BA in Religious Studies
Home to Iowa’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs per U.S. News & World Report, Mount Mercy University is committed to making education more accessible to working adults. As one of the only 100% online Religious Studies programs in the state, our online community is made up of students, experienced online faculty, and staff of all faiths.
The bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies provides a more comprehensive understanding of the role that Catholicism, Christian denominations, and religions in general, play in the public sphere. You’ll gain an intellectual background for your own faith and/or religious questions, as well as learn ethical approaches to situations in your chosen field of employment and life in general. You’ll be prepared to pursue many career opportunities inside or outside of the church, or pursue graduate study in a variety of disciplines.
Download our FREE program overview—it breaks down everything you need to know.
The capstone allows the student to do a practicum which puts them into a real-world situation so they can see how religious studies can be applied within any job or interest they may have.
— Dr. Phil Drey
Religious Studies Program Director
You can view your classes any time during a given week, and weekly deadlines help you stay on track.
The program can be completed in two to four years (based on transfer credits) and classes are offered online in accelerated five-week courses. We offer nine start dates per year so you can begin coursework (and graduate) faster.
You’ll complete your coursework entirely within Mount Mercy’s application-based online portal while enjoying opportunities to connect with your instructors and classmates through:
Course content is delivered through a variety of formats:
“Taking the online course made my class load less heavy because it enabled me to focus on the subject when I had the best time slot for it in my schedule. I was able to do the work on my own time and yet still fully participate in the class discussions. The format of the class made it easy to get others’ opinions and learn from them. I was surprised by the amount of group work people can do even through an online course. I also loved how everything was readily available at the start of the week so you could get ahead.”
– Kasey Kaimann ’20
When you graduate, you’ll be better able to:
“The Religious Studies major is filled with compelling courses that challenge you to break out of your own comfort zone and explore new avenues of religions. Courses are full of discussion and sharing personal experiences, while challenging prior thoughts and expanding personal understanding and beliefs. As someone planning to attend seminary, I feel that Mount Mercy is preparing me for future classes and challenges. The faculty are amazingly supportive, catering curriculum to your interests and goals whenever they can.”
― Marisa Moon ’18
What Career Opportunities Could I Have with a Religious Studies Degree?
Graduates from our Religious Studies program are well-suited to enter the workforce anywhere. You can apply the principles you learn in this program to a variety of career fields, such as:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of philosophy and religion teacher jobs in postsecondary education is projected to grow by 11 percent through 2028. In addition, there is a a strong need for lay ministers in churches locally and nationally.
In addition to your general education classes and electives, your religious studies degree will include courses such as:
Mount Mercy encourages you to apply for federal, state, and other kinds of financial assistance.
In addition, MMU’s online bachelor’s in Religious Studies program qualifies for the Religious Studies Grant offered by the Archdiocese of Dubuque.
We want to make sure your prior academic work counts. You can transfer up to 93 credits from four year, regionally-accredited institutions and up to 63 semester hours from two-year institutions, subject to the Mount Mercy credit transfer policy. Some credit from nationally accredited and unaccredited institutions may also be transferred on a course-by-course basis. Keep in mind, though, that the final 30 credits of your degree must be taken at Mount Mercy.
In addition, Mount Mercy offers a second-degree option, allowing students who already possess a BA degree to obtain a second degree in a shorter amount of time. In this option, an online Religious Studies degree may be obtained in about two years.
Learn more about this program and get answers to any other questions you may have about Mount Mercy.
Already know Mount Mercy is right for you? Start your application online today. It takes about 10 minutes and there’s no application fee.