Christian Studies Major

Why major in Christian Studies?

The Christian Studies major at Roanoke College is a theological course of studies that asks the most interesting questions, can challenge and inform any walk of life, and can launch future graduate studies including theology or ministry. If you know, or want to explore, a vocation as a church leader, ordained or not, read on!

By examining the historical development of Christian beliefs on to contemporary times, students forge an understanding of Christianity's part at the crossroads of religion and society.

Thoughtful Roanoke's program focuses on the most compelling questions raised by Christianity. This theoretical emphasis can often be neglected in seminary education, where the focus generally falls on practical ministry skills.

Centered As home to the Benne Center for Religion & Society, Roanoke regularly invites experts to speak on religion and contemporary issues. Students meet leaders in politics, business, the sciences and art to discuss the interplay of Christianity and culture.

Spoken Studies in Greek, Hebrew, Latin, German and French on campus allow students to get to the root of original Christian writings, as well as to interpret firsthand major Christian theologians.

Christian Studies News

Students Attend Theology Conference at Loyola University in Baltimore

June 2014 -- In June, six RC students majoring in Christian Studies/theology or interested in theology, along with RC Chaplain Chirs Bowen, converged at the Theological Faculty of Loyola University, Baltimore, for the annual conference of the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology on the theme, "Living with the Powers and Principalities." "Powers and Principalities" is a Biblical Expression for demonic forces, manifest in violence, oppression, and personal disorder. The lecturers, kicked off by RC's Dr. Paul Hinlicky, explored various facets of the theme in the Bible, the theological tradition and in contemporary experience. The lecturers represented Reformed, Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran and Anabaptist perspectives. Funded by a grant from a generous donor who seeks to cultivate the study of theology at RC, the students rooms, board and registration was covered. The students were Sarah Vogel, Haley Toresdahl, Paisley LeRoy, Bridget Guatieri, Zach Wright, and Ramey Ferrel. Dr. Hinlicky tries to take RC theology students to this conference every June-- join us next time around!  

Students Return from May term in Central Europe

May 2014 -- Sixteen Maroons, led by Dr. Paul Hinlicky and his wife, Ellen, traveled extensively in Central Europe in May, 2014.  They studied intensively and experientially in the places where the "political religions" of the 20th Century (Fascism, Nazism and Communism) predominated. In Bratislava, students learned about Hitler's puppet state, the First Slovak Republic and its fascist ideology, and then about the post-war seizure of power by the Soviet-backed Communist Party. In Vienna, students learned about the sufferings of Roman Catholic monks under the Gestapo following the Anschluss (Nazi Germany's annexation of Austria). In Prague, the group learned about the Velvet Revolution in 1989, led by young people who were the same age as they. In Budapest the cohort experienced the numbing Museum of Terror, where first the Gestapo and then the Hungarian Communist Secret Police tortured and executed dissidents. At the climax of the trip, the sojourn to mournful Auschwitz was made to see the "death factory" where more than a million Jews along with various others perished. Through it all the insight that comes from viewing these political movements as ersatz "religions" was pondered, tested and evaluated. Both personally and intellectually, it was as many students wrote in their journals "a life-changing experience."

Students Return from May Term in Israel

June 2013--Welcome back to students in Dr. McDermott's May Term class "Jesus in the Holy Land."  The course focused on the connections between Jesus' teachings and the land of Israel.  The class traveled around the northern half of Israel, from Caesarea on the Mediterranean in the west to Mt. Carmel and Megiddo through the Galilee and down the Jordan River Valley to Jerusalem.  Students explored the historic sites of Sepphoris (where Jesus probably worked as a stone mason), Mt. Arbel, the Mount of Beatitudes, the Sea of Galilee, Caesarea Philippi, Bethany beyond the Jordan (where Jesus was probably baptized), Jericho, Qumran, Masada, the Temple Mount, the Western Wall Tunnels, the Garden of Gethsemane, and many others. Students swam in the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea (where they smeared its healing mud on their bodies), and dipped their toes in the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea.

 Dr. James Peterson Elected to the International Society for Science and Religion

June 2013--Congratulations to Dr. Peterson for being elected to the ISSR, a prestigious society in which one must be nominated by current members and then voted in by the trustees to become a member. The society's mission is to facilitate dialogue between the two academic disciplines of Science and Religion. Current members include: Francis Collins (who discovered the gene for cystic fibrosis, led the Human Genome Project, and is now Director of NIH), Owen Gingerich (Harvard University astronomer), Wentzel van Huyssteen (Princeton Theological Seminary), and Charles Townes (Nobel Prize for Physics).

Dr. Paul Hinlicky Wins Mednick Fellowship

June 2013--Congratulations to Dr. Hinlicky for winning the Mednick Fellowship to study Slovak philosopher and theologian Samuel Stefan Osusky. 

Read More

Dr. Gerald McDermott Wins Book Award from Christianity Today

June 2013--Congratulations to Dr. McDermott for winning Christianity Today's top theology/ethics book award of 2013 for The Theology of Jonathan Edwards

Read More

Semester Abroad in Slovakia

Through a special relationship with the University of Žilina in Slovakia, near Poland, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic, Roanoke College students can take four of the required courses plus an internship in one semester in English.

This semester abroad is very economical. Your Roanoke College tuition covers tuition at Zilina, and your scholarships and grants apply. What you normally pay at Roanoke College for room, board and fees will more than cover costs of travel, room and board in Slovakia.

Semester Abroad in Slovakia brochure

For more information contact:
Dr. Paul Hinlicky
hinlicky@roanoke.edu
540-375-2454
West 305

Major Checklist

A major in Christian Studies requires the completion of 10 units:

AREA OPTIONS (6 courses total):
A total of 4 courses from among the following 3 categories (Scripture, Philosophy, and Ethics and History):
SCRIPTURE (no more than 1):
RELG 201 Israelite Patriarchs, Prophets, Priests, and Princes done need
RELG 202 New Testament Christianities done need
RELG 215 Pauline Christianity done need
RELG 216 The Life and Teachings of Jesus done need
PHILOSOPHY (no more than 1):
PHIL 221 FAITH AND PHILOSOPHY done need
PHIL 251 EARLY WESTERN PHILOSOPHY done need
PHIL 253 MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY done need
PHIL 255 MODERN WESTERN PHILOSOPHY done need
ETHICS AND HISTORY (at least 2):
done need
RELG 220 CHRISTIAN ETHICS done need
RELG 282 AUGUSTINE AND HIS LEGACY done need
RELG 284 LUTHER AND HIS LEGACY done need
RELG 286 THE LEGACY OF MODERN THEOLOGY done need
REQUIRED COURSES (2):
RELG 312 TOPICS IN BIBLILCAL STUDIES AND EARLY CHRISTIANITY done need
RELG 317 SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY done need
RELG 330 CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY AND THE WORLD RELIGIONS done need
RELG340 SEMINAR IN CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN STUDIES done need
SENIOR THESIS OR HONORS PROJECT (1):
RELG 410, 411, 412 - SENIOR THESIS (1/2, 1, 1/2 UNIT) done need
RELG 495, 496, 497 -HONORS PROJECT (1/2, 1, 1/2 UNIT) done need
ELECTIVES (at least 3):
RELG 102 INTRODUCTION TO CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY
OR
RELG 105 SOCRATES, JESUS, AND THE BUDDHA
done need
RELG 210 EARLY CHRISTIAN CONFLICTS AND COMMUNITY LIFE done need
RELG 212 THE REFORMATION done need
RELG 214 RELIGION IN AMERICA done need
RELG 225 THE RELIGIOUS LIFE OF YOUNG ADULTS done need
RELG 231 RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, AND SCIENCE done need
RELG 240 RELIGIOUS INTERPRETATION OF FILMS done need
RELG 246 THE HOLOCAUST done need
RELG 250 NEW RELIGIONS OF AMERICA done need
RELG 270 EXPLORATIONS IN RELIGION AND SOCIETY
(when the topic has to do with Christianity)
done need
RELG 290 FEMINIST READINGS OF THE BIBLE done need
 

In addition, students are encouraged to take at least one course in non-Christian Religion. They are also encouraged to take at least two semesters of Greek, Latin or German, and an appropriate concentration and/or minor (such as Classics, Peace and Justice Studies, Parish Youth Leadership, or Philosophy).

 
Professor Digs into Philosophy of Life and Death

Professor Digs into Philosophy of Life and Death

Roanoke Professor compares the philosophies of three contemporary thinkers in his new book on life and death

See all related stories