Mission Statement, Goals, & SLOs

The Comparative Religion and Humanities Department: Mission Statement

The Comparative Religion and Humanities Department at California State University, Chico exists to (1) educate students in the scholarly interpretation of the phenomenon of religion and the world's major religious traditions, together with the arts and ideas of a variety of world traditions in their historical, religious, cultural, social, and linguistic contexts; (2) cultivate understanding of and respect for cultural and religious diversity (and non-religious perspectives) as an integral part of education for citizenship in a pluralistic society and world; (3) advance the disciplines of comparative religion and humanities through a commitment to scholarly inquiry, research, and discussion; and (4) promote informed public dialogue about religion and the humanities, including their roles in political, social, and cultural conflicts.

The B.A. in Religious Studies: Mission Statement

The B.A. in Religious Studies at California State University, Chico exists to (1) educate students in the scholarly interpretation of the phenomenon of religion and the world’s major religious traditions; (2) cultivate understanding of and respect for religious diversity (and non-religious perspectives) as an integral part of education for citizenship in a pluralistic society and world; (3) promote an understanding of how religion relates to other human domains and may be approached methodologically; and (4) develop critical thinking, effective communication, and research skills in the study of historical and contemporary cultures of the U.S. and the world.

Goals & Objectives

Graduates of the CSU, Chico Department of Religious Studies will:

  • G1.  Possess essential knowledge of the historical emergence, cultural contexts, scriptural and oral traditions, teachings, practices, and contemporary expressions of the world’s major religious traditions.
  • G2.  Comprehend the component forms of religious life, including ritual, myth, doctrine, philosophy, ethics, and material culture.
  • G3.  Understand how religion informs and is informed by other dimensions of human experience and knowledge, such as gender, ethnicity, social organization, politics, economics, and science; and how religions are used both to support and to critique social structures and institutions.
  • G4.  Achieve competence in the interdisciplinary, comparative approach to the study of religion, which employs the tools and perspectives of such disciplines as anthropology, sociology, philosophy, theology, ethics, history, psychology, and literary theory.
  • G5.  Acquire the skills of critical reading, listening, and reasoning that foster conversation and enrich civil and academic discourse about religion.
  • G6.   Develop the ability to communicate effectively in speech and writing in a variety of formats.
  • G7.  Master the research skills and methods appropriate to the contemporary study of religion, including library and Internet research.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

  • SLO1. Students can define and identify the history, beliefs, and practices of major world religious traditions and basic concepts in the study of religion.
  • SLO2.  Students can explain how religion shapes and has been shaped by other cultural systems in history using major theories in the study of religion.
  • SLO3.  Students can use methods employed by the discipline of religious studies to analyze primary and secondary texts.
  • SLO4.  Students can engage in civil dialogue regarding religious and secular viewpoints and values.
  • SLO5a.  Students can make clear, well organized, and substantive written presentations.
  • SLO5b. Students can make clear, well organized, and substantive oral presentations.
  • SLO6.  Students can produce a research project that demonstrates facility with traditional and electronic religious studies resources, and the usage of appropriate scholarly style and citation formats.