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College of Arts and Sciences


Rutledge Chapel on the Historic Horseshoe

Department of Religious Studies

The role of religion is growing larger and larger as part of new world view. Learning how different religions work and interact is a vital part of understanding our world.

Today, when international conflicts and national politics are often influenced by religious faith, the need for scholars and students who have a deep understanding of religious faith and traditions has perhaps never been greater.  At the University of South Carolina, the Department of Religious Studies is dedicated to producing a new generation of scholars and thinkers in the field, and to fostering an ongoing discussion, both around campus and in the larger community, about the role of faith in the modern world.

Our vibrant program is interdisciplinary, drawing students and faculty from across the Liberal Arts spectrum.  Undergraduate courses cover the historical, theological, social, and cultural dimensions of world religions.  A curriculum of more than 40 courses is designed to help students acquire expertise in at least one major tradition while also exposing them to a wide diversity of religious expression and meaning.

Programs include Islamic Culture Studies, Jewish Studies, World Religions, New and Old Testament, Religion and Culture, and the African-American Religious Experience.

The department’s full-time faculty members are complemented by our associate faculty program, which includes more than 20 professors from fields such English, History, Philosophy, Anthropology, Political Science, and Comparative Literature.  Our faculty, many of whom have won major teaching awards, works closely with students, helping them pursue their personal interests and career goals.

We also offer the local community a rich array of special programs, including a high-profile lecture series that brings world-renowned scholars to campus each year.  In addition, the department sponsors Partners in Dialogue, an interfaith organization that promotes activities and programs for interreligious dialogue among the different faith communities in the Columbia area.

We invite you to tour our website for more detailed information.