Religious Studies Major (BA)

A Bachelor of Arts Degree consists of 30 credits of Core Curriculum and at least one Major (36–60 credits), for a total of 120 credits. 

The Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies is a 36-credit major in which students explore religion in a variety of ways, with an emphasis on contemplative practices and traditions. Course offerings include African, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Sufi traditions. Students have the opportunity to develop inner resources to meet life's challenges and interreligious dialogue skills to relate to diverse traditions and beliefs. All students must take a series of 13 credits that introduce the study of religion and contemplative practice. Students also choose 9 credits from Religious Traditions courses, which serve as introductory studies of major world religions; 6 credits from Contemporary Issues in Religion courses; and 8 credits from Contemplative Practice courses.

Departmental Policies

Please consult with your academic advisor to plan your schedule in the program. For additional policies, please see the Religious Studies Student Handbook on MyNaropa. Undergraduate students may petition to take MA courses in Buddhism in their junior or senior year with permission of the instructor.

Religious Studies Requirements

Required Courses


Choose 6.5 credits

  • REL150 Buddhist Journey of Transformation: An Introduction (3)
  • REL210 Religion & Mystical Experience (3)
  • REL247 Embodying Sacred Wisdom: Modern Saints (3)
  • REL328W BA Religious Studies Retreat (0.5) Year One


  • REL328W BA Religious Studies Retreat (0.5) Year Two
  • REL351 Theories of Alternative Spiritualities and New Religious Movements (3) 
  • Religious Traditions Courses
    Choose 9 credits
    • REL229 Contemplative Judaism (3)
    • REL240 Foundations of Buddhism (3)
    • REL314 Contemplative Islam (3)
    • REL321 Kabbalah and Consciousness (3)
    • REL323 Religious Experience in Africa: Sacred Cosmos, Ritual, and Community (3)
    • REL325 Contemplative Christianity (3)
    • REL330 Contemplative Hinduism (3)
    • REL334 Hindu Yoga-Tantra (3)
    • REL338 Sufism (3)
    • REL345 Zen Buddhism (3)
    • REL346 Wisdom and Compassion: The Buddhist Path (3)
    • REL349 Tibetan Buddhism: Inside the Mystique (3)
    • REL355 Sanskrit in the Sacred Traditions of India (3)
    • REL376 Inner Oral Tradition of the Torah (3)
  • Contemporary Issues in Religion Courses
    Choose 6 credits
    • REL190 Special Topics (3)
    • REL212 Queer Theory, Feminism, and Religion (3)
    • REL312 Spiritual Models of Social Action (3)
    • REL348 Flight of the Swans: Dharma Comes West (3)
  • Contemplative Practice Courses
    Choose 8 credits
    • REL158W The Breeze of Simplicity: Meditation Weekend (1)
    • REL160 Meditation Practicum I: Freeing the Mind (3)
    • REL170 Meditation Practicum II: Igniting Compassion (3)
    • REL250 Spirituality and Creative Expression (3)
    • REL255W Opening the Heart: Meditation Weekend (1)
    • REL258 Contemplative Practice Intensive (1.5–6)
    • REL271 Christian Prayer and Mystical Practices (3)
    • REL345 Zen Buddhism (3)
    • REL390W Shambhala Training Level I: The Art of Being Human (1)
    • REL391W Shambhala Training Level II: Birth of the Warrior (1)
    • REL392W Shambhala Training Level III: Warrior in the World (1)
    • REL393W Shambhala Training Level IV: Awakened Heart (1)
    • REL394W Shambhala Training Level V: Open Sky (1)


  • REL479 Capstone Seminar & Senior Project (3)

Total Credits 36