About the Program

The Department of Religious Studies offers courses of study that examine the phenomenon of religion as it affects individuals, as it operates in culture, and as it addresses questions of life’s ultimate values.

The program draws its methods from the academic discipline of history of religions. It is committed to presenting traditions from perspectives sympathetic to the living religious communities themselves. This approach honors the distinctive place of contemplative traditions and practices within many of the world’s great religions.

Depending on the program you choose, you’ll find that the approach generally used is nonsectarian, scholarly, and critical. You’ll rely on the best of contemporary Western and traditional scholarship, as well as your own “hands-on” exploration of major meditation traditions and social service.

Additionally, you’ll find yourself enriched by contact with living lineages of Asian and Western teachers. While Buddhism is the religion that is most strongly represented in departmental offerings, most other major world religions are also represented. You may also choose to study Sanskrit or Tibetan languages.

“Buddhism neither tells me the false nor the true: It allows me to discover myself.” —Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche

Program learning outcomes

Students demonstrate knowledge of religious traditions including historical context, terminology and theoretical concepts and critical analysis.

Students demonstrate engagement with and expression of contemplative practice.

Students demonstrate understanding of difference and awareness of cultural context within and across religious traditions.

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This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

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