Religion and Philosophy

The study of religion and philosophy is one of the most rewarding academic pursuits a student might wish to undertake in his or her college career. The personal benefits are well-known: the study of religion and philosophy allows one to explore life's most important and challenging questions: from “What is the nature of reality?” and “Can God's existence be determined by reason or by faith alone?” to “What is the best sort of life to lead?” and “How do we understand and live with religious differences?” Courses in religion and philosophy challenge students to find answers to these questions while exposing them to thousands of years of conversation on life's most pressing themes.

Often overlooked, though, are the practical rewards of studying religion and philosophy. And there are many of them. Among the skills most prized by businesses today are strengths in written communication and analytical thinking as well as creative aptitude. Students who study religion and philosophy are trained to analyze and construct arguments and to evaluate ideas while creatively articulating their own. Because of their skills in reading, writing and critical thinking, students who major in philosophy and religion consistently score in the highest percentiles for professional and graduate school exams. The study of religion and philosophy not only prepares one for a career in teaching; students who major and minor in these areas are regularly admitted into law school, medical school, and other pre-professional and graduate programs. In short, while religion and philosophy are intrinsically worthwhile pursuits, they continue to prove among the most practically valuable disciplines in the liberal arts and sciences.

The Religion and Philosophy Department provides three different services to the students of Newberry College :

  • For students seeking preparation for graduate/professional school or for personal growth, the College offers a B.A. in Religion and Philosophy with concentrations either in Religion or Philosophy.
  • For students who feel called to ministry through the Church either in an ordained or lay capacity, the College offers a B.A. in Church Leadership with concentrations in Church Administration, Church Music, Youth Ministry and Christian Education. This degree provides more practical training and experiences than the B.A. in Religion and Philosophy. The degree achieves a balance between practical application and academic reflection that is particularly useful for lay church leaders but also beneficial for those planning to attend seminary.
  • For students whose plans do not involve extensive preparation in the areas of Religion and Philosophy, the department offers a number of Core Curriculum offerings including: REL 110 Biblical Heritage, PHI 120 Introduction to Ethics, REL 213 Christian Ethics in a Changing Society, and HUM 250 Masterworks of Civilization. These courses contribute directly to the completion of Core Curriculum requirements and are a vital part of the Liberal Arts Education experience.

Minors offered in Religion, Philosophy, and Church Leadership insure that every student at Newberry College has opportunities to explore these three areas of study and life preparation to the extent that she or he chooses.