Relationships between religion students and faculty extend beyond the classroom.The Religion Department works with other Augustana organizations to support film showings, dinner conversations, service opportunities, and public lectures throughout the year.Such events include:
"Reel Religion" Film Series
Twice a term, the religion majors and minors and their friends meet to watch and discuss a movie that deals with religious themes, while faculty members serve snacks and help guide the discussion.Films for the 2008-09 year may include: The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005), Stranger than Fiction (2006), and The Prestige (2006).
Religion Student Receptions
Once or twice a year, religion faculty and students get to know one another casually while eating really good food, either on-campus or in one of the professor's homes.This is also our time to introduce newcomers to the study of religion and to celebrate the successes of our outgoing majors and minors.
Augustana's Convocation Series and other campus organizations bring well-known women and men to speak on issues facing our diverse and changing world, many of which deal explicitly with religion.The religion faculty frequently attend these lectures with their students and arrange for smaller presentations and discussions in their classrooms.In the 2007-08 academic year, guest speakers included Sister Helen Prejen (author of Dead Man Walking), prestigious Muslim scholar Omid Safi, and a panel presentation on the meaning of Holy Scripture from Jewish, Christian, and Muslim viewpoints.
Service Learning and Internships
As part of the religion department's "senior inquiry" program, all majors work one-on-one with a faculty member while participating in an intensive internship, conducting new research in the community, or enrolling in an independent study.A subsequent term is spent writing and revising a capstone project that analyses the research findings.Our minors and other religion students frequently participate in the many service learning and internship programs of the college as well.For more information, see the Career Center homepage.
Affiliate Centers and Programs
Augustana's religion department is chiefly responsible for teaching the academic study of religion, as distinct from the faith and community formation of campus ministries.Still, many of our students and faculty members are also committed members of religious communities.For many of us, the academic study of religion and the development of religious commitments become two side of the same coin.The religion department therefore works closely with Augustana's Campus Ministries, as well as with the Center for Vocational Reflection, in helping students reflect on who they are called to be and on whom they are called to serve.Programs through the Center for the Study of Ethics, directed by religion professor Dan Lee, are also supported by religion faculty and students.