As a religion major at FSC, you’ll examine Christianity and other religious traditions in ways that teach you how to think deeply and critically about your faith and religious tradition.

Along the way, you’ll be prepared for further theological study as well as church-related work and a variety of other careers.

Top Reasons to Choose FSC for Religion

  • We have 100% placement in outstanding graduate programs.
  • You may be eligible for numerous departmental scholarships.
  • Hear guest lectures by the world’s leading theologians and philosophers.
  • We’re home to the Florida Center for Science and Religion.
  • Take advantage of our study abroad options in Italy, Turkey, Greece, England, and Israel.

Engaged Learning in the Classroom

To engage you in the course material more fully, your religion classes move beyond lectures and offer:

  • Student-directed research and in-class presentations
  • Student panel discussions and in-class forums
  • Student simulations, such as The Trial of Galileo
  • Theologus Primus Supremus Maximus competition in current theological thought
  • Creative projects in courses like Christianity and the Arts
  • Multimedia projects
  • Field trips and visits to museums, non-profit organizations and faith communities

“My time at Florida Southern has not only prepared me for, but actually given me an advantage in, the academically rigorous and competitive environment of graduate school. Rather than beginning with the typical introductory course work at graduate school, I was able to begin immediately with advanced, upper-level seminars and research programs." —Christopher Corbin ‘09, M.Div. Student, Yale Divinity School

Course Information

Courses for the religion major include introductory and upper-level courses in Old Testament, New Testament, and Theology, as well as a course in World Religions and a Senior Capstone Seminar experience. You’ll also choose electives from a variety of courses that include:

  • Jesus in Film
  • Gender Interpretation and the Biblical Tradition
  • Christianity and the Arts
  • Theological and Philosophical Themes in Contemporary Literature
  • Dialogues in Science and Religion
  • Fundamental Questions in Theology and Philosophy

We also offer Honors in Religion, which requires a thesis project under a faculty member’s direction, to students showing exceptional promise and aptitude in the study of religion.

Related Majors

Faculty

Your professors are award-winning teachers who know how to challenge you to think deeply and critically about theological questions in a rigorous and caring environment. They’re also recognized authors, editors, and scholars with expertise in a wide range of areas—theology and the arts, Christian systematic theology, the Old Testament and Apocrypha, New Testament studies, and interdisciplinary approaches to these fields that combine philosophy, women’s studies and the natural sciences.

Internship Opportunities

Internships are available for students seeking firsthand experience in a supervised, semester-long application of theological reflection, research, critical thinking and exegetical writing. Past internships sites include:

  • Ethnic Young Adults Summer Internship Program, Washington, D.C.
  • First United Methodist Church
  • Light House Ministries
  • UMC General Board of Church & Society

Departmental Clubs & Organizations

We sponsor a chapter of Theta Alpha Kappa, the national honor society for religious studies and theology.

Scholarships & Financial Aid

Each year, we award Rising Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Merit Scholarships to outstanding students in the Religion program. We’re also able to award several need-based scholarships to our majors.

Career Opportunities

FSC religion majors typically enter graduate programs and pursue degrees in preparation for careers in ministry, as well as in law and teaching. Many also find employment opportunities upon graduation in the local church, non-profit organizations, and in the broader public sector.

Graduate & Professional Opportunities

FSC’s Religion program has a 100% placement rate in graduate programs. Not only are graduates accepted to the top seminaries and graduate programs in religion in the nation, they’re also awarded the most prestigious scholarships.

Our graduates have attended:

  • Boston School of Theology
  • Candler School of Theology
  • Duke Divinity School
  • Iliff School of Theology
  • Mercer Law School
  • Perkins School of Theology
  • University of Chicago
  • Vanderbilt Divinity School
  • Yale Divinity School

 

Program Requirements

Religion Major Requirements

A. General Education Requirements 40 hours
B. Major Requirements 42 hours
REL 2215 The Old Testament: The Literature, the History, the Religious Ideas
REL 2216 The New Testament: Its History, Literature, and Theology
REL 2218 Basic Christian Beliefs
REL/PHI 2219 World Religions and Philosophies
REL 4999 Capstone Seminar in Religion

One course selected from each of the following three groups:

GROUP 1

REL 3345 The Wisdom Tradition in Ancient Israel
REL 4435 Prophetic Thought in Ancient Israel

GROUP 2

REL 3366 Johanine Literature: Gospel, Letters and Apocalypse
REL 4416 Life and Letters of Paul
REL 4446 Life and Teachings of Jesus

GROUP 3

REL 4428 Current Theological Thought
REL 4448 The Doctrine of God

Minor in Religion

To earn a minor in religion you will need to complete 20 hours of REL courses successfully. One four-hour course must be at the 3000-4000 level.

Minor in Religion

Twelve additional hours in REL courses selected from the following:

REL 1108 What is Religion
REL 2225 The Apocrypha
REL 2228 Jesus in Film
REL/WST 2256 Gender, Interpretation and the Biblical Tradition
REL 3328 History of Christian Thought
REL 3358 Christianity and the Arts
REL/PHI 3365 Theological and Philosophical Themes in Contemporary Literature
REL/BIO 3378 Dialogues in Science and Religion
REL/PHI 3388 Fundamental Questions in Theology and Philosophy
REL 4953/4954 Honors in Religion
REL 4960 Internship in Religion
C. Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements 20 hours
D. Electives 22 hours
E. Total 124 hours

 

Course Descriptions

REL 1108 WHAT IS RELIGION?
Four hours. An introduction to religion through an inquiry of ultimate questions, the sacred and the divine, and religious belief and practice. Students will critically examine sacred texts, religious experience, theology, ritual, and ethics within religious tradition. Gen Ed: MV, Ql

REL 2215 THE OLD TESTAMENT: THE LITERATURE, THE HISTORY, THE RELIGIOUS IDEAS
Four hours. This course examines the writings of the Hebrew Scriptures in their socio/historical, literary and religious context. Gen Ed: MV, SW (Aw), FA (In), Ql

REL 2216 THE NEW TESTAMENT: ITS HISTORY, LITERATURE AND THEOLOGY
Four hours. This course examines the writings of the New Testament in their social, literary and theological contexts. Gen Ed: MV, SW (Aw, An), Ql

REL 2218 BASIC CHRISTIAN BELIEFS
Four hours. An introduction to Christian theology, the course examines the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith, such as Trinity, predestination, incarnation, creation, evil, resurrection, justification, Holy Spirit, and how these beliefs are coherently related, the form of life and ethics ingredient in them, and how for Christians they represent the truth about ultimate reality and the highest value for human life. The course also addresses the various methods through which theologians do their work and how theological thinking is similar to and distinct from other systems of thought. Student response and discussion are major components of the course, as is student application of the material through analyses of “real world” sermons, lectures, video discussions and debates found on the web, service learning opportunities and interviews with church leaders. Gen Ed: MV, Ql

REL 2219 WORLD RELIGIONS AND PHILOSOPHIES
Four hours. Same as PHI 2219. Introduces students to the origins; founders; historical development; scriptures; fundamental concepts, such as views of ultimate reality, the meaning of life, and human hope; religious practices; personal and social ethics; culture context and impact; and contemporary relevance of the world’s living religions and their associated philosophies. Gen Ed: MV, SW (Glb, Aw), Ql

REL 2225 THE APOCRYPHA
Four hours. This class is an introduction to the history, the literary style, and the religious ideas found in the Apocrypha. Gen Ed: MV, SW (Aw, An)

REL 2228 JESUS IN FILM
Four hours. Students who take this course, after developing criteria for making judgments about the presentations of Jesus in film and elsewhere, will examine and analyze various depictions of Jesus in motion pictures. The course is not primarily interested in the artistic evaluation of these films; it is concerned with Biblical and theological analysis. How does the film align with the Biblical images of Jesus? Which source in the New Testament does the picture of Jesus in the film most closely reflect? What understanding of Jesus and his relationship to God does the film portray? The course, therefore, provides an opportunity to think critically and theologically about the various meanings of Jesus and to analyze the diverse portraits of him in the Christian tradition and in film. Gen Ed: MV, Ql

REL 2256 GENDER, INTERPRETATION AND THE BIBLICAL TRADITION
Four hours. Same as WST 2256. An examination of selected texts from the Old and New Testaments and the patriarchal contexts of the Ancient Near East and the Greco-Roman Empire. Using historical critical methodologies to interpret the Biblical text, students will determine the ways in which women are depicted, identify gender roles from the historical context, and explain the function of feminine imagery in the text. Gen Ed: MV, SW (Aw, An), FA (In)

REL 3328 HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN THOUGHT
Four hours. Prerequisite: Successful completion of coursework that satisfies Effective Communication SLOs A and B. Examining distinctive movements, thinkers, and themes in the history of the Christian tradition, the course will trace the development of Christian theology from the early church to Protestant orthodoxy and American Christianity. The course aims at developing an appreciation for the unity and diversity, and the continuity and discontinuity in the history of Christian thought, a deeper understanding of a participant's own theological heritage, and a perspective by which to judge contemporary theological issues. Gen Ed: MV, SW (Glb, Aw), Ql, EC-C

REL 3345 THE WISDOM TRADITION IN ANCIENT ISRAEL
Four hours. Prerequisite: REL 2215. This course is a critical examination of the historical setting, literary aspects, and theological themes of the five books that constitute the Wisdom Literature: Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, Wisdom of Solomon, and Sirach.

REL 3358 CHRISTIANITY AND THE ARTS
Four hours. The place of literature, music, architecture, and graphic and dramatic arts in the Christian tradition, past and present. Gen Ed: MV, SW (Aw, An), FA (In), Ql

REL 3365 THEOLOGICAL & PHILOSOPHICAL THEMES IN CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE
Four hours. Same as PHI 3365. Prerequisite: Successful completion of coursework that satisfies Effective Communication SLOs A and B. This course is an examination of the religious and philosophical themes in major literary works of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Gen Ed: MV, EC-C

REL 3366 JOHANNINE LITERATURE: GOSPEL, LETTERS AND APOCALYPSE
Four hours. Prerequisite: REL 2216. A Study of the Gospel of John, the Johannine Epistles, and the Book of Revelation.

REL 3378 DIALOGUES IN SCIENCE AND RELIGION
Four hours. Same as BIO 3378. Prerequisites: any 1000 level or above course in the natural sciences and any 2000 level or above course in religion. Considers the cultural, philosophical and intellectual factors that have contributed to the development of the relationship between science and religion in Western thought. Gen Ed: MV, SW (Aw, An)

REL 3388 FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS IN THEOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY
Four hours. Same as PHI 3388. Prerequisite: Successful completion of coursework that satisfies Effective Communication SLOs A and B. This team-taught course examines philosophical and theological perspectives on such matters as classical arguments for God’s existence, atheistic critiques, the relationship between reason and revelation, life after death, the ground of morality, the problem of evil, religious experience, and religious language. Gen Ed: MV, Ql, EC-C

REL 4416 LIFE AND LETTERS OF PAUL
Four hours. Prerequisites: REL 2216 and successful completion of coursework that satisfies Effective Communication SLOs A and B. A study of the life and writings of Paul the Apostle as presented in the Pauline epistles, Acts and Early Christianity. Gen Ed: EC-C

REL 4428 CURRENT THEOLOGICAL THOUGHT
Four hours. Prerequisites: REL 2218 and successful completion of coursework that satisfies Effective Communication SLOs A and B. An examination of significant theologians and movements in the development of twentieth and twenty-first century theological thought, the course offers an introduction to the major Christian thinkers and themes of the modern and the post-modern eras. The class will examine how, in dialogue and debate with philosophers, the prevailing culture, and other theologians, Christian thinkers and writers have attempted to address the questions of the basis from which someone can talk about God or a God at all, the meaning of Jesus for persons, society, the world, and cosmos, and the form of life that people ought to follow. Gen Ed: EC-C

REL 4435 PROPHETIC THOUGHT IN ANCIENT ISRAEL
Four hours. Prerequisite: REL 2215. A study of the prophetic literature of the Hebrew Scriptures in relation to the history of Israel, redaction criticism and theological themes.

REL 4446 LIFE AND TEACHINGS OF JESUS
Four hours. Prerequisites: REL 2216 and successful completion of coursework that satisfies Effective Communication SLOs A and B. A study of the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in the synoptic gospel tradition. Gen Ed: EC-C

REL 4448 THE DOCTRINE OF GOD
Four hours. Prerequisites: REL 2218 and successful completion of coursework that satisfies Effective Communication SLOs A and B. An inquiry into the doctrine of God focusing upon traditional and modern critiques and the development of contemporary theological methods in response to those critiques, this course will examine critical questions in the Christian doctrine of God that have led to a crisis of faith in God and atheistic protests in modern times. The course will also attempt to develop an understanding of God, employing the doctrine of the Trinity, which can provide a basis for responding to atheism. The course aims to teach students to think through issues theologically in a consistent manner. Gen Ed: EC-C

REL 4953-4954 HONORS IN RELIGION
Six hours distributed over 2 semesters. Prerequisite: Restricted to seniors in the Religion program. Seniors must have a cumulative 3.5 GPA, a GPA of 3.66 in Religion, and have completed at least half of coursework at FSC. Students in the course sequence will work with the professor teaching the course on research projects centered on a particular theme.

REL 4960 INTERSHIP IN RELIGION
Three to six hours. Prerequisite: Senior standing and permission of the faculty. A supervised semester long application of critical thinking, theological reflection, research and or exegetical writing in an approved setting.

REL 4999 CAPSTONE SEMINAR IN RELIGION
Two hours. Prerequisites: One REL course from each of the following groups: (REL 3345, 4435), (REL 3366, 4416, 4446), (REL 4428, 4448) or permission of the instructor. A senior seminar in which students assess ideas in religion using critical reasoning, produce original work and present it to faculty and peers.