Everyone interprets his/her experience of the world, but not everyone interprets it carefully, consistently, or correctly. The Department of Philosophy and Religion gives attention to basic questions of our existence. These questions relate to thoughts about God, reality, the nature of humanity, ideas of truth, meaning, and value. Classes address these questions through philosophical methods of inquiry, careful exegesis of biblical texts, and thoughtful application of biblical teaching. Students in this department will study great philosophical traditions and thinkers who have influenced Western civilization. They are encouraged critically to assess the claims and assumptions of a wide range of philosophical positions. A strong emphasis is placed on the learning and application of the principles of sound reasoning, so that our students are well-equipped to interact with contemporary culture.
In religion courses students learn the importance of the historical and literary dimensions of the Bible along with the interpretive methodologies necessary for informed interpretation. They may also choose to learn one or both of the primary biblical languages (Greek and Hebrew). All of these skills provide a foundation for the development of a sound biblical theology. Other religion courses focus on the application of biblical teaching to areas of Christian practice such as mission, spirituality, and worship
The department offers programs for those interested in either a major or one of three minors in Philosophy and Religion. The major program requires 36 hours of coursework. Students may also choose to minor in Philosophy and Religion, Christian Ministry, or Christian Mission. The specific requirements for the major and minors can be found in the College Catalog.
While there is a significant amount of flexibility in the courses one can take to fulfill the requirements of our major, students are strongly encouraged to take the following courses in their freshman or sophomore years:
PHI 203 Introduction to Philosophical Thought
PHI 213 Logic and Language
REL 253 New Testament (spring semester)
REL 273 Old Testament (fall semester)