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Center for Religious Studies
Office: Wood 124
Mail: Martin 126
University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO 64093
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The origin of the Center for Religious Studies dates back to the 1980s when both faculty and students urged the administration at Central Missouri to support the teaching of religions on campus. Since 1990, when the center was formally constituted, numerous students have taken courses as electives, participated in the minor, and designed their own individualized majors. Rel 1510 Exploring Religions is now a choice for a foundational class in the general studies curriculum.
Why Study Religion?
One of the questions that is asked often by students is, "Why study other religions?" The national report on Religion in the Curriculum answers this question by saying, "To be thoughtful citizens, to vote intelligently, to relate constructively to one another in schools and colleges, students need to understand as much as possible about the diverse religions in which they live."
Enhance Other Fields of Study
Studying religions can enhance any field of study. The global environment of the 21st century most certainly will ask people to be sensitive to diverse cultures, ethnic-origins, and sexual orientations. Understanding the roots, beliefs, and practices of other religions can foster respect and sensitivity toward your neighbor and co-worker.
The center seeks to be non-sectarian. Religion and faith is often a personal and private enterprise. Many are uneasy about discussing something that means so much to them. In our classes both the conservative and the radical should feel at home because we respect the opinions and religious traditions of all of our students. We seek to be open-minded and analytical without being judgmental.