Religion has shaped human history and continues to define contemporary events because of its influence in life and thought. The study of religion is, therefore, an exploration of one of the primary activities of humanity. Wiley University, an institution affiliated with The United Methodist Church, offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and a minor in Religion. The department contributes to the goals of the General Education component of the curriculum by training students in the general skills of critical thinking, development of values, and an introduction to the Christian faith. That training includes an interdisciplinary focus and a global awareness grounded on a kaleidoscope of interests within the study of religion. Areas of interest include history, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, science, literature, politics, ethics, music and sacred theater. This form of interdisciplinary inquiry utilizes skills and methodologies drawn from various disciplines within the School of Social Sciences and Humanities. It inculcates contemporary approaches to the academic study of religion and faith in guiding students into the examination of the major religious traditions with a view to understanding how they influence the lives of those who follow them and how they relate to Christian faith and practice. Students who participate in this curriculum will have the ethical and moral education to pursue graduate studies or careers in ministry, hospitality, business, criminal justice, and law. Along with the spiritual awareness, both ethical and philosophical questions will be addressed, thus preparing the individual for academic rigor in each chosen field.
Objectives of the program in religion include the following:
1. Graduates of the baccalaureate program in religion will be able to demonstrate a depth of understanding and skills in their major field.
2. Baccalaureate graduates of the religion program will find employment in their field of specialization or closely related fields.
3. Graduates of the religion program will be qualified to gain admission to graduate or professional schools.
4. Baccalaureate graduates of the religion program will possess the requisite social and cultural skills required to function in a professional environment.