"The religion major necessarily exposes the student to unique histories, cultures, and beliefs. It promotes openness and compassion through rigorous study rather than fluff." — James Barra '07, Student, The University of Pennsylvania's School of Dental Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
The Value of Studying Religion
The study of religion provides all the benefits of any other liberal arts humanities major, and the Religion Department offers a diverse curriculum. Faculty members specialize in different geographic regions, time periods, and methodologies, and we bring the breadth of our global experience into the classroom. We can acquaint you with the cultures of the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
In this increasingly globalized world, we work with people from many different cultures in our careers, and it is imperative that we be able to communicate with one another. Religion courses implicitly train students to re-evaluate their own most deeply held values and beliefs. They encourage critical thinking--that is, objective, informed, and balanced insight and analysis--which can facilitate open-mindedness and communication.
Recent graduates have entered many different career paths: some pursue graduate studies in religion or enter seminary, but far more go in other directions. Some go to medical school or law school. Others enter business or education, and some work for American or international nonprofit organizations. The following show the diverse career paths that previous religious studies majors have followed and the value of an undergraduate major in religious studies at Gettysburg College.