Program Overview

In the Catholic tradition of the quest for greater understanding, the Religious Studies major, part of the Religious Studies & Theology Department, helps students develop critical appreciation of their own traditions and those of others.

Programs of Study

The Religious Studies major at Stonehill is an interdisciplinary program that embraces virtually all aspects of the human experience as expressed in history, art, literature, social organization, politics, scientific exploration and ethics.

The Theology major at Stonehill fosters interdisciplinary study, allowing students to explore topics including the church, scripture, ethics and worship as well as their intersection with contemporary life.

Exploring Religion’s Role in Society

Stonehill College introduces students to the study of religion through a first-year course required as part of the College’s General Education Program. Students pursuing any major may also explore specific topics in the study of religion in a variety of Learning Communities and moral inquiry courses.

Majors and minors in religious studies rigorously dissect an array of compelling human questions, the distinctive beliefs and practices of religious people across cultures, and the various roles that religions play in society.

As they advance through the program, majors will select courses and a senior thesis topic that accord closely with their specific interests in Religious Studies, such as:

  • Ancient religions
  • Biblical studies
  • Religion in the modern world
  • Religion and gender
  • Comparative religious ethics

If you think you know what to expect in a religious studies class, Associate Professor Mary Joan Leith would like you to think again. She challenges preconceived ideas by integrating new ways of learning into her classes.

Sample Religious Studies Courses

Power & Propaganda in the Ancient World

Learning Community
By examining public art-palaces, temples and churches- and primary texts from ancient cultures such as Egypt, Greece, Mesopotamia and Israel, this course explores how people in power claim the right to rule over others. Students will connect ancient and modern political language by critiquing public monuments in the Boston area while also considering the current conversation about removing public monuments in the U.S.

Sacraments, Justice and the Moral Life

The course is an introduction to the fundamentals of sacraments, including ritual, symbol, and participation, all examined in the context of right relationship with God, others, and the material world. The seven official sacraments of the Catholic Church will be explored historically and critically according to the ways in which they may build or may destroy God’s Kingdom of justice.

Hard Rockin’ Jews: Judaism and Pop Culture in Israel

For 2000 years Judaism has been a minority religion in majority “other” cultures. With the establishment of Israel, Judaism became the majority culture of a nation-state. This course examines how the religion of Judaism both influences and is influenced by the secular culture of the modern State of Israel.

Approaches to the Study of Religious Traditions

Require Course
This course is an exploration of the basic questions and themes in the academic study of religions, with a focus on how the discipline of Religious Studies developed and how it continues to change.

Where Our Religious Studies Graduates Work

Stonehill religious studies graduates go on to work at a range of notable organizations. Continue exploring where our graduates work.

Instead of looking at what you’re ‘supposed’ to believe, we go back to the text. Psychologically, it’s exactly what students should be doing. We want all our students to feel college is a safe time in which to ask questions.

Learn More About Our Religious Studies Program

  • Religious Studies Society

    The Religious Studies Society, a student-led group, gathers to discuss all manner of religious topics. The society organizes trips to contemplative places of worship, holds on-campus events for students, and promotes a general discussion of religion and spirituality within the Stonehill community.

  • Internships & Opportunities

    The Religious Studies program offers students opportunities for undergraduate research, study abroad, directed study and internships.

  • Graduate Outcomes

    Stonehill religious studies graduates go on to work at a range of notable organizations.

Contact Information

Nathaniel P. DesRosiers

Nathaniel P. DesRosiers

Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Religious Studies & Theology Department Chair, Catholic Studies Program Director
Religious Studies