Religion

In contribution to the mission of Bluffton University to provide a superior liberal arts program shaped by the historic peace tradition of Mennonite churches, the religion department of Bluffton University has four objectives:

  • to teach the skill and value of critical thinking toward Scripture and toward historical-denominational traditions with an aim toward deeper commitments to God as known in Jesus Christ and greater critical appreciation for the students' own heritage;
  • to expose all students at Bluffton University to Judeo-Christian history, literature and values in particular conversation with Anabaptist and Mennonite perspectives and traditions;
  • to offer a program of in-depth study for those whose interests take them beyond the minimum exposure to religion in general education courses and that provides further skill in biblical interpretation, in assessing theological proposals and in passing on theological traditions; and
  • to be a defining center of contemporary free church theology for both the academic community and the Anabaptist and Mennonite churches.
     

To accomplish this four-fold mission, the religion department offers a major in Bible and theology, two minors (Bible and theology, and youth ministry) and an interdisciplinary program (Communication in Church Organizations Program), each of which reflects and is shaped by the peace church heritage and the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition while remaining in conversation with other Christian traditions.

Those who plan to major or minor in religion should take COM 185 instead of MAT 105 as their general education reasoning course.
More info...

Major

Bible and theology major

(38 hours)

The major in Bible and theology serves the needs of a variety of students. As a Bible and theology major, you will learn to think critically and appreciate how to understand and mediate among diverse perspectives. These skills are wonderful preparation for many vocations. The major also provides an excellent foundation for those interested in vocations such as youth ministry, parachurch ministries, non-profit organizations or further graduate studies in religion. Bible and theology is also an excellent complement to another major. The major is designed in such a way to allow students the ability to construct their own version of the major that best meets their vocational goals and interests. Majors are encouraged to minor in another discipline or consider a double major in areas such as psychology, communication, English or sport management.

Choose 24 hours from the following courses:
At least one of: 
REL 250 Introduction to Old Testament (3)
REL 252 Introduction to New Testament (3)

At least one of:
REL 273 Christian Theology (3)
REL 274 Christian Ethics (3)

REL 115 World Religions (3)
REL 230 Christian Worship (3)
REL 242 Spiritual Disciplines in the Life of the Church (3)
REL 248 Principles of Youth Ministry (3)
REL 275 History of Christianity
 (3)
REL 276 War, Peace and Nonviolence (3)
REL 334 Foundations in Christian Ministry (3)
REL 359 Mennonite History and Thought (3)

The following courses (and the corresponding prerequisites above):
REL 245 Spiritual Formation (3)
REL 312  Exegetical Studies
(3)
REL 320 Historical and Theological Studies (3)
REL 322 Methods of Biblical Interpretation
(3)

REL 385 Religion Practicum (1)
REL 395 Religion Seminar (1)

Minors

Minors enable students to explore a selected area in religion while devoting the majority of their academic program to another discipline.

Bible and Theology Minor (18 hours)
Choose 12 hours from the following courses:
REL 115 World Religions (3)
REL 250 Introduction to Old Testament (3)
REL 252  Introduction to New Testament (3)
REL 273 Christian Theology (3)
REL 274 Christian Ethics (3)
REL 275 History of Christianity (3)
REL 276 War, Peace and Nonviolence (3)
REL 359 Mennonite History and Thought (3)

Choose 6 hours from the following courses:
REL 312  Exegetical Studies (3)
REL 320 Historical and Theological Studies (3)
REL 322  Methods in Biblical Interpretation (3)

Youth Ministry minor (20 hours)
REL 230 Christian Worship (3)
REL 242 Spiritual Disciplines in the Life of the Church (3)
REL 245 Spiritual Formation (3)
REL 248 Principles of Youth Ministry (3)
REL 250 Introduction to Old Testament (3)
OR REL 252  Introduction to New Testament (3)
REL 334 Foundations of Christian Ministry (3)
REL 385 Religion Practicum (1)
REL 395 Religion Seminar (1) 

March 2017