Religious Studies

The Religious Studies offerings are integral to the liberal arts core of Stritch. Through Religious Studies courses, the student is challenged to examine the religious dimension of human existence. They provide a balanced selection of upper division courses that enable students to acquire a more in-depth background as a major or minor in Religious Studies. Students who major in Religious Studies are prepared to pursue various careers ranging from teaching to parish or societal ministries.

Courses Are Available

Face to Face
Main Campus

Program Details

●  Credits: 120
●  Tuition/Semester: $14,422 (2017-18)
●  Tuition/Year: $28,844 (2017-18)

Requirements for the Religious Studies major are built around four learning outcomes all students should achieve:
  • Demonstrate familiarity with various religious traditions by articulating a foundational knowledge of the Christian tradition and an introductory knowledge of a tradition other than the student’s own
  • Begin to apply various critical lenses of awareness (e.g., historical, cultural, contemporary, ethical, spiritual, scientific, secular) in religious/theological thinking and ritualizing
  • Relate and apply religious understanding and Franciscan values to contemporary issues and problems of human concern
  • Understand religious diversity as a dimension of a globalized society
Religious Studies Major: 36 credits (12 courses)
Each course in the Religious Studies major has been identified with one of the learning outcomes listed above.  The student may choose which courses to take to fulfill the learning outcome requirements.  Note: The required religion course for the Liberal Arts Core will be counted toward the major.  Religious Studies majors are also allowed to take one other 100-level religion course in addition to the required course for the liberal arts core to be counted toward the major.
  • 3 courses from Learning Outcome 1: REL 103, 104, 209, 212, 316
  • 4 courses from Learning Outcome 2: REL 106, 207, 225, 226, 227, 230, 313, 320, 405
  • 2 courses from Learning Outcome 3: REL 105, 220, 343, 345, 350, 356, 360, 465, 468
  • 2 courses from Learning Outcome 4: REL 243, 312, 321, 322
All Religious Studies majors are also required to take one Capstone course which is a culmination and synthesis of all the learning outcomes.  The Capstone version of the course includes a research project. A student can choose from the following courses to use as a Capstone in their Junior or Senior year: REL 308, 313, 405.  
Religious Studies courses and advanced core certificates: A number of Religious Studies offerings contribute to the advanced liberal arts core certificates/minors in Energy and Sustainability (REL 220), Interfaith Studies (REL 312, 316), and Peace and Justice Studies (REL 243, 343).  These courses may also be counted toward the major or minor in Religious Studies.
Religious Studies Minor: 21 credits (7 courses)
The information regarding learning outcomes for the Religious Studies major also applies to the minor.  See information above for choice of courses for each outcome.
  • 2 courses from Learning Outcome 1
  • 3 courses from Learning Outcome 2
  • 1 course from Learning Outcome 3
  • 1 course from Learning Outcome 4 
Religious Studies minors are not required to take a Capstone course.

Certificate in Urban Ministry
Certificate in Urban Ministry may constitute a segment of the Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies degree (36 Religious Studies credits) or the Master of Religious Studies degree (30 credits). Outreach (non-credit) students may obtain a Certificate of Recognition in Urban Ministry.
Completion of the certificate is based on showing competencies in certain skills that may or may not be attained through academic work.  Some of the competencies listed below may be fulfilled through courses offered in either the traditional undergraduate and graduate programs, or through classes offered in conjunction with the St. Clare Center for Catholic Life.  Other competencies may be granted based on previous academic work or on work and life experience.  Urban Ministry Certificate students should meet with their advisor to assess their route towards completing these competencies.
Required competencies for certificate completion (at non-credit, undergraduate or graduate levels):
  • Basic understanding of the theological foundations of church.
  • An understanding of the theory and practice of social justice, especially in the urban setting.
  • Competency in social or interpersonal communication.
  • Familiarity with the organization and functioning of a church community.
  • Knowledge of resources in the urban setting for enhancing the life of an urban congregation.
  • Internship/practicum. 


Courses in Philosophy are designed to invite students into a dialogue with major thinkers throughout history about the meaning and nature of human existence.  Through reading great works by Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, René Descartes, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche, and others, students discover how philosophical ideas have informed the way we understand ourselves and our world today.  The perennial questions asked by philosophers concern realities such as human freedom and knowledge, morality and politics, soul and its relation to the body, God’s existence and nature.  Reading and thinking about these great works inspires students to consider and articulate their own philosophical perspectives.
All students are required to take one of the following to fulfill their Liberal Arts Core requirement: PL 101, 102, 103 or 104. Courses in philosophy encourage students to read and think carefully and critically and provide an excellent preparation for careers in law, business, communications, and education.  Basic to a liberal arts education, the study of philosophy enhances any humanities major. 

Philosophy Minor: 18 credits (6 courses)
A minimum of 18 credits in Philosophy including at least one but no more than two of the following: PL 101, 102, 103 or 104. 

NOTE: Philosophy courses and Advanced Core Certificates: PL 206 contributes to the Advanced Liberal Arts Core Certificate/Minor in Energy and Sustainability.  This course may also count toward the minor in Philosophy.

Transfer Credits You Already Earned

A total of 120 semester credits are required for graduation, with at least 30 major course credits taken at Cardinal Stritch University. A maximum of 90 credits may be transferred from another accredited degree-granting institution and applied to fulfill major course requirements.

In the admission process you will need to provide transcripts from each college or university you attended. We will review the courses you already took to find out what will transfer to Stritch. Download our guide that explains credit acquisition or view a list of institutions we partnered with to establish articulation agreements.

Freshman Applicant Admission Requirements

•  Complete the Admissions Application
Submit the admissions application which is free to complete online.

•  Request Transcripts
Have official high school transcripts delivered directly to the Office of Admissions from your school. We will also review GED scores of 250 or above.

•  Send ACT or SAT Scores
Provide an official score report from the ACT or SAT. High school graduates out of school for over one year do not need to submit scores.


Transfer Student Applicant Admission Requirements

•  Complete the Admissions Application 
Submit the admissions application which is free to complete online.

•  Request Transcripts
Have official transcripts from each college or university delivered directly to the Office of Admissions

Information for International Students

If your prior education was not conducted in English, you must demonstrate proficiency with acceptable scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or an ESL program. Review the  language and academic requirements to know if you are prepared for studying at Stritch. Review the We can also help you obtain an F-1 student visa.


Contact Admissions

Our counselors know that each student is unique, which is why they are ready to help you throughout the entire process. Get started by reaching out to the Office of Admissions.

Office of Admissions 

6801 N. Yates Road
Milwaukee, WI 53217 
Phone: (414) 410-4040 or (800) 347-8822

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Funding Your Education

The undergraduate degree programs are competitively priced to make your education affordable. Our counselors in the Financial Aid Office know how to help students locate all options available for funding their education. Learn more about our tuition and the financial aid process.

Alumni Network

Students, families, and employers know Stritch as a university that helps students find their mission, develop new skills, gain relevant career experience, and expand their professional networks. With a network of more than 34,000 graduates, our alumni are successful in their roles at nonprofits, schools, small companies, health care organizations, corporations, and entrepreneurial ventures.

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