The study of religion at OU is not intended to promote or critique any particular religious faith. Nor does it seek to encourage or discourage religious practice or expression. More broadly, by providing a greater understanding of religion in its pluralistic expressions the Program will promote a more informed citizenry. The relationship of religion to other societal, cultural, and political activity means that the study of religion informs the understanding of all human activity. The Religious Studies Program works closely with the university's International Programs office and the College of Arts & Sciences to identify and/or coordinate study abroad experiences for our students.
The curriculum involves a two-pronged academic exploration of 1) different religious traditions (e.g., Native American, African, and other indigenous traditions, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Baha'i, etc.); and 2) different approaches to the study of religion (historical, social, political, intellectual, philosophical, scientific, literary). This will prepare future journalists, teachers, lawyers, doctors, and business leaders to operate in the complex religious milieu of the coming decades. Within the program, students complete two introductory courses, choose three religious traditions from three distinct cultures, and choose elective courses in religion and literature/the arts, religion, and social organization/politics, religion and history, and religion and philosophy. Travel abroad is also available to meet the requirements of the elective category. Students use their electives to craft a concentration or specialization in preparation for graduate or professional schools. Students complete Capstone their senior year, to bring together the methodologies, theories, and approaches the students have acquired through the student's course of study.