• Overview
  • Faculty
  • Requirements
  • Advising
  • Career Tracks
  • Off-Campus Study
  • Unique Opportunities

Religion

Overview

Students engage some of the major religious and moral traditions of the world so they understand the origins and development of human spiritual heritages, and better relate to the multi-religious dimensions of the contemporary world. The Religion program at Ripon examines the experience and the beliefs about God in major world faiths, past and present. Special emphasis is given to the Jewish and Christian traditions because of their great importance for Western culture, but other faiths are examined in courses on comparative world religions.

Introductory courses are geared toward providing an understanding of how the founders and first followers of major religions experienced God and how to interpret the faith expressions in their scriptures – e.g. the Torah and the New Testament.

Intermediate courses focus on the evolution of theological and ethical concepts and practices of the Judeo-Christian tradition over time and how they shaped and were shaped by cultural values and structures with which they interacted.

Advanced courses provide an analysis of how religion and ethics affect contemporary society – both individuals seeking a meaningful moral framework for their personal lives, and wider political and economic forces shaping national and international society.


Program Spotlight

Faculty

Brian Smith

Brian Smith

Professor of Religion, Charles and Joan Van Zoeren Chair in Religion, Ethics and Values, Chair of Religion Department

[email protected]
David Brusin

David Brusin, rabbi

Adjunct Professor of Religion

[email protected]

Requirements

Requirements for a major in religion: REL 121, 122, 221, 442, one of the indicated philosophy courses at the 200-level or above (PHL 202, 241, 281, 320, 353) and the senior capstone seminar (550, or 551 and 552). Additional eight credits may be constituted from any other religion or philosophy courses or from the following courses in other departments: ANT 314; CLA 110/310, 220/320; HIS 221, 334; SOC 303. 309; for a total of 32 credits.

Requirements for a minor in religion: REL 121 or 122, and 221, 442 and one philosophy course. The other four credits may be constituted from any other religion or philosophy courses or from the following courses in other departments: ANT 314; CLA 110/310, 220/320, HIS 221, 334; SOC 303, 309; for a total of 20 credits.

Advising

Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.

As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. Staff in the Office of Constituent Engagement and Career Services help to match your interests to concrete goals and construct a plan for success, offering support through three stages of career development – planning, exploration and search. Student Support Services provides tutoring and additional academic and skill development, as well as tools to help with note-taking, exam preparation, goal-setting and time management. Mentors in the Collaborative Learning Center provide in-depth, one-on-one or group mentoring for students about class projects and college-level writing, and can share problem-solving strategies to overcome academic obstacles.

Advising at Ripon.

Career Tracks

A degree in religion can lead to careers in any field. The department provides excellent preparation for students interested in pursuing graduate school in many disciplines, including religion, theology, ministry, philosophy, psychology, education and law. Recent alumni are enrolled in graduate-level programs at Marquette University, Texas A&M University, Northwestern University, Vanderbilt University, and Bowling Green State University.

Off-Campus Study

Internships

Students wishing a first-hand experience in religion or in ethics can take a supervised field work course. This could involve either part-time employment or participant observation in local church services or organizations (for those interested in some form of religious ministry as a career), or in local professional organizations and meetings, e.g., law, business, medicine, journalism, politics or government (for those interested in contemporary ethical challenges in these professions).

International study

Religion majors may take advantage of the many off-campus programs available at Ripon College. Students have studied in Europe, Costa Rica and China.

Students have the opportunity to take part in the cultural experience available in major U.S. cities such as Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

Whether you choose a program that is international or domestic, it is an experience bound to change your view of the world.Click to learn more about Off- Campus Study and Liberal Arts In Focus at Ripon College.

Unique Opportunities

  • First-hand experience in religion or in ethics can be obtained through a supervised field work course. This could involve either part-time employment or participant observation in local church services or organizations, for those interested in some form of religious ministry as a career. For those interested in contemporary ethical challenges, students can engage in local professional organizations and meetings such as law, business, medicine, journalism, politics or government.
  • The opportunity to double-major in religion, as it is closely associated with many other subjects in the humanities arena.