Religious Studies Minor

The academic study of religion at MTSU is part of the human sciences and contributes to the wider study of global cultures and international affairs, as well as personal and collective identities. A descriptive, interpretive, comparative and historical field, its coursework prepares students to become well-informed, independent, and creative thinkers equipped with the methods and theories necessary to study religious phenomena in a systematic way, to synthesize findings, and to analyze critically what one finds. As such, a minor in Religious Studies provides students with an invaluable foundation for a wide range of careers in which reading, writing, understanding, and analysis are essential.

The minor in religious studies consists of 15 semester hours in religious studies.

How to declare a religious studies minor

Religious Studies Classes

Current Religious Studies Course Offerings

RS 2030 - Religion and Society
3 credit hours

Introduces the academic study of world religions with an emphasis on the ways religion both influences and is influenced by society and human behavior.

RS 3010 - The Bible: Its Origin and Content
3 credit hours

Studies the historical development of biblical and extra-biblical texts with an emphasis on cultivating the skills of critical textual analysis, an understanding of reception history, and the emergence of diverse canons and interpretive approaches across different communities, both Jewish and Christian.

RS 3020 - Comparative Religion
3 credit hours

Employs central categories and concepts from the academic study of religion to analyze case studies from Western, Eastern, and Indigenous religions.

RS 3030 - Mapping Religious Diversity
3 credit hours

Explores religious diversity in North America with a focus on local case studies. Students will conduct original, ethnographic research examining religious sites in Murfreesboro.

RS 3040 - The History of Christianity
3 credit hours

A socio-historical survey of Christian thought and practice from the patristic period to the contemporary era. Discusses major events, texts, and figures in Christian history. Includes the study of theological concepts, interpretations of scripture, Christianity and politics, gender and sexuality, and disputes over orthodoxy.

RS 3050 - Rites of Passage
3 credit hours

The study of religious rituals and ceremonies that mark specific points in time, namely those in which individuals experience transition (births, weddings, funerals, and initiations). Explores how rites of passage and religious identities around the world are constructed and serve as sites of both conflict and resolution in a variety of religious traditions and cultural contexts.

RS 3060 - Pilgrimage and Sacred Journeys
3 credit hours

A cross-cultural and comparative examination of the dynamics of religious journeys with the goal of gaining a thorough understanding of the phenomenon of pilgrimage in all its complexity. Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Judaism, Muslim, and indigenous traditions regularly included.

RS 3600 - Religion and Film
3 credit hours

Examines the cinematic expression of religious traditions and development of religious issues in cinema.

RS 4010 - Global Christianity
3 credit hours

Examines global Christianities focusing on how narratives of the global correspond to and feed into localized religious practices within Christianity in a variety of regional and specific contexts.

RS 4020 - Jesus of Nazareth
3 credit hours

Surveys the diverse portraits of Jesus reflected in the socio-culture interface of the first century CE, early Christian literature, the modern scholarly quest for the historical Jesus, and in light of recent discussions, movements, films, and books

RS 4030 - Contemporary Issues in Indigenous Religions
3 credit hours

Examines and analyzes contemporary issues in the religious lives of Native American, First Nations, Aboriginal, and other indigenous groups from a religious studies perspective.

RS 4040 - Hinduism, Buddhism, and Asian Religions
3 credit hours

Explores historical and socio-cultural developments within Hinduism, Buddhism, and Asian religions, their relation to other religions, and interactions with broader cultural forces.

RS 4050 - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
3 credit hours

Explores historical and socio-cultural developments within Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; their relation to other religions of the world.

RS 4120 - Cults and New Religious Movements
3 credit hours

Investigates how new religious movements emerge, develop, and interact with American society and surveys "cult controversies" in the United States, asking why some new religious movements gain cultural legitimacy while others do not.

RS 4130 - Religion and Law
3 credit hours

Explores the complex and contested relationship between religion and the law by examining how debates over the proper relationship of religion and government as well as the limits of religious freedom have developed and changed over time.

RS 4201 - Women and Religion
3 credit hours

(Same as WGST 4201.) Examines changing conceptions of women's roles in various religious traditions with particular attention to the ways religious beliefs and practices have influenced and are influenced by feminism and struggles for gender equality both within and outside religious institutions.

RS 4700 - Special Topics in Religious Studies
3 credit hours

An in-depth study of a specific topic in Religious Studies. Content will vary from semester to semester and will reflect the research interests and expertise of the instructor. May be taken more than once, as topics change for a maximum of 9 hours.

RS 4800 - Readings in Religious Studies
3 credit hours

Directed study concerning a particular problem or thinker within religious studies.

RS 4900 - Seminar in Religious Studies
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: At least 12 Religious Studies credit hours and junior or senior standing or permission of instructor. Capstone seminar for Religious Studies majors and minors. Students reflect on previous religious studies coursework in the context of their college education, analyze and critique substantial theoretical contributions to the discipline of religious studies, and complete a final product that "caps" their study of religion at MTSU.

Courses Currently in Development

Women and Religion. Three credits. This course examines changing conceptions of women's roles in various religious traditions, with particular attention to the ways in which religious beliefs and practices have influenced and are influenced by feminism and struggles for gender equality both within and outside religious institutions.