Undergraduate Catalog 2021-2022

Religious Studies, Bachelor of Arts (769)


Program Coordinator

James W. Barker, james.barker@wku.edu, (270) 745-3841

The academic study of religion provides the student with the methodological orientation necessary to comprehend the central beliefs, ethical practices, ritual systems, and social institutions of diverse religious traditions in their historic, contemporary and global contexts. Study in this field is multicultural and comparative, examining the patterns of life and moral worlds of societies past and present, our own as well as others. The student learns to probe for the structure, function and meaning of religion through those rites of passage, sacred narratives, faith communities, and codes of behavior that give meaning to human existence.

Program Requirements (31 hours)

A baccalaureate degree requires a minimum of 120 unduplicated semester hours. More information can be found at www.wku.edu/registrar/degree_certification.php.

Students who began WKU in the Fall 2014 and thereafter should review the Colonnade requirements located at: https://www.wku.edu/colonnade/colonnaderequirements.php.

The major in religious studies requires a minimum of 31 semester hours and leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree. At least four hours must be at the 400-level. A minor or second major is required. The thirty-one hours must be distributed as follows:

Category I: World Religions
RELS 102World Religions3
Category II: Religious Traditions
Select three courses from the following:9
Buddhism
Hinduism
Judaism
Christianity
Islam
Confucianism
Daoism
Category III: Comparative Approaches to the Study of Religion
Select one course from the following:3
Religions of Asia
World Religious Literature
Christians, Jews, and Pagans in the Greco-Roman World
The Meaning of Life; Atheism to Zen
Religions of the Middle East
Women and Religion
Religion and the Environment
Category IV: Electives
9 of the 15 hours must be in RELS: the remaining 6 should be selected from the following pre-approved list (or other courses approved by the Department Head) as well as from the departmentally - approved study abroad courses. 115
Anthropology of Religion
Medieval Art & Architecture
Islamic Art and Architecture
Mythology
Dante’s Divine Comedy and Its Influences
Age of the Reformation
The Crusades: West Meets East
Medieval Philosophy
Psychology of Religion
Religion in Society
Category V: Senior Seminar
RELS 496Senior Seminar1
Total Hours31

Finish in Four Plan

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
COMM 145 or ENG 1003ENG 100 or COMM 1453
HIST 101 or HIST 1023MATH 109 (or higher)3
Colonnade: Natural & Physical Sciences3Colonnade: Natural & Physical Sciences with lab3-4
RELS 1023Religious Traditions Course3
Religious Studies Elective3Colonnade: Social & Behavioral Science3
 15 16
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
RELS 2003ENG 3003
Religious Traditions Course3Colonnade: Connections (Social & Cultural)3
2nd Major/Minor Course3Religious Traditions Course3
2nd Major/Minor Course3Religious Studies Elective3
2nd Major/Minor Course32nd Major/Minor Course3
 15 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
Religious Studies Elective3Religious Studies Elective3
Colonnade: Connections (Systems)32nd Major/Minor Course3
General Elective3Colonnade: Connections (Local to Global)3
2nd Major/Minor Course3General Elective3
2nd Major/Minor Course3General Elective1
 RELS 4961
 15 14
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
Religious Studies Elective32nd Major/Minor Course3
2nd Major/Minor Course3General Elective3
2nd Major/Minor Course3General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
 15 15
Total Hours 120