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Butler University Bulletin

Religion Requirements

View the Religion Course Catalog

Requirements for the Religious Studies Major

Majors must fulfill each of the following seven requirements. (Courses may fulfill more than one distribution requirement if they appear in more than one category below.)

  1. Traditions (6 credit hours)
    • TI250-RL, Religions of the World
    • RL347, History of Christianity
    • RL550, Topics in Judaism
    • RL353, Buddhism, Past and Present
    • RL354, Islam: Religion, Culture, Society
    • RL358, Hinduism, Past and Present
    • RL366, Topics in Jewish and Christian Traditions
    • RL369, Topics in Religious Studies
  2. Religion and Society (3 credit hours)
    • SW260-RL, Religion, ‘Cults,’ and (In)Tolerance in America
    • RL340, Islam in America
    • RL341, Islam, Gender, and Sexuality
    • RL348, Moral Economies
    • RL363, Religion, Politics and Conflict in South Asia
    • RL368, Topics in Religion and Society
    • RL377, Hinduism, Gender, and the Goddess 
    • RL382, Christian Liberation Theologies
  3. Texts and Textual Interpretation (3 credit hours)
    • TI251-RL, The Bible
    • PCA263-RL, The Bible and Music
    • RL307, Historical Jesus
    • RL308, Paul and the Early Church
    • RL309, Gospel of John
    • RL344, The Quran: Text and Context
    • RL346, Heresy in Early Christianity
    • RL375, Topics in Texts/Textual Interpretation
  4. Religious Thought (3 credit hours)
    • PL342, Philosophy of Religion
    • RL365, Topics in Religious Ethics
    • RL378, Religion and Science Fiction
    • RL379, Christian Concepts of God
    • RL383, Religious Pluralism
    • RL384, Eco-Theology
    • RL387, Evil in Christian and Jewish Thought
    • RL388, Topics in Religious Thought
  5. Individual Required Courses (9 credit hours)
    • RL381-W, Theory and Method (WAC)
    • RL381/RL382 Seminar on Religion and Global Affairs (ICR optional)
    • RL405, Internship
  6. Total Hours/Upper-Level Hours: Majors must take a total of at least 33 total hours in the major, at least 27 hours of which must be at the 300 level or higher.
  7. Oral Presentation—All majors will also give an oral presentation of some kind in their junior or senior year (e.g., URC, BSI, or a specially organized departmental presentation, or by taking RL301-SAC). Ask departmental faculty for details. 

Note: Up to six credit hours of second year (or higher) pre-modern languages of religious significance may be counted toward the major. Languages offered at Butler (i.e., Greek or Latin) will be automatically counted. Credits from courses taken in other languages of religious significance (e.g., Arabic, Urdu, Turkish, Hebrew, German, Sanskrit, Chinese, Farsi, Punjabi) may be counted by petition to the chair of the department.

Requirements for the Religious Leadership Major

Foundational Requirements (18 hours)

  • 3 hours (one course from the following two) on religious diversity
    • TI250, “Religions of the World” or
    • SW260-RL, “Religions, ‘Cults,’ and (In)Tolerance in America” 
  • 6 hours of RL405/406, “Internship,” to be fulfilled in a role related to religious leadership (including practical training in a religious community)
  • 3 hours (RL381), “Theory and Method in the Study of Religion” (or approved alternative capstone course or independent study)
  • 3 hours (RL403) of guided independent study on vocational discernment and reflection
  • 3 additional hours in Religion at the 300 level or above

Focus Areas (at least 15 hours)

In addition to completing the track’s core requirements, students must complete at least 15 hours in the following specialization areas. Students may count no more than 3 courses in any one specialization area towards the minimum of 15 hours. Note: Some courses on the list below have prerequisites. Religion majors on the Religious Leadership Track will not receive special exemption from these prerequisites (though they may request exemption like any other student).

  • Non-Profit Management and Finance
    • AA301, Principles and Practices of Arts Administration
    • EI201, Real Business Experience
    • EI315, Creativity and Innovation
    • EI325, Social Entrepreneurship
    • EI346, Entrepreneurial Finance (Note: This one has a particularly high number of prerequisites)
    • EI470, Entrepreneurial Consulting
    • EI480, Corporate Entrepreneurship
    • EI485, Entrepreneurial Accelerator
  • Communication
    • COM101, Public Speaking
    • ORG253, Interpersonal Communication
    • ORG351, Small Group Communication
    • ORG362, Leadership and Communication
    • ORG453, Relational Communication
    • ORG454, Persuasion, Compliance, & Social Influence
    • ORG462, Advanced Leadership    
    • ORG470, Advanced Organizational Communication 
    • CCM398, Argumentation and Advocacy
    • CCM482, Voices of Dissent & Social Change
    • STR128, Promotional Writing
    • STR222, Principles of Strategic Communication
  • Interreligious Engagement
    • RL340, Islam in America
    • RL347, History of Christianity
    • RL350, Topics in Judaism
    • RL353, Buddhism, Past and Present
    • RL354, Islam: Religion, Culture, Society
    • RL358, Hinduism, Past and Present
    • RL363, Religion, Politics, and Conflict in South Asia
    • RL372, Mysticism
    • RL377, Hinduism, Gender, and the Goddess
    • RL383, Religious Pluralism: Christian Approaches to Religious Diversity
    • RL391/92, Seminar on Religion and Global Affairs
  • Counselling/Psychology 
    • SW250, Psychological Inquiry
    • PS320, Lifespan Development
    • PS350, Social Psychology
    • PS360, Industrial/Organizational Psychology
    • Select courses at Christian Theological Seminary
  • Social Work
    • SO353, Juvenile Justice and Delinquency 
    • SO347, Urban Community 
    • SO323, Racial and Ethnic Relations 
    • SO381, Social Work and Social Policy 
    • SO383, Social Work Methods
    • SO385, Practice Skills in Social Work
  • Music
    • AM125, Guitar
    • AM127, Voice 
    • Or any other music course approved by the student’s official advisor in the Religion program and relevant to the student’s leadership goals
  • Language (at second-year level with reading relevant to religion and/or ministry)
    • Greek 
    • Latin
    • Other languages offered at Butler (such as Spanish) as well as others not offered here but which might be taken elsewhere over the summer or through an independent study (such as Hebrew, Arabic, or Sanskrit) may also be counted, if an explanation is provided of how they relate to one’s faith tradition or ministry goals.
  • Creative Writing 
    • EN203, Intro to Professional Writing
    • EN219, Intro to Creative Writing: Prose
    • EN386, Studies in Rhetoric
  • Journalism 
    • JR112, Introduction to News Writing and Reporting
    • JR113, Introduction to Broadcast Journalism 
    • JR210, Reporting and Writing
    • JR213, Broadcast Journalism
    • JR312, Multimedia Journalism
    • JR313, Advanced Broadcast Journalism 
    • JR325, Gender and News: Global Views 
    • JR409, Media Economics and Regulation 
    • JR412, In-depth Journalism 
    • JR414, Media Law 
    • JR417, Global Media 
    • JR420, Media Ethics 

Study Abroad: Coursework or research related to religion or religious leadership in study abroad programs may be counted towards the required Focus Area hours so long as the student goes through the usual process of having study abroad courses approved for transfer by the department chair (and allocated a relevant course number).

Requirements for the Combined Philosophy and Religion Major

The major requires 42 hours. Detailed requirements are posted at or can be obtained at the departmental office.

Requirements for the Combined Anthropology and Religion Major

The major requires 45 hours. Detailed requirements are posted at or can be obtained at the departmental office.

Requirements for the Minor

The minor requires 18 hours in religion, 12 of which must be at the 300 or 400 level, and 3 of which must be RL381W, Theory and Method in the Study of Religion. Minors should create a suitable package of courses in consultation with a religion professor appointed by the chair.