Michigan State University

Former Secretary of State John Kerry said in a 2013 speech that, if he went back to college today, he would probably major in comparative religion.

Learning about religions means that you understand different cultures and develop a more global perspective. Religious Studies is the ideal major for those who seek a career in non-government organizations (NGOs), non-profit organizations, government, or international corporations, where a deeper understanding of cultures is essential to furthering organizational aims and your future career. Interested in obtaining a major or minor in Religious Studies? Explore your interest by enrolling in our classes.

We recently updated our curriculum and course offerings, and now have a new, revised Religious Studies major and minor, as well as a new specialization in Religion and American Culture. We’ve added a number of new courses on a variety of themes including Sacred Music, Sacred Places, New Religions, Philosophy of Religion, Islam, African Religions, and many more. To study religion is to develop cultural knowledge that will be of value both to you and to your future employer. It’s easy to declare your major or minor.

Declaring a Major

To study religion is to develop cultural knowledge that will be of value both to you and to your future employer. We also have a Concentration in Nonprofit Leadership that’s unique at Michigan State University, that will appear on your official transcript, and that gives you additional career options available only as a Religious Studies major at Michigan State University.

Nonprofit Leadership Concentration

In order to provide a career track for our majors, the Department of Religious Studies has developed a Concentration in Nonprofit Leadership, the first Religious Studies Department in the United States to do so. We have alumni working in the non-profit sector now, and jobs openings in non-profit organizations continue to rise, according to MSU’s CERI employer survey, and account for more than ten percent of the US economy. Your Nonprofit Concentration requires only four courses, all of which count toward a B.A. in Religious Studies. The four courses may include REL185 Intro to Nonprofits, REL 210 Religion and the Environment, REL 485 Religion and Nonprofit Leadership, REL 493 Internship, and REL 499 your senior thesis project. This is the only such Nonprofit Leadership Concentration at MSU, and one of the only such opportunities in the United States.

To declare your major, all you need to do is send an email with your intention along with your PID number via your official MSU email address to Ashley Housler at housler@msu.edu, and cc: Prof. Arthur Versluis, Department Chair and advisor, at versluis@msu.edu. They’ll make sure you’re officially enrolled, and Prof. Versluis will be happy to meet with you to go over your requirements for our primary, secondary, or additional minor, along with our one of a kind Nonprofit Leadership Concentration.

Declaring a Minor

To declare your minor in either Religious Studies or Religion in the Americas, all you need to do is send an email with your intention of declaring a minor, along with your PID number via your official MSU email address to Ashley Housler at housler@msu.edu, and cc: Prof. Arthur Versluis, Department Chair and advisor, at versluis@msu.edu. They’ll make sure you’re officially enrolled, and Prof. Versluis will be happy to meet with you.

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