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Department of Religion

(440) 826-2076


An exploration of the historical, cultural and ethical impacts of religion is at the core of this multi-faceted major.

Baldwin Wallace's religion major is relevant and real world-focused. It fosters deep analytical thinking that enables you to assess the values, teachings and presuppositions that shape core beliefs.

Coursework encompasses spirituality, scripture, history, theology and ethics. You'll gain an understanding and appreciation of the rich diversity of religious traditions practiced around the world.

You can study religion as a pursuit of your own search for personal and spiritual development, or as a way to understand diverse perspectives across different cultures.

Religion is a career-focused major that prepares you for post-graduate or seminary studies as well as workplace opportunities. It builds skills in critical thinking, reasoning, and oral and written communication.

Personal attention, faculty collaboration and interdisciplinary opportunities are at the forefront of the program. You'll have opportunities to supplement classroom studies with self-directed exploration, including internships, independent study projects and study abroad travel.


  • Professor
  • Diplomat
  • Foreign correspondent
  • Counselor
  • Social service
  • Youth/campus minister
  • Clergy/religious professions


Reflective, inspirational and educational, the writing of BW religion professor Dr. Alan Kolp offers daily insights that are uplifting and meditative. At BW, Dr. Kolp is the holder of the Chair in Faith & Life and co-founder of the Center for Innovation & Growth. He is an author, retreat leader and public speaker. Read Dr. Kolp's daily inspirational message.


Religion is at the heart of societies. Historically, it has been responsible for maintaining the status quo and has been the impetus for major changes. Studying religion offers a deeper perspective of critical issues facing mankind today. It offers students an opportunity to focus on the aspects of religion that interest them as well as reflect on their own spirituality and personal stances.


Offered as a major and minor, religion is a comprehensive area of study that spans world religions, spirituality, scripture and religion in cultural contexts. BW courses cover topics like violence and peace, contemplative spirituality, religion and literature, American religious pluralism and more.

An excellent companion field of study, religion is often chosen as a second major or minor for students interested in education, humanities, social sciences, business and international studies, among others.


Course Descriptions

Course descriptions, requirements for the major and additional information can be found in the University Catalog.


Experiential learning bridges classroom study with real-world opportunities. You can enhance your studies through internships, co-curricular activities and other learning opportunities that include:


Lindsay-Crossman Chapel
The Chapel serves the spiritual needs of the Baldwin Wallace community through meaningful activities and services that are spiritually enriching.

Faith & Life Lecture Series
The annual event brings national spiritual leaders to campus. It is designed to nourish spiritual life and perpetuate the ecumenical influence of the Judeo-Christian tradition at Baldwin Wallace University.


Athletes in Action
The student-led organization seeks to introduce students to Jesus Christ. It helps them grow in faith and encourages them to passionately live their lives in a manner consistent with belief in the God of the Bible and inspires commitment to advancing the purposes of God in the world.

This interdenominational Christian organization is for students who want to seek answers about Christianity or who want to grow in their relationship with Christ.

This organization serves as a source of fellowship for Jewish students as well as a resource for non-Jewish students interested in learning more about Judaism. It creates an inclusive space for students through which they can participate in Jewish life and be a part of Jewish community at BW.

Muslim Student Association
Promoting a deeper understanding of Islam and Muslims is the crux of this organization. It engages the BW community in exploring Islamic cultural heritage, history, values, diversity and contributions to the world.

Newman Catholic Campus Ministry
Newman Catholic Campus Ministry is committed to helping students integrate faith and action into their daily lives through weekly Mass, individual and community spiritual development, formation of personal leadership, small group faith sharing experiences, retreats, and education for justice and community service.

Voices of Praise Gospel Choir
A multicultural choir, the Voices of Praise promotes, preserves and presents gospel music as a sacred, authentic art form. Follow on Facebook


At Baldwin Wallace, you’ll experience personal and professional growth in a supportive community that challenges and inspires you to succeed.

Recent BW religion majors are finding their success at:

Baldwin Wallace religion alumni are accepted into prestigious graduate programs – Harvard, Princeton and University of Chicago, to name a few. Alumni have embarked on successful careers directly from BW in a variety of professions.

Matthew Gesicki '14 serves as a minister for mission for The Crossing, an alternative emergent worship community located in downtown Boston, Mass. He is placed at The Crossing through his participation in Life Together, the Boston cohort of the Episcopal Service Corps, an inclusive faith-based organization committed to the training and development of leaders in the efforts toward nonviolent, restorative justice.

Sophia Kemble '14 is a research navigator at Case Western Reserve University and an editor at Cactus Communications.

Kailey Sherrick '14 is in the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts program, where she is pursuing an MFA in creative nonfiction.

Laura Dunson '13 is a graduate student at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa. She is studying clinical mental health counseling and is a graduate assistant at the Center for Catholic Intellectual Tradition.

Molly Gabriel Angney '12 is Omni-Channel account manager for St. John & Partners in Jacksonville, Fla.

Gina Huschka Schneck '12 is a graduate instructor at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Rachel McDonald '12 earned a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, N.J.

Clarence (Jimmy) Thornton '12 is pursuing a Master of Divinity from Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio.

Katelynn Carver '11 earned a master's degree in interdisciplinary humanities and sciences from Harvard University and is now an academic consultant for Signet Education in Cambridge, Mass.

Victoria Shaw '11 is project manager of online learning portal development for ALICE Training Institute. She also is an advocate for young farmers, promoting the industry through state and national competitions sponsored by the U.S. and Ohio Farm Bureau.

Andy Gmitter '10 is head of product, Get Connected at Galaxy Digital, a software company in Asheville, N.C. He was honored in October 2014 as one of Asheville's four "Top 40 Under 40."

Emily Mastroianni '10 earned her MA in clinical mental health counseling from Ball State University in 2012 and is working toward her doctorate there. She is one of two Ball State graduate students to receive the Merrell Thomas Marshall Scholarship, which is awarded to students dedicated to diversity and social justice related work.

Lorrin (Pringle) Radzik '10 earned a Master of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology. Rev. Radzik is now pastor of St. James UMC in East Troy, Wis.

Kristina Dodge Harris '10 is pursuing a Master of Divinity from Methodist Theological School in Ohio in Delaware, Ohio.


Full-Time Faculty

John Gordon
Chair, Religion Department
Associate Professor
D.Min, Lancaster Theological Seminary

Robert Fowler
Ph.D., The University of Chicago Divinity School

Alan Kolp
Chair, Faith and Life
Ph.D., Harvard University

Ellen Posman
Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara