At Defiance College, religious studies seeks to understand not only historic and contemporary religious ideas, values, and practices within Christianity and other religious traditions, but also religion’s role in shaping society’s moral, political, and cultural practices. Professors encourage student growth within a biblically- and historically-grounded ecumenical Christian tradition. They invite open inquiry, dialogue, and sharing in an environment that values people from different religious and cultural traditions.
Students question what things mean, explore differing views, study archaeology and anthropology, and ponder ways to solve the world’s problems. They explore vocation and career choices through opportunities that enrich their leadership skills, further their understanding of peace and justice issues, and develop their personal and spiritual lives.
The religious studies major provides pre-professional as well as pre-graduate school preparation through an excellent overview of important theories, methods, and areas of study in the field. Students who are thinking of attending seminary should consult with the faculty in religious studies for planning to achieve their personal goals. In addition, DC’s religious studies students benefit from professional networks of scholars, practitioners, and clergy.
Student internships take place in a wide-range of religious institutions and agencies where students work with leaders to develop and nurture their vocational calling.
The religious studies major includes required courses in Bible, theology, church history, world religions, issues in 21st century religion, ethics and morals, field experience/internship, and a senior capstone. Optional coursework is available in spirituality and wholeness, special topics, and any of the courses listed in the ministry studies major.
Benefits of the Program
See also: Ministry Studies major
Students are able to creatively match a major in religious studies with a second major in order to reach their individual personal and career goals. Examples include: ministry studies, design, psychology, social work, criminal justice, and global studies.
Religious or Ministry Studies as a Minor
Both the religious and ministry studies program minors work well in tandem with other majors. Recent graduates and current students added religious or ministry studies minors to majors such as: global studies, English, exercise science, communication studies, social work, and psychology.
For further information, consult with your advisor and/or a member of the religion
and ministry studies faculty.
After College — What’s Next?
Both the religion and ministry studies programs offer students the opportunity to explore their vocation and calling as faith community leaders, religious educators, and practitioners through two programs of study that allow for focus in:
Seminaries and graduate schools attended by our graduates include Harvard, Eden, Lancaster,
Andover-Newton, United of the Twin Cities, Chicago Theological Seminary, The University
of Chicago, Yale Divinity School, The University of Dayton, United Theological Seminary
of Dayton, The University of Denver, Loyola University, and MTSO, Methodist Theological
School in Ohio.
Marian R. Plant, Ed.D.
Professor of Religious and Ministry Studies
Schauffler Chair of Christian Education
Janice Bechtel, M.Div.
Director of Church Relations