Brooklyn Department of Religious Studies

Ask life’s big questions. Examine religions from around the world. Get ready.

Central to our quest for meaning, religion deals with the most fundamental questions we as humans ask. Explore the world of religious beliefs and spirituality with our Department of Religious Studies.

At our Brooklyn campus, students examine religion in the context of society, history and culture, exploring how it’s infused throughout art, literature, science, politics, architecture, music, psychology and more.

Students who major in religious studies prepare for such graduate degrees as theology, medicine and law, promoting understanding and communication across spiritual and cultural divides. Graduates of the religious studies program enjoy a variety of careers, as religion plays an increasingly important role in the global economy and politics.

Get ready to make a difference in the world with St. Joseph's University Department of Religious Studies.

Thomas PetrianoThomas Petriano, Ph.D.
Chair and Professor of Religious Studies

"The religious studies major at St. Joseph’s offers students interested in the study of religion an opportunity to deepen their interest through a wide range of courses that include Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Islam. The major can be a stand-alone major or could be added as a second major. Typically, students who major in psychology, history or English find religious studies a helpful complement to their major."

The Brooklyn Religious Studies Experience

Interconnectedness: Expand your area of study by complementing your major in religious studies with a minor in art history, English, legal studies, mindfulness and contemplative living, peace and justice studies, philosophy or psychology. 


Research and Internship Opportunities: Conduct research and present at conferences across the country. Engage in meaningful internship opportunities around New York City.


Study Abroad: Global study trips encourage a deeper understanding of the self and the fundamental questions of the world by encouraging students to immerse themselves in other cultures. Past trips included travel to Oxford and Taiwan.

Religious Studies Programs

Religious Studies Major
Prepare for a variety of future careers.

Gain a breadth of knowledge that can factor into any profession. With a bachelor’s in religious studies, students learn skills that can help them succeed in a variety of future careers.



Religious Studies Minor
Broaden your academic experience.

With a minor in religious studies, students can enhance their majors in such fields as history, political science, English and psychology, or they could pursue graduate work in religious studies or theology. It could also be helpful for students who wish to teach in a religiously affiliated school or become engaged in a form of a church-based ministry.



Peace and Justice Studies Minor
Understand through social action.

An interdisciplinary minor, peace and justice studies identifies and analyzes the conditions that contribute to injustice, social conflict and war. Through reflection on moral and ethical values and the application of social action struggles, students are challenged to participate in the struggle to make peace and justice a social reality.   



Mindfulness and Contemplative Living Minor
Take your career further.

This interdisciplinary minor combines knowledge and skills from the areas of psychology, religious studies, philosophy, communication studies and physical education. It is ideal for students who want to work in helping professions, such as pastor counseling, mental health counselors, clinical social workers, creative art therapists and speech pathologists.



Certificate in Religious Studies
Meet leadership needs in church-affiliated settings.

Gain the skills and knowledge necessary to meet leadership needs in church-affiliated settings. Open to both matriculated and non-matriculated students, the program is designed to prepare individuals for roles of leadership and service in such areas as religious education, youth ministry, social outreach, marriage preparation and family ministry.