College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Philosophy and Religion

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?

Postures 1According 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 its peoples.

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 issues.

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 campus.

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 a personal 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 14.

Where can I find more information?

Interested students should contact the Director, Dr. Brent Hege, at ( 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 a brochure about the program, which can be printed or e-mailed to share with others who may be interested.

Why Study Philosophy and Religion at Butler?


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Philosophy & Religion

Jordan Hall, Room 202
4600 Sunset Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46208
(317) 940-9974
Admin. Specialist: Mary Proffitt