Religion is a powerful force in our world. As a religion major or minor, you’ll study this force, wrestle with some of life’s biggest questions, and examine religion’s complex role in society throughout history.
Religion can also be a perfect complement to other majors. That’s because the academic study of religion is truly interdisciplinary, drawing on subjects like sociology, anthropology, political science, philosophy, art, and science.
The study of religion is central to the nature and mission of Luther as a college of the church. The Department of Religion serves this mission by equipping students with a level of competency in religion that will prepare you to serve with distinction for the common good.
Our department is committed to the academic study of religion through an examination of the sacred texts, rituals, histories, theologies, philosophies, and contemporary expressions of diverse traditions. In our courses you'll learn about specific religious traditions, such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism, as well as the intersections and interactions of multiple traditions. In particular, our emphases investigate ethics and theology, facilitate global competency and interfaith literacy, and explore issues of social justice.
The study of religion at Luther is not limited to the classroom. Our students study religious scriptures and art on field trips and meet spiritual leaders all over the whole world through our study abroad courses. They have tea with a Zen master in a mountain temple in Southern China, join Muslims for Friday prayer in Copenhagen, meet a Holocaust survivor in Auschwitz, talk to liberation theologians in the Amazon valley, and worship with Christians in Johannesburg.
If you are interested in professional ministry you will certainly benefit from our course offerings. However, a religion major or minor is also beneficial for a diversity of careers and attracts students with a wide variety of interests. Students often double major in religion and another area of study, such as biology, management, music, or psychology. Use the following links to learn more about how a religion degree can enhance your future career and enable you to make connections with other interests.
I’ve grown and learned so much about different beliefs around the world as well as my own. The professors challenge your preconceptions and comfort to make sure that your ideas and beliefs are not only well-founded, but significant and sincere.
-Chris Lovagnini '16
I came to Luther with no intention of majoring in religion but after one class, I was hooked. The faculty has not only consistently challenged me to work harder, but also pushed me to challenge myself to expand my personal perceptions and motivations.
—Keziah Grindeland ‘16
Read why the National Council for the Social Studies recommends the study of religion in social studies curricula in K-12, and why it's important for increasing religious literacy in the nation.