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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.

Parish Service

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.

Study Abroad

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.

Double Major

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.

Independent Study

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
  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

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    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

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    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $25,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked in the Top 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …