The MAIS concentration in religion, culture, and values is particularly applicable to, but not restricted to, students who are interested in careers in law, national and international government, print and media journalism, library sciences, archives and museums, public and social service, teaching, advanced graduate studies, and religious communities and institutions. The Washington, D.C., metropolitan area is rich in the presence of many major religious traditions and their places of worship.
The core courses introduce students to the study of religion as a unique and rigorous intellectual discipline. Students learn to evaluate a variety of perspectives on religion and gain a clear understanding of the dimension of the sacred in all aspects of human life including those commonly designated "secular". Students discover how religious perceptions of the sacred respond to an evolving world and relate to and influence cultures, institutions, and values.
Students also examine the effects of historical crises and the forces of change on religions including contemporary religious pluralism and inter-religious dialogue. Students gain a deeper knowledge of specific traditions and a more profound understanding of values and worldviews from the viewpoint of cultural diversity and religious pluralism.