Many students at CWRU make the academic study of religion part of their educational experience, whether as a major, a minor, or simply by taking one or two courses. Once they take one course, they usually decide to take more. Our professors are not only world-class scholars but they love what they do, and it’s contagious.

I encourage you to learn more about us at When you do, be sure to check out our new Reisacher Summer Fellowship, which provides up to $3,000 to majors and minors for summer projects in religious studies. Meantime, here are a few examples of our courses to give you a sense of the possibilities for studying religion with us:

  • RLGN 152 “Introducing Buddhism” (in fact, we offer 100-level courses in all major religious traditions, including African Religions, Hinduism, Jainism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Native American Religions).
  • RLGN 206 “Religion and Ecology,” which also serves as an Environmental Studies course, offers a cross-religious, cross-cultural exploration of different ideas of ecology, nature, and human-animal relations.
  • RLGN 219 “Islam in America” looks at the history of Islam in North America and the Muslim community in the U.S. today in all its amazing diversity.
  • RLGN 278 “Religion and Popular Culture: Kendrick Lamar” explores the religious dimensions of Lamar’s work, especially his latest album, DAMN., delving into African and Christian influences as well as related issues of gender, sexuality, and race.
  • RLGN 352 “Language, Cognition, and Religion,” cross-listed with Cognitive Science, utilizes theoretical approaches found in cognitive semantics — a branch of cognitive linguistics — to study the conceptual structures and meanings of religious language.

Whether you are a major, a minor, or an occasional student, the knowledge and skills you gain in religious studies courses – from critical thinking, writing and speaking to creative problem solving to the development of a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges of religious diversity in our world today – will prepare you for successful leadership in a variety of careers. Many of our majors and minors go on to careers in healthcare, law, engineering, journalism, religious ministry, education, software development, media communications, and social work.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to register for an admitted student program this spring to learn more about Case Western Reserve.

I hope to see you in class! If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to contact me personally at 216-368-2221 or at

With best regards,




Timothy Beal (Tim)

Florence Harkness Professor of Religion
Chair, Department of Religious Studies