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Philosophy and Religious Studies

Mission Statement

Philosophy & Religious Studies Mission

The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies strives to offer excellent undergraduate instruction, to conduct first-rate scholarly research, and to perform dedicated service to the college, university, community, and academic profession.

More Specifically

The study of philosophy is devoted to knowledge and reason as such. How do we process our knowledge, think critically, and make decisions? Philosophical thinking is not simply training in a field; it is the refinement of a worldview. Journalist correspondent for NBC News, Katy Tur said, "It was by far the best major I could have taken in college. It allowed me to do anything that I wanted to do. Philosophy is a great major because it allows me to ask questions, and that is what I do every day," in regards to her B.A. in Philosophy.

The academic study of religion, understanding spirituality, religious thought, literature, and practice as powerful cultural forces in our world, is as important as ever. Former U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry wrote, "In a world where people of all religious traditions are migrating and mingling like never before, we ignore the global impact of religion at our peril" and he added, "I often say that if I headed back to college today, I would major in comparative religions." Engaging the questions and topics of Religious Studies is a vital part of that effort to understand how people process, document, and give meaning to the human experience.

Thus, our department not only holds a commitment to the liberal arts tradition, but also bears the task of thinking about the very nature of that tradition and the way it continues to take shape in the emerging world of new technologies, new divisions of intellectual labor, and new ways of organizing knowledge.

Philosophy & Religious Studies Goals

  1. To prepare students for a fulfilling life in an interconnected world of globalization by equipping them with the skills and knowledge to ask and address the most fundamental questions of human existence. 
  2. To encourage and support personal and social responsibility and dedicated service to others by students, faculty, and staff.
  3. To prepare students for further study at the graduate level.
  4. To encourage and support faculty development.
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