Religion (REL)

REL 189      PRACTICES IN SPIRITUALITY AND SOCIAL CHANGE      Credit: 1

This seminar is paired with REL 190 and serves as a laboratory experience for that class. Through immersive experiences and research the student will engage a social problem and work toward an equitable solution. The seminar is repeatable with alternate subjects.
Corequisite: REL 190.

REL 190      LEADERSHIP IN SPIRITUALITY AND SOCIAL CHANGE      Credits: 2

This course offers the student an opportunity to live out the mission of Concordia University. The student will explore the intersections of faith and life through open conversation on issues of science, society, law, and religion. Through hands-on projects, interaction with individuals who are catalysts for social change, and personal and theological reflection, the student will be better equipped to be a leader who serves societal transformation.
Corequisite: REL 189.

REL 211      HISTORY AND LITERATURE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT      Credits: 3

This course surveys the origins and early history of the religion of ancient Israel and early Judaism. The main objectives are to comprehend the circumstances and causes of the emergence of this religion, to trace its major early developments, to describe the beliefs and practices of ancient Israelite and early Judaism, to understand the books of the Hebrew Bible within their historical and canonical context, and to appreciate how these writings function as Holy Scripture in religious communities, both in the ancient world and today.

REL 211H      HISTORY AND LITERATURE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT - HONORS      Credits: 3

This Honors course surveys the origins and early history of the religion of ancient Israel and early Judaism. The main objectives are to comprehend the circumstances and causes of the emergence of this religion, to trace its major early developments, to describe the beliefs and practices of ancient Israelite and early Judaism, to understand the books of the Hebrew Bible within their historical and canonical context, and to appreciate how these writings function as Holy Scripture in religious communities, both in the ancient world and today.
Prerequisites: Non-Honors students - Approval of course instructor(s) and Honors Program director.

REL 221      HISTORY AND LITERATURE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT      Credits: 3

This course surveys the foundational texts of Christianity, their context, origins, genre, and content. The main objectives are to equip to the student to undertake the study of religion at the university level by understanding authoritative Christian literature within its historical and canonical context, and to appreciate how these writings function as Holy Scripture in Christian communities, both in the ancient world and today.

REL 221H      HISTORY AND LITERATURE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT - HONORS      Credits: 3

This Honors course surveys the foundational texts of Christianity, their context, origins, genre, and content. The main objectives are to equip to the student to undertake the study of religion at the university level by understanding authoritative Christian literature within its historical and canonical context, and to appreciate how these writings function as Holy Scripture in Christian communities, both in the ancient world and today.
Prerequisites: Non-Honors students - Approval of course instructor(s) and Honors Program director.

REL 276      PERSONAL CARE MINISTRY      Credits: 2

Introduces students to active listening, spiritual resources in crisis situations, helping people care, peer counseling, and hospital visitation. Some field work in a local hospital will be required.

REL 288      DEPARTMENTAL SEMINAR      Credit: 1

A reading and discussion course on subjects of general interest to students in a variety of disciplines. Topics are determined in advance and described in the online Course Schedule for each term. May be repeated with unique topics. Upper division credit will require greater participation.

REL 289      MAJOR SEMINAR      Credit: 1

A required seminar of all Religion Majors every year of enrollment, this one hour/week seminar will provide the community of Religion Majors an opportunity to explore deeply a single, narrowly defined topic of religion under the direction of a faculty member. The topics vary from year to year, please consult department for current year's topic.

REL 299E      EXPERIMENTAL COURSE      Credits: 3

Experimental course option varies by term. Please see academic department for course description.

REL 301      MISSIONAL AND PRACTICAL THEOLOGY      Credits: 3

This course enables the student to delve into the study of Christian missions and ministry through the exploration of various subjects (Examples: Theology of Missions, Music, Spirituality, Outreach, and/or Social Ministry.) The student will explore both the theological underpinnings of mission and ministry and its best practices. The course may be repeated with unique topics.
Prerequisites: REL 221 or REL 221 with a D or higher.

REL 302      RELIGION AND CULTURE      Credits: 3

This course introduces the student to the study of religion and culture through the examination of specific religious expressions, institutions, identities, and thier interrelatedness with various historical and contemporary cultural milieus. The student will develop critical understandings of contemporary religious expressions, institutions and identities through study of their historical development and modern manifestations in light of their cultural context. The course may be repeated with unique topics.
Prerequisites: REL 211 or REL 221 with a D or higher.

REL 303      CHURCH HISTORY      Credits: 3

This course introduces the student to the discipline of church history through the exploration of specific eras (patristic, medieval, orthodoxy, etc.), movements, (monasticism, pietism, friars, etc.), or themes (response to heresy, theological development, the papacy, etc.) which comprise church history. The student will develop critical understanding of contemporary Christian expression through the careful exploration of the past. The course may be repeated with unique topics.
Prerequisites: REL 211 or REL 221 with a D or higher.

REL 304      SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY      Credits: 3

This course introduces the student to the study of Christian doctrine and its systematic organization through the examination of specific doctrines, systematic schemes for expressing and Christian theology, or doctrinal matters as they are applicable to church practice or individual piety. The student will develop critical understanding of contemporary Christian teachings for faith and life through study of their historical development and application. The course may be repeated with unique topics.
Prerequisites: REL 211 or REL 221 with a D or higher.

REL 315      WRITINGS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT/HEBREW BIBLE      Credits: 3

This course examines and analyzes individual texts (Genesis, Exodus, Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc.), collections of texts (Pentateuch, Prophets), historical periods (Deuteronomic History, Second Temple Judaism, etc.) and/or themes (Israel law, wisdom, etc.) from the Old Testament. Students will study these texts within their historical, literary, and socio-cultural contexts and how they function as Holy Scripture today. The course may be repeated with unique topics.
Prerequisites: REL 211 or REL 221 with a D or higher.

REL 325      NEW TESTAMENT WRITINGS      Credits: 3

This course examines and analyzes individual texts (Matthew, Luke, Romans, Revelation, etc.), collections of texts (Synoptic Gospels, Pauline Epistles), and/or themes (Johannine Signs, Apocalyptic Thought, Miracles as Performed Parables, etc.) from the New Testament. Students will study these texts within their historical, literary, and socio-cultural contexts and how they function as Holy Scripture today. The course may be repeated with unique topics.
Prerequisites: REL 211 or REL 221 with a D or higher.

REL 332      CAN RELIGION BE RATIONAL      Credits: 3

Westboro Baptist Church. The Roman Catholic priest sex scandal. Islamic terrorism. Israeli aggression. Jim Jones. Religion has sometimes taken forms that are not only hard to comprehend rationally, but are downright dangerous. However, it has also taken forms that have benefited society such as the creation of hospitals, charities, development projects, and care for the weak. This course will investigate the disconnect between a rationality that can serve the world and a perceived irrational religion particularly the Abrahamic scriptural religions. Can such religions be beneficial, rational enterprises?
Prerequisites: REL 221 or REL 221 with a D or higher.

REL 341      ART IN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH      Credits: 2

A hands-on study of traditional and new church symbols from early Christianity to the present. Students explore various artistic ideas for worship today. The course applies to teachers, directors of education, pastors, and lay people.

REL 349      RENAISSANCE AND REFORMATION      Credits: 3

An introduction to the major themes and issues of the Renaissance and Reformation, approximately 1350-1550. The first half of the course explores the Italian origins of the Renaissance, humanism and the politics, literature and fine arts of the period. The second half focuses on Reformation Europe, the Protestant reform movements in Germany, Switzerland and England as well as the response by the Roman Catholic Church.
Prerequisites: REL 211 or REL 221 with a D or higher.

REL 361      INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS      Credits: 3

This course will explore the theory and practice of ethics from the Christian perspective, including an overview of personal ethics and critical examination and discussion of major social ethical issues such as sexuality, abortion, the death penalty, cloning, and assisted suicide.

REL 371      WORLD RELIGIONS      Credits: 2

This course introduces the student to the other major religious traditions of the world: Animism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. Analysis of these religions includes their historical development, basic teachings and beliefs, practices, institutions and cultural expressions. Similarities and differences between various religious traditions as expressions of human spirituality are explored through lectures, discussions, guest speakers and field experiences.

REL 371H      WORLD RELIGIONS - HONORS      Credits: 2

This Honors course introduces the student to the other major religious traditions of the world: Animism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. Analysis of these religions includes their historical development, basic teachings and beliefs, practices, institutions and cultural expressions. Similarities and differences between various religious traditions as expressions of human spirituality are explored through lectures, discussions, guest speakers and field experiences.
Prerequisites: Non-Honors students - Approval of course instructor(s) and Honors Program director.

REL 377      DEPARTMENTAL TOUR      Credit: 1

A tour offered by the Religion Department. Details vary by year. See Religion Department or online Course Schedule for information. May be taken for 0 credit. Repeatable with unique topics.
Prerequisites: Instructor approval.

REL 381      FIELD EXPERIENCE IN CROSS-CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING      Credits: 3

The student will prepare for a practical field experience in cross-cultural mission through anthropological and sociological studies of culture and poverty. The student will gain some skill in the language of ministry and research points of contact for effective witnessing.
Prerequisites: REL 371 with a D or higher.

REL 382      ISSUES BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND ANOTHER RELIGION      Credits: 3

This course will present the theological and historical issues of conflict and commonality between Christianity and the other religion. The student will read the sacred texts of the religion, visit worship events, have guest speakers, and pursue research in order to grasp the inner life of another religion. The student will understand the current relations between the religions and grow in comfort relating to another religion. This course may be taken for credit twice with unique topics.
Prerequisites: REL 211 or REL 221 with a D or higher.

REL 388      CLASSICAL GREECE AND ROME TOUR      Credits: 0

Visit ancient Greek, Roman, and early Christian locales in Greece, Turkey and/or Italy. Details vary by year. Tour is offered every other year. Enrollment in REL 389 or HST 389 is optional.

REL 389      CLASSICAL GREECE AND ROME      Credits: 3

This course offers an examination of the two cultures which laid the foundation for Western Civilization and Europe. The course will investigate the peoples of these cultures (from emperors to slaves), the diverse governments and social structures of Greek city-state (e.g. Athens and Sparta), hoplite and naval warfare, arts, literature, and philosophy, the Hellenistic expansion of Greek culture under Alexander the Great, the rise of the Roman Republic, the growth of Imperial Power under the Caesars, and the transformative impact of Christianity on the Greco-Roman culture.

REL 399E      EXPERIMENTAL COURSE      Credits: 3

Experimental course option varies by term. Please see academic department for course description.

REL 401      FAITH FOR LIFE      Credits: 3

This course provides a capstone experience toward CU's goal of preparing leaders for the transformation of society. Students and instructor will apply basic Christian doctrines to the social issues of our pluralistic society and engage in significant research and reflection on a Community Engagement Project. The student will explore the nature of servant leadership, intercultural engagement, fruitfulness of retrieving religious ideas to understand ourselves and our world, and implications for a meaningful life as a global citizen.
Prerequisites: REL 211 or REL 221 with a D or higher and REL 371 with a D or higher and Junior or Senior status.

REL 401H      FAITH FOR LIFE - HONORS      Credits: 3

This Honors course provides a capstone experience toward CU's goal of preparing leaders for the transformation of society. Students and instructor will apply basic Christian doctrines to the social issues of our pluralistic society and engage in significant research and reflection on a Community Engagement Project. The student will explore the nature of servant leadership, intercultural engagement, fruitfulness of retrieving religious ideas to understand ourselves and our world, and implications for a meaningful life as a global citizen.
Prerequisites: REL 211 or REL 221 or REL 211H or REL 221H with a D or higher and REL 371 or REL 371H with a D or higher or concurrent enrollment and Junior or Senior status; Non-Honors students - Approval of course instructor(s) and Honors Program director.

REL 401N      FAITH FOR LIFE      Credits: 3

This course provides a capstone experience toward CU's goal of preparing leaders for the transformation of society. Students and instructor will apply basic Christian doctrines to the social issues of our pluralistic society and engage in significant research and reflection on a Community Engagement Project. The student will explore the nature of servant leadership, intercultural engagement, fruitfulness of retrieving religious ideas to understand ourselves and our world, and implications for a meaningful life as a global citizen.
Prerequisites: REL 211 or REL 221 with a D or higher and REL 371 with a D or higher and Junior or Senior status; for Nursing majors only.

REL 431      LUTHERAN CONFESSIONAL THEOLOGY      Credits: 3

An introduction to the historic Lutheran Confessions, the Lutheran confessional-theological tradition, and the various contemporary approaches to understanding the Confessions as a distinctive witness to the gospel and as a creative and normative resource for contemporary evangelical theology.
Prerequisites: REL 211 or REL 221 with a D or higher.

REL 460      RELIGION IN THE MODERN WORLD      Credits: 3

The course will orient students to the pervasive nature of religion in all aspects of the modern world with special attention to how social interaction with religious people occurs in contemporary society and influences politics and conflict.
Prerequisites: REL 371 with a D or higher.

REL 480      RELIGION AND LITERATURE      Credits: 3

The goal of this course is to engage the student in a comparative study of selected texts in a particular genre of classic literature, in order to probe their insights into the major issues of human existence. In a given semester the genre may explore fantasy literature such as C.S. Lewis' Narnia, tragic literature such as Elie Wiesel's Night, or comedic literature such as Shakespeare's As You Like It. This course is repeatable for credit with unique topics.
Prerequisites: REL 211 or 221 with a D or higher.

REL 482      INTERNSHIP PREPARATION      Credit: 1

Prepares students to undertake an internship related to the student’s major so that they may better evaluate and comprehend the specific career choice they are considering and to gain valuable experiences that ensure they are career-ready.

REL 483      INTERNSHIP I      Credits: 2

Provides students with real-world experiences in fields related to their chosen or contemplated professions and provides valuable experiences that ensure that students are career-ready.
Prerequisites: REL 482 with a C or higher.

REL 484      INTERNSHIP II      Credits: 2

Provides students with real-world experiences in fields related to their chosen or contemplated professions and provides valuable experiences that ensure that students are career-ready.
Prerequisites: REL 482 with a C or higher.

REL 487      INTENSIVE INTERNSHIP      Credits: 5

Provides a single-semester, intensive internship for students who are highly motivated to complete their internship and graduate under an accelerated timeline. As with all internship experiences, it provides students hands-on experience in their academic field and offers a direct opportunity to understand and evaluate the specific career choices they are considering and to gain valuable expereiences that ensure they are career-ready.
Prerequisites: Permission of the Department Chair and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and completion of Approval Form.

REL 488      DEPARTMENTAL SEMINAR      Credit: 1

A reading and discussion course on subjects of general interest to students in a variety of disciplines. Topics are determined in advance and described in the online Course Schedule for each term. May be repeated with unique topics. Upper division credit will require greater participation.

REL 489      MAJOR SEMINAR      Credit: 1

A required seminar of all Religion Majors every year of enrollment, this one hour/week seminar will provide the community of Religion Majors an opportunity to explore deeply a single, narrowly defined topic of religion under the direction of a faculty member. The topics vary from year to year, please consult department for current year's topic.

REL 492      SENIOR THESIS PREPARATION      Credit: 1

This course is required for students planning to complete a senior thesis. The product of this course will be a thesis proposal.
Prerequisites: Upper division standing as a Religion major; approval of department chair.

REL 493      RELIGION THESIS I: LITERATURE REVIEW AND PROJECT DESIGN      Credits: 2

The first of two courses required to complete the thesis option of the Senior Project for graduation as a Religion major. Students are guided through initial components of the thesis process including literature review, project design, obtaining approval from Concordia's Institutional Review Board (IRB), and the first steps of implementation.
Prerequisites: REL 492 with a B or higher; upper division standing; agreement of a faculty member to serve as Faculty Supervisor for thesis project.

REL 494      RELIGION THESIS II: RESEARCH, WRITING, AND DEFENSE      Credits: 2

The second of two courses required to complete the thesis option of the Senior Project for graduation as a Religion major. Students are guided through the final components of the thesis project, including research, data gathering and analysis, and writing and defense of the thesis. The defense will be a public event open to faculty, staff, students, and community members.
Prerequisites: REL 493 with a C or higher.

REL 497      INTENSIVE THESIS      Credits: 5

Provides a single-semester, intensive thesis for students who are highly motivated to complete their thesis and graduate under an accelerated timeline. Students are guided through selecting and planning a research topic or theme, data gathering and analysis, and writing and defense of the thesis. The defense of the thesis will be a public event open to faculty, staff, students, and community members.
Prerequisites: Permission of the Department Chair and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and completion of Approval Form.

REL 498      INDEPENDENT STUDY      Credits: 1-3