Department of Religious Studies
"As a Catholic university, Saint Xavier promotes the vigorous discussion of religious ideas. This conversation must strive to include the myriad and various voices of the Catholic tradition, past and present, as well as the voices of teachers and students from all traditions. It is a particularly Catholic purpose to understand the differences among its voices clearly and distinctly, to celebrate these differences, to discern what these voices have in common, and to engage them in conversation with the Catholic tradition."
Quotation from A Vision of Catholic Identity, adopted by the Board of Trustees, 1994.
As a Catholic institution of higher education sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Saint Xavier University recognizes the integral role of religion in human life and honors the place of the study of religion in a liberal arts education. In light of this commitment, Saint Xavier University has a Department of Religious Studies, which is expansive enough to encompass the centrality of Catholic theological disciplines within its curriculum as well as the myriad of voices exploring the world of religious ideas. Thus, the Department offers students opportunities to engage in sophisticated and responsible study of their own religious tradition as well as careful and respectful study of other religious traditions.
The Purposes and Programs
The purpose and programs of the Department of Religious Studies aim at fostering critical and informed perspectives on religion and religious traditions. The Department is a place where the breadth and depth of the Christian tradition is freely explored and where the ecumenical and interfaith dialogue inaugurated by the Second Vatican Council is richly embodied in an array of courses and sequences of study. The Department’s specific aim in respect to majors in Religious Studies is twofold:
- to prepare women and men for entry level positions in religious education, ministry and various service occupations, and
- to prepare students for graduate studies, particularly in religious studies (i.e., biblical studies, church history, comparative religions, ministry and theology).
In light of its mission and the University’s deep roots within the Catholic tradition, the Department’s curriculum is especially designed to explore and express the Catholic theological disciplines. Catholic studies holds pride of place by engaging the Church’s teaching in ecumenical dialogue and by celebrating a God who exists as infinite Mystery.