Philosophy and World Religions


A note from Dr. Jerry Soneson, Department Head

Jerry SonesonWelcome to the Department of Philosophy and World Religions! I am delighted to tell you about our exciting major programs in Philosophy, The Study of Religion, and the Ethics minor. In each of these programs, students are exposed to some of the most important questions in life, read wonderful and challenging books, and engage in exciting discussions with their professors and with other students. All three programs are meant to prepare students for a life worth living, by cultivating the intellectual skills of reading, writing and critical thinking, and by exposing them to some of the most thoughtful writings having to do with human knowledge, wisdom and values.

We have a seasoned faculty of master teachers who love working with students in the classroom. Our faculty have diverse academic interests and show a range of teaching styles which provide students with rich, stimulating, and rewarding class experiences. Our faculty, moreover, are active scholars who bring their cutting-edge questions and most recent research into the classroom conversation, and so when our students participate in conversation about these questions with their teachers, they get to see academic scholarship in the making in the areas of philosophy, the study of religion and ethics.

As our world grows smaller by means of modern communication and travel, we will increasingly be challenged with personal, political and religious issues arising from conflicts of cultures and values. In fact, in the years ahead, we will be facing conflicts that we are as yet unable to anticipate. One of the greatest rewards of studying in our department is that our programs will not only help students understand more fully the nature of these conflicts when they arise, but they will provide significant resources for responding more creatively in this growing global culture.

We are extraordinarily proud of the graduates from our programs. Many have entered some of the very best graduate programs in philosophy, religion, law, education, and medicine. And, as a whole, they have gone on to work in exciting fields not just in teaching, law and medicine but also in government, politics, business, ministry, and non-profit organizations of many kinds.

I encourage you to call or email me if you have any questions about our department and its programs. Or just stop by our department office in Bartlett, Room 1089.

Jerry Soneson

Jerry Soneson,
Head of the Department