Religion and Philosophy

Our Religion and Philosophy major emphasizes Religion and faith as much as reason. The study of Religion and its impact on our world is an integral part of the liberal education offered by SJC. Every student is required to deal with religious and philosophical concepts throughout the Core Curriculum. As a part of its Catholic identity, the College offers a deeper reflection and study of Religion through Religion and Philosophy. [Left: Bob Jansen, C.PP.S. ’06, Philosophy major, says that the Core Program and his studies in theology at SJC pushed him to think outside the box.]



BA in Religion and Philosophy (4 year)

Why Religion and Philosophy?

  • 1Studying Religion and Philosophy opens numerous doors. For example, after graduation, students are prepared to pursue graduate studies, enter priesthood, join a ministry, or use their undergraduate degree as preparation for business work.  
  • 2Both Religion and Philosophy are important aspects of the human experience. They have shaped the world’s history, literature, art, culture, politics, ethics, and economics.
  • 3The studies of Religion and Philosophy work hand in hand. While studying Religion gives students insight into the past, studying Philosophy gives students insight into themselves and those around them. As a result, Philosophy and Religion majors are able to examine why the world is the way it is and why the world was the way it was.

Careers in Religion and Philosophy

  • Minister
  • Philosopher
  • Writer
  • Editor or Publisher
  • Lawyer
  • Youth Minister

Alumni Graduate Schools

  • Duke University
  • Liberty University
  • Northwestern University
  • Valparaiso University
  • University of Notre Dame

Why Study Religion and Philosophy at Saint Joseph’s College?


Our Religion and Philosophy major emphasizes religion and faith as much as reason. The major requires an integrative mind and utilizing natural and human sciences, such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, and linguistics. The major, which is coupled with the Core Program, challenges students to expand their worldview and creates well-rounded graduates who are prepared to pursue multiple career paths or graduate studies. Students may also study other world religions as part of their curriculum, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Religion and Philosophy is the ideal major for students considering the priesthood, religious life, or full-time professional ministry.

Hands-on Experience

Religion and Philosophy students are encouraged to pursue internships. Opportunities to work with Campus Ministry and help with retreats and youth ministries are readily available. In order to make hands-on experience part of the curriculum, the Religion and Philosophy Department offers REL 391: Ministry Practicum and REL 392: Liturgy Practicum. During REL 391 and REL 392, students often work with SJC’s Campus Ministry, where they are given the opportunity to reflect theologically on retreats, youth groups, counseling, advocacy, service work, campus liturgies, parish liturgical planning, and other liturgical ministries.  

Dedication to Excellence

The Religion and Philosophy major keeps in touch with the College’s Catholic identity. The study of Religion and its impact on our world is an integral part of the liberal education offered by SJC. Because students are introduced to the basic aspects of Religion and Philosophy in the Core Program, Religion and Philosophy majors can begin their studies with more complex ideas.The major is ideal for students considering the priesthood, religious life, or full-time professional ministry. The major provides a solid foundation of prerequisites for the Master of Divinity degree (MDiv), allowing entry into the study leading to the priesthood or professional ministry.  

Faculty and Class Size

Our Department of Philosophy and Religion consists of professors and clergy who hold doctoral degrees in their fields of expertise. In classes ranging between 7 and 10 students, our Philosophy and Religion faculty members can tailor classes to meet students’ needs and give their students the personal attention that they deserve.

Jessica Curbis '14

Jessica Curbis '14

Jessica Curbis '14, from Crestwood, Ill. is a double major in Religion/Philosophy and Mass Communication.

Explore the Core
  • SJC Education Students in the field

    Start Your Major Freshman Year

    Like Elementary Education major Brittany Cooper ’12, you start your major as soon as you walk in the door, so you will have four years of knowledge and experience in your field.You can even change your mind about your major and still graduate on time with lots of experience.

    Core and the major work in harmony to develop the cognitive skills requisite for success in a competitive, global society. Students better understand the forces that shape the future by exploring the past. They discuss contemporary events; analyze the impact of science on our understanding of humanity and the universe; and investigate diverse cultures and world civilizations. 

  • Professor Fred and Sally Berger at Graduation


    Small colleges offer you personal attention; SJC professors, such as Communication Professors Fred and Sally Berger, do more for you—they serve as mentors. Studies show that having a mentor leads to success in your field. Alumni often tell us how their professors not only played a major role in their success, but also became lifelong friends.  If you are undecided about what to major in, we help you decide.

  • High Quality Academics

    In the Core Program, you will be inspired to debate, analyze, and solve problems. Discussion of culture and society, the modern world, and Christian Humanism are just a few highlights of the Program. New perspectives will be gained, your worldview will expand, and you will graduate from SJC as a well rounded, highly marketable person.

  • Visiting Chinese Students


    You get more deeply involved at SJC, so you get more meaningful experiences that prepare you for career and life. LaMichelle Sanders ’14, for example, has spent two summers helping Chinese study abroad students adapt to life in the U.S. and at SJC. If you want to start a club or activity that doesn’t exist, we encourage you to start one. At SJC, prepare yourself for what you want to do in life.

  • Hoop House student workers

    Real-life Skills

    Because of the skills you develop by having the Core Program interact with your major for four years in addition to internships, job shadowing, and service learning, you get hands-on experience in preparation for your career or graduate school. Students Hanna Kane ’14, Emily Baird ’15, and Alyssa Guarnaccia ’14 collect food in the SJC hoophouse to be distributed on campus. You will also get four years of analytical, writing, and speaking skills that will serve you well for the rest of your life.

  • Images of Students

    Start Your Major Freshman Year

    Get a jump start on your career and have your resume ready to go at graduation.  

  • Images of Students


    Small colleges offer you personal attention; SJC professors do more for you—they serve as mentors.

  • Images of Students

    High Quality Academics

    The Core Program is all about you and your role in the world.


  • Images of Students


    You get more deeply involved at SJC, so you get more meaningful experiences that prepare you for career and life.

  • Images of Students

    Real-life Skills

    Get real-life experience and become an excellent communicator.