MUN's undergraduate programme in Religious Studies is inspired by two poles: 1) the important role played by religion in the history of western culture, including Newfoundland and Labrador, and 2) the great diversity of religions that exist in the world, in Canada, and increasingly, in Newfoundland and Labrador. As a reflection of these two poles, our programme offers a large selection of courses in the Christian and Biblical traditions, as well as the other religious traditions of the world, including:
In addition to courses on specific religions, we offer a wide variety of courses that explore the relationship between religion and other aspects of human culture, such as:
Our courses are interesting, enlightening, and promote a fuller understanding of the diversity that exists in global human culture. Please see the courses that we are offering in this upcoming term.
The Degree Programmes
MUN offers two undergraduate programmes in Religious Studies: the Bachelor of Arts with Major and the Bachelor of Arts with Honours.
The Department's Major programme was completely redesigned as of September 2004, offering increased flexibility and a large variety of new courses. The new programme was specifically designed for modern students with contemporary concerns and interests. Requiring twelve courses, students have the flexibility to study a variety of religions, as well as focus on a particular tradition, if they so desire. The key to the programme is its structure: courses are organized into three groups. The first group contains courses on early Judaism and Christianity, including the Bible. The second group contains courses on Asian religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Daoism. The third section contains courses on the relationship between religion and culture. Students majoring in Religious Studies are required to take at least one course from each group. Beyond that students have the freedom to choose whatever courses interest them most. It is a highly recommended programme.
The Honours programme gives students the opportunity to learn more about religion, to research a particular topic in depth, and to attain the academic distinction of a Bachelor of Arts with Honours. It is recommended for students who wish to go on to a post-graduate degree such as a MA or Ph.D. The Honours degree normally requires twenty courses in Religious Studies.
The Department is particularly excited to offer a Minor in Religious Studies for students who have chosen to declare their major with another department, but who are still interested in religion. Requiring only eight courses, the Minor is extremely flexible. It is ideal for anyone who has wondered what religion is all about, and a fabulous complement for anyone undertaking a major in a related discipline, such as Anthropology, Classics, English, Folklore, History, Philosophy, Political Science, or Sociology. Since religion is a "second teachable" subject in the province's educational system, Religious Studies is an excellent choice for a Minor for anyone planning on entering the Faculty of Education and pursuing a teaching career.
If you would like more information about our programmes, or if you would like to declare Religious Studies as your Major or Minor, please don't hesitate to come up and visit us. We're in the new section of the Arts and Administration Building, A5007. Or give us a call at 864-8166.
After the Degree
An undergraduate degree in Religious Studies prepares a student for many kinds of opportunities. A degree in Religious Studies may prepare a student to work within a religious organization, but this is the case for only a minority of our graduates. Some students choose to proceed to Master's or Doctoral programmes in Religious Studies. A student may enter a professional programme, such as Law, Business, Social Work, Education, or Nursing. A Bachelor of Arts degree is a pre-requisite when applying for many government positions, and an indispensable asset when applying for work in the private sector or with a non-governmental organization. The Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies teaches an appreciation of human history and culture, the ability to read sceptically and write clearly, and an understanding of how multi-faceted human interactions truly are. This is an invaluable liberal arts education, and a fine start to a professional career.
Those interested in exploring more fully the career opportunities provided by an Arts degree may want to contact Lisa Russell, the Senior Career Development Coordinator for the Faculty of Arts. Her office is in UC 4002. She can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 864-7074 or 864-2033.