Studying religion develops students’ critical thinking, writing and persuasion skills. You will learn how to debate your values and, through the study of religious theory, come to understand the origin of information and how knowledge is created from different perspectives.
Students majoring in the Religious Studies (BA) degree at Appalachian State University typically prepare for careers as religious leaders or employees of religious-affiliated organizations, but the skills you’ll develop are vital in many fields. You will learn from engaged faculty who foster deep conversations inside and outside the classroom. Class sizes are small, so you’ll receive individualized attention.
The Department of Philosophy and Religion values undergraduate research whether it is completed alongside a professor or through an independent study. The department values practical experience and encourages internships. The department’s internship coordinator will assist as you in researching and securing a host site that is applicable to your career interests.
Employment: Students find employment in parks and recreation services, universities such as South University, the United Methodist Church, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and other religious-affiliated organizations.
Graduate school: Those choosing to pursue advanced degrees have gone on to University of Miami Law School, Emory University, Duke University, Duke University Divinity School, Moravian Theological Seminary, Harvard Divinity School, Wake Forest University, American University and UNC-Chapel Hill.
A minor is required. Popular minors include:
Engagement Outside the Classroom
- Defense for Faith - a campus club for Christian and non-Christian students to discuss, debate, and learn about intellectual issues and ideas that relate to Christianity and other worldviews.
- CULTuRe (Collegiate Undergraduates Learning Things about Religion) - an organization devoted to learning about different religions in a friendly environment. Members have talks by religion professors, attend religious events hosted by other clubs, and eat dinner together occasionally.
- Vocations for Christ - an organization to guide and encourage students who are considering full-time Christian ministry with their preparations for such ministry and selection of a graduate program.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
Each summer, Religious Studies professor Randy Reed and Philosophy professor Jack Kwong lead students on a 6-credit hour study abroad program to Paris and Rome for a class titled “Love, Sex, and Power in the History of Christianity and the Meaning of Life.”
There are no admission requirements beyond admission to Appalachian State University.
- A degree in religion develops students’ critical thinking, writing and persuasion skills.
- Students can conduct research alongside a faculty member or on their own through an independent study. The Department of Philosophy and Religion encourages them to present their research at conferences and professional meetings and also contributes funds for travel. For example, in Spring 2015 students presented research on Millennials in the church.
- Students are encouraged to pursue an internship, and the department’s internship coordinator can help identify an ideal site.
On campus only
Some of these jobs may require education beyond a bachelors’ degree.
- Campus Religious Coordinator
- Church Building Engineer
- Church Camp Director
- Denominational Executive
- Director of Religious Education
- Guidance Counselor
- Labor Relations Researcher
- Nonprofit/NGO Manager
- Nursing Home Director
- Political Campaign Worker
- Public Policy Manager
- Religious Researcher
- Religious Staff Writer
- Research Assistant
- Youth Minister
Dr. Thomas B. Ellis