religious studies artifact from 2000.2 B.C.

College of Arts & Sciences

Religious Studies


Kris Oehlert

Department Assistant

History, Culture & Society

Explore a World of Ideas.


Religious studies is an interdisciplinary major that explores the belief, nonbelief, rituals, traditions, holidays, and history of the religions of the world. It encourages a well-rounded perspective on the study of humanity from multiple points of view.

The study of religion involves discussions on history, culture, race, society, sexuality, gender, and politics. Belief and nonbelief govern so many aspects of the human experience that in order to understand the world one needs to understand religion.

Religious studies students kneeling in the dirt during an excavation dig in Israel with Professor Nicholaus Pumphrey
Quayle bible collection with illustrated text
Religious Studies student standing in front of a research poster smiling and explaining her research to another student during dialogos presentation

Exceptional Experience


Research Methods

Courses use a variety of research methods and tools including critical analysis of religious texts, discussion, and student presentations, Using campus resources such as the Quayle Bible Collection, students combine field work with textual study.

Expand Your Insight

Any student of history, art, sociology, or psychology would benefit from the knowledge that religious studies provides.

Interdisciplinary Learning

Religious studies majors gain an understanding of culture on a global scale and may pursue extensive study in world languages, English, history, philosophy, psychology, or sociology. Students have the opportunity to study history, religion, and archaeology abroad.

religious studies artifact, text written in Hebrew

Broad or Focused Study

The study of religion helps students to gain a broad historical perspective of various world religions and their practices, to explore the scholarly methods and theories specific to the field, and to learn how to effectively analyze religious texts. Students also have the flexibility to dive deep and focus on one tradition or one aspect of a religion or text.


Our religious studies majors have gone on to land these jobs:

  • Archivist
  • Charity officer
  • Civil service administrator
  • Community development worker
  • Editorial assistant
  • Newspaper journalist
  • Social worker
  • Teacher
  • Youth worker
Religious Studies student sitting down and writing in a book during a excavation dig in Israel


The Department of History, Culture and Society gives these awards with financial prizes to be applied to the following year’s tuition:

  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for Social Sciences
  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for Philosophy and Religion
  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for History
  • Dorothy J. and James F. Hilgenberg Scholarship
  • Gilbert and Martha Jane Lewis Ferguson Scholarship
  • Brune Memorial Scholarship
  • Paul Dick Scholarship
  • Warren E. and Marion Rhodes DeSpain Scholarship in Church Leadership
  • Thomas G. Manson and Frances B. Manson Scholarship
Male student walking under an iron arch that says Baker University


Religious Studies

Preprofessional Ministry

Religious Studies Course Descriptions

Meet the Faculty

Dr. Nicholaus Pumphrey

Chair of the Dept. of History, Culture, and Society; Associate Professor of Religious Studies

B.A. Valdosta State University, M.A. Vanderbilt University, Ph.D. Claremont Graduate University

Expertise: Hebrew Bible; ancient Near Eastern history, religion, and literature; pop culture and religion; Islamic studies

Office: Parmentor Hall 17

Dr. Tim Buzzell

Professor of Sociology

B.A., M.P.A. Drake University; Ph.D. Iowa State University

Expertise: Computer crime and Internet deviance, sociology of ritual and holidays, political sociology and extremist groups

Office: Parmenter Hall 16

John Richards

Associate Professor of History, Walter Bailey Chair of Humanities

B.A., M.A. University of Kansas; ABD Brown University

Expertise: dynastic Egypt, ancient Greece and Rome, early medieval Europe

Office: Parmenter Hall 21

Dr. Susan Emel

Professor of Communication Studies, Ernestine Susannah Buckley Chair

B.S. Kansas State University, M. Div. St. Paul School of Theology, Ph.D. University of Kansas

Expertise: interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, communication theory, rhetorical studies

Office: Parmenter Hall 15

Parmenter and long student center

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