Every Concordia student gets a chance to experience the in-depth teaching in the religion department through core courses. Many elect to dive deeper into what the department offers, discovering more about world religions including Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism.

Classes range from biblical Hebrew to how pop culture shapes religion and religion shapes pop culture. Coursework in religion will help students to lead an examined life by building up self-knowledge and compassion for others throughout the world.

Programs of Study

Religion Major or Minor

Religion courses will teach you history, diversity, tolerance, leadership, critical thinking and analytical writing. Religion majors and minors are encouraged to pursue an emphasis that develops their particular interests and passions and prepares them for their vocational aspirations.

Major in Religion with Faith and Leadership Concentration

Courses in the faith and leadership concentration develop your capacity for resilient faith-based leadership in our interconnected and rapidly changing world. The faith and leadership concentration offers you the advantage of pre-professional preparation that can be customized to meet your individual needs, to help you develop your particular talents and interests, and to enable you to pursue your specific vocational aspirations. Students who choose to concentrate are equipped to lead in faith communities, service organizations, nonprofits, outdoor ministry settings, and other professions. Many students in the concentration choose to go on to a graduate program. For more information on this concentration, contact Dr. David Creech.

Interfaith Studies Minor 

The interfaith studies minor promotes interreligious literacy with the cultivation of skills and competencies necessary for living in a pluralistic world. This is an emerging academic field that has a practical aim of developing professionals who can “responsibly engage the world” as interfaith leaders.

Career

Where can you go with a religion major? Anywhere you like. Religion majors find careers all over the map. While some work in religious settings, many others work in businesses, higher education and social justice organizations.

Special Opportunities

If you want to experience rich conversations, opposing viewpoints and the opportunity to view faith from various religious perspectives through scholars who have expert information, spending some time in the religion department is just the place for you. Better yet, travel with some of these expert faculty members to religious sites around the world including Egypt, Greece, Italy, India, China and more.

Santorini, Greece

The Santorini, Greece, experience is a monthlong abroad opportunity that combines the Religion in Global Context course with cultural immersion on the island of Santorini and in Turkey. This experience introduces students to basic language skills, cultural experiences, and the study of religion in Greece and Turkey. It introduces students to the complexity of the academic study of religion and its relation to culture in a global arena in a way that will help students develop critical knowledge and thinking skills about some of the most pressing modern social issues of our age – in this case, the Greek/Turkey refugee crisis.

Faith and Leadership Practicum

Courses in the faith and leadership concentration prepare you to “influence the affairs of the world.” In this concentration, you develop deep knowledge about faith and about leadership, and gain practical experience engaging both by working with churches, service organizations, and other nonprofits. Students in the interfaith minor also have opportunities for practicums and internships in the community. The religion major with a faith and leadership concentration is designed to easily pair with other majors or minors. For more information on the faith and leadership practicum, contact Dr. David Creech.

Winnipeg Orthodoxy Weekend

For over 40 years, the religion department has hosted a tour to Winnipeg, Canada to introduce participants to Eastern Orthodox Christianity. All interested students, faculty, and staff should inquire at the religion department office for details. The trip is hosted by Fr. Mirone Klysh of St. George’s Episcopal Church and Dr. Roy Hammerling of the Religion Department. We make visits to the Coptic (Egyptian) Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Romanian Orthodox, and Ukrainian Orthodox Churches.

Mathetai

Mathetai is a student organization for students pursuing a major or minor in religion but is open to any student with an interest in religion. The group meets monthly or bi-monthly to engage in open, respectful conversations about religion and theology. Past events have included trips to Orthodox churches, movie and discussion nights, and the annual pancake cook-off between religion professors.

Three Faiths: A Journey to Israel and Palestine

Dr. Elna Solvang and a group of religion students examined “the complexity of religion in the world” during a PEAK Seminar to Israel and Palestine in February 2018. They met with religious representatives and visited Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities and religious sites in Israel and the West Bank.

World Christianity Semester – Hong Kong

Experience Christianity in a new light. Study four religion courses at the Lutheran Theological Seminary (LTS) in Hong Kong, and gain an opportunity to see the international Christian mission firsthand in one of the most energetic and internationally oriented cities in the world.

Destination: South Africa May Seminar

What role does religion play in apartheid in South Africa and the reconciliation or retribution during the process of change? You can answer those questions through firsthand experiences during a study abroad experience with religion professors Jan Pranger and Elna Solvang. Offered alternating summers.

Studying religion at Concordia led me to understand religion in its broader cultural, social and personal contexts. I was given multiple lenses into studying Christianity, especially, and learned just how complex faith and religion can be. – Kristi Del Vecchio '13, Academic Initiatives Manager, Interfaith Youth Core
Contact

Dr. Elna K. Solvang

Chair/Professor, Religion Religion, Women's and Gender Studies