Why study Religion at Maryville College?

Relighion Program Overview

Studying religion at Maryville College means learning to understand a complex and rapidly changing world. Religion majors grapple with enduring questions about what it means to be human and they study the rich variety of responses that different human cultures have produced, from the Bible to the teachings of the Buddha. But studying religion also means seeking meaning in the world today: it means contemplating your own place in the universe, understanding why some religious people commit their lives to social justice and others commit violence, examining religious pluralism in the United States, and traveling to any number of our study abroad sites--from India to Argentina to Ghana--to encounter new religious worlds. And religion majors learn skills that are most prized by today’s employers: independent research, precise speaking and writing, and an understanding of diversity.

Maryville College Works is a comprehensive career preparation program that is integrated into the College’s four-year liberal arts curriculum. Key components include assessment, advising, networking and professional experiences.

Meet a current student

Carter Habeeb ’17
Hometown: Birmingham, Ala.

Carter enrolled at Maryville thinking that he would pursue a life in ordained church ministry, but he became intrigued with the various careers for which a Religion major could prepare him. Volunteering with a church in Egypt one summer and studying at the University of Sharjah, UAE, in 2016, he became very interested in international affairs. His Senior Study analyzes the role that religion plays on the world stage. “My sense of vocational calling has changed throughout my time at Maryville, but my passion for studying religion has remained the same,” he said. “Today, my wish is to pursue a master’s degree in International Education.”

Outcomes of Recent Grads

Featured Graduate

Caroline Anglim ’13
Currently: Ph.D. Student, Univ. of Chicago Divinity School

Caroline’s coursework at MC sparked a curiosity about the ways in which religion manifests in the public sphere, particularly in popular debates about medical decision making. Her doctoral work in religious ethics focuses on the ways in which religion has historically shaped and continues to intersect with medical ethics in the United States. “My transition to the University of Chicago has been seamless, thanks to the quality of my undergraduate training in research and writing,” she said. “As a student at MC, I learned how to comb through details about religious beliefs and practices, to re-mold those details into multi-layered categories and, most importantly, to tell the stories that emerge from those categories.”

Job Placements

Acadia Healthcare
Blount Memorial Hospital
First Presbyterian Church of St. James
Hopkinsville Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Los Angeles Youth Network
Riverside Community Care

Graduate School/Seminary Placements

Asbury Theological Seminary
Boston College Graduate School of Social Work & School of Theology and Ministry
Boston University
Columbia Theological Seminary
Duke Seminary
Emory University
Louisville Presbyterian Seminary
Memphis Theological Seminary
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Union Theological Seminary, New York
University of Chicago Divinity School
University of Edinburgh
University of Leeds
University of Tennessee
University of the South
Vanderbilt University

Course Offerings

The Major in Religion consists of 43 hours in religion and related areas. Required courses include:

REL 162: Approaches to the Study of Religion (3 hrs.)
REL 212: World Religions (3 hrs.)
REL 228: Introduction to Christian Theology (3 hrs.)
REL 344: Explorations in Biblical Studies (3 hrs.)
REL 348: Explorations in the History of Religions (3 hrs.)
REL 351-352: Senior Study (6 hrs.)
HUM 201: Perspectives in the Humanities (3 hrs.)
HUM 299: Issues in Professional Development (1 hr.)
HUM 347: Research in the Humanities (1 hr.)

One course selected from the following list:
REL 209: Religion in the Southern Appalachians (3 hrs.)
REL 211: The American Religious Experience (3 hrs.)
REL 325: Sociology of Religion

Either of the following courses:
REL 326: Contemporary Theology (3 hrs.)
REL 346: Explorations in Christian Thought and Culture (3 hrs.)


Two courses from the following list:
PHL 326: Philosophy and Religion (3 hrs.)
PHL 329: Modern Critiques of Religion (3 hrs.)
PHL 348: Comparative Philosophy (3 hrs.)

One of the following courses:
HIS 242: World Civilization from Earliest Times to 1500 C.E. (3 hrs.)
HIS 243: World Civilization from 1500 C.E. to the 20th Century (3 hrs.)
PHI 211: American Philosophy (3 hrs.)

An additional 3 credit hours coursework in Religion*

*The 3 credit hours in biblical studies taken to fulfill the general education requirement may not be included in the major, but the student may count the second 100-level biblical studies course toward the major.

The Minor in Religion consists of 15 hours in religion, including not more than one 100-level course. The 3 hours in Biblical Studies taken to fulfill the general education requirement may not be included in the minor, but the student may count the second 100-level Biblical Studies course toward the minor.