Religious Studies

Religious Studies Programs and Requirements

Religious Studies Major

The major in religious studies consists of a minimum of 39 credit-hours in the department, six of which may be fulfilled by the core requirements in religious studies. In consultation with a departmental adviser and with the final approval of the department, majors will formulate a program of studies that best suits their educational and career objectives.

The department strongly encourages students who major in religious studies to develop a significant body of complementary work, perhaps leading to a second major or a minor program of study in another academic area of the University.

Religious studies majors who wish to highlight ministry studies may do so in two ways. First, students may complete a focus on ministry within the religious studies major by completing the following two courses: Theology and Ministry (PASTM 350) and God and Social Action (RELST 295) as part of the 39 required credit-hours in religious studies. As a second option, students may choose to complete an 18-hour minor in pastoral ministry. 

Religious Studies Minor

The minor in religious studies consists of 18 credit-hours, six of which may be fulfilled by the core requirements in religious studies. Minors may fulfill the requirements by successfully completing any four or more additional courses from those offered by the department, including one seminar.

Catholic Studies Minor

The minor in Catholic studies consists of 18 credit-hours, six of which will fulfill the core requirements in religious studies. The program of study is designed to include three required courses from the following:


Roman Catholic Tradition and


American Catholic Experience


History of Christian Thought or



The department also requires two courses from either:


Christian Theology: God


Christian Theology: Christ


Christian Theology: Church

One elective course completes the program. This elective may be one 3 credit-hour course from the offerings of the Religious Studies Department or the Pastoral Ministry Institute, including three 1-credit hour seminars.

Ministry Option (with Religious Studies Major)

The Pastoral Ministry Institute offers a program affiliated with the Department of Religious Studies. Students wishing to pursue expertise in the practice of ministry should consult the entry on the Institute in this catalog. The Institute’s certificate program is a minor course of study and may be of particular interest to any student who seeks to focus on the practice of ministry. For more details, consult the catalogue entry under Pastoral Ministry Institute.

Pre-Master of Divinity Program

In accordance with the undergraduate theological and philosophical requirements identified by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in the Program of Priestly Formation, the Saint Xavier University Departments of Philosophy and Religious Studies offer a curriculum for those preparing to enter Master of Divinity programs or those preparing to meet academic expectations as part of religious formation.