UC Launches New Degree Program in Religious Studies
Date: Sept. 11, 2001
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photo by Lisa Ventre
Archive: General News
Cincinnati - The University of Cincinnati College of Evening and Continuing Education (CECE) this fall will launch new baccalaureate and associate degree programs in humanities with a focus in religious studies. Program coordinator John Brolley says the UC program is the "only one of its kind in Greater Cincinnati to offer a religious studies degree that is not rooted in a particular religion, denomination or theology."
Until now, the CECE division of humanities provided a 30-credit-hour certificate in religious studies, which first became available in 1995. Brolley says the certificate program was the fastest-growing program at the college, and development of the degree answered student demand. "We realized some of our students were successfully applying for graduate studies in religion, so even with the certificate, we were offering something of substance in the eyes of graduate admissions counselors in religious studies."
Roger Brown is looking ahead to getting a master's degree in comparative religion after finishing his religious studies degree at UC this academic year. The 28-year-old Brown holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the UC College of Arts and Sciences.
"I'm interested in approaching religious studies from an anthropological perspective. It's an interesting subject," said Brown, an entrepreneur who owns Factory 33, a clothing boutique in Northside. "Religion is always there. It dictates a lot of behaviors, is present in all cultures, and drives the framework in which they move and live."
Brolley says a religious studies degree can open job opportunities beyond seminary, graduate school, or teaching in parochial school. For instance, one former student earned a certificate in religious studies and is now pursuing a career in counseling. The degree could also enhance backgrounds in business, government, law, medicine, journalism and social work. "A lot of employers like this background because they feel it gives the employee a certain balance or outlook on life," says Brolley.
"Communities that have nothing else in common in terms of business or language or structure all have religion. We have yet to locate a society where there's an absence of religion." Brolley explains that since religion is at the foundation of every culture, religious studies can provide an understanding of diverse cultures nationally and around the world.