Students studying religion at Carthage have many opportunities for enriched study and learning. You could spend a semester assisting a pastor in leading his or her congregation, or work to revitalize a church youth group as you build your ministry skills. You could travel to the Hindu “land of the gods” to examine the religious significance of the Himalayan region, or spend a month in Israel and explore ancient sites in Jerusalem. At Carthage, religion students regularly travel beyond the boundaries of the classroom to examine world religion from many angles.
Religion students at Carthage can get hands-on experience in ministry and leadership by working within a local congregation or church organization. The Practicum in Religion course at Carthage assigns students to a Kenosha-area congregation or church organization where they assist the pastor and practice leadership in several self-chosen areas of church life. Students meet regularly with their Carthage placement supervisor and participate in classroom conferences with their professor. The work gives students practical experience in ministry and hands-on training toward a future career as a minister or counselor.
Students studying religion at Carthage have ample opportunity to study outside the United States during J-Term or for a semester. Spend a month excavating an ancient Roman temple in northern Israel, or spend a January examining religious myth and political vision in theatre in Berlin. Students have studied in Greece, Guatemala and the Himalayas. Current programs are offered in India, the Israel, and Germany.
J-Term is a month-long period of study in January in which all academic departments offer innovative courses on campus, as well as study tours in other countries.
Recent J-Term offerings from the Religion Department include: Christian Responses to Nazism and the Nazi State, taught by Prof. Thomas Long; An Introduction to Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah, taught by Prof. Sandra Bisciglia; and a study tour to The Himalayas for a Carthage Symposium J-Term trip combining geography and religion, led by Religion Prof. James Lochtefeld and Geography Prof. Julio Rivera.
Every summer, Religion Prof. Dan Schowalter leads a summer J-Term trip to northern Israel, where students experience all aspects of the ongoing excavation of a Roman temple site at Omrit. Many other study abroad opportunities are also available.
The religion major at Carthage is flexible, making it easy to combine with a major in another discipline. Many students choose to double-major in religion and another subject, or add a religion minor to their educational focus. A professional in just about any field can benefit from a religion major. Students studying religion at Carthage receive rigorous training in thinking clearly about complex human issues and multicultural study, which can make anyone into a more effective lawyer, teacher, politician, business person, artist, psychologist, actor, social worker, physician, historian, or scientist.
Religion Department professors invite students to propose independent research or reading programs at any time during the year. The sponsoring professor can help the student craft such a project into a course taken for credit toward the religion major or minor program. All such independent study courses are designated under one of two course numbers, depending on the degree of challenge, and the specific title will appear on the student’s future transcripts. Here are some recent examples:
- Native American Spirituality
- Methodist Book of Discipline
- Church of the Latter Day Saints
- Church of England Worship in Sixteenth Century London
- Israeli Judaism
- Religion and Society
- Religious Rites of Passage
- Homosexuality in Church and Society
- God and Gender