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Making Ethical Leaders

BA in Religious Studies

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Complete in 2-4 years

Earn your degree in 2-4 years with qualifying credit

100% online program

Take classes anywhere at any time, you decide

5-10 week classes

Accelerated classes help you graduate faster

Online Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies

Why Choose Mount Mercy for My Religious Studies Bachelor’s Degree?

Our online community is made up of students, faculty, and staff of all faiths. We offer one of the only 100% online program for Religious Studies in the state of Iowa, proving our commitment to making education more accessible to working adults.

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.

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

How Will Mount Mercy’s BA in Religious Studies Fit My Schedule?

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.

How Will I Interact with Instructors and Classmates?

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:

  • Discussion forums
  • Project-based work (both group and individual)
  • Online office hours or supplemental video sessions

Course content is delivered through a variety of formats:

  • Written lectures and readings
  • PowerPoints with audio
  • Instructor video recordings

“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

How Will Mount Mercy’s Religious Studies Program Help Me In The Real World?

When you graduate, you’ll be better able to:

  • Compare and apply the central theological themes of Catholicism and other Christian traditions with alternative religions and philosophies
  • Employ social teaching and moral theology in the creation of a more just and peaceful world
  • Engage with and theologically reflect on the lived faith experiences of various people and communities
  • Understand central theological themes of Catholicism and other religious traditions
  • Appreciate scriptural texts and employ the basic principles of Catholic and other Christian Biblical interpretations

“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:

  • Counseling and Social Work
  • Chaplaincy
  • Education
  • Journalism
  • Nursing
  • Church Ministry
  • Business
  • Law

What Is The Job Outlook For Religious Studies Occupations?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of philosophy and religion teacher jobs in postsecondary education is projected to grow by 12 percent through 2026. In addition, there is a a strong need for lay ministers in churches locally and nationally.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016

What Courses Will I Take?

In addition to your general education classes and electives, your religious studies degree will include courses such as:

  • Introduction to Christianity
  • Who Is Jesus?
  • Christian Moral Life
  • Introduction to the Bible: Old Testament
  • Introduction to the Bible: New Testament
  • Introduction to World Religions
  • Topics in Religious Studies
  • Modern Christian Thought
  • Church in Contemporary Society

How Much Does a BA In Religious Studies Cost?

Cost per online credit hour

10% off
Tuition discount for employees of partner organizations

No Fees
Beyond tuition and books

Up to 75
transferrable credit hours which saves time and money!

Financial Aid

Mount Mercy encourages you to apply for federal, state, and other kinds of financial assistance.

  • Federal and state grants and loans
  • Tuition reimbursement from employers
  • 10% tuition discount for employees of partner organizations
  • Veterans’ benefits such as the Yellow Ribbon program and G.I. Bill®

In addition, MMU’s online bachelor’s in Religious Studies program qualifies for the Religious Studies Grant offered by the Archdiocese of Dubuque.

Find out more about financial aid ›

Transfer Credit Policies

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.

How Do I Get Started?

Get in Touch with an Enrollment Coach

Learn more about this program and get answers to any other questions you may have about Mount Mercy.

  • Call (877) 643-6181 to speak with a Mount Mercy enrollment coach
  • Email to set up a time to talk
  • Click Request Info and an enrollment coach will contact you

Request Info

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