College of Continuing Professional Studies

CCPS Religion Course Descriptions

100 Level Courses
RELG 109: Introduction to the Study of Religion

200 Level Courses
RELG 202: Religions of the World: Middle Eastern
RELG 203: Introduction to the Bible
RELG 204: Introduction to History of Christianity
RELG 205: The Life and Teachings of Jesus
RELG 206: Eastern Religions and Philosophies
RELG 275: Does God Exist?
RELG 290: A-Z Selected Topics

300 Level Courses
RELG 303: Teachings of Paul

RELG 320: Introduction to Homiletics
RELG 368: Twentieth Century Christian Thought
RELG 380: African American Religions in the United States
RELG 383: Hispanic Religious Traditions in the United States
RELG 385: From Babylon to Berlin: A History of Anti-Semitism
RELG 390: A-Z Selected Topics

400 Level Courses
RELG 490: A-Z Selected Topics


RELG 109: Introduction to the Study of Religion. 3 hours.

Religion and religious ideas are central to all cultures and societies, including our own. This course will look at the broad range of cultural forms we have come to call religion, examine how these forms shape cultures and societies, and finally, by examining what these forms have in common and how they differ, we will determine what it is we study when we study religion.

RELG 202: Religions of the World: Middle Eastern. 3 hours.

A comparative study of the major ideas of those religions most directly related to and influencing the West: Zoroastrianism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

RELG 203: Introduction to the Bible. 3 hours.

An introductory study of the Hebrew scriptures and the Christian New Testament with attention to the literature of these sacred texts, the historical circumstances of their development and the methods of textual interpretation.

RELG 204: Introduction to History of Christianity. 3 hours.

An introductory survey of the history of Christianity. Attention is given to the Early Church Fathers, the Medieval era, the Reformation, the church’s response to the Enlightenment and the Contemporary period.

RELG 205: The Life and Teachings of Jesus. 3 hours.

A study of the person, work and teaching of Jesus as reflected in the Biblical records with some attention given to later and current interpretations of His life.

RELG 206: Eastern Religions and Philosophies. 3 hours.

An introduction to Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. Specifically, the course focuses on the systems of value that emerge from these traditions, and where appropriate, compares and contrasts them with the value systems of Western traditions. The conceptual framework guiding this examination incorporates the tradition’s overall world view, conception of God or ultimate reality, its understanding of the origin, nature and destiny of the cosmos and of human beings, diagnosis of the human condition and prescription for attaining the ultimate goal or purpose of human life.

RELG 275 Does God Exist? 3 hours.

This course is designed to help students explore the question of divinity from a theological, philosophical and historical perspective.  Students are introduced to the arguments for the existence of God as well as the arguments — both historic and contemporary — for atheism and agnosticism.  Attention is given to images of God from historic religious traditions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  Some focus is also directed to the Eastern interpretations.  The course gives special attention toward the close to contemporary reinterpretations of God language.  Finally, all students are given the opportunity to chart their own journey through this material in a closing intellectual biography.

RELG 303: Teachings of Paul. 3 hours.

A study of the life and writings of Paul. An opportunity for in-depth study of the New Testament segments that record Paul’s letter to the Galatians, Corinthians, Romans and others.

RELG 320 Introduction to Homiletics. 3 hours.

Prerequisite: RELG 203 Introduction to the Bible.
This course introduces students to the practice of preparing and delivering a sermon in the context of a worship service. By the end of the course, participants should be able to organize, draft and deliver a basic sermon in connection to the use of liturgy and scripture, as well as have a strong grasp of the most formative schools of thought at work in current homiletic discourse and practice. Students will also be asked to examine how sermonic form and structure might vary within the context of different religious traditions and styles of worship.

RELG 368 Twentieth Century Christian Thought. 3 hours.

An examination of the works of some of the major Christian thinkers of the twentieth century in their response to the intellectual and cultural movements of the times.

RELG 380 African American Religions in the United States. 3 hours.

This course is primarily a historical survey of the roles and functions of religion in the diverse communities of African peoples in North America. We will begin with a very brief look at African religions. We will then look at the various forms these religions take in the slave communities and in the abolitionist movements. Religion continues to be an integral component of African-Americans throughout the wars, the great depression, through the struggle for human rights, and of course, today. We will observe the intersection of life, economic, politics, etc. with religion through readings, discussions, films, music, and, if time allows, visits to local churches.

RELG 383 Hispanic Religious Traditions in the United States. 3 hours.

This course is primarily a survey of the roles and functions of various forms of these religious traditions in the diverse communities of Hispanic peoples in North America. We will look at the various forms of these religious traditions in North America and the United States and how they have influenced culture both in the Hispanic community and society as a whole. In addition to looking at how Hispanic religious traditions influence Christian theology and forms of worship, we will also observe the intersection of life, economics, politics, etc. with religion through readings, discussions, films, music, and, if time allows, visits to local churches and/or relevant nonprofit agencies.

RELG 385 From Babylon to Berlin: A History of Anti-Semitism. 3 hours.

This course seeks to engage students in a critical consideration of the social and religious/theological implications of Nazi Germany’s “war against the Jews,” the intentional and calculated destruction of some 6 million European Jews (accompanied by the enormous suffering and losses experienced by other “undesirable” groups) which is referred to as the Shoah, or Holocaust. In order to do this, students will consider those events and perceptions that allowed the Holocaust to come about, particularly the development of racial anti-Semitism and religious anti-Judaism, which traces part of its lineage back to diasporic Judaism, the Christian scriptures, and to Christian theological perspectives, values, and actions of the early and medieval church. We will explore the behaviors and teachings of the church, its leaders, and lay adherents during the holocaust, as well as the religious motivations for the extraordinary courage displayed by those Christians who risked their lives to save Jews and others. We will ask, to what degree did these early writings influence the anti-Jewish propaganda of the Third Reich? Finally, we will consider post-holocaust reactions of both Jews and Christians and ask, has the event of the Jewish holocaust caused fundamental change in the relationship between those in power or those in the center, and those who are considered “other”?  This question would consider directly issues that emerge around race, sexual orientation, class, and gender

RELG 290, 390, 490 Selected Topics. 1-3 hours.

RELG 291, 292, 391, 392, 491, 492 Research.

RELG 397, 398, 497, 498 Internship.

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