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.


B.A. Major in Religious Studies 36 Credits
Integrated Core
One of the following Hebrew Bible courses*:
    RELI 105 Old and New Testament
    RELI 110 The Hebrew Bible
    RELI 111 Feminist Interpretation of the Old Testament
    RELI 112 Old Testament and Ecojustice
3 credits
One of the following New Testament courses*:
    RELI 105 Old and New Testament
    RELI 120 The New Testament
    RELI 124 Gospels: The Life and Teachings of Jesus
3 credits
One of the following History of Christian Thought courses*:
    RELI 205 History and Teaching of Christianity
    RELI 215 Christian Diversity
3 credits
Two of the following History of Christian Thought courses*:
    RELI 200 Religion and Human Experience
    RELI 210 Christian Doctrine
    RELI 211 Feminist Christian Doctrine
    RELI 215 Christian Diversity
    RELI 220 Catholicism
    RELI 221 African Catholicism
    RELI 230 Contemporary Church
    RELI 231 Women and Contemporary Church
    RELI 240 Special Topics
3 credits
RELI 330 Principles of Christian Morality 3 credits
RELI 399 Junior Seminar 3 credits
One of the following World's Religions courses*:
    RELI 492 Religions of Asia
    RELI 492A Judaism
    RELI 492B Holocaust
    RELI 492C Native American Religions
    RELI 492D Buddhism
    RELI 492E Islamic Civilization
    RELI 492F Hinduism: Yoga and Self Search
    (or other non-Christian Religions)
3 credits
Concentration courses
    Students complete one course in three of the four areas.
9 credits
RELI 499 Senior Seminar
3 credits


Christian Theology Concentration  9 credits
Students complete one course in three of the four areas.
Systematic Theology:
    RELI 210-240
    RELI 420-429
    RELI 440-443
    RELI 445-449

Women and Theology:
    RELI 211 Feminist Christian Doctrine
    RELI 371 Women and Christian Spirituality
    RELI 385 Feminist Theologies
    RELI 485 Feminism and Christianity
    RELI 486 Women and Spiritual Journey

Practical Theology:
    RELI 310-370
      (excluding RELI 330 and RELI 350)
    RELI 430-439
    RELI 444 Women in Ministry
    RELI 449-486

Scripture:
    RELI 310 Bible and Contemporary Christian Ethics
    RELI 401-419

Religious Pluralism Concentration  9 credits
Students complete one course in three of the four areas.
World's Religions:
    RELI 403 Greek Gods and Heroes
    RELI 492 Religions of Asia
    RELI 492A Judaism
    RELI 492C Native American Religions
    RELI 492D Buddhism
    RELI 492E Islamic Civilization

Women and Religion:
    RELI 408 Women and the Bible
    RELI 410 Hebrew Scriptures: Special Topics
    RELI 486 Women and Spiritual Journey

Religions and Contemporary Issues:
    INST 366 Arab-Israeli Conflict
    RELI 492B Holocaust
    RELI 492F Hinduism: Yoga and Self Search
    SOCI 384 Sociology of Religion

Sacred Texts:
    RELI 401-402
    RELI 404-406
    RELI 409-410
    RELI 496A-496B




Minor in Religious Studies 18 Credits
Lower Division Courses
One of the following Hebrew Bible courses*:
    RELI 105 Old and New Testament
    RELI 110 The Hebrew Bible
    RELI 111 Feminist Interpretation of the Old Testament
    RELI 112 Old Testament and Ecojustice
3 credits
One of the following New Testament courses*:
    RELI 105 Old and New Testament
    RELI 120 The New Testament
    RELI 124 Gospels: The Life and Teachings of Jesus
3 credits
One of the following History of Christian Thought courses*:
    RELI 200 Religion and Human Experience
    RELI 210 Christian Doctrine
    RELI 211 Feminist Christian Doctrine
    RELI 215 Christian Diversity
    RELI 220 Catholicism
    RELI 221 African Catholicism
    RELI 230 Contemporary Church
    RELI 231 Women and Contemporary Church
    RELI 240 Special Topics
3 credits
Upper Division Courses
RELI 330 Principles of Christian Morality 3 credits
RELI - - - Electives 6 credits
* for religious studies majors and minors ONLY: Advanced courses (400 level) in the areas of scripture, history/theology, and Christian morality MAY be substituted for this requirement. Approval from department chair is Required.

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).