Religion

Religion

If you want to study comparative religious perspectives or pursue a career in ministry or teaching, Central’s religion major provides the skills you need. The religion department teaches courses in theology, biblical studies and world religions. Graduates of the program have served communities as teachers in both schools and universities, as ministers, priests and missionaries, as lawyers and as employees and managers in various community-related services.

Central also offers a pre-ministry program with an emphasis on Christian studies and ministry. Central students are engaged with research opportunities, both national and international, and with internships in preparation for work and graduate studies.

4
languages are taught by Religion faculty: Greek, Latin, Hebrew and Arabic
  • Central religion majors have gone on to become teachers, missionaries and lawyers
  • Religion majors are encouraged to study abroad during their junior or senior years

The Real World

 

Successful Careers

  • Pastor, Fairview Reformed Church, Fairview, Ill.
  • Associate director of student ministry, Parkview Church, Iowa City
  • Family therapist, Orchard Place Counseling Services, Des Moines
  • Religion and history teacher, The Pennington School, Pennington, New Jersey
  • Director of children’s ministries, The Bridge, Ottumwa, Iowa
  • Law student, Drake University Law School

Organizations

  • Campus Ministries
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
  • Bread for the World
Central College student

Graduate Placement

  • Western Theological Seminary
  • Princeton Theological Seminary
  • Talbot School of Theology
  • Aquinas Institute of Theology
  • University of London
  • University of Denver
  • Drake University

Internships

Religion students also gain experience through internships that prepare them for future employment or entrance into graduate school.

Courses & Faculty

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 in Christian ministry and doctrine.

Central’s religion major offers a very flexible schedule with no required religion courses or 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.  Majors are encouraged to study abroad during their junior or senior years.

Learn more about Religion in the course catalog.

Meet the faculty:
  • Terence Kleven, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Professor of Religion, interest areas include Old Testament studies, classical Greek and Arabic political philosophy, Middle Eastern studies and Muslim-Christian relations
  • Mark Thomas, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Philosophy, interest areas include German Idealism, metaphysics, theory of knowledge and the relationship between faith and reason
  • David Timmer, B.A., Ph.D. Dr. Jacob and Gela Schnucker Sessler Chair in Philosophy and Religion and Professor of Religion, interest areas include history of Christianity (especially medieval to modern), contemporary theology and ethics, Judaism, Asian religions
  • Elena Vishnevskaya, B.A., M. Div., Ph.D. Associate Professor of Religion, interest areas include the early church, Eastern Orthodoxy, World Christianity and spirituality.

Sample Schedule

First Year
  • 100-level religion course
  • 200-level religion course
  • Core and elective courses
Sophomore Year
  • 200-level religion courses
  • Pre-Ministerial Seminar (for Christian Ministries Emphasis)
  • 200/300-level electives
Junior Year
  • 200/300-level religion courses to complete focus areas
  • Study abroad
  • Cognate courses (e.g., philosophy, history, Greek, Hebrew, education, sociology, psychology)
Senior Year
  • 200/300-level religion courses
  • Senior independent study
  • Ministry internship (for CME)

The Central Difference

Facilities

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. Central's distinctive library is a spacious and popular haven with more than 230,000 volumes, computer stations, a multimedia collection, and extensive online catalog.

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to study abroad with Central College to enhance their development as global citizens. Academic opportunities and internship programs also are available in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.

News

Central College to Host Reformation Conference

Central College to Host Reformation Conference

Central College hosts a regional conference of the Lilly Fellows Program, Reason and Faith on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, Friday-Saturday, Oct. 13-14.

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Students Investigate the World-State Ideal in Paris
Students Investigate the World-State Ideal in Paris

Is a world-state an ideal worth pursuing? Matthew Wells ’18 and Hannah Marcum ’18 won research grants to study this political debate in Paris.

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David Timmer Named Chair in Philosophy and Religion
David Timmer Named Chair in Philosophy and Religion

David Timmer, professor of religion, has been awarded the Dr. Jacob and Gela Schnucker Sessler Chair in Philosophy and Religion.

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Learn More

Want to find out more about Religion at Central? Contact us to learn more about this major and our other strong academic programs. Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.