In keeping with Georgetown’s traditions, the curriculum of the Religion Department emphasizes the study of Christianity but does so in the broad context of religious studies as they are encountered in the past and present. To accomplish this task, the department requires majors to demonstrate:

  • a basic understanding of the content of the Bible and an ability to interpret it in light of academic approaches;
  • an understanding of the cultural and historical dimensions of religious phenomena and demonstrate a capacity to analyze them critically by focusing on special historical and cultural topics of study;
  • a knowledge of the academic approaches to Christian theology;
  • a basic understanding of other world religions and a capacity to analyze them academically;
  • an ability to think critically about issues involving religious studies and to base conclusions on data from the appropriate major disciplines of religious studies.

Through the Core courses, the department additionally seeks to introduce students to the varieties of religious expression. Majors and minors in the department have the opportunity to gain experience in ministry through courses and an optional supervised practicum.

Major

(B.A. degree) Thirty-three semester hours required, including a 200 level course from each of the four areas of inquiry: Bible (REL 231, 233, 235, 237), Cultural/Historical Studies (REL 243, 245, 247, 249), World Religions (REL 253, 255), and Christian Theological Studies (REL 257); a 300 level course from each of the four areas of inquiry: Bible (REL 325, 327, 371, 373), Cultural/Historical Studies (REL 341, 343, 345), World Religions (REL 353), and Christian Theological Studies (REL 357); REL 450; and six additional hours of electives in the Religion Department. 18 hours must be at the 300 level or above.

Minor

Eighteen semester hours required, including one 200 level course from three of the following areas: Bible (REL 231, 233, 235, 237), Cultural/Historical Studies (REL 243, 245, 247, 249), World Religions (REL 253, 255), and Christian Theological Studies (REL 257); one 300 level course from three of the following four areas: Bible (REL 325, 327, 371, 373), Cultural/Historical Studies (REL 341, 343, 345), World Religions (REL 353), and Christian Theological Studies (REL 357).

Courses

103-104. Beginning Greek I and II. (3 hours) Grammar of the Greek New Testament. Odd Falls and Even Springs

111. Introduction to Christian Missions. (3 hours) An examination of the biblical basis for Christian Missions, the scope of Baptist missionary efforts, and modern missionary strategies. Area emphases will depend on the experience of the instructor. Even Springs

203. Greek New Testament. (3 hours) Intermediate level Greek grammar and reading of selected texts. Prerequisites: REL 103, 104. Even Falls

204. Greek New Testament II. (3 hours) Reading of selected texts from all major divisions of the Greek New Testament. Prerequisite: REL 203. Odd Springs

211. Introduction to Christian Ministry. (3 hours) Presentation of biblical, historical, and practical information related to Christian ministry as a career. Designed for those interested in ministry, the course should aid students in making more mature, informed career decisions. Odd Falls

231. New Testament I. (3 hours) A survey of the content of the Gospels; attention to historical setting, basic literary problems, the history and teachings of Jesus, and the nature and interpretation of Gospel literature. Fall and Spring

233. New Testament II. (3 hours) A survey of the content of Acts, the New Testament Epistles, Hebrews, and Revelation. Special attention will be devoted to the historical, cultural, and literary contexts of these texts. Fall and Spring

235. Old Testament Law and History. (3 hours) A study of the content, historical and social context, literary structure, and theological value of the Old Testament books Genesis to Esther. Fall and Spring

237. Old Testament Prophecy and Poetry. (3 hours) A study of the content, historical and social context, literary structure, and theological value of the Old Testament prophets, the poetic books, and the book of Daniel. Fall and Spring

243. The Christian Heritage. (3 hours). A survey of major events, personalities and issues in the history of Christianity. Attention will be given to Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism in all its varieties, including Pentecostalism. The course emphasizes the connections between the various Christian “pasts” and current events and issues within Christianity. Fall and Spring

245. Religion and Popular Culture. (3 hours) An introduction to the study of religion and popular culture. Special attention is given to the ways in which religious and secular values interact and find expression in mass media products such as literature, film, music, and television. Fall

247. Religion and Politics. (3 hours) A study of the complex relationship between religion and politics in colonial North America and in the history of the United States. Special attention is focused upon both the founding period and upon the modern context. Odd Springs

249. Religion and Violence. (3 hours) A study of religious violence in the ancient and modern worlds, including issues involving the origins and causes of religious violence. In addition, the course will analyze the narratives and commands in the sacred texts of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity that serve as a basis of violence, especially in the ways in which sacred texts and images provide a justification or stimulus to commit violent acts. Spring

253. Religions of the Modern World. (3 hours) An introduction to the history, beliefs, practices, and overarching worldviews of the major religions of the modern world. Emphasis is placed upon understanding the perspective of the adherents of each tradition, rather than using a comparative method to make evaluative judgments about the merits of the various traditions. Even Springs

255. Religions of the Ancient World. (3 hours) An introduction to the religious texts, traditions, rituals, and ideas of the ancient Mediterranean world and the ancient near east. The focus will be on a comparative analysis of the varieties of religious expression with particular attention paid to the conceptual approaches to the study of religion as well as to the historical, social, literary, and cultural contexts of religious practices. Fall

257. Basic Christian Theology. (3 hours) A survey of Christian theology, examining the central ecclesial teachings of the Christian faith with special emphasis given to their biblical foundation, historical context, and contemporary relevance. Fall and Spring

311. Introduction to Christian Preaching. (3 hours) A study of the forms of address employed by ministers with particular attention given to the sermon. The student will engage in classroom speaking assignments based upon the study of the theories of preaching and various sermon forms. Prerequisites: COMM 115 or 200; REL 231, 233, 235, or 237. Odd Springs

319. Youth Ministries – Recreation in the Church. (3 hours) A study of youth and their needs as a basis for planning the local church youth program with special attention to the organization, administration and programming of the church camp or retreat. Prerequisite: one course from REL 231, 233, 235, or 237. Even Falls

325. The Johannine Literature. (3 hours) Gospel of John and Epistles of John; attention to literary characteristics and theology. Prerequisite: REL 231 or 233. Even Springs

327. The Revelation. (3 hours) A critical interpretation of the New Testament Book of Revelation based upon the nature of apocalyptic language and literature, historical setting, internal structure, and literary/grammatical/syntactical considerations. Prerequisite: REL 231 or 233. Odd Springs

341. Women in the Christian Tradition. (3 hours) An exploration of the involvement of women in the Christian tradition from the time of Jesus to the present. Prerequisite: one course from REL 231, 233, 235, 237, or 329. (Same as WST 341.) Odd Falls

343. Life and Faith of the Baptists. (3 hours) A survey of the history and vitality of the Baptists. Topics include the variety of Baptist groups, church life and style, controversies, institutional expression, and the future of Baptists. Even Springs

345. Advanced Topics in Cultural/Historical Studies. (3 hours) The study of special areas in Cultural/Historical studies. Among the topics that this course might include is Christianity in the modern era. Odd Springs

353. Advanced Topics in World Religions. (3 hours) Advanced study in one of the world’s major religious cultures. It traces the origin of that culture and surveys its major beliefs, practices, traditions, scriptures (when applicable), values, and modern day challenges. Spring

357. Advanced Topics in Theological Studies. (3 hours) The study of special areas in Christian theology. Examples might include Trinitarian theology, patristic theology, feminist theology, ecclesiology, liberation theology, or the theology of Jürgen Moltmann. Even Falls and Spring

360. Internship. (3 hours) Supervised experiences through a cooperative program with a religious worker or an institution as closely related as possible to the type of ministry the student is considering. Fall and Spring

371. Advanced Topics in New Testament Interpretation. (3 hours) A study of individual books or areas within the New Testament with emphasis on topics of current interest in New Testament studies. Prerequisite: REL 231 or 233. Even Falls and Odd Springs

373. Advanced Topics in Old Testament Interpretation. (3 hours) A study of individual books or areas within the Old Testament with emphasis on topics of current interest in Old Testament studies. Prerequisite: REL 235 or 237. Fall

375. Tutorial Topics. (3 hours) The study of a specific topic in Religion using the tutorial method adopted from the Oxford humanities classes. Fall and Spring

440. Independent Study. (1, 2, or 3 hours) As needed

450. Seminar. (3 hours) Group study of a specialized area of religion including preparation and defense of a seminar paper. Odd Falls