The broad academic purpose of the study of religion at Hope College is to understand the Christian faith and the role of religion in human society.
About The Program
To accomplish that end, the Department of Religion divides its field into four areas of academic investigation: biblical studies, historical studies, theological studies and world religions. Some students concentrate in one of those areas and develop a considerable expertise. Others combine their religion major with another (such as biology, English, or psychology) and “double major”. Whether they choose greater depth or greater breadth, however, students find the focus provided by a religion major to be an excellent way of centering their liberal arts education at Hope College.
Students majoring in religion participate in a wide variety of academic and service activities which include:
- Assisting professors with research programs
- Enrolling in The Philadelphia Center or the Chicago Semester to investigate alternative ministries in an urban setting
- Leading youth groups, both denominational and non-denominational, in area churches
Students in Religion often go on to remarkable and accomplished careers as:
- Youth ministers, pastors, priests, and chaplains (hospital, military, hospice)
- Lay church workers, summer camp directors, and immersion trip leaders
- Serving as a counselor with a Christian agency
- Missionaries, translators, and leaders in non-profit organizations
- College Professors in Religion, Theology, Biblical Studies, History and Philosophy
Graduates with Religion as second major or Minor attract the attention of Graduate Schools and Employers looking for critical thinking, breadth of perspective, and cultural sensitivity and competence.
Hope Religion graduates have excelled in the following fields among others:
- Counseling and Social Work
- News Media and Social Media
- Secondary Education
- Library Science
- Law School
- Politics and Government
Options for religion majors and minors include seminars or individual research and, in consultation with the department chairperson, the opportunity to fulfill selected required courses through a tutorial reading program. The program has been endorsed and recommended by graduate theological seminaries for students preparing for church vocations.
Religion Offerings For The All-college Requirements
Studies in the department are an integral part of the college curriculum. Six credits in religion are required for graduation: a two-credit basic studies in Religion course (REL 100 ) and one four-credit introductory course in religion (REL 220’s, 240’s, 260’s, or 280’s).
The Department of Religion is a department within the Humanities Division presenting an area of study and research which students may choose as the focus of their liberal arts education. The Department of Religion is comprised of four fields: Biblical Studies, Historical Studies, Theological Studies and Studies in World Religions. The majors are listed below.
REL 100 does not count toward any major. The details of each major are outlined below.
A student with special interests and objectives may apply to the department for a “contracted religion major” which consists of 16 credits at the introductory 200-level and 16 credits of advanced work in religion appropriate to the academic and vocational interests of the student.
CoursesReligion: Basic StudiesReligion: IntroductoryReligion: Biblical StudiesReligion: HistoricalReligion: TheologicalReligion: WorldReligion: Seminar and Independent StudiesReligion: Hebrew