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Foundational Studies

Religious Studies at Clarke – The Foundational Experience

In Foundational Studies at Clarke, all students take two Religious Studies courses: Foundations of the Spiritual Life and a second course selected on the basis of personal interest or professional development. Each course is designed to engage students in an exploration of the beliefs and values that guide their lives while exposing them to central topics in the Catholic intellectual tradition. 

Students probe questions such as: Who am I? What do I believe and value? What kind of world do I want to help create? What meaning is there to life? Courses introduce spiritual practices such as prayer, journaling, meditation, reflective reading, shared conversation, and service. Systematic investigations of topics in the Catholic tradition provide a reference point for reflection and discussion. Students explore scripture, history, theology, and ethics in a fascinating dialogue with other students on life's ultimate meaning.

Frequently Asked Questions
 
What if I am not Catholic, Christian, or religious? Clarke students come from a variety of backgrounds. Yet all students operate with some set of beliefs and values. Religious Studies courses are designed to assist you to reflect on the beliefs and values that guide your life and they invite you to take thoughtful account of the question of life's purpose and the needs and dignity of all human beings. Courses facilitate reflection on these matters in dialogue with Catholic teachings, but you are not asked to hold these positions as your own. We support people of all beliefs in their search for a well-lived life.

Why are Religious Studies courses required of all students? As a Catholic and BVM university, Clarke offers a distinctive education. Our mission includes the deepening of spiritual values and the promotion of social responsibility. Both of these objectives are rooted in our BVM heritage. Catholic higher education, moreover, engages all academic disciplines in a dialogue with Christian faith. Whether your major is in the natural or social sciences, the humanities, the fine arts, or in one of the professional programs, learning at Clarke proceeds within and supports the Catholic intellectual tradition. Courses in Religious Studies provide a foundation for dialogue with the Christian faith while undergirding the university's Spirituality Outcome.

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