Religious Studies

Office: Room 12201, 5057 Woodward
Director: Vanessa De Gifis

Religious Studies aims at an academic investigation of the world's religions, of religious history, and of the place of religion in world cultures and societies from the ancient to the present. It draws on faculty resources from a wide range of traditional academic disciplines: anthropology, history, philosophy, classics, Near Eastern studies, Asian studies, literature, art history, political science, and sociology. Religious Studies respects the beliefs and backgrounds of the students who pursue courses in this area, but it also approaches its objects of study in a thoroughly scholarly manner, maintaining both intellectual openness and critical rigor.

The Wayne State Religious Studies Program, housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, at present offers an undergraduate Religious Studies Minor and serves as an intercollegiate, interdepartmental, and interdisciplinary faculty body to sponsor visiting lectures and academic conferences on religious studies. Its Director works with a Faculty Steering Committee and group of faculty affiliated with the Program to develop curricular offerings and plan other Program activities.


This minor is designed for undergraduates majoring in other areas or disciplines and requires a minimum of eighteen credits including the following:

One course in Comparative Religion:
Comparative Religion 1
A course in one of the following topics:
Philosophy of Religion
Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion
Anthropology of Religion
Magic, Religion and Science 1
Sociology of Religion
Topics in Sociology (when offered as The Sociology of Religion)

At least four additional religious-studies courses (12 credits minimum), either from the posted list or approved by consent of the Director of Religious Studies. Among these must be courses on least two different religious traditions, including at least one of the following:

  • Judaism
  • Christianity
  • Islam
  • Buddhism
  • Hinduism