Religious Studies

Why Religious Studies at Viterbo?

Religion helps us to ask and answer essential questions about our relationship to God, self, others, and the world.  As an academic discipline, religious studies aims to investigate the nature of God while developing a mature worldview consistent with virtues promoting the common good.  At Viterbo, Religious Studies majors examine religious history as well as Christian, Franciscan and Sacramental theologies, scripture, moral reasoning, and social justice to expand their responses to the complexities of religions and spirituality in the modern world.

As a Catholic University, Viterbo welcomes all students to explore questions of faith and belief.  Grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition, the Religious Studies Department is dedicated to the pursuit of truth in all of its forms.  We encourage ongoing conversations between faith and reason as guided by the Catholic Church and promote theological scholarship across various religious traditions.

As a Franciscan University, Viterbo actively incorporates Franciscan values into the life and work of the university community.  The Religious Studies Department plays an integral role in promoting our Franciscan heritage by incorporating key elements of the Franciscan intellectual tradition in all of our courses.  Additionally, we offer specific courses that examine, in depth, the great theological contributions of the Franciscan tradition.  We actively embrace the testimonies of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Clare of Assisi and St. Rose of Viterbo as living witnesses of hospitality, compassion and service.

Liberal Arts
As a Liberal Arts University, Viterbo’s general education program strives to prepare student to live and work in our global society by engaging and serving others.  The Religious Studies Department has taken an active role in the Core Curriculum by offering theological courses that challenge students to become self-reflective critical thinkers, encourage their exploration and discussion of fundamental life questions while appreciating the perspectives of others, and foster a desire for social action.

Why major or minor in Religious Studies?

A major or minor in religious studies helps develop within the student many of the critical skills that employers are looking for today such as:  critical thinking, theological analysis, professional writing and oral communication.  Some of the many advantages of studying Religious Studies at Viterbo University include:

  • An emphasis in Franciscan theology and spirituality.
  • A strong commitment to the Catholic intellectual tradition while actively engaging ecumenically with other religious traditions.
  • Dedicated faculty, both lay and religious, who are actively engaged in theological research and scholarship.
  • Small class sizes that ensure students get the maximum attention they deserve.
  • Viterbo offers a B.A. in Religious Studies, a minor in Religious Studies, and a 3+1 degree track.
  • Annual Humanities Scholarship Competition, with a total of $9,750 in awards to students pursuing an undergraduate major in the humanities. 

For more information, contact:

Rev. William Reese
Department Chair, Professor