Studying religion requires students to develop intellectual habits that can be applied to any area of life. Students learn to read texts carefully, to think independently, to engage in thoughtful analysis of data from a variety of perspectives, and to express their own ideas in written and oral form.
Students will also be challenged to reflect upon, appreciate, and be open to criticism, practices, beliefs and institutions of other cultures as well as their own. Through this exposure, students come to better understand the world, themselves, and their place in the world.
Religious & Classical Studies provides a foundation for citizen-leaders in a variety of careers, including teaching, religious vocations, journalism, publishing, film, law, government, business, non-profit organizations, social work, nursing, and medicine.
You may draw inspiration from some of the celebrities listed below who studied religion and classics. Also, check out our Students and Alumni page to learn what some of our own superstars are doing.
Notable People Who Majored in Religious Studies
Amanda Michaels, Actress: Celia in “Business as Usual” (2009)
B.A., UCLA; Study of Religion with emphasis on Buddhism and Christianity, Latin and Chinese.
Speaking of her experience in theatre and the time she took earning her degree in Religious Studies she said, “[i]t made me a better actress and a better human being and I think it was the right journey for me” (Backstage Magazine, Dec. 2008).
Amy Ray (of the Indigo Girls), Musician
B.A., English and Religion, Emory University
Shane Battier, Professional Athlete; NBA All-Rookie First Team 2002
B.A., Religious Studies, Duke University
Chief Justice William Ray Price, Jr.
Supreme Court of Missouri
B.A., Religion, University of Iowa; Yale Divinity School
John Danforth, Former Senator and Ordained Episcopal Priest
B.A., Religion, Princeton; Yale Divinity School
The following TV personalities studied religion:
- Carson Daly
- Phil Donahue
- Willard Scott
Notable People Who Majored in Classical Studies
Lynn Sherr, ABC-TV News Correspondent
B.A., Classics, Wellesley College
J. K. Rowling, Author of the Harry Potter series
B.A., French and Classics, University of Exeter (UK)
Teller (of Penn and Teller), Comedian, Magician, Entertainer
B.A., Classics, Amherst College
Charles Geschke, Co-Founder, Adobe Systems
B.A., Classics, M.A., Mathematics, Xavier University
Ph.D., Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
Jerry Brown, Governor of California; Former State Attorney General
B.A., Classics, University of California−Berkeley
John Brady Kiesling, Former U.S. Foreign Service Officer; Author of Diplomacy Lessons: Realism for an Unloved Superpower
B. A., Ancient Greek, Swarthmore College