Religious Studies

Available on the Vincennes campus

Why take a course in philosophy or religion?  In today's multicultural, globalized economic environment, businesses are interested in graduates who have a working familiarity with other cultures, religions, customs and languages, and who are skilled in analytic thinking, problem-solving, and communications.  But that’s not the only reason.

In addition to several practical intellectual skills cultivated through the study of philosophy and religious studies courses, our program is mind-expanding and fun.  Our classes are small and friendly, not stuffy or pedantic, and they are oriented to having intelligent dialogue rather than listening to an instructor's monologue. We give students time and space to ask the big questions in life:

  • How did we get here?
  • Where are we going? 
  • What is the good life?  
  • What ought I to do?
  • Are moral rules and values relative to personal desires and feelings? 
  • What is justice?  How should democracy work?
  • By what means or methods is reliable knowledge obtained? 
  • What are the limits of human knowledge? 
  • Does God exist? Is there a supernatural world that we can understand?
  • How do people in other religious cultures think about ultimate reality?
  • How can we tell when a statement or belief is true or false, right or wrong?
  • Is tradition always right? When should we relinquish certain beliefs or ideas? 

These questions cannot be answered in a science lab or shopping mall, yet they are examples of necessary questions that have been asked by people since the beginning of human civilization. These questions have to do with meaning and value and the way we justify our lives and choices to ourselves and to others.  How we answer such questions shapes the way in which we live together in society.  Philosophy addresses these questions-and-answers through sustained, critical thinking, using the tools of reason, logic and continuous dialogue.

The Philosophy and Religious Studies Department at Vincennes University prepares students for transferring into Baccalaureate programs in the liberal arts as well as into law and journalism schools.  Philosophy provides an excellent background in the humanities as well as training in critical thinking, intellectual creativity and self-examination.

Our program offers a religious studies certificate.  Please consider registering for one of our classes in philosophy or religious studies:

  • PHIL 111: Introduction to Philosophy
  • PHIL 212: Introduction to Ethics
  • PHIL 313: Contemporary Ethical Issues
  • PHIL 213: Introduction to Logic
  • PHIL 220: Philosophy of Religion
  • RLST 201: Religions of the West
  • RLST 202: Religions of the East

Are you religiously literate?  Take Professor Stephen Prothero’s “religious literacy quiz” to find out:

Learn more about the courses required for this major.