The Religion and Public Life minor will offer students a way to explore and connect diverse conversations about the role of religion in public life. Bringing together a wide array of courses to choose from, the Religion and Public Life minor will have an interdisciplinary emphasis and be composed of six courses, one introductory course and five electives.

Expectations of undergraduates who minor in Religion and Public Life

The aims of the Religion and Public Life minor are to form undergraduate students who are able to:

Understand and narrate the history of religious and cultural interactions across the U.S. historical landscape.

Speak knowledgeably about what comprises a religiously diverse society-- its constructions, conflicts, and common goods—both within the American tradition and in international contexts.

Understand varying roles of an engaged citizenry and the political consequences of religious associations.

Ask difficult questions that lead to analyses of the moral consequences of public policies.

Articulate what the 'Common Good' might look like in a pluralistic society.

Courses

The introductory course will be a focused and constructive seminar conversation about the various intersections between religion and public life, focusing on the American context. Listed as a theology course (THEO 3253), the introductory seminar, "Religion and American Public Life," will be taught by the director of the minor. All students entering the minor will take this introductory course first. During the course, students will meet with the director to determine which elective courses are the best fit for their interests and, if needed, will be connected with another faculty member who will assist in recommending electives.

These electives will form a "cluster" that narrows the focus of the minor to consider the individual student's interests in religion and public life, either within or expanding beyond the American context. This "cluster" consists of five electives, including at least one "advanced elective." An advanced elective is a writing intensive course that should be taken near the end of the student's fulfillment of minor requirements. The elective courses must be chosen from at least two departments outside of theology. 

Example of Elective Clusters

  • Religion and the Arts
  • Religion, Culture, and Media
  • Religion and Political Philosophy
  • Religion and the Social Sciences
  • Religion and American Politics
  • Religion and International Politics

When the student has completed all six minor courses, the student will be expected to write a short paper (no more than 1000 words) reflecting on their studies in the minor, the relationship between courses in their "cluster" and their major, and how what they have learned may impact their future beyond Boston College. Students who have completed the minor will be expected to give a brief presentation of this reflective paper at a spring reception for affiliated faculty, staff, and fellow students involved in the Religion and Public Life minor.

Application

Students are eligible to begin applying for the minor at the start of their sophomore year. 

The application requirements include:

  • The student's personal information;
  • Resume or C.V.;
  • A degree audit;
  • A 250 word statement of purpose explaining interest in the minor, and why applicant is qualified and a good fit for the minor.
     

Application Form