What's unique about studying religion at Belmont?
In some ways our program is like plenty of other colleges that teach religion. However, we are really different in the way we work with our students. Our professors know your name from the first day of class. We pay attention to your work. We listen to your ideas. We help you think about things you've probably never thought about before. And we create a safe place to ask questions and to be a little crazy.
How many students major in religion?
We currently have between 90 and 100 students each year who are religion majors. There is also a large number of religion minors as well.
How many of your religion majors are females?
More than half of our majors are female. This is a place where women are welcomed and affirmed.
What kind of people major in religion?
We have students from all over the country. Our students come from just about every Protestant denomination and we're happy to report that most of them get along with one another.
What kinds of things do you study if you're a religion major?
You'll take courses that give you a good foundation in religion. You'll have classes in biblical studies, ethics, theology, and church history. In addition, you can take courses in such things as world religions, poverty and justice, and spiritual formation. And by the time you've been in college a few weeks you can complain about how much work you've got to do in all these courses.
What can I do with a religion major when I graduate?
Our graduates have discovered they can do anything they want to do. Some of our graduates go to seminary or divinity school and then become ministers. Others find careers with social service agencies like Habitat for Humanity or Bread for the World. Some go to law school, and some work in inner city ministries. But they all leave here empowered to follow their dreams and create vocations that express who they are.
Is there any financial aid for religion majors?
Yes. Last year more than 80% of our majors received some kind of financial aid. When you file all of your financial aid forms with Belmont, make sure you indicate that you plan to major in religion.
What are religion classes like?
The average size is 15. Professors usually don't lecture all the time. We do class projects, discussions, and group work. Students are accustomed to going to class and having thoughtful discussions about their readings. Everyone has an opportunity to participate. When the semester comes to an end, you'll wish the class could continue, because you know you'll miss it. Really.
What are the religion professors like?
All our professors have Ph.D.s, and have spent their lives reading books and doing research. They've also spent their lives working in churches. You will find out quickly that your professors are real people. For example, one loves to hike the Appalachian Trail, one spends her summers in the mountains of Montana, and a couple of them are devoted parents of really big dogs. Besides being interesting teachers, they are also interesting people.
Are the classes taught from a particular denominational point of view?
No. We have a wide variety of denominations represented by our students. The professors present material from a perspective that welcomes all points of view. For example, when you're studying a particular text in the Bible, your professor will show several different ways to interpret the text, and it will be up to you to decide on the best interpretation. We expect you to take ownership of your own faith.
Are there opportunities to do mission work?
Yes. Every year Belmont University sends several groups of students abroad on short-term mission projects. Belmont also sends groups to major U.S. cities to work with inner city projects. And on a weekly basis, you can always get involved with community activities in Nashville.