• Department of Religious Studies student standing behind information booth table
    C.Kutschbach (RS Major) at the RS Honor Society Table.
Department of Religious Studies

Window on the World

» Welcome to the Religious Studies Department

Religious Studies at Chapman University introduces students to the diverse cultures and religious traditions of the world, past and present, and to a global range of human understandings of life’s meaning and purpose and the nature of reality itself, of what it means to be truly human and how we relate to “heaven and earth and the myriad things."

Religous Study Students The Religious Studies major is designed to address some of the most compelling issues in human life and to foster global citizenship through interreligious literacy and an interdisciplinary understanding of the power and impact of the world’s religious traditions.

Courses explore multiple understandings the nature of reality and the self; issues of suffering, life and death; and the relationships of science, religion, and the arts, as well as diverse approaches to addressing contemporary challenges of racial, gender and economic justice, environmental sustainability, health and medical ethics, human rights and responsibilities, globalization and identity politics, and the human search for meaning.

Through this interdiscReligous Study Students iplinary study, students develop a range of methodological tools to understand our complex world, hone their critical thinking and analytic skills, and acquire interreligious literacy, an essential competency enhancing understanding of contemporary politics, history, art and culture and providing a valuable professional asset for serving clients, patients, students, customers, or constituents. 

The Religious Studies major is streamlined to facilitate double-majoring, and many students do so.  Graduates embark on a wide range of careers in healthcare, psychology and social work, law and business, music and film, and journalism and education, as well as religious, non-profit and government service and leadership.

Prime MederianStudents travel to the UK for REL 333:
“Religion, Race, and Gender in Harry Potter”


student researchWork directly with faculty on research!

Marilyn Love (pictured right), a Religious Studies major now pursuing her doctorate in Near Eastern Studies at UCLA, participated in an archeological dig in Israel with Professor Julye Bidmead.

Students have had the opportunity to personally interview Holocaust survivors, working as research assistants with Professor Marilyn Harran on the Indestructible Spirit Photography and Biography Project.

Religious Studies majors and minors attended the Parliament of the World Religions in Barcelona (2004), Salt Lake City (2016) and Toronto (2018) with Professors Nancy Martin and Gail Stearns, meeting scholars and religious leaders and practitioners from around the world.


PresenStudent Researcht and publish your scholarly work!

Religious Studies majors present their capstone research projects at the Student Scholars Symposium and papers at regional, national and international conferences, and their papers have been published in national undergraduate journals and edited volumes.


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Contact Us


Smith Hall 202
(714) 997-6636

Department Chair
Nancy Martin
nmartin@chapman.edu

Did you know?


Studying religion prepares you for life, exploring a whole world of values and ideas and fostering cross-cultural understanding, evidenced-based reasoning, and ethical awareness. These are vital professional assets for relating to diverse patients, clients, students, and co-workers, whatever your future may hold!