Why study Religion at Maryville College?

Studying religion at Maryville College means learning to understand a complex and rapidly changing world. Religion majors grapple with enduring questions about what it means to be human and they study the rich variety of responses that different human cultures have produced, from the Bible to the teachings of the Buddha. But studying religion also means seeking meaning in the world today: it means contemplating your own place in the universe, understanding why some religious people commit their lives to social justice and others commit violence, examining religious pluralism in the United States, and traveling to any number of our study abroad sites--from India to Argentina to Ghana--to encounter new religious worlds. And religion majors learn skills that are most prized by today’s employers: independent research, precise speaking and writing, and an understanding of diversity.

Maryville College Works is a comprehensive career preparation program that is integrated into the College’s four-year liberal arts curriculum. Key components include assessment, advising, networking and professional experiences.

Meet a current student

Natalie TankersleyNatalie Tankersley '20
Hometown: Knoxville, Tenn.

Natalie chose to major in Religion at Maryville College since the coursework was heavy in two of her favorite subjects, English and History, as well as anthropology, psychology and sociology. And she found extracurricular activities that nicely complement her studies. She is a writing consultant with the College’s Writing Center, an Admissions Ambassador and a co-moderator of the Progressive Christian Community. “Studying religion does not mean I am studying to become a pastor; I find myself studying the world and its peoples with an open mind,” she said. “Every day, my religion classes surprise me with new and interesting information. After I graduate, I plan to enroll at a graduate school to pursue a master’s degree.”

Outcomes of Recent Gradsclick or touch to open

Featured Graduate

Photo of Sarah-DianneSarah-Dianne Jones ’16
Currently: Director of Children’s Ministry at Sardis
Presbyterian in Charlotte, N.C.

As the director of children’s ministry at Sardis, Sarah-Dianne recruits, trains and cultivates relationships with volunteers; selects curriculum for children birth to 5th grade; coordinates and runs fellowship and mission events; and ministers to children as they begin their faith journeys. She credits Maryville College for preparing her for such work. “I am confident in my curriculum choices because I know what’s theologically sound in the Reformed tradition after taking multiple theology classes. I write weekly newsletters, children’s sermons and curriculum without fear or hesitation because I know how to write after spending so much time on my Senior
Study! I am also very aware that not all schools encourage and provide opportunities for internships the way that MC does.”

Carter HabeebCarter Habeeb ’17
Currently: Graduate Student in International Education at American University, Alumni Intern for International Student Exchange Programs (ISEP)

After just weeks of starting a master’s degree in International Education at American University in Washington, D.C., Carter was promoted into a research position with the International Institute of Islamic Thought and hired to work for the College Consortium for International Studies. He was prepared for the opportunities by several experiences at Maryville College: taking advantage of three travel-study opportunities abroad; serving as a peer mentor to MC’s international students; and focusing his Senior Study on the literature on Wahhabism, an Islamic religious movement. “I am so thankful for the Maryville College experience that allowed me to grow so closely to the faculty,” he said. “I know I would not have gotten into grad school with a significant scholarship had I not gone to Maryville.”

Job Placements

Acadia Healthcare
Blount Memorial Hospital
First Presbyterian Church of St. James
Hopkinsville Cumberland Presbyterian Church
Los Angeles Youth Network
Riverside Community Care

Graduate School/Seminary Placements

Asbury Theological Seminary
Boston College Graduate School of Social Work & School of Theology and Ministry
Boston University
Columbia Theological Seminary
Duke Seminary
Emory University
Louisville Presbyterian Seminary
Memphis Theological Seminary
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Union Theological Seminary, New York
University of Chicago Divinity School
University of Edinburgh
University of Leeds
University of Tennessee
University of the South
Vanderbilt University