Other Concentrations

Religion, Culture, and Values Concentration

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Degree Requirements

Total credits: 36

This is a Green Leaf program.

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Students pursuing this degree must successfully complete 36 credits of graduate coursework in one of the concentrations which follow. Students must submit a curriculum worksheet that has been approved by their concentration head and the director. All students complete their work in the program with a project or thesis.


Concentration in Religion, Culture, and Values (RCV)

The concentration in religion, culture, and values is particularly relevant for 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, DC 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.

Required Course of Proseminar

MAIS 796 MAIS ProSeminar 1
Total Credits 1

Core Courses

Select two courses from the following: 6
Approaches to the Study of Religion  
Sacred as Secular in Modern Spirituality  
World Religions in Conflict and Dialogue  
World Religions in Transition and Transformation  
Total Credits 6

Religious Studies

Select two or three courses from the following: 6-9
Special Topics in Religious Studies (may be repeated for credit)  
Ethical Perspectives of World Religions  
Religion and the Natural Environment  
Sacred Language, Scripture, and Culture  
Total Credits 6-9

Research Methodology

HIST 610 The Study and Writing of History 3
or SOCI 634 Qualitative Research Methods
Total Credits 3


Specialization in Religion, Culture, and Communication
COMM 605 Intercultural Communication 3
One or two other relevant courses chosen in consultation with an advisor. 3-6
Total Credits 6-9
Specialization in Religious Traditions and Conflict Analysis and Resolution
CONF 695 Selected Topics (if appropriate) 3
CONF 702 Peace Studies 3
CONF 722 Conflict and Religion 3
Total Credits 9
Specialization in Religion, Culture, and Ethics
RELI 633 Ethical Perspectives of World Religions 3
PHIL 640 History of Ethical Theory 3
PHIL 643 Environmental Ethics 3
Total Credits 9
Specialization in Religion, Values, and International Politics
GOVT 540 International Relations 3
GOVT 741 Advanced Seminar in International Politics (if appropriate) 3
Total Credits 6


Students choose electives in consultation with their advisor, bearing in mind their specialization, project, or thesis topic. Any of the courses under the specializations listed above or courses from other disciplines listed below may be used as electives.

Select one to four courses from the following: 3-12
Anthropology and the Human Condition: Seminar I  
ANTH 545
Ritual and Power in Social Life  
Independent Study in Sociocultural Anthropology  
Intercultural Communication  
CONF 695
Selected Topics  
CONF 702
Peace Studies  
CONF 722
Conflict and Religion  
EDUC 537
Introduction to Culturally Linguistically Diverse Learners  
Topics in Folklore Studies  
GOVT 540
International Relations  
GOVT 741
Advanced Seminar in International Politics  
Approaches to Modern World History  
Movements and Issues in the History of Political Philosophy  
History of Ethical Theory  
Environmental Ethics  
Sociology of Culture  
Transnational and Global Feminisms  
Total Credits 3-12


MAIS 797 Interdisciplinary Studies Proposal 1
Total Credits 1

Project or Thesis

Select one from the following: 1-4
Interdisciplinary Studies Project (take 1 credit)  
Interdisciplinary Studies Thesis (take 4 credits)  
Total Credits 1-4