Bachelor of Arts Requirements

A major consists of ten courses and the senior capstone The ten courses are to be fulfilled from the categories listed below.

1. One introductory course in foundations of religious studies:
Foundational courses provide students with a framework for understanding religious traditions and introduce students to the methods and approaches to the study of religion.

REL 101 Issues in Modern Religion
REL 125 World Religions
REL 131 Religion in America
Or the equivalent determined in consultation with a departmental advisor

2. Two courses in Cultures and Communities:
Courses in cultures and communities introduce students to the diverse worlds in which religious communities have found—and continue to find—their form.

REL 126 Asian Religions in Southern California
REL 130 Church History: Heaven and Hell
REL 199 New Religious Movements
REL 225 Introduction to South Asian Religions
REL 233 Buddhisms
REL 251 Women, Sexuality and Western Religion
REL 245 Lesbians, Gays and Religious Controversies
REL 252 African-American Religion and Spirituality
REL 305 The Historical Search for Jesus
REL 325 Japanese Religion and Arts
REL 351 Women, Sexuality, and Buddhist Traditions
REST 234 Race, Ethnicity and Religion.
ARTH 204 Ritual and Belief: Pilgrimage and Sacred Symbol Systems
Or a topics course approved by departmental advisor

3. Two courses in Texts and Contexts:
Texts and contexts courses invite students to engage in close and contextualized analysis of the textual traditions of a given religious tradition.

REL 205 The Christian Scriptures
REL 241 The Hebrew Language
REL 242 Hellenistic/Biblical Greek
REL 292 Sacred Life Stories in Asian Religious Traditions
REL 306 Jesus in Text and Film REL
307 Old Testament Literature: Hebrew Scriptures
REL 330 Buddhist Literary Imagination
ENGL 118 The Literature of the Bible
Or a topics course approved by departmental advisor.

4. Two courses in Religion and Ethics:
Ethical teachings and practices are central to every religious tradition. The 256 University of Redlands Catalog 2009-2011 Religious Studies study of religious ethics provides us with resources for addressing ethical crises in the world today.

REL 120 Religion and Ethics
REL 122 Religion and Ecology: Environmental Ethics
REL 250 Compassion
REL 257 Science and Religion
REL 293 Psychology and Religion
REL 323 Mysticism
REL 424 Feminist and Womanist Theologies
SOAN 332 Sociology of Religion
WGST 350 Feminist Ethics
Or a topics course approved by departmental advisor.

5. In order to construct a course of study with sufficient breadth and depth, of the ten courses drawn from these categories, at least one 200 level (or above) focusing upon non-Western religions must be taken.

6. Three additional courses selected from the list above or a semester abroad program chosen in consultation with an advisor in the Religious Studies Department. REL 450 (2 credits) may be taken twice to count for one of the elected courses, as may other 2-credit REL classes.

7. Capstone Requirement:
Two Senior Seminars:

REL 490 (taken the Fall Semester of the senior year)
REL 495 (taken the Spring Semester of the senior year)
Senior Religious Studies minors, Johnston seniors, and seniors from interdisciplinary programs may request permission to enroll in these seminars.

8. Successful completion of ONE of the following three Capstone Projects (specific guidelines and deadlines available for each option in the department office):

  1. Senior Thesis: Substantial research paper that offers an original and in-depth examination of a topic approved by the student’s advisor.
  2. Portfolio: Culminating review of one’s learning in Religious Studies by organizing all written and artistic work in a way that demonstrates mastery of the significant sub-fields within Religious Studies and one’s own evolution of thought and interpretation. Includes substantial revisions of prior work based on faculty and peer evaluations.
  3. Internship: Reflective engagement in a meaningful off-campus site of service or ministry, approved by one’s advisor. Examples are a religious organization (church, temple, mosque, monastery), government agency, or non-profit organization. Students are encouraged to find a site that expands their learning related to an anticipated profession. The internship is meant to be in addition to the CSAC graduation requirement. 80 hours are required, or the equivalent in consultation with one’s advisor.


There are more than 1,700 trees on the University of Redlands campus.

In April 2010, it was designated a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. Redlands is among just three other colleges or universities in California to receive this designation.

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