The following program requirements are from the Clarke University 2012-2013 Academic Catalog and apply to students currently enrolled. The university reserves any right to change, without notice, any information posted on this Web page and in the catalog. For the most current information, please contact the Clarke University Registrar's Office at email@example.com.
For a Bachelor of Arts (BA) Degree in Religious Studies, a student completes 30 hours of religious studies major course work in addition to the required six hours of foundational religious studies credit.
Foundation Course Credit (6 hours)
All students at Clarke University take two religious studies courses. After students complete RELS 100 Foundations of the Spiritual Life, they will select any 200-level foundational religious studies course that fulfills this requirement. Students are encouraged to complete one semester prior to enrolling in RELS 100 Foundation of the Spiritual Life and to complete the two-course foundational requirement by the end of their second year of study.
Major Course of Study (30 hours)
In addition to foundational course credit, majors take an additional 30 hours of courses at the following levels:
200 level courses – Majors will select up to three courses from any 200-level religious studies course in the catalog, excluding humanities general education courses (i.e., 202 or 211);
300 level courses – Majors are required to take the following 300 level courses:
- RELS 387 – Guided Research
- RELS 395 – Practicum in Catechetical, Liturgical, Pastoral, or Youth Ministries
In addition to the above two required 300 level courses, majors must complete at least two 300 level courses that cross-list with any 200 -level foundational religious studies course. Prerequisite: Nine hours in religious studies.
A 300 level cross-list course is intended to intensify a major’s experience in the course topic area addressed. A student can cross-list any 200 level course, excluding those designated in the catalog as humanities level general education courses (i.e., 202 or 211). Intensification courses at a 300 level means that a major has alternative or additional requirements for that course in some of the following areas: exposure to a larger variety of historical and contemporary theological writers, church documents, discipline specific research sources and methods, mentoring opportunities with local church professionals, local and global theological and ecclesial issues, spiritual practices, ecumenical opportunities, service-learning, leadership skill development, and contemporary pastoral ministry topics and applications.
- 400 level courses – Majors are required to take the following:
- RELS 402 Christian Experience of God
- RELS 404 History of Catholic-Christian Thought
- RELS 499 Senior Capstone
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT EXPERIENCES
In addition to academic work, majors prepare for jobs in the field and preparation for graduate school advancement in the following ways:
- Character and Vocation Indicator
Once a student declares the major or minor, he or she will be given an instrument that helps them focus on both human and spiritual growth areas in relation to the religious studies field. Students will periodically review their own growth with the faculty in relation to the indicators.
- Professional Portfolio
Majors are required to construct a portfolio no later than the first 300 level intensification course. Portfolios give evidence of student growth and engagement with the four national certification standards approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Commission on Certification and Accreditation. Portfolio contents will vary from student to student based on their academic and career goals in religious studies. The portfolio is reviewed annually throughout the student’s academic program in advisement sessions and formally in the Capstone course. Minors have an option to do the portfolio, but it is not required.
For a Minor in Religious Studies, a student completes 21 hours of religious studies courses, including,
- 6 hours of foundation course credit;
- 6 hours from any 300 or 400 level courses;
- 9 hours of religious studies electives including humanities level general education courses.
These are arranged in dialogue with the religious studies department chair.
APPLICATION TO MAJOR
Ordinarily, application to a major may be made after a student has earned 30 or more semester hours of academic work and has successfully completed foundation course credits (6 hours).
CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AND INTERNSHIPS
Opportunities for job shadowing, internships, immersion experiences, and ministry engagement both on campus and in the neighboring parishes, are available for students with a major or minor in religious studies.
CREDIT FOR PRIOR LEARNING
Credit for Prior Learning is available to qualified students whose prior learning experiences parallel existing courses. Students interested in obtaining credit for prior learning may apply for a maximum of six hours toward a major and three hours of credit toward a minor in religious studies through the Prior Learning Assessment program. For details, contact the department chair and see Prior Learning Assessment section of this catalog.
COMPUTER LITERACY AND RESEARCH REQUIREMENTS
Religious studies majors are required to be technologically proficient in areas that aid them either in ministry or in graduate school work. Students are required to purchase Endnotes, an industry standard software tool for publishing and managing bibliographies. Students demonstrate competency with other e-learning content and skills as part of the portfolio-building process in their 300-400 level courses.
Students are required to fulfill and pass all academic and professional components related to the RELS 499 Senior Capstone course.