"Study abroad allows our students to immerse themselves within other traditions, to speak with adherents, and to gain experience of another religion and culture that will undoubtedly aid their facility with an era of increasing globalization."

-- Steven Sacks, Assistant Professor of Religion 

Why Study Religion at Cornell?


“Religious truth must be developed from knowledge acquired when our ordinary sense and intellectual operations are at their highest pitch of discipline.”
— Alfred North Whitehead

The academic study of religion is an essential ingredient in a liberal arts education because religious beliefs and values lie at the core of human cultures. We believe that understanding religions requires both critical intelligence and sympathetic imagination.

Our students develop skills of careful reading and clear writing as they wrestle with fundamental questions of human life and the powers that shape our destiny. Our courses involve the close reading of classic texts from a wide variety of world religions, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Several of our courses intersect with other disciplines and address modern approaches to spiritual studies and practice.

With Cornell’s One Course At A Time (OCAAT) schedule, students can move beyond the textbook for a term or longer to observe and experience a variety of cultures and belief systems in countries such as Mongolia, Morocco, Israel, India and Japan. Also thanks to OCAAT, students of religion have the flexibility to undertake month-long internships in settings such as hospital and college captaincies, churches and other religious organizations, and social service agencies.