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Religion Major

In Bethany’s religion major, you will examine religion in the context of history, sociology, and philosophy. Our major assumes the perspective of confessional Lutheranism rooted in the Reformation heritage of Christ Alone. In this way our major is distinct from other religious studies programs.

Through your studies you will gain a deep understanding of Lutheran doctrine and tradition, the broader Christian tradition, and the fair comparison of that tradition with other major world religions. Additionally, the religion major provides a solid foundation for future studies in a variety of fields such as history, law, the social sciences, literature, and public administration.

Potential Careers

  • Church development
  • Missionary outreach
  • Community development
  • Religious life programming
  • Counseling/crisis services
  • Social services
  • Family life center management
  • Youth organizations

Meet the Faculty

These faculty members teach many of the courses required by the Religion Major. See also the Religion Department.

Religion Major Requirements

Mission Statement

The mission of the religion major in the Christian liberal arts curriculum of Bethany Lutheran College is to prepare students for participation in the ongoing, in-depth discussion of religion in church and society. The context of our study assumes the perspective of confessional Lutheranism rooted in the Reformation heritage of Scripture Alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone, and Christ Alone. Its content includes the rigorous study of the Lutheran tradition, the broader Christian tradition, the comparison of that tradition with other major world religions, and an exploration of how the social sciences and the field of communication connect with the study of religion. Course selection within the major allows students to follow their interests either into a historical/dogmatic emphasis or a Biblical studies emphasis, or to pursue a combination of both.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Biblical Knowledge: Demonstrate a working knowledge of the Bible by being able to explain its structure, history and chronology, genres (such as history, poetry, prophecy), canonicity, interpretation (hermeneutics), and Christocentricity (Christ-centeredness).
  • Doctrinal knowledge: Describe and relate major doctrines of Christianity, such as: Trinity, Incarnation, Atonement/Justification, Law and Gospel, Means of Grace (Gospel in Word and Sacraments), and the Mission of the Church.
  • Historical and denominational knowledge: Summarize and analyze the history and Creeds of the Christian Church by distinguishing between various religious traditions and denominations, and recognizing major thinkers, leaders, and movements.
  • Cultural analysis: Reflect and analyze how the culture of Christianity relates to the cultures that surround it (for example, in regard to ethics, vocation, political-social issues, worship).
  • Textual analysis: Demonstrate the ability to read and critically interpret other religious texts in the light of the Christian Scriptures.
  • Techniques for Communicating: to polish with professional competence a work of formal academic writing, including documentation in the accepted style of the discipline, and to present a summary of one’ research orally.

Core Requirements

Please see the Program Requirements Disclaimer when planning your coursework.

Required lower division courses:

Required upper division courses:

Major Electives

Choose four of the following courses:

Area of Emphasis

Completion of a minor in another academic discipline is required for this major.

Capstone

Religion Minor

The minor in religion requires a minimum of 24 credits.

Additional 2–3 RELG courses (depending on credits for a total of 24 credits), or up to two of the following: