Why study religion?

The religion major urges students to dive into the plurality and richness of texts, ideas and communities within religious traditions, including Christianity.

  • Students develop inquiry and supported argumentation skills by delving into sacred texts and their interpretations through discussion and debate.
  • The department teaches from within the Christian tradition, while still questioning dogma and learning from others.
  • Studying religion enhances students’ imaginations, broadens their intellectual horizons and helps them question custom, prejudice and dogmatism.
Religion at AU

Religion at AU

Course Descriptions

Major Map


Related Programs of Study

Pre-Professional Programs




Latest News

Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, more than six weeks before Easter, is a “meaningful season to so many Christians.” So meaningful that Augustana’s campus pastor decided to build programming around the season — programming now known as Lenten Faith Partners.

Augustana University has added a gender, sexuality & women’s studies (GSWS) minor as of Aug. 30. The minor is another offering within the university’s list of interdisciplinary academic programs developed as part of Augustana’s strategic plan Viking Bold: The Journey to 2030.


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Graduates secure positions in seminary, graduate school and church-oriented vocations in education, medicine, communications and social services. Students have the opportunity to become certified as a church staff worker after completing a 1-year work-study program in a parish in addition to the Augustana degree.

Hands-On Learning

Internship and practicum opportunities include:

  • Chaplaincy at Avera or Sanford Health
  • Local congregations/parishes
  • Bioethics at Sanford Health
  • Bible or book studies at Touchmark at All Saints Retirement Community
  • Church camps
  • Church on the Street

Service opportunities include:

  • Prison ministries
  • Pine Ridge Reservation
  • The Banquet
  • Lutheran Social Services (LSS) mentoring
  • Good Shepherd Center

Faculty members regularly collaborate with students on research projects in areas such as biblical storytelling and theology in medicine. Many religion students choose to present their academic research at Augustana’s Arthur Olsen Student Research Symposium.

Religion students study away in:

  • Germany and Scotland  — focusing on pilgrimage with AU faculty
  • London, England, and Ireland  — focusing on race and religion with AU faculty

Courses & Organizations

Students often choose to take these courses:

  • Story and Theology
  • Hope and the Future 
  • Reason, Faith and the Search for Meaning
  • Judaism, Islam and the Christian Faith
  • Religion and American Culture

The major is designed to integrate with other majors to strengthen students’ overall understanding.

Religion students often participate in:

  • Campus Ministries
  • Better Together
  • Muslim Student Association
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA)
  • Augie Worship Night