Religious Studies

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The mission of the Religious Studies Department is to provide students with the opportunity to explore the universal dimensions of religion and to study the Catholic Christian faith as a particular world view relevant to contemporary society. At the same time, students of other faiths and the traditions are welcomed and encouraged to participate in an atmosphere of courtesy and respect for the traditions they represent.

It is the goal of the Religious Studies department that its majors will be able to understand and articulate the religious beliefs, practices, and value systems of the Catholic tradition within an interfaith framework. They will be able to utilize the insights of theological and relevant scientific and humanistic disciplines in addressing religious issues and investigating the beliefs and practices of other religions of the world. Finally, in light of this deeper theological awareness, students will be proficient at critiquing contemporary moral and ethical positions in order to make educated moral and ethical decisions rooted in our Catholic Franciscan values.

The Department of Religious Studies offers a Major in Religious Studies, a Minor in Religious Studies, and a Religious Studies Certificate Program. All Religious Studies courses are open to majors and non-Religious Studies majors, as long as the appropriate prerequisites are met. Students may also choose to double major in Religious Studies and another subject. Popular co-majors are Psychology, English, and Art, but any other major may be taken in conjunction with a Religious Studies major. Students may also take Religious Studies as a minor.

100- and 200- level religious studies courses are open to all students. 300- and 400- level courses are open to Juniors or Seniors who have completed their 100- or 200- level Religious Studies course or to those students who have prior permission from the instructor.

All students must have completed ENG 002 or passed the Basic Skills English Test before enrolling in Religious Studies courses.

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religious Studies

(Revised May 2010)

Required courses:

Section Course
RELS 102 Introduction to the First Testament
RELS 103 Introduction to the Second Testament
RELS 105 Exploring Contemporary Moral Issues
RELS 201 Christology
RELS 204 Christian Sacraments and Worship
RELS 301 Comparative World Religions
RELS 306 Peace, Justice and Contemporary Social Issues
RELS 410 Seminar in Religious Studies or Ministry

And three Religious Studies Electives

Related courses: Introduction to Philosophy (PHIL 101), and one additional philosophy course

Four Year Plans

Concentrations & Minors

Religious Studies Minor

Since every student must take two Religious Studies courses to fulfill the general education requirements, minoring in Religious Studies should be considered. A minor in RS can be useful for all students, especially those pursuing degrees in English, Philosophy, Psychology, Nursing, or Business.

Minor in Religious Studies (15 credits)

A Minor in Religious Studies consists of 15 credits (above and beyond the two RELS courses needed to fulfill the General Education requirement), including at least two courses on the lower (100/200) level and two courses on the upper (300/400) level.

Religious Studies Certificate

With this certificate students can update their understanding and knowledge of Catholic theology and practice since Vatican II; prepare for volunteer positions in all ministerial programs, including religious education, youth ministry, peer support, sacramental preparation and the Rite for Christian Initiation of Adults; prepare for professional ministerial positions in religious education and pastoral ministry in a variety of settings (most often with the provision that students have a degree in another discipline); complete twenty-four credits toward a baccalaureate degree in Religious Studies or a second undergraduate degree in Religious Studies; and fulfill prerequisites in Theology/Religious Studies for entrance into graduate programs.

Requirements for Admission:

  • Students must hold a secondary school diploma or equivalent.
  • Students must start in the fall, spring, or summer semesters.
  • Credits from another institution are not transferable into the Certificate Program.
  • Students register through the designated Religious Studies Certificate advisor.

Requirements for the Religious Studies Certificate include completion of twenty-four credits in the eight required courses with a grade of “C” or better in all courses. Required courses: RELS 102, 103, 105, 201, 204, 301, 303, 306.

Concentration in Global Peace & Justice Studies

Colleges and universities have a responsibility to contribute to world peace and global solidarity. Catholic Social Teaching and the United Nations (via Resolution 53/243: Declaration and Program of Action on a Culture of Peace) call for everyone to assume responsibility in fostering a culture of peace through education. Inherent in this charge is the promotion of human dignity, promoting respect for all human rights, promoting sustainable economic and social development, ensuring equality between men and women, fostering democratic participation by educating responsible citizens, advancing understanding, tolerance, and solidarity and promoting international peace and security.

Felician College as a Catholic institution of higher education in the Franciscan tradition acknowledges its responsibility to promote a Culture of Peace. As reflected in its mission and objectives, Felician College believes we have the potential to change the world in significant ways. Felician College believes that these challenges can best be realized by making available to students a Concentration in Global Peace and Justice Studies.

The objectives of the Global Peace and Justice Concentration:

  • To offer an opportunity for students to participate in building a global community built on Franciscan values, in which the dignity of every person is respected; resources are shared equitably; the environment is sustained; and nations and peoples live in peace.
  • To utilize and to strengthen academic resources so that students may pursue a course of studies which explores how the Catholic and Franciscan traditions contribute to justice and peace and to provide opportunities for students to become directly involved in global, national and local non-governmental efforts.

The student will be able to:

  • Explore basic issues of war, peace, justice, and nonviolence.
  • Construct various ways to act upon these issues.
  • Identify the religious Catholic and Franciscan traditions of the college relating to Peace and Justice.
  • Develop skills needed for active involvement in the field.
  • Integrate a long term commitment to this field into the student's life.
  • Identify the importance of the study of social, racial and gender equality

Outcomes

  • Coordinators of Religious Education
  • Parochial school teachers
  • Editors for religious text books
  • Catechists /Youth ministers
  • Assistants in diocesan offices
  • Hospital chaplains

A Concentration in Global Peace and Justice Studies prepares graduates for exciting and challenging careers. Some students continue their education at prestigious graduate programs in the United States and abroad. Many move straight into careers in government, business, international organizations, NGOs and non-profits. A common thread that connects all our graduates is the use of their skills to make a difference. Whether handling issues of commerce, human security, intelligence or peace-making; engaging in international trade or global corporations; or working for a humanitarian organization, our alumni engage in promoting peace and justice and building a better world at home and abroad.

Faculty

Name

Email

Phone

Office

Dr. R. Michael Clark
Associate Professor
B.A. St. Francis de Sales College
M.A. University of Detroit
Ph.D. Boston College 
clarkm@felician.edu 201-559-6000 KH 317
Dr. Mara Kelly-Zukowski
Professor
B.A. English with Religious Studies Concentration, University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA
M.A./ Ph.D. Theology, Fordham University, Bronx, NY
zukowskim@felician.edu 201-559-6198 KH 321
Deacon Richard McGarry
Instructor
B.A./M.A. Felician College
Ph.D. Candidate, Fordham University
nobled@felician.edu 201-559-6240 KH 317
Dr. Sylvia McGeary
Assistant Professor and Chair
B.A. College of St. Elizabeth
M.A./Ph.D., Fordham University 
McGearys@felician.edu 201-559-6041  
Rev. John P. O'Neill, I.V.Dei
Professor
B.A. English, St. Francis College
M.A Theology, Fordham University
M.S. Religious Education, Fordham
P.D. Religious Studies, Fordham University
M.A. Eastern Christian Studies, Maryknoll
S.T.M. Philosophical Theology, Drew University
D.Min./Ph.D. Philosophical Theology, Graduate Theological Foundation
Certificates, Blanton Peale Graduate Institute and Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Long Island 
oneillj@felician.edu 201-559-6156 Obal Hall Ground Floor
Brother Kevin Smith OSF
Professor
B.A. Psychology, Queens College of the City University of New York
M.A. Counseling Psychology, Manhattan College
Ph.D. Religious Studies, New York University
smithk@felician.edu 201-559-6180 KH 329

Contact Information

Dr. Sylvia McGeary
Assistant Professor and Chair
201-559-6041

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