Philosophy and Religion (See below for our Spring, 2023 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

            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: Philosophical Association; or

            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 Non-profit Organizer
  • 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
  • Non-profit Manager
  • 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 Spring, 2023




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 2090. Religion in America

A study of distinctive themes and characteristics of religion in America. Topics such as Civil Religion, Religious Liberty and the Free Church, Revivalism, American Religious Movements, Missions, Black Religion, American Indian traditions, and American religion in ferment will be considered.

Meets Gen Ed Elective Requirement

Meets Religious Thought and Cultural Expression Major Distributional Requirement

Meets Popular Religious Culture in America Minor Requirement


REL 3550. Philosophy of Religion—Crosslisted: (PHI 3550)
An inquiry into the philosophical foundations of religion, the problems connected with belief and knowledge, faith and reason, the character and meanings of religious commitment.

Meets Religious Thought and Cultural Expression Major Distributional Requirement


REL 3290. Life and Letters of Paul

A study of the life and world of Paul with special consideration of his preparation and mission, his style and subject matter.

Meets Biblical Major Distributional Requirement


REL 4230. Jerusalem in Time, Space, and Imagination

Following a chronological order, this course explores the origins, character and ongoing shifts in symbolic meaning of one of the most ancient and continuously settled cities on earth, Jerusalem. Students will acquire basic  knowledge of the major periods in this long history as well as of the communities and traditions that have called it their home.

Meets Religious Thought and Cultural Expression Distributional Requirement

Meets Jewish and Middle Eastern Studies Minor Requirement


REL 4410. Theories and Methods in Religion

This course examines various methods of studying religions and the historical development of the academic study of religions. Both the critical evaluation and application of various theories and methods are central to this course. Students are expected to apply particular methods to develop a significant research paper.

Meets Major Requirement for Those Taking Six or More Courses in Religion





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 2040. Introduction to Ethics

A study of the criteria by which moral decisions are made and their applications to selected contemporary ethical issues.

Meets Core Skills Requirement in Philosophy or Gen Ed Elective Requirement

Meets Philosophy and Culture Major Distributional 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


PHI 3550. Philosophy of Religion—Crosslisted: (REL 3550)
An inquiry into the philosophical foundations of religion, the problems connected with belief and knowledge, faith and reason, the character and meanings of religious commitment.

Meets Philosophy and Culture Major Distributional Requirement