The Religion Department offers the B.A. degree with a concentration in religion. While certain core courses are required of all religion majors, other course offerings may be selected to meet your interests and needs.
Departmental offerings include introductory and advanced courses in the Old and New Testaments; studies of theologians and Christian history from ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary periods; studies of other major world religions; and practical ministry courses such as Ministry with Youth and Church and Community Ministries. Also available are special offerings such as The Christian Faith in Literature, Psychological Development and Religious Faith, and courses in Greek – the original language of the New Testament. Senior majors take a capstone seminar with all department faculty involving further development and presentation of student research papers.
Other majors, minors, and courses that combine well with a religion concentration are English, history, art history, sociology, psychology, music, mass communications, political science, and philosophy.
At Emory & Henry College, you can take advantage of a diverse program of guest lecturers and opportunities for community service. To expose students to some of the contemporary “great minds,” the Religion Department hosts guest lecturers each year, funded by the Staley Distinguished Christian Scholar Endowment or by the department. These events feature some of the foremost theologians, church historians, and Biblical scholars of the day. Recent speakers include Bart Ehrmann, Joel Green, Amy-Jill Levine, Charles Curran, and William Mallard.
Emory & Henry has been described as an extraordinarily active school; 90 percent of our students participate in at least one club, sport, or organization. Our students show a special interest in activities that emphasize service. The campus hosts a chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and one of the largest groups at Emory & Henry is a service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. Several student groups such as Campus Christian Fellowship and Kerygma offer opportunities for students to express their faith.
Through private gifts and donations, more than 180 scholarships have been endowed at Emory & Henry, and more than two dozen of these have been earmarked for students planning careers in church vocations or public service. Because students from a wide range of academic departments can pursue church vocations, these scholarships are not given exclusively to religion majors. Students who are in the Religion Department and are planning church-related vocations are top candidates for these generous scholarships.
Optional internships are available for course credit for religion majors. Recent examples include working as a summer church camp counselor, working with children or youth in a local church, campus and social justice ministries.
Since 1990, more than 60 E&H religion majors or minors have been accepted to and successfully completed graduate theological degrees from a number of schools, including the seminaries at Emory, Princeton, Yale, Duke, and Boston universities, and Wesley and Asbury seminaries, and most are now pursuing local church, teaching, or social justice ministries. A religion major or minor may lead to several vocations in addition to the ministry. Our alumni who majored in religion have found success in a variety of fields.
- Joshua von Castle, ’07, area coordinator and director of campus activities, Emory & Henry College
- Sarah Moody, ’05, associate pastor, Church Street United Methodist Church, Knoxville, Tenn.; M. Div., Duke University.
- Zach Dresser, ’05, pursuing Ph.D. in American history, specializing in Southern Religion, Rice University; M.A.R., Yale University.
- Laura Lambert, ’03, associate director of connectional ministries—youth and college, Holston Conference, The United Methodist Church.
- Robert Thomas, ’01, foreign service officer, U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Corps, stationed in Washington, D.C.
- Christy Bonner, ’00, chaplain, Hospice of Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tenn.; M.Div., Emory University.
- Michael K. Turner, ’97, assistant professor of religious studies, Misericordia University; M.Div., Emory University; M.A. and Ph.D. in religious history, Vanderbilt University.
- Phillip Sherman, ’96, assistant professor of religion, Maryville College; M.Div., Ph.D., Emory University.
- Leslie A. Wolburg, ’96, buyer, Books-a-Million, Inc., Birmingham, Ala.
- Brad Hyde, ’95, pastor, Seymour United Methodist Church, Seymour, Tenn.; M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary.
- Valerie Smith Collins, ’93, executive director, Helpmate Domestic Violence Agency, Asheville, N.C.; M.T.S., Emory University.
- Karen Westerfield Tucker, ’76, professor of worship, Boston University School of Theology; Ph.D., University of Notre Dame.