Religious Studies Major (BA)

A Bachelor of Arts degree (120 credits) consists of Core Curriculum (30 credits) and at least one major (36–60 credits), as well as minors and/or elective courses of the student’s choosing.

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 dialog skills to relate to diverse traditions and beliefs. All students must take a series of 12 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 9 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 credits

  • REL150 Buddhist Journey of Transformation: An Introduction (3)
  • REL210 Religion & Mystical Experience (3)
  • REL247 Embodying Sacred Wisdom: Modern Saints (3)


  • 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: An Introduction to Its History, Thought, and Practice (3)
  • REL321 Kabbalah and Consciousness (3)
  • REL323 Religious Experience in Africa: Sacred Cosmos, Ritual, and Community (3)
  • REL325 Contemplative Christianity (3)
  • REL334 Hindu Tantra (3)
  • REL338 Sufism: An Introduction to its History, Thought, and Practice (3)
  • REL345 Zen Buddhism (3)
  • REL346 Wisdom and Compassion: The Buddhist Path (3)
  • REL349 Tibetan Buddhism: Inside the Mystique (3)
  • REL355 Introductory Sanskrit: The Language of the Gods (3)
  • REL376 Inner Oral Tradition of the Torah (3)
  • TRA453 Yoga History, Theory and Philosophy (3)

Contemporary Issues in Religion Courses
Choose 6 credits

  • REL190 Special Topics in Religious Studies (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 9 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)
  • TRA133 Yoga I (3)
  • TRA463 Meditation in Yogic and Tantric Traditions: A Practicum (3) 


  • REL485/TRA485 BA Wisdom Traditions Retreat (1) 
  •  REL489/TRA489 BA Wisdom Traditions Capstone (2)

Total Credits: 36