The MA in Religion with a concentration in History of Christianity and Religions of North America considers the development of religion in the West in relation to Christianity’s origin, rise, and spread with a particular focus on the developments of religion in North America.

In the History of Christianity and Religions of North America (HCRNA) concentration, you study the long sweep of religions in the West by considering their development and evolution through the prism of Christianity. This classic historical approach enables you to place many religions in perspectives, those that affected Christianity as well as Christianity itself. This concentration focuses on three periods—Christian origins, Medieval and Reformation Christianity, and religion in North America—and you select two for your special attention. To broaden your basis for making comparisons with Christianity, you also take courses in other world religions as part of this concentration. Along the way, you will be able to mix religion courses with classes in other CGU schools and embark on a unique course of discovery.

Program Highlights

  • Flexible requirements enable you to customize a course of study to your specific interests and needs.
  • You can draw upon the resources of the Religion department and other departments in the university to achieve your intellectual goals.

Featured Courses

REL 362
Theories of Religion

Takes an in-depth survey of the major theories of religion as they are portrayed through some of their influential interpreters in the post-Enlightenment West.

REL 416
Religion in America: 1865-present

Explores some of the most important and innovative recent scholarly work examining the significance and shape of religion in the modern United States.

REL 407
Introduction to Ancient Mesopotamian Religion

Explores ancient Mesopotamian religion and, in the process, unpacks many modern notions of what constitutes religion by looking at texts, religious structures, references to religious officials, and other artifacts.

REL 306
Egyptian Christianity & Monasticism Under Islamic Rule

Introduces the history and legacy of Christianity in Egypt under Islamic dynasties from the attitude of Muslim rulers toward the Copts and Egypt’s monastic heritage to the present day.

REL 323
The Origins & Influences of the Zoroastrian Tradition

Examines the background and beginnings of the Zoroastrian religion and its role in the three great Iranian Empires: Ancient Persian, Parthian, and Sasanian.

REL 414HC
Bishops & Orthodoxy

Investigates the politics of theology in the formation and evolution of orthodoxy through episcopal letters, canons of church councils, ordination liturgies, and biographies of famous bishops.

Faculty & Research

  • Patrick Mason profile image

    Patrick Mason

    Dean, School of Arts & Humanities
    Associate Professor of Religion
    Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies

    Research Interests

    Religion, Mormonism, Peace studies, American religious history

  • Ingolf Dalferth profile image

    Ingolf Dalferth

    Danforth Professor of Philosophy of Religion

    Research Interests

    Philosophical and theological hermeneutics, Ecumenical theology, Subjectivity theory, Religion and emotion

  • Anselm Min profile image

    Anselm Min

    Professor of Religion

    Research Interests

    Theology of globalization, Liberation theology, Religious pluralism, Comparative theology, Contemporary systematic theology, Postmodern philosophy and theology

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    Karen Jo Torjesen

    Margo L. Goldsmith Professor of Women's Studies in Religion

    Research Interests

    Constructions of gender and sexuality in early Christianity; Authority and institutionalization in the early churches; Hermeneutics and rhetoric in late antiquity; Comparative study of Greek and Latin patristic traditions;
    Transnational feminism

  • Tammi J. Schneider profile image

    Tammi J. Schneider

    Professor of Religion

    Research Interests

    Ancient Near Eastern history, literature, archaeology, and religion;
    Women in the Hebrew Bible

  • Ruqayya Y. Khan profile image

    Ruqayya Y. Khan

    Associate Professor of Religion
    Malas Chair of Islamic Studies
    Chair, Religion Department

    Research Interests

    The Qur'an, Arabic literatures, Progressive Islamic theologies, Women in Islam, Islam and environmental ethics, Islam and the digital age

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