"The personal attention that I receive at HPU is unlike any other. Through small classes I have been able to establish life-long relationships with my professors. No matter if you're in a class with 25 students or a class with just 7 students, the professors ensure your success."
The Religion program at High Point University fosters reflective engagement with some of humanity’s most powerful texts, practices, institutions and ideas. As part of a liberal arts curriculum, our students achieve a deeper understanding of the religious traditions that have so profoundly influenced the shape of the world in which we live. They also learn the immensity and complexity of the field of religious studies and the rich diversity of the world’s religious traditions.
Why study religion?
Religion is intertwined with just about every aspect of human experience, from art and literature, to law and politics, to pop culture and marketing. Reports of the ‘death of God’ (and of religion) have turned out, to paraphrase Mark Twain, to be greatly exaggerated. Studying religion means trying to understand time-tested traditions and dynamic social mo vements across all kinds of cultural differences. Majoring in religion is an exemplary way to fulfill the promise of a liberal arts education and gain breadth and depth for understanding the world in which we live.
What can I do with this major?
Bachelor of Arts in religion
Minor in religion
Areas of specialization
Modern German Philosophy
Theology and Economics
Philosophy of Science
Feminist Approaches to Religion and Philosophy
Ancient and Medieval Western Thought
Comparative Religious Studies
Catholic Theology and Ethics
Unique course offerings
Women in the Bible
Evil, Suffering and God
Asian Religions and Environmental Concerns
Fundamentalism and Violence
Sages, Monks and Ascetics
Student clubs & organizations
Theta Alpha Kappa, religion honors society
Weekly Chapel services
A religion degree offers great preparation for a career in business or communication, especially when paired with another major. Many religion majors continue their studies in graduate school. Well over half of our religion majors enter graduate programs. In recent years, many religion majors have continued their studies at such prestigious universities as:
Duke Divinity School
Candler School of Theology at Emory University
Harvard Divinity School
Princeton Theological Seminary
Wake Forest Divinity School
Asbury Theological Seminary
Graduates of those programs take a variety of paths, sometimes into ministry, but sometimes into nonprofit work, or further graduate school. Whether they get a job straight out of HPU, or go on to graduate school, our graduates consistently remark about how well their studies in our department prepared them for success.
Featured Graduate Outcomes:
Cassie Chidester, ’18—Associate Recruiter for IQ Talents in Nashville, TN
“I have truly valued receiving majors in both marketing and religion. Every time I interview or connect with companies I am always asked about my religion major. It has set me apart as an applicant. My religion major has helped me to gain skills of understanding people better as well as critical thinking skills and analysis skills that I will continue to use in my career. Nothing compares to being a religion major at HPU. The department is dedicated to helping students succeed and challenging students to gain the best education possible. It has been my favorite part of my four years at HPU and I know it is something that will always be applicable in my life.”
Tiffany Jones, ’17 – pursuing a Masters of Divinity at Vanderbilt University
“My education at High Point University has prepared me to be a 21st century learner and community member by helping me develop critical thinking, problem solving skills, and a language of what God’s justice looks like in the world. As I venture off to Divinity School, I am confident that I have been well prepared and will become a better community member because of the mentors and experiences I have had at HPU.”
Mary Kyner, ’16 – Pursuing a Master of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary
“My most impactful moment at High Point University has to be when I had the opportunity to make a video about the importance of a religion degree for a class. My classmates and I were able to really consider why we became religion majors and to hear from numerous faculty and administration, including Dr. Qubein and Dr. Carroll, about why understanding and studying religion is so important. It really helped center me and reassure me of my career choices and why I chose this amazing institution.”
`The Department of Religion and Philosophy offers a B.A. degree in Religion. To graduate from High Point University with this degree, students must complete the following:
B.A. in Religion
University Core Requirements
Requirements for the B.A. in Religion (36 credits):
One course in Biblical Studies (4):
REL 2001. The Five Books of Moses (4)
REL 2003. Hebrew Prophets (4)
REL 2004. Jesus in the Gospels (4)
REL 2006. Life and Letters of Paul (4)
REL 3000. Biblical Interpretation (4)
REL 3005. Psalms and Wisdom Literature (4)
REL/WGS 3007. Women in the Bible (4)
REL/GBS 3301. Global Perspectives in Biblical Interpretation (4)
One course in Theology/History (4)
REL 2020. Early Christian Thought (4)
REL/PHL 2021. Medieval Philosophy and Theology (4)
REL 2022. Modern Christian Theology (4)
REL 2023. Contemporary Christian Theology (4)
REL 3017. Foundations of Christian Ethics (4)
REL 3020. Great Theologians (4)
REL/PHL 3025. Evil, Suffering, and God (4)
REL 3028. Religion in American (4)
REL/GBS 3327. World Christianity (4)
One additional course in either Biblical Studies or Theology/ History from the above distributions (4)
One course in World Religions (4)
REL/WGS 2026. Women in Islam (4)
REL 2036. Religions of East Asia (4)
REL 2037. Religions of South Asia (4)
REL 2018. Asian Religions and Environmental Concerns (4)
REL 3031. Religions of Japan (4)
REL 3032. Buddhist Traditions: Zen & Pure Land (4)
REL 3033. Contemporary Buddhist Developments (4)
REL 3034. Sages, Monks, and Ascetics (4)
REL 3035. Comparative Religions Perspectives (4)
REL/PHL 3142. Philosophical Issues in Science and Religion (4)
REL/PHL/GBS 3331. Asian Thought & Global Concerns (4)
REL/GBS 3332. Fundamentalism and Violence (4)
REL 2099. Approaches to Religion (4) or another course approved by the Department Chair (4)*
REL 4099. Senior Seminar (4)**
Twelve elective credits in Religion (12)
NOTE: None of the above requirements can be met by a 1000-level course; Only 12 credits of 1000-level courses will count toward the major; At least sixteen credits must be at the 3000-level or above.
*REL 2099 is a pre-requisite for REL 4099. REL 2099 is offered each spring and Religion majors are encouraged to take it in the spring of the sophomore year.
**REL 4099 is offered each fall. Students seeking Department Honors must complete REL 4099 in the fall semester and then expand their research project throughout the ensuing spring semester and present their revised paper at an academic conference or submit it to a journal. The revised paper will be circulated among the department faculty in the spring semester to determine if it qualifies for Honors.
Following the Buddha through India & Nepal Maymester:
Recently, HPU students followed the historic Buddha through India and Nepal and explored the city where the Buddha spent most of his monastic life while visiting some of the region’s greatest treasures. The group visited the Taj Mahal, India’s most famous landmark, took a boat ride on the Ganges, meditated with local monks, experienced a local yoga session, and gave back to the community with a day of service.
HPU Religion Students Make Cultural Connections in Israel during ‘Maymester’ Trip
Students in Israel are currently taking part in the religious course, Holy Land: Geography, History and Theology.
Their travels include a detailed study of early Jewish and Christian history, with particular attention to land and space. Students are exploring the complex historical and theological question about the relationship between Christianity and Judaism and the role land has played in the intersection of these two faiths.