Religious Studies

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Program Overview

Students majoring in Religious Studies at Fairfield University are devoted to the study of religion as a human phenomenon. They explore the philosophy and reasoning behind religion and the beliefs of cultures across the globe. The study is wide-ranging, and includes all actions of religious experience, belief and practice through a multitude of perspectives.

Our committed faculty stands at the heart of the department. They are teachers, theologians, scripture specialists and scholars of the world’s religions, who craft their courses to understand the answers found in its traditions.

The program offers a wide variety of perspectives and courses concerning world religion. Classes range from contemporary theology to the examination of the rise of “New Age” religions. Collectively, students receive a comprehensive education that is both broad and deep. They are challenged in the classroom through conversations and research projects; learn the history of religion and how it has shaped values and politics; and gain an understanding of the impact of different symbols, texts, gestures, and claims.

Throughout the program, students gain an informed perspective of the world’s religions, and you will be able to apply it to fields such as education, law, business, and social services.

Learning Objectives



Demonstrate knowledge of the beliefs, practices, and texts of more than one major religious tradition.



Understand the diversity and complexity of religious traditions flourishing today.



Comprehend the various ways religious beliefs and practices change in distinct temporal and geographical settings.



Critically analyze significant questions and problems through the careful study of religious intellectual traditions.



Develop scholarly skills to conduct sophisticated research within the discipline.

Requirements & Curriculum

The Religious Studies curriculum presents a critical inquiry into the religious dimension of human experience. After an introduction to the nature of religion and the methods employed in its study, students can select from a variety of courses exploring specific topics such as sacred texts, issues in sexual ethics, questions of life and death, and the wide variety of devotions and practices that animate religious communities.

Required Courses

At least two (2) Religious Studies courses at the 1000 level
At least five (5) Religious Studies courses at the 2000 or 3000 level
Religious Studies Seminar
Independent Study
One (1) to three (3) Religious Studies courses at the 1000 level
At least two (2) Religious Studies courses at the 2000 or 3000 level

Visit our our academic catalog for detailed course descriptions and more information.

More About Religious Studies

Life After Fairfield

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Life After Fairfield

After graduation, religious studies majors have all the opportunities available to fellow graduates in the humanities and social sciences. Our graduates become teachers and social workers, go on to law or medical school, get into business, or on to graduate study in a variety of fields.

In religious studies, we find that taking the enduring questions seriously means that the real world will take you seriously. Recent graduate stories include:

  • One who completed a master's degree at Yale and now teaches in Baltimore
  • One who graduated Phi Beta Kappa and was offered a full scholarship to law school

Learn more about how Fairfield's Career Planning Center can support your post-graduate goals, and how Fairfield's tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.

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Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

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Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

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As a Jesuit, Catholic university, Fairfield is dedicated to diversity and inclusion; to radical hospitality in service of racial, social, and economic justice.

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The College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University is home to a vibrant community of engaged faculty, dedicated staff, and accomplished scholars devoted to the process of invention and discovery and excited by the prospect of producing knowledge in the service of others. Meet the dedicated faculty of our Religious Studies Department.

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