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Students in Prof Benton's Chinese Religion class on a field trip


“I often say that if I headed back to college today, I would major in comparative religions … That is because religious actors and institutions are playing an influential role in every region of the world and on nearly every issue central to U.S. foreign policy.”
               -Secretary of State John Kerry, September 14, 2015

Why Study Religion?

The study of religion has been one of the most important fields of academic study since the first colleges and universities were formed! There are many reasons to study religion:

  • Religion is a powerful and often central part of the lives of individuals and groups

  • Religion is an important factor in contemporary politics, business, and international affairs

  • Studying religion develops an understanding of people and groups that is useful for any career path

  • Studying religion teaches important skills (critical thinking, good writing, detail-oriented reading) that prepare one for future success

What Do We Study?

We study the roles religion plays in human life:

  • The richness and diversity of human religious life

  • Similarity and difference within and among religious traditions

  • Questions of meaning as raised around the world

  • Connections among religion, culture, and society

Double Majors

The study of religion enriches studies in other disciplines. Our students often double major. Some recent double majors include: 

  • Neuroscience
  • Economics
  • Psychology
  • International Relations
  • Politics
  • Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Modern Languages 

Photo Galleries

View All Majors & Minors
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2267-majda-elezovic-rahmanovic-10"><img src="/live/image/gid/69/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,185,236/34876_majda.rev.1480719037.jpg" alt="Majda Elezovic-Rahmanovic ’10" title="Majda Elezovic-Rahmanovic ’10" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="185" data-max-h="236"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “I think sometimes its hard to picture what career paths are open to religious study majors, but trust me there are plenty.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/2267-majda-elezovic-rahmanovic-10">Today, Majda uses her religion major in her role as a community outreach director at the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Florida.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="https://www.lakeforest.edu/live/news/7028-three-book-deal"><img src="/live/image/gid/187/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,300,199/32309_peyton_.rev.1464280130.jpg" alt="Peyton Rose ’01" title="Peyton Rose ’01" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="300" data-max-h="199"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “The study-abroad programs offered by Lake Forest are among the nation’s best.” Peyton Rose ’01 recently published his first fiction novel, based on Lake Forest College.</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="https://www.lakeforest.edu/live/news/7028-three-book-deal">Ultimately, the off-campus study programs convinced Peyton to attend Lake Forest, where he majored in philosophy and minored in religion.</a>