Distance learning

We hope all of our WMU comparative religion students, alumni and friends are doing well out there. Classes have moved to distance learning for the near term, but please know that your faculty and staff are still working to do our utmost to provide the best possible learning experience for you under the circumstances. Learn more about distance education or learn tips and tricks about moving your course material online.

And speaking of great experiences, check out the research and poster presentation created by Jennifer Townsend, a student in our spirituality, culture and health master's certificate program (which happens to be fully online for those of you interested in entering this fascinating field that is growing in demand).

Join us for a talk by one of our former graduate students, Dr. Megan Leverage!

The Department of Comparative Religion is proud to present our former graduate student Dr. Megan Leverage who will present a public lecture "The Mormon Transhumanist Association: A 'Post-Secular' Religion," on Monday, March 9 at 4 p.m. in the University Center for the Humanities, 2500 Knauss Hall. This talk examines the historical influence of Atheism on member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout the 20th century, focusing on two key connections: (1) George Santayana and Leonard Arrington and (2) Richard Dawkins and Lincoln Cannon.

As a case study, the intellectual history of the Mormon Transhumanist Association evidences the porous boundary between "religion" and "secular" in the United States. Dr. Leverage received her M.A. in comparative religion from WMU in 2014 and Ph.D. in American religious history from Florida State University in 2018. She is a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Central Michigan University.

Great read regarding Dr. Brian Wilson

Read this great article in WMU News regarding Dr. Wilson and his award winning book, "John. E. Fetzer and the Quest for the New Age".

4 + 1 Program with Kalamazoo College and Grand Valley state university

The Department of Comparative Religion is pleased to announce the creation of another 4+1 graduate program! We now partner with the Department of Religion at Grand Valley State University as well as the Department of Religion at Kalamazoo College. Under these programs, students majoring in religion at these schools will be able to transfer up to 12 credit hours of work towards their master's degree in comparative religion at Western Michigan University.

For questions, please contact the graduate advisor Dr. Cynthia Visscher.

Study religion at WMU

Do you want to know more about religion, the role and significance of religion in societies and the ways in which academics think about and analyze religion? Areas of study in Western Michigan University's Department of Comparative Religion provide knowledge and skills relevant to many careers and professions.

The 2021 Japanese Religion and Culture Study Abroad Seminar

See the attached flyer for info regarding the 2021 Japanese Religion and Culture Study Abroad Seminar and/or contact Dr. Covell if you want to go or know someone who might be interested. We take students from other schools who want a unique experience in Japan. If you have friends or family studying elsewhere, bring them with you! This year we split the program into two halves to make more affordable options. The first half is the original two-week three-credit hour course that centers around the home base Zojoji in downtown Tokyo. The second part includes Kyoto, Hiroshima and Miyajima.

There are few things more important to study today than religion

Don't take our word for it, just listen to the US Secretary of State John Kerry: "I often say that if I headed back to college today, I would major in comparative religions rather than political science." This is a great read.

Scholarships available

Take advantage of these great opportunities for funding.