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Religious Studies

Welcome to the Department of Religious Studies

The mission of the Department of Religious Studies is to discover, explore, and analyze religious experience in its various manifestations emphasizing the Roman Catholic tradition, in dialogue with the other Christian traditions and with the world religions.


We are a community of scholars serving the University, academic and local community by teaching, research, prophetic criticism, and action. We study religious experience, expression and thought, with special emphasis on the Roman Catholic tradition while dialoguing with other Christian traditions and other world religions. We are committed to lifelong growth through effective learning in undergraduate general education, an undergraduate major, M.A. programs in theological studies and pastoral ministry, and a Ph.D. in theology centered on the U.S. Catholic experience.


We believe that understanding the human condition necessarily involves understanding religious experience and expression. We believe that the liberal learning to which the College of Arts and Sciences is committed requires the study of religion which opens the imagination to manifestations of the sacred in multiple cultures and enables critical understanding of its inculturated expressions. In keeping with the Catholic and Marianist character of the University, the department is committed to the education of the whole person so that learning can be integrated into the daily life, service activities, faith, and community building.


Students will find value in our undergraduate and graduate programs because we:

  • Provide information and perspective on religion as a powerful and pervasive element of human life
  • Provide an environment which fosters ethical reflection for responsible participation in society
  • Provide a strong major centered in Catholic theology; offer sustained faculty-student interaction at all levels
  • Enable students to connect academic work with experience through practicums, liaison opportunities with campus ministry, and service-learning options
  • Build creative theological work on empirical and historical investigation at the graduate level
In the News
Fine and Performing Arts 10.15.19
First-Year Arts Immersion links humanities courses to Dayton Philharmonic concert

The First-Year Arts Immersion is a distinctive part of the University of Dayton experience, linking humanities coursework to an off-campus ballet, opera or symphonic concert in partnership with the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance.

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Humanities and Social Sciences 06.17.19
Ferree Chair of Social Justice

University of Dayton associate professor of religious studies Kelly Johnson will begin July 1 as the first holder of the Father William J. Ferree Chair of Social Justice, named in honor of the Marianist priest whose work influenced contemporary Catholic thinking on social justice.

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Faith/Mission 06.07.19
Gudorf Chair in Catholic Intellectual Traditions

The University of Dayton College of Arts and Sciences has appointed alumnus Timothy Gabrielli as the first Gudorf Chair in Catholic Intellectual Traditions. Currently, he is an associate professor of theology and coordinator of the Religious Studies/Theology & Philosophy department at Seton Hill University.

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Humanities and Social Sciences 05.24.19
Religion and Human Rights

The University of Dayton will connect with the fastest growing segment of the U.S. Catholic Church next month when it hosts the annual meeting of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS).

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Department of Religious Studies

300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1530