What can religion teach you about the meaning of life? About justice and morality? About your own purpose?

Dive into the deep questions with a major in Religious and Theological Studies. Through courses like Introduction to Religions of the World, History of Christian Theology, and Biblical Studies, you’ll learn how to think about religions — your own, if you have one, and others’. Study the development of global religions and the role these play in the world today. Gain an understanding of how religion influences culture, conflicts and current events around the world. Reflect on the big questions that consume humankind through the lens of faith. 

What do our graduates do?

St. Edward’s Religious and Theological Studies majors go on to a variety of careers. Here’s a sample:

  • Judicial Law Clerk, Supreme Court of Texas
  • Literacy Tutor, AmeriCorps
  • Director of Campus Ministry, University of St. Thomas
  • Ambassador for Poverty Relief, Noonday Collection 
  • Theology Teacher, St. Pius X (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
  • Director of Social Justice Ministries, St. Austin Catholic Parish
  • Filmmaker, Congregation of Holy Cross
  • Director of the Beecken Center, School of Theology, Sewanee
  • Peace Corps Volunteers, Dominican Volunteers, Jesuit Volunteer Corps
Student meeting with success coach

Major Roadmap

Explore your options — classes, internships, research and study abroad. Find what interests you, discover what you love, and create a major experience that jumpstarts your future. 

Religious and Theological Studies Major Guide

Prestigious Awards and Graduate School

Religious and Theological Studies students have been selected for prestigious fellowships such as the Fulbright Awards for South Korea, Israel, and Germany. Alumni of our program also pursue graduate studies in religious studies and theology at the University of Notre Dame, Harvard Divinity School, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, Yale University, Duke Divinity School, Catholic Theological Union, Drew University, Fordham University, Union Theological Seminary and New York University and flourish in the fields of higher education and ministry.

At the same time, our alumni also go on to Georgetown Law School, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the University of Houston Law Center, Museum Studies at the University of Washington, Agricultural and Applied Economics at Texas Tech, and Social Work at New York University.

For more information on the Religious and Theological Studies major, please contact Professor and Chair of Religious and Theological Studies, Kelley Coblentz Bautch. The Religious and Theological Studies major is part of the Department of Religious and Theological Studies

Students attending the McCarthy Lecture Series

A New Bible Captivates Campus

A 21st-century illuminated Bible makes its sojourn to St. Edward’s.

The Classroom and Beyond

As a Religious and Theological Studies major, you’ll have the chance to apply your education on and off campus. Austin’s religious community is diverse and offers many opportunities to participate in interfaith dialogue, volunteer or intern at faith-based service organizations, or work at the intersection of religion and politics.

Experiential Education

In Introduction to Religions of the World and Asian Traditions, you’ll accompany your professor on visits to the Austin Hindu Temple and the Tibetan Buddhist Palri Pema Od Ling temple for a guided meditation with a Tibetan lama.

Introduction to Christian Morality focuses on the Beatitudes from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, in the Gospel of Matthew, and Catholic social teaching. As a complement to what you learn in class, you’ll participate in volunteer opportunities through Campus Ministry’s S.E.R.V.E. program. 

Student Organizations 

  • St. Edward’s Chapter of Theta Alpha Kappa, the National Honor Society of Religious Studies and Theology, celebrates student accomplishments and builds community among our majors. Students associated with honor society can share their original research at conferences and can compete for national scholarships.
  • Campus Ministry offers opportunities to deepen your spirituality and your understanding of others’ faiths – whether or not you’re Catholic. Go on a retreat to develop mindfulness (and relationships with fellow students on retreat), attend an interfaith program, or join a Bible study. Campus Ministry also coordinates several of St. Edward’s signature service programs like S.E.R.V.E Austin.
  • Service Break Experiences give you the chance to travel to another community, volunteer and learn about local life. SBEs are built on ongoing relationships between St. Edward’s and the service location and require students to prepare — educationally and spiritually — beforehand.

St. Edward’s hosts two lecture series that are of particular interest to Religious and Theological Studies majors. The Nostra Aetate Lecture explores interreligious dialogue and the values reflected in the groundbreaking Vatican II (1965) document of the same name. The Most Reverend John McCarthy Lecture Series on the Catholic Church in the 21st Century is named in honor of a former Diocese of Austin bishop and features religious and lay experts from around the country discussing issues facing modern and contemporary Catholicism.

Internships

The Religious and Theological Studies major prepares you for professional opportunities including in the nonprofit, media, healthcare and arts sectors, and any career that pertains to religion. In recent semesters, our students have interned at locations including these:

  • Interfaith Action of Central Texas
  • Catholic Charities of Central Texas
  • The Institute for Diversity and Civic Life
  • The Office of Worship for the Diocese of Austin
  • St. Michael's Catholic Academy