission and Core Values. The program’s curriculum opens hearts and minds to new ideas while preparing students for a variety of careers by nurturing a range of skills. These skills include critical and creative thinking, competency in oral communication, confidence reading a range of texts, analytical writing, and leadership and role modeling within communities. In studying religion and ethics, students engage critically, compassionately, and cross-culturally with the major issues facing individuals, cultures, and the world.

Courses are offered on Christianity, Bible, Judaism, Islam, Native American religion, Tibetan and Himalayan religions, and Chinese religions. Our global focus includes the West, the Middle East, the Far East, Latin America, and indigenous peoples. Students in Religious Studies and ethics courses learn through seminar discussions, lectures, role-playing, film analysis, individual reading, writing, student collaboration, and internships focused on social service and action.

Religious Studies and Ethics graduates have pursued careers in law, medicine, education, social justice work, counseling, art, business, and government. The department also offers preparation that may lead to a career in ministry or religious education, and courses prepare students to enter seminary or divinity school directly upon graduation.


College Catalog

For more information about courses for the Religious Studies and Ethics Department, visit the online, searchable College Catalog. The Undergraduate Catalog also includes academic department and major information, academic regulations and resources, admission standards and requirements, and tuition, fees, and financial aid information.

Majors and Minors

  • Religious Studies and Ethics Major and Minor: Religious Studies and Ethics explores the mystery and meaning of our existence in the many aspects of the social and natural world. The major requires 33 credit hours, and the minor requires 16. Students work with the department chair or minor adviser to determine a specific focus.
  • Quaker Studies Minor: The Quaker Studies minor explores Quaker spirituality in relation to the world. It requires 16 semester hours.
  • Philosophy Minor: To earn a minor in Philosophy, students take four courses, including one history of Philosophy course and at least one Philosophy course at the 300 or 400 level.

 

Awards and Scholarships

The Religious Studies and Ethics Department offers the Frederic and Margaret Crownfield Religious Studies Prize, awarded every academic year to the Religious Studies and Ethics student who writes an outstanding thesis or seminar paper.

Religious Studies and Ethics Department News and Events

Examining the Human Experience

Examining the Human Experience

Students explore major questions of the human experience including gender and religion in Professor of Religious Studies Mark Justad’s Men, Masculinity, and Religion course.

Three Weeks on the Edge: Magic and Medicine [VIDEO]

Three Weeks on the Edge: Magic and Medicine [VIDEO]

The Guilford Edge provides incredible opportunities for hands-on, collaborative learning. The Mechanisms of Magic and Medicine Study Abroad adventure, led by…

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

“Food and Faith” course walks students through the intricate roles that farming, food, and meal sharing play in everyday life.

Genuine Faith

Genuine Faith

Religious Studies and Accounting major Jacob Perkins ’22 talks about what drew him to study religion, how Guilford made his experience unique, his plans for the future and his advice for fellow students.

Contact Us

Wess Daniels

Wess Daniels

William R Rogers Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies

Mark Justad

Mark Justad

Director of the Center for Principled Problem Solving

Eric Mortensen

Eric Mortensen

John A. Von Weissenfluh Professor of Religious Studies

Marius Pascale

Marius Pascale

Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Jill Peterfeso

Jill Peterfeso

Eli Franklin Craven and Minnie Phipps Craven Associate Prof of Religious Studies