Welcome to the Religion Studies program at Kent State University!

The Religion Studies minor is designed to allow students to engage questions of religious thought and practice through a variety of academic disciplines. Using scholarly lenses from philosophy and the humanities, the social sciences, and the arts, students learn about a broad range of religious philosophies and traditions and develop skills of critical inquiry. This work prepares student to continue to engage and learn the rich and diverse traditions across the globe well beyond the classroom.

The minor can be completed in 18 credit hours, and includes a number of courses that will also count towards Kent Core Requirements, including the popular Introduction to World Religions (REL 11020).

The program in Religion Studies is led by Dr. Odell-Scott, whose extensive research of ancient and contemporary religious texts has enabled him to foster an evolving and relevant curriculum. For instance, Dr. Odell-Scott has recently taught “Religion, Violence, and Terror” and “Religion and Women,” two upper-division courses where students look at ways in which various religious traditions engage important contemporary social issues.

Dr. Odell-Scott worked with Surinder Bhardwaj (Geography) in 1998 to apply for a Harvard University grant that would establish the Ohio Pluralism Project, an affiliate of the Harvard University Pluralism Project. Today, the Ohio Pluralism Project provides students in the Religious Studies program to engage with a wide range of religious communities.

The Religion Studies faculty also offer opportunities for study abroad. Students who are interested in faculty-led study abroad programs, for instance studying world religions while traveling throughout India, should check out the College of Arts and Sciences Education Abroad webpage for opportunities and details!

The Religion Studies Minor is housed within Kent State University’s School of Multidisciplinary Social Sciences and Humanities. Each of the programs within the School engage in interdisciplinary work, providing students with a sophisticated understanding of the ways in which we can address a singular but complex question with dynamic and appropriate research tools and with insights from multiple academic fields of study. The School provides students with expert instruction, faculty and student mentoring, and a support system designed for student success.