Have you ever wanted to do serious study of the Bible or to compare different religious perspectives? Or have you thought about going into ministry or university or college teaching? You might want to study religion at Central College. Central also offers a pre-ministry program and an emphasis in Christian ministries. Graduates have gone on to become pastors, missionaries or teachers, but also into such fields as law enforcement and social services.
- Terence Kleven, Ph.D., professor of religion, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chad Pierce, Ph.D., assistant professor of religion, email@example.com
- David Timmer, Ph. D., professor of religion, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Elena Vishnevskaya, Ph.D., associate professor of religion, email@example.com
News about Religion
Called to Serve
President Mark Putnam notes that the faith traditions at Central lead to student service.
Do Unto Others
The students of Campus Ministries follow the golden rule with a constant stream of service at Central, in Iowa and around the United States.
Michael Harris, professor of English, returns to India after 30 years to study the rediscovery of Buddhism in its birthplace, ironically with British colonial help, 25 centuries later. Harris was awarded a Fulbright Grant for his research.
On the Side of Justice
Earl James of the Reformed Church in America visited Central to talk about the universal values of social justice and freedom from racism.
- Youth pastor, Tuskawilla Presbyterian Church, Oviedo, Fla.
- Assistant director, International Studies Program, Georgia State University
- Pastor, Dunningville Reformed Church, Allegan, Mich.
- Religion/history teacher, The Pennington School, Pennington, N.J.
- AmeriCorps/VISTA coordinator, Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Des Moines, Iowa
- Associate pastor, Hills United Reformed Church, Sioux Falls, S.D.
- Youth pastor, Fort Washington Collegiate Church, New York, N.Y.
- Associate pastor, First Reformed Church, Randolph, Wis.
- Teacher/missionary, African Inland Mission, Madagascar
- English teacher, Hirosaki, Japan
- Director, Youth Music and Drama, United Church of Chapel Hill, N.C.
- Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship Staff, Eastern Iowa
- Skills development specialist, Francis Lauer Youth Services, Mason City, Iowa
Seminaries attended by Central religion majors include:
- Western Theological Seminary, Holland, Mich.
- New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, N.J.
- University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa
- Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, N.J.
- Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Ill.
- Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago, Ill.
- Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Mo.
- The Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pa.
- Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Fla.
- Mid-American Reformed Seminary, Dyer, Ind.
Other areas of graduate study pursued by Central students include:
- Public policy, St. Louis University, St. Louis, Mo.
- Engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
- Business administration, Duke University, Durham, N.C.
- Social service administration, University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
Looking for experience? An internship might be the answer. When it comes to future employment or entrance into graduate school, students with internship experience have a proven track record in a professional environment. In today's competitive job market, proven experience is a priceless commodity. Past internships include:
- Third Reformed Church, Pella, Iowa
- St. James’s Episcopal Church, Oskaloosa, Iowa
- Calvary Christian Reformed Church, Pella, Iowa
- Second Reformed Church, Pella, Iowa
- Peace Lutheran Church, Pella, Iowa
- Emmanuel Reformed Church, Paramount, Calif.
Learn more about internships at Central.
The religion department offers courses in biblical studies, the history of Christian thought, world religions (e.g. Judaism, Islam, and South and East Asian religions), and ethics and theology, as well as applied courses.
- Old Testament history and religion
- New Testament and early Christianity
- The prophets
- The writings
- The Gospels and Jesus
- Revelation and the general epistles
History of Christian thought:
- The Christian heritage
- American religious thought
- The reformation
- Medieval christendom
- The early church
- Eastern Christianity
- The Jewish experience
- Islam and the west
- Confucianism and Daoism
Ethics and theology:
- Christian ethics
- Christianity and culture
- Modern Christian thought
- World Christianity
Christian ministry emphasis:
- Pre-ministerial seminar
- Christian Worship
- Doctrines and ministry
- Spirituality in the Christian tradition
In addition, department faculty teach related courses in history (Mideastern civilization, biblical archaeology) and language (Hebrew, Greek).
Central’s religion major offers a very flexible schedule to students. There are no required religion courses with prerequisites, and therefore no typical sequence of courses. The department recommends that at least two “readings” courses at the 300-level be taken during the junior and senior years, and that independent study be taken during the senior year.
Get more details from the course catalog! (Note: this is a PDF file)
Central College is one of the most beautiful college campuses you'll find. A perfect mix of old and new, our buildings reflect our history and our future, featuring energy conservation and environmental responsibility. Our state-of-the-art facilities include:
- Vermeer Science Center — $20-million renovation and addition completed fall 2003 earned Iowa’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating, a silver medal, from the U.S. Green Building Council.
- Apartment-style residence hall opened fall 2003, with new wing completed in 2005, earned Central’s second LEED rating, a gold medal.
- New education and psychology building opens fall 2009 with application for platinum LEED award.
- Weller Center for Business and International Studies with state-of-the art technologies and energy efficient design including solar panels on the roof.
- Central Market, Iowa’s most original dining hall with unique European market place design.
- Geisler Library with 230,000 volumes and worldwide electronic access.
- Café@Geisler offers espresso, coffee, snacks.
- Wireless Internet throughout campus.
No matter what your interests are, Central has a group or organization that you'll want to join. Religion majors might be interest in Central's:
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes
- Habitat for Humanity
- InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
- Campus ministries
- Bread for the World
- Catholic campus ministries
- Chapel board
- Central Concerns
Students are encouraged to study abroad with one of Central’s eight international programs to enhance their development as global citizens, or with Central’s Chicago program and the Washington, D.C., program. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.