Butler Summer Religion Institute
The Butler Summer Religion Institute (BSRI) provides rising high
school juniors and seniors with an opportunity to enhance their
college application portfolio and to earn college credits by
studying religion in a non-sectarian academic setting.
In the BSRI course students will be introduced to the academic
study of religion and learn about the major religious traditions of
the world through lectures, discussions, guest speakers, films,
short writing assignments, and small group work. The course is open
to all rising high school juniors and seniors, regardless of where
they plan to attend college. Recently graduated students who will
be attending Butler in the fall are also encouraged to enroll.
Why study religion?
According to recent polls, as much as 80% of the
world's people identify themselves as religious. Religion permeates
every aspect of social existence, whether that influence is
explicit or implicit. Religions are deeply rooted in particular
cultures, but they also have the capacity to transcend their
contexts and have profound influences well beyond their places of
origin. Because we live in an age of unprecedented globalization,
understanding the world's religions allows us to better understand
our neighbors near and far and the global impacts of religion.
Religions have had immensely positive influences on human lives and
societies, but they have also had devastating negative effects as
well. Through the study of the world's religions students will
learn to appreciate the power of religion to shape the world and
What will we study?
In the course we will study the nature of religion as a human
phenomenon, the various academic approaches to the study of
religion, and several of the world's religious traditions,
including Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and many more. We will also
study the place of religion in the modern world and the concepts of
religious diversity, tolerance, and pluralism. We will learn about
the history of each religious tradition and explore their texts,
beliefs, practices, and contemporary demographics and pressing
When and where is the BSRI?
The BSRI will be held July 8-18, 9 a.m.-2:15 p.m. on the campus
of Butler University in Indianapolis. Classes will be held from
Monday-Thursday of both weeks. Lunch will be provided. Students
will be responsible for their own transportation to and from
How much does the BSRI Cost?
There are two options available to students: enrollment for
credit or enrollment for non-credit. Students enrolling for college
credit (3 credit hours) will pay the standard tuition for a Butler
summer course of $1398. Students not seeking college credit will
pay a substantially reduced fee of $300.
What is the application process?
Prospective students will complete the application form and
essay. Official transcripts and a recommendation
letter from a high school teacher or guidance counselor will
also be required. To be considered for admission to the 2013 BSRI,
all application materials must be submitted by Friday, June
Where can I find more information?
Interested students should contact the Director, Dr. Brent Hege,
at (BSRI@butler.edu) or (317)
940-8274. There is also a list of useful links for BSRI
applicants and participants on this web site. And for your
convenience, here are links to digital copies of a flyer and
brochure about the program, which can be printed or e-mailed to
share with others who may be interested.