Religious Studies is a broad term that includes the study of many religious experiences and traditions from different cultures. Our majors take courses in World Religions and religions in the United States, courses that are grounded in Catholic theology and teaching and courses that explore the human phenomenon of religion. All courses aim at expanding the student’s worldview and invite reflection on addressing the complexities of religion and spirituality today. We also participate in programming with local Jewish and Muslim communities.
Theology argues that the claims of one particular tradition are true and, perhaps, unique. At Loras, that tradition is Christianity as practiced in the Roman Catholic tradition. Our majors take courses in in systematic theology (systems of thought that are based on Christian revelation), studies of the Bible, and moral/ethical behavior.
Students who major or double major in Religious Studies are some of the most active students at Loras. Religious Studies majors are more likely than others on campus to study abroad and to participate in service trips both nationally and internationally. Because majors receive experience in situations that apply directly to their careers, ninety-eight percent of all Religious Studies majors find jobs in fields related to their course of study.
Our majors benefit from a faculty that teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses and from a library that has outstanding resources—both paper and electronic collections. Finally, all Religious Studies majors who have sought to continue their education in graduate programs have been accepted by accredited institutions.
Because our majors are at the forefront of issues related to social justice and the use of Catholic Social Teaching, they tend to be winners of the annual Valder Scholarship, which provides students with stipends to serve in a Catholic organization dedicated to addressing problems of social justice. Some recent winners include:
Carolyn Windberg ('12)
Yvette Andersen (’11)
Neil Mohlman ('10)
In addition, students used their research to deliver papers at conferences like the Great Plains Undergraduate Theology Conference.
The concentration in ministry within the Religious Studies major allows students to focus their theological studies in preparation for parish ministry. As in the regular major, the concentration in ministry offers two capstone options, one that displays research and writing skills on a topic of interest to the student, and a second that integrates practical experience in a parish with theological principles learned in coursework. Students interested in ministry often work in parishes for internships or practicum credits.
Catholic Studies Minor
Students can take courses in a wide variety of areas and complete one course together, titled “The Catholic Heritage.” For more information about the Catholic Studies minor, click here