Department of Theology and Religious Studies

Examining how people make meaning in life and derive their values; how religion and spirituality relate to people’s lives—and how both have an impact on societies and cultures.

About our program

"[If] I went back to college today, I would probably major in comparative religion, because that's how integrated it is in everything we are working on, deciding and thinking about in life today." – John Kerry, former U.S. Secretary of State.

One of the first questions we often hear from prospective students is, “do I have to be religious to major or minor in Theology and Religious Studies?”

Not at all. All you need is curiosity about how religion and spirituality relate to people’s lives and how they have an impact on societies and cultures.

More broadly, what you need is an interest in how people make meaning in life and derive their values. Some of our majors and minors are atheists or agnostics who just find religion fascinating as a powerful influence on history and on the contemporary world. Others are committed to a religious tradition and are interested in exploring it more deeply.

While faith commitments are very welcome, our courses do not require such a commitment. We have courses in Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Islam so that students can learn about a variety of traditions or delve into one or two of them deeply.

The Theology and Religious Studies Department at Seattle University is:

  • Social Justice-Oriented, addressing the experiences and realities of oppressed peoples and the integral relationship between religion and social justice in local and global contexts.
  • Intellectual, contributing to students' intellectual growth by helping them develop the skills and knowledge to engage critically and effectively with the multi-religious dimensions of human life.
  • Catholic and Jesuit, emphasizing an in-depth study of the Catholic tradition in dialogue with other religious and secular perspectives, in keeping with the Jesuit, Catholic commitment of Seattle University.
  • Ecumenical and Interreligious, exploring the internal diversity within Christianity and other religious traditions.

BA and Minor, Theology and Religious Studies

Explore our two specializations, Christian Theology and Comparative Religion, or consider how our minor can complement your major field of study.

Put your major into action on campus

Chapel of St. Ignatius and reflecting pool

Campus Ministry

Opportunities to serve as a student minister for retreats, liturgy, ecumenical and multifaith activities, and social justice.

Sun showing through fall leaves on campus

Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture (ICTC)

ICTC engages in research, dialogue, and scholarship that furthers a greater understanding of Catholic thought and culture.

Labyrinth surrounded by trees.

The Center for Ecumenical and Interreligious Engagement (CEIE)

CEIE is committed to exploring ecumenical and interreligious engagement, spiritual and indigenous pathways, and cultural wisdom.

Staff of Center for Community Engagement

The Sundborg Center for Community Engagement

The center connects campus and community to promote a more just and humane world.

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