Religion and Society students sitting on a bench in formal attire holding the Mercyhurst Flag

Religion and Society


The Religion and Society minor and concentration are designed to complement programs throughout the university. In particular, those students will be working in medical or public health, public service, social work, politics, business, criminal justice, and intelligence fields. The courses provide both breadth in general understanding of the relationship between religion and social life and depth to explore issues of particular significance facing the contemporary world.

Course Requirements

The religion and society minor is tailored to the special needs of students in pre-professional programs, giving them insight into the role religion plays in daily activities and decision-making. The focus of this minor is the intersection of religion and contemporary social life from traditional religions to cults. Students will also explore special topics from death and dying to religion and violence. Requirements include five RLST courses (15 credits) including:

  • What is Religion? (RLST 100), or Sacred Texts (RLST 110), or World Religions (RLST 115).
  • Three designated religion and society courses; Choose one from each category:
    • Global Civil Society
    • Global Awareness
    • Global Issues
  • One elective additional course from one of the three religion and society categories.
  • RLST senior seminar is recommended but not required and can be the elective.
  • At least one course must be 300-level or higher.
  • There is an additional service learning component that will be either zero or one credit, depending on the needs of the student. The service learning component will require the approval of the Chair of Religious Studies.

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop skills in the academic study of religion to increase understanding of the role of religion in contemporary society
  • Develop a foundational literacy in a variety of religious traditions, which will aid in interpreting local and global events
  • Examine topics that go to the heart of human experience from New Religious Movements to Peace and Justice