Interfaith Chaplaincy

Religious Studies Minor

Interim Director: 

Dr. Katharine Jackson Lualdi

The religious studies program offers an opportunity to study religion from an academic, multicultural, and global point of view. The interdisciplinary courses will expand students’ knowledge beyond Western, monotheistic religions to include Eastern, African, and Native American faith traditions. Students who enroll in this minor explore the nature of religious beliefs
and the role of language, metaphor, culture, and social institutions in establishing these views. The program’s curriculum emphasizes the history of religious practices and how they have changed over time.

The minor in religious studies is available to students in any major who are in good standing at the University. To obtain the minor, students must successfully complete 18 credits as designated below:

1. REL 100 Religion and Human Culture 3 credits
All students are required to complete this course with a grade of C or better.

2. Multiple Religious Systems 6 credits
Select any two of the following courses:
PHI 230 Philosophy of Religion
PSY 399 Psychology of Religion
SOC 334 Sociology of Religion
HTY 309 Religious Violence and Persecution in Early Western History
REL 200 Humanity’s Spiritual Heritage
73 USM Undergraduate Catalog 2010-2011

3. Non-Western Religious Systems 3 credits
Select one of the following:
HTY 377E Chinese Thoug
HTY 394 Politics, Ethics, and Religion in China
PHI 315I Eastern Philosophy
HTY 394 Chinese Thought and Zen Buddhism

4. Western/Monotheistic Religious Systems 3 credits
Select one of the following:
HTY 307 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
HTY 366 History of Religion in America

5. Electives 3 credits
Select one additional course from any of the above categories or from those listed below:
ARH 322 Medievel Art
ARH 323 Renaissance Art
ARH 329 Asian Art
COR 122I Introduction to Islamic Civilization
CLA 285I Classical Mythology
ENG 316 The Bible
ENG 317 Studies in Ancient and Biblical Literature and Culture
HTY 152I The Islamic Near East
HTY 305 The Historical Jesus
HTY 312 Renaissance and Reformation
HTY 334 The Holocaust: Policy, Practice, Response
HTY 394 Polytheism, Judaism, and Christianity in the Roman Empire
HTY 394 Religious Violence and Persecution in Early Western History

REL 100 Religion and Human Culture
This course is an analytical survey of topics central to religious thought and practice. It considers religion as a worldwide
human phenomenon, attempts to extract data about religion from multiple sources and contexts, and focuses upon the common
functions of religion from a global perspective. The course also aims to develop sensitivity to topics and issues of a sacred and
secular nature as they impact the daily lives of people in a variety of social, cultural, and religious settings. Cr 3.

REL 200 Humanity’s Spiritual Heritage
This course uses a textual, chronological, and interfaith approach to trace the historical development, practices, and
principles of the world’s religions and spiritual traditions. Using the world’s scriptures as primary texts, each faith community
speaks for itself, allowing an exploration of the richness underlying the diversity of sacred expressions. Special emphasis is
placed upon recognizing differences as well as the similarities in humanity’s belief systems.

Religious and Spiritual Life Updates - Fall 2013

Religious and Spiritual Life Updates - Fall 2013


With the recent retirement of Andrea Thompson McCall, there have been some changes with USM's Religious and Spiritual Life program (previously known as the Interfaith Chaplaincy).

Previously located in the historic Deering Farmhouse at 23 Brighton Ave, the program is now housed within Portland Student Life in the Woodbury Campus Center.  The chaplains and advisors have formed the Religious and Spiritual Life Council, chaired by Rabbi Hillel Katzir and Rev. Rus Willette.  Sarah Holmes, Assistant Director for Student Life and Diversity, will be serving as the administrative liaison for the Council.

Additionally, there is a new meditation and interfaith prayer room in Portland Student Life, that students, faculty, and staff may access during regular business hours.

Any help that you could provide in helping students connect with our programs in our new home, would be greatly appreciated.


Sarah Holmes, Administrative Liasion

Rabbi Hillel Katzir and Rev. Rus Willette, Council Co-Chairs