Religion

Professors Joe Lunceford and Jeff Asher;

Associate Professors Jack Birdwhistell, Sheila Klopfer (Chair),

and Terry Clark; Professor Emeritus Paul Redditt;

Adjunct Instructors Frank Houston, Bryan Langlands, and Stacey Cruse

Contact the Department

Religion Department
Georgetown College
400 East College Street
Georgetown, KY 40324

Department Site

Email

In keeping with Georgetown’s traditions, the curriculum of the Religion Department emphasizes the study 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 basic understanding of Christian theology and an ability to analyze it academically;
  • 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 stu-dents 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).

 

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 be-tween 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 pro-vide 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 mod-ern 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. This course carreis a Cultural Awareness Abroad (CAA) flag.                                                                                     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, ex-a mining 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. Biblical Story Telling. (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: 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.      Even Falls

 

325. The Johannine Literature. (3 hours) Gospel of John and Epistles of John; attention to literary characteristics and theology. Prerequisite: REL 231, 233, 235, or 237. Even Springs in Rotation with REL 327

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, 233, 235, or 237.

Even Springs in Rotation with REL 325

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. (Same as WST 341.) This course carries a Cultural Awareness At Home (CAH) flag.     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 Falls

 

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.                   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. Some of these topics carry a Cultural Awareness Abroad (CAA) flat. See course schedules.              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 pro-gram 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. 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.             Odd Falls

 

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. Prerequisite: Senior standing and major in department. This course carries a Writing Intensive (WV) flag.            Fall

Click to See Career Options

 

AREAEMPLOYERSSTRATEGIES

LOCAL MINISTRIES

  • Youth Ministries
  • Adult Ministries
  • Leisure Ministries
  • Counseling/Recovery
  • Religious Education
  • Day Care, Children and Adult Missionary Outreach
  • Food Bank/Emergency Ministries
  • Family Life Center
  • Management
  • Journalism
  • Public Relations
  • Television, Radio and Films
  • Publishing
  • Music
  • Local churches, synagogues and mosques
  • Religious organizations
  • Denominational boards
Get additional training or double major in specialized areas. Obtain certification for specialized areas. Obtain Master’s degree in Divinity or counseling. Gain experience by volunteering in local church and campus religious organizations. Obtain an internship at denominational headquarters. Build relationships with local church and denominational leaders. Get experience in communications areas and develop a portfolio. Double major in music; take additional courses in religious music. Get performance experience through campus groups.

SOCIAL SERVICES

  • Administration
  • Vocational Training
  • Retail
  • Public Relations
  • Programming
  • Counseling
  • Advocacy
  • Crisis Services (pregnancy, housing, etc.)
  • Financial/Debt Counseling
  • Camp Administration
  • Lobbying
  • Nonprofit organizations including United Way, Red Cross, Goodwill Industries, Salvation Army, etc.
  • Churches, synagogues and mosques
  • Religious hospitals and hospices
  • Correctional institutions
  • Shelters
  • Nursing homes
  • Youth organizations and camps including YMCA, YWCA, Young Life, etc.
  • Adoption agencies/Foster Care
  • Religious political organizations e.g. Moral Majority
Volunteer with local organizations for experience. May need specialized training/certification for some areas. Obtain excellent interpersonal and oral and written communication skills. Seek summer camp experience and leadership roles, such as director or assistant director. Legal experience and law degree may be required.

HEALTH AND WELFARE MINISTRIES

  • Administration
  • Social Services
  • Residential Living
  • Religious Activities
  • Programming
  • Chaplainry
  • Counseling: Mental Health or Pastoral
  • Hospitals
  • Mental health treatment facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Retirement homes
  • Assisted living homes
  • Children/youth homes
Double major or minor in Business, Social Work, Human Services or special interest area. Take courses related to special populations. Volunteer time in related organizations. Obtain advanced degrees and certification for counseling and chaplainry. May need ordination for pastoral counseling.

CLERGY

  • Buddhist
  • Catholic
  • Jewish
  • Protestant
  • Local churches, synagogues, mosques
  • Religious organizations
  • Denominational boards and agencies
  • Monasteries
Become involved in related campus activities. Protestant clergy positions require denominational ordination and usually a Master of Divinity. Possess high moral and ethical standards. Develop leadership ability and self discipline. Obtain excellent written and verbal communication skills.

CHAPLAINCY

  • Military
  • Institutional
  • All branches of military service
  • Hospitals, hospices
  • Homes for children, youth, senior citizens
  • Correctional institutions
  • Police and fire departments
Obtain ordination and two years’ service in local church. After acceptance into branch of service, attend chaplainry school.

MISSIONS

  • Church and Community Development
  • Education
  • Medical
  • Metropolitan Ministries
  • Community Centers
  • Evangelism
  • Denominational boards or agencies
  • Missions boards
  • Local churches
  • Religious institutions
  • Evangelical organizations e.g. Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
Obtain any needed advanced degrees, certification or licensing for area of interest. Seek related volunteer or work experience. Obtain travel and cultural experience with group of interest. Foreign language skills are a plus. Develop fundraising skills and contacts.

EDUCATION

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Counseling
  • Administration/Staff
  • Chaplainry
  • Religious Life Programming
  • Campus Ministry
  • Religiously affiliated schools
  • Preparatory schools
  • Private, public or religiously affiliated colleges and universities
  • Schools of theology/seminaries
  • Organizations such as Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Campus Crusade for Christ, Muslim Student Association, Hillel Buddhist Monasteries such as Chuang Yen Monastery
May require certification/licensure to teach. Ph.D. usually required for teaching, research and administration in colleges and universities. Complete Master of Divinity plus additional training for campus ministry. Master of Divinity and Ph.D., D.Min. or Th.D. usually required for teaching, research and administration in seminaries and schools of theology. May require multiple skills such as providing ministerial services as well as administration, teaching, coaching, etc. Become involved in specific campus ministry organizations. Seek leadership positions and internships or summer employment opportunities.

BUSINESS

  • Administration/Management
  • Human Resources
  • Building Management
  • Research
  • Local churches, synagogues and mosques
  • Religious bookstores
  • Religious publishers
  • Denominational boards/agencies
  • Seminaries/schools of theology
  • Religiously affiliated schools
  • Denominational hospitals, homes, schools, boards and agencies
Double major or minor in Business. Get related experience. Dual degree in engineering helpful. Develop research and writing skills.

COMMUNICATIONS

  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Publishing
  • Television/Film
  • Radio
  • Advertising
  • Public Relations
  • Sales
  • Commercial Art
  • Denominational boards/agencies
  • Interdenominational organizations
  • Local churches, synagogues and mosques
  • Denominational publishing houses of books and magazines
  • Secular publishing houses
  • Secular radio, television and film industry
Consider freelance positions. Permanent positions are limited. Take courses in English, social sciences and journalism. Develop excellent writing skills. Submit articles for publication for religious and nonreligious papers and journals. Learn desktop publishing techniques. Obtain specialized technical training such as a double major or minor in Broadcasting. Develop artistic talent. Take courses or double major in Graphic Design/Illustration. Obtain related experience through internships.

RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES

  • Denominational groups including: Roman Catholic (Nuns and Monks), Episcopal, and, Greek Orthodox, Buddhist
Apply to religious order for admittance. Requires self-discipline. Desire to combine career with life/living arrangements.

General Information

  • People interested in religious vs. secular work possess deep faith, want more than filling own personal needs, and want to make a difference.
  • Bachelor’s degree in religion provides broad background for careers in many fields including many religious-affiliated organizations.
  • An undergraduate degree in religion prepares students for professional and graduate study in business, law, medicine, counseling, higher education and other fields.
  • Dual majors are required for some specialized areas.
  • Master of Divinity required for most clergy positions, plus denominational ordination.
  • Obtain general knowledge of religion practices, procedures, guidelines and doctrine of one’s faith.
  • Possess understanding of human spiritual and social needs.
  • Ph.D., Th.D. or D.Min. required for college/university/seminary teaching, research and administration.
  • Obtain part-time, summer, internship, volunteer experience in religious institution or bookstore, or other related activity in working with and helping people.
  • Develop counseling and communication skills due to the nature of the field and working with people.
  • May be more opportunities for specific ministries in urban areas and large religious institutions.
  • Obtain religion-related experience and contacts through extensive involvement in campus organizations. Leadership on the local, state and regional level is crucial.
  • Obtain camp experience to improve organization and counseling skills as well as network within the denominational/organizational structure.

Helpful Links

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
(2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA /ADEA Employer



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