Religion is among the most important aspects of human civilization

The Department of Religious Studies offers courses that explore the many dimensions of religious history, experience, culture, and doctrine.

We offer both a major and a minor field of study as well as minors in Christian Studies and Catholic Studies. In taking these courses students discover the central role played by religion in human civilization and learn to think, speak, and write thoughtfully and critically about that role.

Recent grad hopes to "inspire internationalism"

upei alumna krystin matters
upei's SDU main building
dr. edward chung upei
Success Story
upei alumna krystin matters

Krystin Matters, who graduated from UPEI this spring with a major in Religious Studies and a minor in Asian Studies, has accepted a position as an assistant English language teacher with the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program.

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Course Structure

Note: Current UPEI students should refer to Student Planning in myUPEI and the UPEI Academic Calendar governing their entry year, and speak to an academic advisor about course requirements. The course structure presented for this program is a recommended, unofficial progression for prospective students.

Note: As per Academic Regulation 1h, all undergraduate degree programs require successful completion of IKE-1040 (new for students beginning or returning after re-application in Fall 2022); one of UPEI-1010, UPEI-1020, or UPEI-1030, and a Writing Intensive Course. 



Forty-two semester hours in Religious Studies are required for the major. These must include:

  • RS 1050 or both RS 1010 and RS 1020,
  • At least one course each from groups B and F,
  • At least two courses (one of which must be at the 3000 level) from each of groups C, D, and E.

The remaining hours of credit may be chosen from among all Religious Studies offerings, including cross-listed courses.

Religious Studies Courses 

A. General Introductions

1010 Religions of the World: Western Traditions
1020 Religions of the World: Eastern Traditions
1050 World Religions

B. Thematic Introductions

1030 Myths of Love, Sex and Marriage
1040 Myths of Hate and Evil

C. Western Religious History

1710 Introduction to Catholic Christianity
2020 Christianity
2060 The Great Conversation II: 21st Century Perspectives
2110 The Bible
2430 Judaism
2440 Islam
2750 Crises in Religious Authority
2780 Spirituality of the Sacraments
2835 Development in Early Catholic Thought
2840 Introduction to Medieval Theology and Philosophy
2860 Spiritual Journey of Christian Mystics
3020 Cults, Sects, and New Religions
3310 History of Christianity to Reformation (see History 3210)
3320 History of Christianity from the Reformation to the Present (see History 3220)
3760 Thomas Aquinas and the Thomist Tradition
3770 Death and the Afterlife in the Catholic Tradition
3870 The New Testament

D. Eastern Religions and Comparative Religion

2210 Buddhism East and West
2420 Hinduism
2510 Japanese Religion and Culture
2610 Chinese Religion and Philosophy
2790 Catholicism, Christian Unity, and World Religions
3040 Alternative Spiritualities
3220 Religious Ethics East and West
3230 Interreligious Dialogue
3520 Mysticism in Buddhism and Christianity

E. Religion and Modernity

2120 Why are we Here: Explorations on the Meaning of Life
2320 Christianity and the Moral Imagination
2350 Skepticism, Agnosticism, Atheism and Belief
2360 Religion and Politics
2620 Psychology of Religion
2760 Catholic Moral Thought
2770 Social Ethics: Free and Faithful
3510 Religion and Society (see Sociology/Anthropology 4210)
3620 Philosophy of Religion (see Philosophy 3620)
3735 Pleasure and Pain: The Catholic Body
3740 Beauty and Belief
3750 Faith and Reason in Modern Catholic Thought
3780 Moral Problems and the Catholic Tradition
3860 (formerly 2340) Science and Religion

F. Advanced Seminar

4010 Theory and Method in the Study of Religion

Special Topics and Directed Studies

2880, 3880, and 4880 Special Topics
4510 and 4520 Directed Studies


1210 Classical Mythology (see Classics 2210)
2720 Medieval Art (see Fine Arts 2120)




Twenty-one semester hours in Religious Studies are required for the minor. These must include:

  • RS 1050 or both RS 1010 and RS 1020,
  • At least one course from each of groups B, C, D, and E,
  • At least two courses in total must be at the 3000 or 4000 level.

The remaining hours of credit may be chosen from among all Religious Studies offerings, including cross-listed courses.


Minor in Christian Studies


  • Three core courses: 2020, 2110, 2320
  • Two courses from group C (Western Religious History)
  • Two courses from group E (Religion and Modernity)
  • At least two courses in total should be at the 3000 level



Minor in Catholic Studies


  • One core course — 1710
  • Two courses from 2110, 2835, 3870, 3310, 3320, 3770
  • Two courses from 2750, 2790, 3740, 3750, 3760
  • Two courses from 2760, 2770, 2780, 2860, 3735, 3780
  • At least two courses in total should be at the 3000 level
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