Religious Studies

Chairperson: Linda Schearing (Fall 2013), Robert Hauck (Spring 2014)
Professors: M. Cook, S.J.(Emeritus), J. Dallen (Emeritus), H. Doohan (Emerita), L. Doohan (Emeritus), J. Downey, P. Hartin, R. Large, P. McCormick, J. Milos, C.S.J, A. Nigro, S.J. (Emeritus), L. Schearing, C. Siejk, C. Skok (Emeritus)
, B. Tyrrell, S.J. (Emeritus)
Associate Professors: R. HauckS. Kuder, S.J.,
K. McCruden, M. Rindge, J. Sheveland
Assistant Professors: S. DunnE. GoldsteinJ. MuddA. Wendlinder
Senior Lecturer: V. Thompson
Lecturer: P. Baraza, A. Bass

Religion pervades our economic, political, and social lives. Gonzaga’s Religious Studies Majors explore the religious dimensions of human experience and cultures. They analyze how religious traditions mediate meaning and value through sacred texts, theological reflection, ethics, spirituality, and ritual. Students utilize these meanings and values to respond to critical human problems in a contemporary global context. In keeping with the University’s Jesuit inspired mission, Religious Studies Majors will be attentive to caring for the whole person, promoting justice, and being women and men for and with others, especially the poor.

Undergraduate students in all degree programs are required to take three religious studies courses (nine credits) sequenced as follows: one 100-level course, one 200-level course, and one 300-level course.

A Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Religious Studies requires 36 credits. Following two 100 level scripture courses (New Testament and Hebrew Bible), students will be required to take 4 more classes which will effectively build on the interpretative skills they have acquired on the 100 level.  These will be (1) History of Christian thought, (2) a course on the Catholic Intellectual tradition, (3) Christian Ethics, and (4) Interreligious Dialogue, a course that seeks to build interconnections between Christian theology and the theologies of other religious traditions.  All majors will also take a Junior Seminar where they will learn methodology and develop research skills prior to their advanced study.  Lastly, students are also required to take a course in religions other than Christianity.

Each major must choose either a Christian Theology or Religious Pluralism Concentration. Majors who want to delve deeper into the history, beliefs and practices of Christianity should choose the Christian Theology concentration. They will choose three electives from the following four areas: Systematic Theology, Women and Theology, Practical Theology and Contemporary Issues, and an upper level Scripture class. Other majors, seeking a more comparative approach in the study of religion, should choose the Religious Pluralism concentration. They will be required to choose three electives from the following four areas:  World Religion, Women and Religion, Religions and Contemporary Issues, and the study of Sacred texts. Each concentration will conclude with a Senior Seminar.

The Religious Studies Department also offers a minor in religious studies. A total of eighteen credits is required for the minor in religious studies, of which nine (9) credits must be upper division.
Only electives offered by the Department of Religious Studies or approved by the department chair may be counted toward the major.

The core curriculum or common body of knowledge of the College of Arts and Sciences consists of 59 to 62 credits which are common to and required of all degree programs in the College: the first 31 credits (of which there is a more complete description in the General Degree Requirements and Procedures section of this catalogue) form the University Core, while the remaining 28 to 31 credits are common to all Arts and Sciences degrees.
Students should attempt to spread the core curriculum over their entire fours years at Gonzaga.

  1. Thought and Expression (7 credits): ENGL 101, SPCO 101, and PHIL 101 (preferably in the same semester).
  2. Philosophy (9 credits): PHIL 201, PHIL 301, and  PHIL  400 level elective.
  3. Religious Studies (9 credits): RELI 100, 200, and 300 levels: one course from each level.
  4. Mathematics (3 credits): one MATH (not CPSC) course on the 100 level or above; NURS 320 is substituted for a MATH course for BSN students; MATH 203 fulfills this requirement only for students who graduate with certification in Elementary Education.
  5. English Literature (3 credits): ENGL 102 or 103H or 105 or 106.
  6. History (6 credits): HIST 101 and either HIST 102 or HIST 112 in their first year. If they are unable to complete all six 100-level HIST credits in their first year, HIST 201 or 202 may be substituted for one 100-level course after the first year.
  7. Fine Arts (3 credits): one course in either VART, MUSC, or THEA from courses approved by Dean of Arts and Sciences.
  8. Laboratory Science (4 credits): one course with laboratory in either BIOL, CHEM, or PHYS.
  9. Mathematics or Natural Science (3 credits): one course in either MATH, CPSC, BIOL, CHEM, PHYS, or ITEC.
  10. Literature (3 credits): one British or American literature course (ENGL 201 - 285).
  11. Social Science (6 credits): CRIM 101, ECON, SOCI, POLS, or PSYC: two courses from these departments.
  12. Foreign Language or Culture (3 credits): one course in any foreign language (classical or modern) or one (foreign culture) course approved by the Dean of Arts and Sciences.  Foreign-language speaking students from foreign cultures who have completed the nine English core credits at Gonzaga prior to their fourth year (last thirty credits) may petition the Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences for a waiver of the foreign language or Culture requirement..
  13. Social Justice (3 credits): One course on Social Justice issues related to experiences of difference (like race, class, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation), from courses approved by the Dean of Arts & Sciences; (may be combined with other core or major requirements).