Religion has dramatically shaped cultures, politics, and economies across time and around the world. As a religious studies major at Rollins, you’ll explore how the search for meaning impacts people and societies. By reading, discussing, and writing about challenging texts, you’ll learn to analyze, interpret, and communicate ideas—skills that employers highly value across a wide array of fields.
You’ll practice balancing an open mind with critical thinking, giving you a well-rounded approach to work and relationships. And while studying how other people view the world, you’ll cultivate curiosity, awareness, and empathy—key ingredients for a meaningful life.
Why Study Religious Studies at Rollins
Religious studies at Rollins is a small, close-knit program, so your professors will get to know you well throughout your time in the major, tailoring their feedback to your needs and goals.
Another benefit of a small program is getting to know your classmates through meaningful discussion. You’ll get comfortable exchanging perspectives and expressing yourself in a supportive yet challenging environment.
Reading, Writing, and Speaking
Forget standardized tests and rote memorization. You’ll stretch your mental muscles by engaging with original texts and learning to write and speak in a clear and compelling way.
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“The thing I took away the most was the personal relationships with faculty mentors. Things like the small class sizes and having seminars rather than lectures made a world of difference. They taught me how to care about what I’m learning rather than just go through the motions. The courses taught by Dr. French and Dr. D’Amato were as good as you’d get at an Ivy League school, and I hope the education I receive in the future will be as good as Rollins.”
Rollins Religious Studies Careers
Rollins religious studies grads are making tomorrow happen at some of the world’s most innovative organizations.
Isabella Beham ’16
Matchmaker and Multi-Market Recruiter, It’s Just Lunch Select/Elite Private Search
Aislinn Betancourt ’12
Chief Knowledge Officer, Equity Meets Design
Alexander Earl ’14
History and Theology Teacher, Pacifica Christian High School
Camilo Garzón ’15
Editor, Digital Producer, and Contributing Writer, National Geographic Society
Prea Persaud ’10
Lecturer, Religious Studies, University of North Carolina-Charlotte
Ashton Lange ’15
Senior Associate, Isaacson, Miller
Real World Experience
From internships and community service to prestigious leadership conferences, religious studies majors hone their knowledge and skills through real-world experience.
Religion intersects with every conceivable topic, so you’ll be able to choose from a diverse lineup of classes, following a broad foundation of coursework that provides context for the rest of the program.
REL 170 The Search for Meaning
Follow the inner journeys of religious thinkers from a variety of traditions. Along the way, you’ll uncover the motives and consequences of the search for meaning.
REL 113 Asian Religions
Analyze and discuss sacred texts and other primary sources to explore the beliefs and rituals of Hinduism, Buddhism, and the religions of China and Japan.
REL 490 Senior Seminar
In the culmination of your academic work, you’ll examine classic and current theories, methodologies, and categories of analysis in the academic study of religion and apply these to your final research projects.
REL 217 Jewish Life and Thought
Examine historical, literary, and theological masterpieces that explore law, ritual, Zionism, Israel, American Judaism, and the changing roles of women in contemporary Judaism.
REL 300 Religion and the Body
Unpack Eastern and Western traditions, beliefs, and notions of the body and embodiment. You’ll focus on mind/body dualism, sexual norms and taboos, purity and impurity, gender, and sexual identity.
REL 237 Religion and Terrorism
Explore whether religion is inherently violent, how various religions justify violence, and how to define religious terrorism. You’ll also examine the psychology behind extremism and the significance of 9/11.
Beyond the Classroom
Collaborative Research Work side by side with a professor on an original, grant-funded research project through the Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship Program. Along the way, you’ll develop the kind of research experience that is typically reserved for graduate school and have the opportunity to publish and present your findings.
Philosophy and Religion Club This popular forum brings you together with faculty, visiting experts, and other students for dialectical conversation. A speaker introduces a theme, provides background, and then opens a lively discussion.
Study Abroad From China and Japan to India and Israel, Rollins religious studies majors see their course material come to life and observe how faith shapes people and cultures around the globe through dozens of faculty-led field studies and semester-long study abroad programs.
All of our religious studies faculty hold terminal degrees in the field and boast expertise in a broad spectrum of specializations. Our expert professors are also dedicated mentors who elevate learning through personalized attention inside and outside the classroom.
Department of Philosophy & Religion
Mario D’Amato, PhD
Professor of Religion
Research interests: Buddhist philosophy, psychoanalysis and religion, and semiotics (theory of signs)
Todd French, PhD
Associate Professor of Religion
Research interests: Early Christianity, Byzantine hagiography, Syriac, Islam, mysticism, gender, poverty, and extremes in religion
Yudit Greenberg, PhD
George D. and Harriet W. Cornell Chair of Religion; Director of Jewish Studies Program
Research interests: Modern and contemporary Jewish thought; cross-cultural concepts of love, eros, and the body; feminist philosophy and theology; and comparative religion