Welcome to the Religious Studies Department! Established in 1964, the Department of Religious Studies at UNC Charlotte provides a multidisciplinary approach to the study of religious traditions – textual, artistic, ritualistic, and lived – within cultures across the world.
With over 14 faculty members exploring the vast array of various religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam, the Department of Religious Studies thrives on its eclectic personality compared to other university departments. From exploring the history of Christianity and the boundaries, identities, and experiences within it to the underworld of Polynesian religion and culture, our faculty strongly encourages students to tackle a multitude of questions about the world in which we live. Further, in conjunction with their research interests, our faculty focuses on broadening students’ theoretical and methodological knowledge, especially within their specific field of study, in order to better create and engage with research.
The undergraduate program primarily consists of courses that focus on a wide range of cultures, religions, and traditions within America and abroad. Although the undergraduate program mainly consists of three modes of inquiry employed by religious scholars – historical, textual, and cultural analysis – our department also equips students with the tools necessary for understanding the theoretical underpinnings of research. In order to distinguish our department from others, however, we highly encourage students to work closely with faculty members in order to prepare them for future graduate and non-graduate work. For students interested in advancing and honing in on their research interests, the Honors Program allows students to choose a faculty member to serve as their advisor for a resulting Honors Thesis.
The graduate program further advances students in their research and career interests within the field of Religious Studies. By providing courses on different theories engaged with by scholars, along with including other thematic courses, the graduate program excels in its mission to allow students to creatively interact with society around them while challenging certain aspects. Our graduate program also provides students with the foundations of pedagogy while allowing them to incorporate the skills acquired within a classroom. While our graduate students mainly continue their studies by enrolling in PhD programs, we also aim to successfully prepare students for a non-academic track.
For questions about the UNC Charlotte’s Department of Religious Studies’ undergraduate and graduate curriculum, please check out their individual pages or contact the Department Chair, Joanne Maguire.