2020-2021 Catalog 
    Aug 19, 2022  
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Religion Major

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Professors Michael, Twesigye
Associate Professor Gunasti

A prime motivation for the founding of Ohio Wesleyan was the training of a skilled and literate ministry. Almost 150 years later, the study of religion remains vital, but is no longer confined to those planning to enter the professional ministry, nor to those who themselves have ardent personal religious convictions. Rather, students planning careers in business, social services, law, homemaking, medicine, education and other fields benefit from the careful study of religious phenomena and history. Students invariably discover that knowledge of and appreciation for the depth of religious motivations, as well as the pervasiveness and permanence of religious behaviors, prove helpful in their professional lives. Additionally, many of these same students find that their personal faith and devotional life are strengthened by first looking objectively at the faith and devotion of other religious persons.

NOTE: A combination of the Religion Major, Religion Minor, and/or Pre-Theology Major is not permitted within the Department.

SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY: Religion Majors and Minors and Pre-Theology Majors may take up to two courses at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio under our concurrent enrollment agreement. Permission of the department chair required.

Learning Objectives

1. Students will learn how in complex ways religion both explicitly and implicitly influences cultures, politics, laws and values of western and non-western societies, including Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Latin American and African societies.

2. Students will learn the skills and gain the necessary intellectual, cultural and theological tools to identify and then correctly explore the key roles and societal functions of religious thought, myths, ritual practices, moral values, and sacraments in the lives of individuals, communities and nations.

3. Students will learn how to read, correctly understand the meanings of the texts, and appreciate religious and cultural, historical, philosophical, moral and political contexts as the background to understand critically the sacred texts or scriptures of some major religions.

4. Students will learn the necessary research methodologies in religion and textual criticism methods to enable them to study the chosen scriptural texts and interpret them correctly.

5. Students will learn to employ ethical reasoning, critical thinking and analytical skills as the essential tools for critical study and understanding of religion and moral theology or religious ethics.

6. Student will learn writing and academic communication skills through conducting research for term papers and presenting them in class.

7. Students will gain the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in graduate school, law school, seminary or to work as a youth minister, or work in various political and other organizations, which require deep understanding of the major role religion and ethics play in shaping people’s cultures, values, attitudes to laws, public and private behaviors, political activities, and formulation of laws and public policies.

Major Requirements

Students complete nine unit courses in religion (two half-unit courses may count as a unit course). Two courses each must be in two of the areas below, and a fifth course must be in the remaining area. Two elective religion courses from the below groups, and two courses are the Capstone sequence—REL 270  and REL 498 /REL 499  (0.5 units each).

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