Philosophy and Religion (See below for our Fall, 2020 courses)

While Philosophy and Religion Majors have the opportunity to think deeply, critically, and creatively about the most interesting and important issues in human life, our Major is a practical one as well. Upon graduation UNCP Philosophy and Religion Majors have moved into positions in sales management, market development management, customer service management, management analysis, information technology, pre-school education, middle school education, high school education, children’s ministry, youth ministry, campus ministry, church pastoring, and starting a successful church. Others have pursued graduate and professional study—including law school, med school, library science, and seminary--at institutions such as Vanderbilt University, Yale University, Drew University, the University of Florida, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, East Carolina University, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, North Carolina Central University, East Tennessee State University, Campbell University, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Hood Theological Seminary.

            Indeed, studies have concluded that philosophy and religion majors outscored business, international relations, and public administration majors on the LSAT (Law School Admission Test); philosophy majors outscored business and management majors on the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test); and philosophy majors had a higher acceptance rate (48%) to medical schools than majors in any of the life sciences! In general, employers of college graduates today say that the primary assets they seek are the abilities to think critically and creatively and to write and speak clearly. Thus the philosophy and religion major is ideal for those interested in pursuing careers in business or in management in the non-profit or public sectors, as well as in many other areas (see below; also https://www.affordablecollegesonline.org/college-resource-center/career-options-for-philosophy-majors).

            Our Department now offers our Majors an internship in Philosophy and Religion, which enables them to connect their academic learning with practical experience in a religious organization, another non-profit organization, a government agency, or a socially conscious business. Multiple studies indicate that employers are more likely to hire a candidate with internship experience. The opportunity to reflect on an internship enhances both academic learning and work performance.

            Those planning to go on to graduate study in philosophy or religious studies may consult the following: www.apaonline.org/?page=gradguide--American Philosophical Association; or  www.gradschools.com/search-programs/religious-studies.

            Our Department offers six scholarships to qualified Philosophy and Religion Majors.

             Besides the Major, our Department offers Minors in Philosophy, Religion, and Philosophy and Religion, sponsors interdisciplinary Minors in Jewish and Middle Eastern Studies and in Popular Religious Culture in America, and sponsors a new interdisciplinary Certificate in Applied Ethics. Since employers show an interest in hiring candidates trained in business ethics or in the ethics of a profession, this Certificate enhances one's chance of finding a job in one's chosen field or profession.

            The faculty of the Department of Philosophy and Religion have a commitment to student-centered learning using a variety of approaches that encourage interactive engagement. One of its faculty has received the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence, while another has received the University for Teaching Excellence Award for part-time instructors. All of our faculty are glad to help students with their coursework outside of class. Our tenured faculty have Ph.D.'s from institutions such as Duke University, Vanderbilt University, and Princeton Theological Seminary. All of them have published in scholarly journals and several have published multiple books with academic presses like Cambridge University Press, State University of New York Press, and Routledge.

            Of course, apart from its practical side, studying philosophy and religion is fascinating in its own right. More than any other of the academic disciplines, philosophy and religious studies deal with questions about meaning. Philosophy and religious reflection may evaluate the purpose and meaning of other academic disciplines, as well as broader and deeper meanings—even the ultimate meaning—of human life. So philosophy and religion might claim to be the most liberating of all the liberal arts—"liberal" here meaning to advance liberty!

            Religion can be understood as the human attempt to discern overall or ultimate meaning in life, traditionally in light of some divine or sacred reality or realities. Given the expansiveness of the religious quest, it is fitting that the academic discipline of religious studies claims no one method of its own but rather uses diverse disciplines such as literary studies, history, sociology, psychology, cognitive science, and philosophy.

            As for philosophy, any belief, practice, or institution that makes truth or value claims is fair game for its probing. Philosophy analyzes and questions concepts of truth, beauty, and goodness--including ultimate value, as it draws on great thinkers who have pondered these issues over the millennia. This involves discerning and examining the worldviews of different cultures at different times, which like the air we breathe normally remain unnoticed.

For more information, contact the Department of Philosophy and Religion at 910.775.4283.

Possible jobs for graduates with a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion

  • Announcer
  • Associate Pastor
  • Author
  • Buyer
  • Business Administrator
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • Campus Minister
  • Campus Religious Coordinator
  • Chaplain
  • Church Building Engineer
  • Church Camp Director
  • Church Secretary
  • Claims Adjuster
  • Clergy
  • Columnist
  • Consultant
  • Counselor
  • Credit Analyst
  • Critic
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Denominational Executive
  • Diplomat
  • Director of Religious Education
  • Editorial Assistant
  • Employment Interviewer
  • Financial Consultant
  • Fund-raiser
  • Guidance Counselor
  • Hospital Administrator
  • Insurance Underwriter
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Lobbyist
  • Management Analyst
  • Marketing Manager
  • Marketing Research Analyst
  • Minister of Music
  • Minister/Youth Minister
  • Missionary
  • News Writer
  • Nursing Home Director
  • Paralegal
  • Pastor
  • Priest
  • Producer/Director
  • Professor
  • Psychologist
  • Public Policy Manager
  • Public Relations Representative
  • Public Service Official
  • Rabbi
  • Religious Bookstore Worker
  • Religious Education Teacher
  • Religious Educational Administrator
  • Religious Researcher
  • Religious Staff Writer
  • Sales Representative
  • Salvation Army Worker
  • Seminary Administrator
  • Social Worker
  • Systems Analyst
  • Technical Writer
  • YMCA/YWCA Worker

Philosophy and Religion Courses Offered Fall, 2020

 

RELIGION Courses

 

REL 1050. Introduction to the Old Testament

A study of the Covenants in Israel, of the rise and fall of the Hebrew nations under the judges and kings, and of the religious development of the people in sacred literature.

Meets Gen Ed Elective Requirement; Meets General Major Distributional Requirement

 

REL 1060. Introduction to the New Testament

The study of the origins and development of Christianity from Jesus Christ through the first century with emphasis on the writings of that age in relation to the Roman Empire.

Meets Gen Ed Elective Requirement; Meets General Major Distributional Requirement

 

REL 1300. Introduction to Religion

This course provides an overview of major world religions in their historical contexts, while exposing students to the academic study of religion, including theories about the nature of religion, key concepts, and methods of study.

Meets Core Skills Requirement in Religion or Gen Ed Elective Requirement

 

REL 2050. Religion, Art, and Culture—Writing Enriched

A study of the interaction between religion and culture, involving intellectual, aesthetic, and theological dimensions of meaning. A primary focus will be visual art, including painting through Western history and contemporary films.

Meets Gen Ed Elective Requirement; Meets Writing Intensive Requirement;

Meets Religious Thought and Cultural Expression Major Distributional Requirement;

Meets Popular Religious Culture in America Minor Requirement

 

REL 2340. Classical Mythology

Myth is a central category of religious studies. This course will survey the mythology of ancient Greece and Rome. It will also address (in a more limited way) the mythologies of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. Though the course will focus primarily on a survey of the actual mythic traditions themselves, some attention will also be paid to the function of myth, theories of myth, and the impact of classical mythology on subsequent centuries of art and literature.

Meets Religious Thought and Cultural Expression Major Distributional Requirement

 

REL/PLS 3025. Fundamentalisms

Starting in the 1970s, there has been a substantial growth in the strength of religious radical movements sometimes known as “fundamentalist,” which seek to manifest their religious faith in the political arena. The course will examine these phenomena in comparative perspective primarily in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We will focus on the religious players in the Middle East conflict. Special attention will be given to the place of Jerusalem as a focal center for religious extremist activity.

Meets Religious Thought and Cultural Expression Major Distributional Requirement

 

REL 3360. Life of Jesus

A study of the life and teachings of Jesus as they are presented in the four gospels with emphasis upon world conditions in his day and the significance of teachings on Jesus+ death and understanding of the resurrection.

Meets Biblical Major Distributional Requirement

 

REL 4080. The Paranormal

This course will investigate the classifications of paranormal activity and belief in western culture along with the relationship of paranormal belief to religious belief. A variety of ideas and understandings concerning angels, demons, ghosts, extra-terrestrials (aliens), and crypto-zoology, extra-sensory perception, psychokinesis, and near-death experiences will be studied.

Meets Religious Thought and Cultural Expression Major Distributional Requirement;

Meets Popular Religious Culture in America Minor Requirement

 

RELS 3000. Anti-Semitism: Race, Religion, and Culture

This course examines historical and contemporary manifestations of anti-Semitism.

Meets Religious Thought and Cultural Expression Major Distributional Requirement

 

 

 

PHILOSOPHY Courses

 

PHI 1000. Introduction to Philosophy

A survey of the major issues and philosophers in the history of western philosophy.

Meets Core Skills Requirement in Philosophy or Gen Ed Elective Requirement

 

PHI 1010. Logic

The methods and principles of correct thinking. Emphasis on informal logic, the syllogism, and fallacies. Computer modeling activities are required.

Meets Core Skills Requirement in Philosophy or Gen Ed Elective Requirement

 

PHI 2070. Contemporary Moral Issues

This is a survey course in applied ethics. Issues such as abortion, capital punishment, cloning, and affirmative action will be discussed.

Meets Core Skills Requirement in Philosophy or Gen Ed Elective Requirement;

Meets Philosophy and Culture Major Distributional Requirement;

Meets Certificate in Applied Ethics Requirement (pending Faculty Senate approval)

 

PHIS 3220. Superheroes and Philosophy

Philosophical analysis and evaluation of the literary, film, and other cultural creations of superheroes. Comparison with religious themes will occupy part of this analysis.

Meets Philosophy and Culture Major Distributional Requirement