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Department of Religion

The College of Arts and Sciences


Peter Slade, Professor of Religion


Craig Hovey, Professor of Religion

Kirsty Jones, Assistant Professor of Religion

Degree Offered

Bachelor of Arts


The Department of Religion furnishes a basic Biblical understanding and appreciation of Christian thought for all graduating students. It seeks to help students become aware of how religious commitments and values continue to shape our worldviews and affect our ethics. It also seeks to be a learning environment for intensive and advanced work in religious explorations as a means of preparing students for graduate study and professional careers in churches and ministry.

Objectives of the Religion Department

  1. To furnish a basic Biblical understanding and appreciation of Christian thought for all graduating students;

  2. To provide preliminary studies for students wishing to do graduate work in religion;

  3. To prepare students to enter seminary training, religious vocations and related social professions;

  4. To provide courses of study for students who wish to teach religion in primary and secondary schools; and

  5. To provide courses of study for students who have interests in Christian involvement in community and church.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify the main events and themes in the Bible.

  2. Analyze the Biblical text and secondary Biblical studies writings.

  3. Examine the history of Christian thought and practice.

  4. Identify major themes in Christian theology and ethics.

  5. Evaluate primary works in Christian theology and ethics

  6. Identify beliefs and practices in major world religious traditions.

  7. Integrate religious studies into life and vocation.

Clinical Experience in Religion

Majors in religion may elect an internship in a congregation or other ministry setting for up to nine credit hours (typically three credit hours at a time) under the supervision of a leader approved by a Religion Department faculty member. Students must comply with all Independent Study Program requirements and guidelines developed by the Career Services Center.

Study Abroad options include visiting Israel, exploring the legacy of Peter and Paul in Italy, learning about Luther and the German Reformation (as part of the AU in Germany Program) and participating in mission trips coordinated through the Office of Christian Ministry in conjunction with a course on short term missions.


One important objective of the department is to prepare students to enter seminary training and explore religious vocations. In addition to majoring in religion and the opportunity to participate in the clinical experience, pre-seminary students are invited to join the Pre-Seminary Fellowship. The fellowship is open to all students considering graduate theological study and a future in ministry and will include gatherings with various Ashland Theological Seminary professors, students, and alumni who will encourage and guide the students as they explore their calling.

In their junior year, pre-seminary students can take advantage of the partnership between the Religion Department and Ashland Theological Seminary (ATS) by applying for Pre-Seminary Acceleration. This will allow the student to start taking seminary classes that simultaneously count toward their B.A. general electives and a variety of non-counseling master’s degrees at ATS. For additional information, contact Dr. David Anthony Basham, Assistant Professor of New Testament at ATS and Assistant Director of Student and Program Development (

Description of Major

Religion majors become a part of a learning community that is both academically rigorous and sensitive to issues of faith development and spiritual formation. Students take courses in the areas of Biblical studies, theology and ethics, Christian history, world religions, and practical theology. The religion major not only prepares those who are called to a life of ministry in the church or academy but also helps those who are planning a career in other fields to apply a Biblical and theological worldview to their respective disciplines.

Degree Requirements

As part of the 30- hour degree requirement, majors must successfully fulfill all requirements of the REL 497 Religion Thesis Seminar course in their junior or senior year, resulting in the completion of the Religion Thesis.

Religion Courses and Descriptions

See Course Descriptions section of catalog.