Bach of RS

Today, as much as ever, it is crucial to understand the role of religion in the world. Many world events—such as the Syrian crisis, U.S. Immigration debates, or controversy over marriage equality—require a deep understanding of the role of religion in our culture.

Ball State's major stresses the many ways people participate in religion, and how this impacts various areas of their lives.

Whether you wish to better understand your own religion, or you are simply curious about other peoples’ religious practices, our program provides an excellent foundation.

What You Will Learn

Courses in religious studies address many dimensions and functions of religion within the world’s cultures. Additional topics include:

  • religion and ethics
  • advanced concepts in the Bible
  • the complex role Islam plays in today’s world
  • strategies for interpreting scriptures like the Bible, Qur’an and Bhagavad Gita
  • what it means when someone claims to be “spiritual but not religious”

You’ll learn to use multiple approaches (e.g., anthropology, cultural studies, history, sociology, hermeneutics, and critical theories of interpretation) to examine the dynamic relationships between religion and other social, economic, and political structures. You'll gain a critical understanding of religious traditions, issues, questions, and values. You'll also cultivate an awareness of religion’s multifaceted influence on societies, and learn to appreciate the diversity of practices and beliefs in the world.

Program Benefits

Our faculty is a group of talented educators and prominent scholars in the field of philosophy who strive to provide innovative opportunities for their students.

As an undergraduate, you’ll receive individual attention from faculty on coursework and research projects—a huge distinguishing factor for Ball State compared to other universities.

Our students find a home here at Ball State, built around a close community and shared learning experiences and student activities. You can join a student organization dedicated to our fields, join an immersive learning program, help with a community-engagement project, and more.

Our diverse lineup of programs offers hands-on applications and immersive learning projects. You’ll get to work directly with groups in the community, helping them address real issues while gaining valuable professional experience.

You’ll receive a lot of attention from our faculty. You’ll work directly with them—on their research and your own.

The size of our department, and our university, is just right. You’ll get to know your professors unlike at larger universities, but we offer more resources and opportunities than many smaller colleges.

We have a wide variety of courses, and you can tailor directed studies to your own needs and interests.

Major Requirements

In addition to the University Core Curriculum and lineup of electives, you’ll take 33 credits of coursework specific to religious studies. You can select from a wide range of courses to best fit your interests—ranging from studying the interplay between religion and culture, the ethical foundations of religion, the advanced study of biblical traditions, and more.

Total Credits



A few of the classes you will take include:

  • RELS 201: Religion and Popular Culture—a study of portrayals of religion in various popular media such as comics and graphic novels
  • RELS 206: Sex and the Bible—a study of sex and gender in biblical texts
  • RELS 275: Islam—an overview of Islamic history and practice
  • RELS 380: Religion and Ethics—an investigation of religion's role in ethical debates

For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

View Catalog

Paying for Your Education

Ready to Apply?

Are you interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in religious studies? The first step is to apply as an undergraduate student to Ball State University. Begin the journey today.


One of the best ways to understand why Ball State stands out is to come see it for yourself. You can schedule a visit through our Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Make sure to tell them you’re interested in our program. Or if you’d like to speak with someone in our department directly by phone or email, please contact us.

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