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
Humanities and Social Sciences 10.26.18
Bible Nation

Two biblical scholars who investigated efforts by the billionaire owners of Hobby Lobby to increase the Bible’s influence on American society will visit the University of Dayton campus to discuss the family's controversial collection of biblical artifacts and recently opened Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.

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Fine and Performing Arts 10.01.18
Power and Vulnerability

University of Dayton faculty and students are sinking their teeth into this year's Humanities Commons theme, “power and vulnerability,” inspired by the Dayton Ballet's October performances of Dracula: Bloodlines.

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Research 06.14.18
Dissertation Fellowship Award

University of Dayton doctoral student Dara Delgado was awarded a $20,000 fellowship from the American Association of University Women to complete her dissertation, which focuses on an African-American woman who founded a black Pentecostal denomination in 1924 with the goal of empowering women.

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Department of Religious Studies

300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1530