The Department of Religious Studies offers DePaul students the opportunity to engage in the academic study of religion. The study of religion includes not only the traditional areas of sacred texts, myths, rituals, mystical experiences and doctrines, but also the ways in which political, social and economic forces shape these phenomena for religious communities.  Drawing on a host of academic disciplines, religious studies challenges students to encounter the traditions of the world in all their rich diversity. Given the complexity of the subject matter, members of the department draw upon several other academic disciplines -- anthropology, art history, biblical studies, economics, environmental studies, ethics, gender studies, history, linguistics, literature and literary criticism, political science, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and theology -- as they do their work.

Beyond work with texts, students may also study religion through the media of film and video, music, the visual and dramatic arts, and the internet.  The department emphasizes comprehensive learning in writing, synthetic and analytic thinking, and oral communication skills.  Students can go beyond their course work with further learning opportunities, such as the senior thesis, independent study, study abroad and internships, and service learning, both locally and internationally.

A religious studies major or minor is positioned to pursue a wide variety of careers. A bridge between the specialist's perspectives on religion and a wider world that is often in need of these perspectives, religious studies majors have worked in the fields of law, social work, regional and international business, governmental and non-governmental service, secondary school teaching, and service in religious communities. A religious studies major is also well-prepared for further studies in graduate programs leading to careers in academia.

The Department encourages students in all major concentrations and minors to engage various questions related to the study of religion, such as (but not limited to):

  • What is religion?
  • How do religious communities come into being and define themselves?
  • How do religious communities form worldviews, doctrines, and practices, and how does the study of religion help us to understand their change over time?
  • How do sacred texts come into being, and what do they communicate to us?
  • How does religion shape culture, and how does the wider culture define religion?
  • What is the role of religion in the contemporary world?
  • How do religion or religious sensibilities help us to relate (or hinder us from relating) to each other?
  • How can an informed student of religion evaluate the rival claims to truth and moral rightness of different religious and secular ideologies?
  • How do religious traditions and texts treat issues of sexuality and gender, race and class?
  • How have religious traditions interacted with each other in the past, and how do they continue to do so today?

Liberal Studies Requirements 84 hours
​Major Requirements 48 hours

​Open Electives 60 hours
​Total hours required 192 hours