“At a time when leaders in higher education are increasingly asking students to engage the large issues of life’s meaning and to think critically and responsibly about their role in the world, religious studies offers unique opportunities.... The religious studies major is by its very nature:
- Intercultural and Comparative: The major explores more than one religious tradition and engages the phenomena of religion comparatively across and within cultures.
- Multi-disciplinary: The major promotes the understanding and application of a range of methodological and theoretical approaches to religious phenomena.
- Critical: The major teaches students to examine and engage religious phenomena, including issues of ethical and social responsibility, from a perspective of critical inquiry and analysis of both the other and the self.
- Integrative: The major applies theoretical knowledge of religious phenomena to lived, practical contexts, both historical and current.
- Creative and Constructive: The major employs knowledge of religious phenomena and the skills of religious studies in the solving of complex problems, including those raised in the personal and social engagement of issues of life, death, love, violence, suffering, and meaning."
— “The Religious Studies Major in a Post-9/11 World: New Challenges, New Opportunities” (Religious Studies News [October 2008, Vol. 23, No. 4]).