Religious Studies

Religion (REL) Courses of Study

Link to Religion Courses

Program Overview

The mission of the Warren Wilson College Religious Studies Program is to introduce students to the diversity of beliefs, practices, histories, cultures, literature, ethics, and social structures found within and among the world’s religions, as well as to facilitate critical reflection upon the cultural, sociological, and ethical influence of religion as a human phenomenon.

The goals of the Religious Studies Program are the following:

  1. To recognize the basic phenomenology of religions (i.e. sacred texts, religious authorities, ritual practices, ethical commands, categories of the sacred, the varieties of religious experience, etc.).
  2. To examine the distinctive features of these components as they are expressed in relation to social movements and political institutions.
  3. To analyze the particular ways in which these phenomena are expressed within and affected by both time and cultures.
  4. To integrate critical thinking and personal experience.
  5. To empathize with individuals and communities whose experiences of religion and religiosity may or may not be similar to one’s own perspectives and experiences.

Major in Religious Studies

Grades: All courses must be passed with a grade of C- or better to count toward the Religious Studies major.

Total Credit Hours: Students must earn a minimum of 48 credit hours, including 40 hours in Religious Studies and certain religion-focused courses offered in other departments.


  1. Core Requirement:
    1. REL 111 Exploring Religions
  2. Depth and Breadth Requirements: 32 credit hours of elective courses in Religious Studies (including certain courses from other departments, such as ANT 311 Culture and Religion, ENG 129 Religion in Literature, ENG 130 Scriptural and Doctrinal Backgrounds to Western Culture, and INT 316 Medieval Islamic Cultures), distributed as follows:
    1. At least 8 credit hours on Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions
    2. At least 8 credit hours on Asian traditions
    3. At least 12 credit hours of 300-400 level courses
    4. At least 4 additional credit hours of qualifying courses
  3. Capstone Requirement:
    1. GBL 461 Global Studies Seminar
  4. Requirement in Related Area of Study: At least 8 advisor-approved credit hours in one other supplementary area, including at least 4 credit hours at the 300 or 400 level

Minor in Religious Studies

Grades: There is a minimum GPA of 2.0 for all courses counted towards the minor.

Requirements: A minimum of 20 credit hours of Religious Studies courses. Related courses from other departments may be counted toward the minor with approval of department. Twelve (12) of those credit hours must be at the 200-level or higher, including one course at the 300-level.