Requirements for a Major or Minor in
• Major in Religion (36 credits)
• Minor in Religion (20 credits)
Michelle Lelwica, chair
James W. Aageson
Stewart W. Herman
Hilda P. Koster
Per M. Anderson
Jacqueline A. Bussie
Jan H. Pranger
Ernest L. Simmons Jr.
Adam J. Copeland
Elna K. Solvang
The study of religion is an essential component of the academic program at Concordia. Religious beliefs and practices organize human life around ultimate commitments and concerns. Understanding the varied forms and elements of the religious life contributes to quality liberal arts learning and to personal enrichment through engagement with perennial questions about meaning, truth and value. Because of the mission of the college and the pervasive presence and influential role of religion in human affairs, students at Concordia are required to take two religion courses as part of the Core Curriculum requirement and may also elect to major or minor in religion.
All Concordia graduates, as liberally educated people, will engage in the academic study of religion to gain a basic understanding of the main aspects of the Christian tradition as well as familiarity with at least one other religion."
Required Core courses and elective study programs offer students various opportunities to acquire broad knowledge and enduring critical skills for informed religious involvement and lifelong learning.
Departmental courses are organized around four modes of inquiry:
• Interpretive Studies
• Historical Studies
• Comparative Studies
• Constructive Studies
These four modes of inquiry represent different ways in which humans practice religion and different ways in which religious phenomena can be studied: writing and enacting religion, forming and transmitting religion, relating and differentiating religion, and revising and appropriating religion.
Students can earn an honors major for superior achievement in coursework by departmental faculty election. Upon the recommendation of the department’s assessment committee, honors will be awarded on the basis of grade point and the senior research seminar paper. Honors will be awarded during the second semester of the senior year. Honors majors will give a public presentation.
The religion department provides learning experiences that prepare students to achieve the following outcomes:
• be capable of critical thinking
• communicate verbally in a manner that is comfortable, coherent and clear
• write well
• demonstrate an in-depth competency in one methodology (interpretive, historical, comparative, constructive) appropriate to the study of religion and a broad knowledge of the other three areas
• value scholarship
• develop an appreciation and respect for religious traditions other than their own
Liberal Arts Core Requirement in Religion
The Core requirement in religion for graduation is 8 credits:
• REL 100 – Christianity and Religious Diversity, 4 credits. This course introduces students to the academic study of religion and to Christianity and religious diversity and should be taken during the first or second year.
EL 100 – Christianity and Religious Diversity, is a prerequisite to the second religion course. No student should enroll in the second religion course without taking Religion 100 first. Any exception to this course sequence needs the approval of the religion department prior to registration of the second required religion course.
THE RELIGION II course (300 level “J”) must be taken during the junior or senior year to fulfill the Core Requirements for graduation and the appropriate J courses are listed below. No Religion II credit will be awarded for any non-300J course and will not be approved as an alternate fulfillment.
• 4 credits to be taken from the following courses during the junior or senior year:
– REL 313 – Jesus the Jew – Jesus the Christ, 4 credits
– REL 314 – Paul: Apostle or Apostate, 4 credits
– REL 316 – The Good Life: Old Testament Perspectives, 4 credits
– REL 324 – The Legacy of Luther, 4 credits
– REL 325 – Studies in Religious History, 4 credits
– REL 326 – Christian Theologies and Ethics, 4 credits
– REL 328 – Catholicism, 4 credits
– REL 332 – American Religions: Natives and Immigrants, 4 credits
– REL 334 – Monotheisms: Jewish, Christian and Muslim, 4 credits
– REL 338 – Religions of East Asia, 4 credits
– REL 339 – World Christianity, 4 credits
– REL 342 – God: The Question and the Quest, 4 credits
– REL 344 – Christian Ethics in Human Community, 4 credits
– REL 349 – Christian Ethics in the Material World, 4 credits
– REL 362 – Exploring the Qur’an, 4 credits
– REL 372 – Christian Spirituality, 4 credits
– REL 374 – Women in Religious History, 4 credits
– REL 382 – Religion and the Body, 4 credits (must co-register for
PE 112 – Aikido, full semester course, 1 credit)
– REL 384 – Exploring Islam, 4 credits
– REL 386 – Religion in the Postcolonial World, 4 credits
– REL 387 – Religions of India, 4 credits
– REL 388 – Religion, Violence and Nonviolence, 4 credits
– REL 393 – Religion and Ecology, 4 credits
Liberal Arts Core Distribution World Languages Requirement
Students may satisfy the Core distribution world languages requirement through one of the following options:
• Successful completion of the REL 211-212 sequence – Biblical Hebrew I and II
• Successful completion of the departmental proficiency examination
Entering students who have studied Hebrew should also take the proficiency exam to determine whether they should enroll in REL 211 – Biblical Hebrew I or REL 212 – Biblical Hebrew II.
Major in Religion
The requirements for a major in religion are 36 credits. Religion 100 and Religion 300 Core courses are counted in the nine courses for the major. Students should normally declare a major by the end of the second year and develop a plan of study in consultation with a department advisor. Majors are required to take:
• REL 100 – Christianity and Religious Diversity, 4 credits
• 16 credits (4 credits from each mode of inquiry). The Religion 300 J Core requirement counts as a course in one of the areas of study.
• 12 additional credits in religion, which may include REL 211 – Biblical Hebrew I and REL 212 – Biblical Hebrew II
• REL 410 – Research Seminar, 4 credits. This course is offered during the fall semester and should be taken during the senior year. Students who expect to be studying off campus that semester should take the Research Seminar during the junior year.
Students may count 4 credits in REL 390 – Cooperative Education or 4 credits from REL 490 – Practicum toward the major. Students may apply to transfer up to the equivalent of 4 courses and no more than 16 credits from outside the college.
Minor in Religion
The minor in religion can be used for different educational goals. Students may wish to concentrate on courses in a specific mode of inquiry. They may wish to select courses to complement a major course of study or for personal enrichment.
The requirements for a minor in religion are 20 credits. Religion 100 and Religion 300 J courses are counted in the five-course requirements for a minor. REL 211 – Biblical Hebrew I and REL 212 – Biblical Hebrew II may also be counted for a minor. Students are encouraged to develop a plan for their course of study with a religion department advisor. Students may select any religion courses beyond those meeting the Core religion requirement, except for REL 390 – Cooperative Education and REL 490 – Practicum. Students should normally declare a minor by the end of the junior year. Students may apply to transfer the equivalent of two courses and no more than 8 credits from outside the college.