North Central College - Naperville, IL

Religious Studies

Why choose religious studies at North Central College?

You’ll better understand your neighbors—whether they live next door or around the world—so you’ll be better prepared to teach, serve others, minister in your faith tradition or pursue any other vocation you choose. In North Central’s religious studies program you’ll examine the world’s major religions and consider their global influence. Your exploration of some of life’s most challenging questions will lead you to the fields of philosophy, history, psychology, sociology, ethics and ministry.

You may also:

  • Analyze sacred texts and secondary sources.
  • Hear guest practitioners discuss their religious traditions.
  • Conduct research in areas that interest you.
  • Become involved with The Union, a weekly event that incorporates music, art and film into spirituality.


The North Central College Board of Trustees grants tenure, approves promotions to faculty members effective with the start of the 2016-2017 academic year.
North Central students are engaged in growing, new academic program that offers linguistic and cultural focus on the Middle East and North Africa.
North Central College recognizes high-achieving students for academic and co-curricular excellence throughout their college careers on Honors Day.



  • Assistant program director, Mountain Tennessee Outreach Project, Coalmont, TN
  • Intern, Junior/Senior Scholars, Naperville
  • Intern, Humanitarian Service Project, Carol Stream, IL 

Graduate School

Recent graduates in religious studies have been accepted at:

  • Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
  • Chicago Theological Seminary
  • Vanderbilt University
  • DePaul University
  • Illinois State University


Recent graduates in religious studies include:

  • Youth support worker, Geneva Foundation
  • Minister of discipleship, First United Methodist Church of Waukesha
  • Coordinator of college-age ministry, Calvary Church
  • Associate pastor and ordained elder, Glenview United Methodist Church
  • Associate pastor of congregational care, Brentwood United Methodist Church
  • Pastor, Roselle United Methodist Church
Religious Studies major, History of Ideas minor

After majoring in religious studies and minoring in history of ideas, Tyler is much closer to realizing his goal of becoming an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church.

“The opportunity to study the phenomenon of religion from a global perspective will complement my focused graduate work in the Christian tradition.”

Tyler appreciated the relationships he formed as a result of his studies at North Central. He had ample opportunities to gain mentors and have individual conversations with professors.

“I was blessed with faculty who truly cared about me as a person.”

Tyler felt supported by his professors and peers in any challenges or opportunities he encountered as a student...

Religious Studies and English Studies double major

“North Central stands out because the professors come from all different faith backgrounds and it doesn’t affect how they conduct their classes. They challenge students in all areas in a good way.”

Luke hadn’t planned on adding religious studies as a second major, but the classes and faculty interaction reminded him how much he enjoyed studying religions. In fact, his studies strengthened his own Christian faith and redirected his future. He plans to serve in campus ministry and attend seminary.

“For an independent study, my professor challenged me to go deeper than I normally do and asked me probing questions. I was able to write a good paper and present it at two conferences.”

It hasn’t...

Religious Studies major

After becoming the first person in her family to graduate from high school, Anitta hadn’t planned to attend college.

She’s glad her youth minister forced her to fill out applications. She’s also glad—after being accepted at every school she applied to—she settled on North Central.

“The ministry and service opportunities far exceeded those at other schools,” says Anitta, who was initially attracted to North Central because of its Methodist affiliation. “The education I’ve received here has surpassed anything I could’ve hoped for. Not only have I been prepared academically, but I've also had the opportunity to...

Religious Studies

Nicole transferred to North Central because something was missing from her previous college experience.

“I took a tour here and fell in love,” she says. “It’s a wonderful place to learn about your passion.”

Nicole’s passion is religion. She’s enjoyed working closely with faculty members to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of her own faith tradition as well as others. The religious studies department hosts a “mindfulness meditation” series that gives students a taste of religions from all over the world.

“You get to look at faith from many different points of view. You grow intellectually, analytically and spiritually. There’s a wide variety of classes and each professor has a...

Religious Studies major

As a religious studies major, “You think deeply about some really big issues of life, faith and worldview. I can think of no better place to do that than at North Central College,” says Lauren. “Even if you don’t have a religious tradition, the knowledge gained in this field is so diverse that the possibilities for its application are endless.”

A standout in academics and service, Lauren was chosen as Outstanding Major in Religious Studies, conducted research about the Native American nations and presented her findings at Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research. She was involved with a music worship group performing at the College’s weekly Focus services, served as co-president of the United Methodist...