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Religious Studies Mission and Outcomes

MISSION

The Religious Studies program at Clarke University prepares students to explore the spiritual dimensions of human existence and think critically about the connections between faith and life in our world today. This spiritual search for meaning, grounded in the teachings of the Catholic tradition, investigates Christian theology and concepts of God, relates an understanding of contemporary biblical scholarship and Christian faith, and explores the ethical and social responsibilities of Christians living in a global community. Students learn how theological inquiry, discernment and other spiritual practices are foundational to exercising personal leadership, ministry, and living out one’s own vocation. Students come to see that their life and actions stand as a continual witness to shape a more just and peaceful world.

A Distinctive Vision

With its global experience and faculty commitment to mission and evangelization, this Clarke University program is distinctive from other religious studies programs in the country. Spirituality shapes our mission and identity as each student is invited to deepen their spiritual values and understanding of vocation. As the only BVM University in this country, Religious Studies at Clarke University highlights a 180 year history of Catholic women religious and their associates witnessing to their faith as rooted in BVM core values. Nestled in the upper Mississippi valley with its agricultural, industrial and technological richness, Religious Studies at Clarke University serves the Church and attends to marginalized and vulnerable populations, from the local community to the wider world. Raising social consciousness, reflecting on the Catholic social tradition, and acting for justice is integral to student experience in our department, but it is also true of the Clarke University experience.  Whether studying solely in the Religious Studies major or in combination with another major discipline, a Clarke University Religious Studies degree gives students new perspectives that translate into job advantage, graduate school, enrichment, and preparation for living thoughtfully and courageously in the 21st century!

OUTCOMES

Majors in religious studies will be proficient in the following outcome areas:

  1. Contemporary Catholic Theology: Demonstrate understanding of scripture, church history, doctrine, sacraments and liturgy, morality, and spiritual/pastoral theology;
  2. Christian Story and Mission: Integrate understanding of the Christian story and its relationship to the mission of Jesus and the church in today’s world;
  3. Catholic Social Teaching: Examine the vitality of the Catholic social tradition for creating a more just and peaceful world;
  4. Contemplation and Action: Show how a tradition of spiritual practices and prayer support Christian discipleship and mission;
  5. Theological Reflection and Ministry Skills: Illumine the relationship between Christian faith and life.
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