Bachelor’s of Arts in Theology & Religious Studies

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What will I study?

Our Bachelors in Theology & Religious Studies will prepare you to critically engage the core questions of life. You will understand what religion is, how religions develop and the tenets of various religious traditions.

You will also gain a theological appreciation for Christian and specifically Catholic history and theology. Our program ensures that you experience the rich and diverse history of theology and how that tradition bears on contemporary questions in science, culture, and politics.

Curriculum | 33 credits

  • TRS 101 Introduction to the Study of Religion
  • 10 TRS electives distributed as follows:
    • At least 1 course in the Biblical Studies area
    • At least 1 course in the Theology & Spirituality area
    • At least 1 course in the Ethics area
    • At least 1 course in the World Religions & Comparative Studies area
    • 6 elective credits in any of the TRS areas
    • Majors must take 3 courses (of the 10 courses) at the 300 level in any of the TRS areas
    • Freshman seminars (FYS) run by TRS faculty may count towards a 200-level TRS elective

In our degree program, you will develop skills such as:

  • The ability to think critically
  • The ability to write precisely, comprehensively and with depth
  • The ability to read and analyze complicated texts
  • The ability to articulate your complex ideas
  • The ability to appreciate culture at its most fundamental level

You will study:

  • The religious impulse and its various manifestations over many centuries of human history and how that impulse to engage the ultimate is still inspiring religious movements
  • Christian theology with emphasis on the Catholic intellectual traditions
  • How to apply ethical concepts to a broad range of situations
  • How to analyze contemporary cultural, political and scientific issues from a religious perspective.

Why choose Theology & Religious Studies at SHU?

Our flexible and foundational degree will prepare you for many professional areas such as law, business, Christian ministry, and the health sciences. Our accomplished faculty, whom are active in publishing books and articles, and in presenting at national conferences in their fields, have doctorates from institutions such as Yale University, Fordham University, and the University of Iowa. They are dedicated to teaching and mentoring as well as committed to the development of the whole person. 

This program is a great complement, as a double-major or minor, to many areas of study. 

Will I have internship opportunities?

Yes, students in all majors are encouraged to complete an internship. If you are interested in pursuing an internship, you should contact the Career Development and Placement Center for assistance in finding appropriate opportunities. Any internship for credit must also be approved in advance by the academic department.

Companies or organizations our students typically intern with:

  • Diocese of Bridgeport
  • Kolbe Cathedral High School
  • NPR
  • Commonwealth Magazine

Learn more about internships at SHU

Will I have research opportunities?

Yes, our students take specific high-level classes, such as a senior seminar, providing them with the opportunity to write original research papers.

Are there special admission requirements?

No, we have an open admission policy. Incoming first-year students and transfer students may declare the Theology & Religious Studies major when you apply for admission to Sacred Heart University.

Review SHU's undergraduate admission process

Will I be able to study abroad?

Yes, you can study abroad at our campus in Dingle, Ireland and take courses such as TRS 338 Theology & Native Irish Spirituality and other special topics courses. Semesters abroad are usually 2-3 week intensive experiences. Studying abroad situates a course in a context that encourages experiential learning. It is also gives you an opportunity for intellectual, cultural and personal growth.

Learn more about Study Abroad programs

What are my career options with a Religious Studies degree?

Here are just a few of the careers you may pursue with this degree:

  • Non-Profit sector, at the community, national or international level
  • Federal, state or local government in policy or administrative capacities
  • Local or International Business
  • Teaching profession
  • Go on to law school
  • Go to graduate school in a variety of fields
  • Church administration or ministry
    • Director of Religious Education
    • K-12 Teaching
    • Church administration
    • Youth Ministry
    • Campus Ministry 

Want to hear about more opportunities?

Talk with one of our career counselors

What graduate schools have your students enrolled in?

Our students have gone on to graduate schools at Yale School of Divinity, John Paul II Institute of Marriage & Family, and Arizona State University.

What co-curricular activities are available?

Philosophy and Religious Studies students are encouraged to join our various student clubs and organizations which feature small-group discussions with faculty every week. Students also participate in field trips to academic conferences and graduate schools to which they might apply.

What facilities and resources are available to students?

Very often our Theology and Religious Studies majors are interested in a career in teaching, therefore, many of our students serve as teaching assistants and tutors. Others are interested in graduate school, social service, and campus ministry. Close interaction with full-time faculty and opportunities for independent studies round-out our student's plan of study.  Our department suite features a comfortable conference room, study space, and socialization space where students always feel welcome.