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Academics

Majors and Minors

Religion

The religion curriculum cultivates an understanding of the fundamental texts, basic beliefs and practices, historical development, and cultural contexts of the world's religions with the goal that students discover for themselves a genuine appreciation of, and respect for, the rich diversity of religious perspectives.

Anyone wishing to understand more about what life is about will find the study of religion rewarding. The academic study of religion involves looking at religious beliefs and practices in a careful, analytic, and objective manner, and studying other religious traditions in their own contexts. The academic study of religion neither expects nor requires that students be believers in any religion.

A degree in religion from Otterbein University prepares students to apply for professional ministerial study at the seminary level or graduate study in religion and/or theology, as well as in a variety of humanities disciplines.

Philosophy

The philosophy curriculum provides students the opportunity to engage with contemporary philosophical issues, while gaining a thorough grounding in the history of philosophy. Students will develop an appreciation for the principles of reasoned argumentation, and an ability to pose and answer philosophical questions. Students will use their philosophical skills to analyze issues that are fundamental to other disciplines, and will come to see how considering the "big questions" is a crucial aspect of living a good life.

Philosophers seek wisdom by asking fundamental questions about what there is (metaphysics), what we can know (epistemology), what kinds of people we should be (ethics), what is beauty (aesthetics), and how we should reason (logic). A major in philosophy will help students to develop critical reading and thinking skills to answer some of life's most difficult questions.
Otterbein University's philosophy program prepares students go on to graduate or professional schools, usually in law, medicine or business. It also is a good background for many careers, including teaching, nursing, art, communication, psychology and music.

Double Major/Minor

You may also choose to pursue a double major or minor.

As a student, you may not only have an interest in religion or philosophy, but another discipline as well. Many Otterbein students choose to double major and minor in religion and/or philosophy because:

  • It's easy to do!
  • You earn an immediately marketable degree while also "feeding your soul."
  • These majors/minors enhance and complement many other majors.
  • Graduate schools offer tailor-made combinations of interests as well.
Most of the majors/minors at Otterbein are compatible with religion and philosophy, but those that seem to work best are:
  • Art
  • Business
  • Communication
  • Education
  • English
  • History and Political Science
  • Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Women's Studies
Here's what our double majors/minors are saying:
  • "In the field of advertising and public relations, I'm able to have conversations about other cultures and feel comfortable doing it."
  • "I'm in art, and the religion courses at Otterbein offered depth to my profession."
  • "As a parent, I'm able to instill respect for other religions and cultures in my children and their school environments."
  • "Having studied religion from an academic perspective at Otterbein, I understand the emotions and history that are brought to the table when discussing science."
  • "I'm in the military and served in Afghanistan. I was able to do my duties without being judgmental of another person's culture."
  • "It helps set the foundation for learning to keep an open mind, not jump to conclusions, and always evaluate each person, belief and value independently."
  • "Critical thinking is a skill that can be used in any profession and in all aspects of life. Regardless of the subject matter, the ability to think critically is of vital importance for success."
  • "Although I didn't realize studying philosophy would impact every aspect of my life, it absolutely has. Philosophy has influenced and challenged my previous beliefs. As a person I have become more open to new experiences and more open to those completely unlike me. I find this very rewarding."
  • "I relate philosophy literally to everything I think and do. This might drive most people crazy, but for me it's endless entertainment."
  • "It may sound cliché, but my education gives me an advantage in terms of problem solving and critical analysis in a "real world" which lacks any sort of linear organization."

/ Department of Religion and Philosophy

Andrew Mills, Chair
Towers Hall 323
p / 614.823.1368
e /amills@otterbein.edu

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