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Degree Requirements 2017-2018

Majors

The Religion Department offers two majors: Religion and Theology & Public Leadership.

General Education Requirements

RLN 100: Religion, Vocation, and the Search for Meaning I

Augsburg embraces a world of many cultures, beliefs, and traditions. This introductory course invites students into that engagement between religious commitment and the world through an exploration of vocation, pluralism, and diversity. The course encounters the search for meaning through the narratives of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and encourages students to consider their own religious, philosophical, and ethical commitments in dialogue with other perspectives. Course related texts, activities, and experiences foster critical thinking and inquiry.

Religion, Vocation, and the Search for Meaning II

For their second required Religion course, students may choose from a wide range of courses that build on the foundational themes established in RLNEL100 and continue the exploration of vocation, the search for meaning, and role of religion in public life in the context of particular issues, topics, and people.   These courses focus the study of Religion through a specific topic or issue from the broad field of Religion and its connection to Public Life in a variety of social, cultural, and historical settings.   One option, RLNEL 200: Religion, Vocation, and the Search for Meaning II, develops themes from RLNEL 100, including vocation, culture, pluralism, and interreligious dialogue.   Other courses are described in the course listings. Any course taken in fulfillment of this requirement may count toward a potential Religion major or minor.

Degree and Major Requirements

Religion Major, BA

Courses offered toward a major in Religion highlight the theme of Religion in Public Life in four main areas: 1) Culture and Society, 2) History and Theology, 3) Sacred Texts and Narratives, 4) Global Religions and Interfaith Studies.  Students majoring in Religion may choose one of these areas as a concentration for their degree by completing four courses within the concentration out of the 8 total courses (32 credit hours) required for the major. Faculty in the department work closely with students in selecting courses that match student interests and needs for graduate school, as well as to make possible a double-major in a related field.  The Religion major prepares students to think critically, read analytically, write clearly, and speak confidently—skills that make our graduates attractive to graduate schools and employers in any field.

Major/Concentration/Minor Requirements  

Religion Major:  8 courses (beyond RLN 100; including RLN 209, RLN 400.)

Concentration within the major:  Minimum 4 courses in the concentration

Religion Minor: 4 courses (beyond RLN 100)

Concentrations

Students majoring in Religion can pursue one of the four concentrations listed below.

Culture and Society – Sixteen credits from:

RLN205: Exploring Topics in Religion (depending on topic)

RLN216: Religion and Science in Popular Culture

RLN221: Feminism and Christianity

RLN222: Spirituality, Religion, and Popular Culture

RLN230: Self, Sex & Sin: Human Person in Christian & Contemporary Thought

RLN251: The Bible in Culture and Counterculture

RLN257: Heaven, Hell, and the End of the World

RLN319: Religion at the Movies

RLN409: Topics (depending on topic)

RLN441: Contemporary Theology

History and Theology – Sixteen credits from:

RLN205: Exploring Topics in Religion (depending on topic)

RLN214/MUS234: Church Music and Worship

RLN216: Religion and Science in Popular Culture

RLN221: Feminism and Christianity

RLN230: Self, Sex & Sin: Human Person in Christian & Contemporary Thought

RLN237: Giants of the Christian Faith

RLN240: Religion and the Rise of Science

RLN243: Religion in America

RLN245: The Lutheran Heritage

RLN257: Heaven, Hell, and the End of the World

RLN319: Religion at the Movies

RLN330: Theology of Death and Dying

RLN331: Christian Ethics

RLN342: Martin Luther and the Reformation

RLN340/HIS378: The Medieval Church

RLN370: American Indian Spirituality and Philosophical Thought

RLN374: Ethics and World Religions

RLN409: Topics (depending on topic)

RLN441: Contemporary Theology

Sacred Texts and Narratives – Sixteen credits from

RLN205: Exploring Topics in Religion (depending on topic)

RLN251: The Bible in Culture and Counterculture

RLN257: Heaven, Hell, and the End of the World

RLN261: Jesus and His Interpreters

RLN409: Topics (depending on topic)

Global Religions and Interfaith Studies – Sixteen credits from:

RLN205: Exploring Topics in Religion (depending on topic)

RLN275: Judaism

RLN276: World Religions

RLN370: American Indian Spirituality and Philosophical Thought

RLN374: Ethics and World Religions

RLN407: Interfaith Scholars Seminar I (2 semester credits)

RLN408: Interfaith Scholars Seminar II (2 semester credits)

RLN409: Topics (depending on topic)

Theology and Public Leadership Major, BA

The Theology and Public Leadership major is an interdisciplinary major that forms leaders for work at the intersections of church and society. Students in this major are equipped with the necessary theological and theoretical frameworks, leadership skills and servant hearts to lead a variety of communities in their expression of faith and their work for justice in the world. This happens through the disciplined study of theology, scripture, the social sciences and ministry. A distinctive element of the major is the combination of practical and theological training: students will have many opportunities to apply their knowledge and discernment skills in specific ministry contexts, including a supervised internship.

Graduates of this program do their work in the areas of youth ministry, congregational ministry, community organizing, public policy and advocacy, non-profits and graduate school. Our vision is a generation of Christian leaders who are equipped to lead the Christian church into the public square for the common good.

Students in this program earn a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Public Leadership and are encouraged to combine this degree with a concentration, minor or second major in an area of interest.

A Word about Youth and Family Ministry: For decades, Augsburg University has been a leader in the field of youth and family ministry. The Youth and Family Ministry degree program has a long and storied history of pushing the envelope with cutting edge approaches to ministry. This new version of the degree program stands proudly on that storied past. Students who are pursuing a call to ministry with children, youth and families can prepare for this career by combining the Theology and Public Leadership major with the Youth Studies concentration or minor.

Theology and Public Leadership Major (40-56 credits)

Theology core (20 credits):

RLN 209 – Research Methods in Religion

RLN 251 – The Bible in Culture and Counterculture

RLN 342 – Martin Luther and the Reformation

RLN 400 – Religion Keystone

RLN 441 – Contemporary Theology

Public ministry core (16 credits):

RLN 290 – Foundations for Public Ministry

RLN 295 – Church: Past, Present, Future

RLN 390 – The Art of Public Ministry

RLN 399 – Internship

Cross-Disciplinary Elective (4 credits) OR Concentration (16-20 credits)

Complete 4 credits in one of the concentrations listed below or complete the entire concentration

Minors and Concentrations

Students majoring in Theology & Public Leadership can pursue one of the concentrations listed below. A concentration will be noted on the transcript at the point of graduation, not a minor.

Youth Studies Minor or Concentration

The 20-credit minor/concentration in Youth Studies offers students the opportunity to explore the history and practice of work with children and youth, to form a critical and constructive framework for understanding and appreciating young people, and to develop the necessary skill set for effective work with children and youth.

YST 210 – Rethinking Children and Youth

YST 320 – Working With Children and Youth

One human development course from:

PSY 203 – Lifespan Development

PSY 250 – Child Development

PSY 252 – Adolescent and Young Adult Development

SWK 303 – Human Development and the Social Environment

EDC 330, 331, 332, and 333 – Public Achievement sequence

Complete 4 credits in a YST elective from the courses listed below

HPE 115 – Chemical Dependency Education (2 cr.)

HPE 335 – Outdoor Education (2 cr.)

POL 122 – Social Justice in Urban America

POL 325 – Politics and Public Policy

PSY 262 – Abnormal Psychology

PSY 291 – Addiction and Recovery

SOC 231 – Family Systems: Cross Cultural Perspectives

SOC 265 – Race, Class, and Gender

SOC 300 – Mental Illness and Society (this topic only)

SOC 387 – Juvenile Delinquency

WST 281/481 – Topics: Girls, Culture, and Identity (this topic only)

Leadership and Management Concentration

This 16-credit concentration prepares students to manage and lead organizations, especially non-profits.

SOC 349 – Organizations and Society: Understanding Nonprofits and Corporations

BUS 242 – Principles of Management

COM 345 – Organizational Communication

NMS 230 – Social Media

Community Engagement Concentration

This 16-credit concentration prepares students to be effective community organizers and leaders who help organizations effectively connect with their surrounding communities.

SOC 111 – City Life: Introduction to Urban Sociology or POL 122 – Social Justice in Urban America

SOC 240 – Protest and Social Change: The Sociology of Social Movements

SWK 230 – Global Peace and Social Development

COM 329 – Intercultural Communication

Worship and Music Concentration

This 16-credit concentration prepares students to be worship and music leaders in congregations and other faith communities.

RLN 214/MUS 234 – Church Music and Worship

COM 111 – Public Speaking

Two other courses for this concentration will be chosen once the music department has hired someone for their new Music, Human Development, and Learning​ position.

Environmental Stewardship Concentration

This 16-credit concentration prepares students to organize and educate faith communities and other non-profits around practices of environmental stewardship.

ENV 100 – Environmental Connections

ENV 120 – Environmental Science

SWK 210 – Environmental Justice and Social Change

COM 260 – Environmental Communication

Advocacy & Public Policy Concentration

This 16-credit concentration prepares students to lead faith communities and other non-profits in their work around advocacy and public policy.

POL 325 – Politics and Public Policy

SOC 390 – Social Problems Analysis

SOC 265 – Race, Class, and Gender

COM 329 – Intercultural Communication

Human Services Concentration

This 16-credit concentration prepares students to work in faith communities and other non-profits serving individuals and families in need.

PSY 203 – Lifespan Development

PSY 262 – Abnormal Psychology or SOC 300 – Mental Illness and Society (this topic only)

SOC 231 – Family Systems: Cross Cultural Perspectives

SWK 100 – Introduction to Professional Social Work

Cross-Cultural Relations Concentration

This 16-credit concentration prepares students to help faith communities and other non-profits work effectively across cultural differences.

Two semesters (8 credits) of a modern language at the 200-level or above, or its equivalency.

CCS 100 – Introduction to Cultural Studies

COM 329 – Intercultural Communication

Graduation Skills

The Critical Thinking (CT) graduation skill is embedded throughout the offered courses and is met by completing the major. The graduation skills in Quantitative Reasoning (QR), Speaking (S) and Writing (W) are met by completing the following courses:

Quantitative Reasoning: GST 200, MAT 145, MAT 146, MAT 163, or PHI 230; or by the QR requirement for a second major

Speaking: REL 302, 386 or consult with advisor for an approved course outside the major

Writing: REL 495 and one of the following: REL 362, 370, or 481

Transfer students must consult a Religion Department advisor about potential adjustments to their course requirements to fulfill each of these skills.

Prerequisites

RLN 100 is a prerequisite to all other RLN courses.

Transfer Courses

All transfer courses for majors and minors, including ACTC courses, must be approved in writing by the chair. Only courses successfully completed within the last 10 years will be considered. In general, courses that meet the transfer guidelines may only be applied to elective credit for the major.

Advising

All majors must have an advisor in the Religion Department.

Departmental Honors

GPA of 3.50 in the major and 3.00 overall, research project approved by the department, and colloquium with the department. Application must be received by the department by December 30 of the student’s senior year.

 

For a complete list of courses and descriptions, see the Course Description Search.