Interested in studying religion?

The major and minor programs in the Department of World Religions and Cultures at Western Michigan University are designed for those who, whether they are religious or not, want to know more about religion, the role and significance of religion in societies today and in the past, and the ways in which academics think about and analyze religion and related concepts. In courses offered by the department, students and instructors:

  • Examine the concept of religion as well as specific religions from around the world and throughout history.
  • Analyze religion as a part of culture and in relation to other parts of culture.
  • Study components of religions like myths, rituals, doctrines and institutions.
  • Compare, evaluate and employ academic definitions and theories of religion.

The comparative religion major and minor provide a solid foundation for graduate study in religion and related fields. Many students combine a major in comparative religion with another major from within the humanities or social sciences. Comparative religion courses also provide knowledge and skills relevant to and useful in a large and growing range of careers and professions, including health care, non-profit and public sector careers, culture and the arts, religious vocations, and business and marketing.

The Department of World Religions and Cultures, located in the College of Arts and Sciences, offers these programs:

Western Michigan University has the oldest comparative religion program in the state of Michigan and the only department with a graduate program in comparative religion in Michigan.