Student Outcomes in Religious Studies

Stephanie Finamore ’14 is pursuing a master’s of divinity degree at Louisville Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

Emily Parker '18 is currently teaching English in Colombia thanks to a Fulbright Fellowship. During her senior year at Juniata, she earned a Student of the Year award, in the liberal arts category, from the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Employers. 

Katie Shoemaker ’16 is currently enrolled at Penn State University’s School of Medicine.

Brittnee Shope ’17 is employed as a mental health technician at Universal Community Behavioral Health in Three Springs, Pa.

Becca Strohm ’13 is employed through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, where she instructs K-12 students in restoring Portland’s watersheds with Green Team, in Portland, Ore.

Shayna Yeates '15 is employed as a manager of community development at Health Union, LLC, a diverse group of online health communities designed to provide support and resources to those living with challenging diagnoses and conditions.

Religion Focus

We provide training for students highly focused on religion for its own sake. These students are fairly clear they want to have a future in religion at some level. This training is largely preparation for graduate school and seminary. To date, we have placed students at Drew University, Naropa University and the American Theological Seminary among others.

Incorporating Religion

We provide training for students interested in the incorporation of the academic study of religion in a non-religion related field. Some of these students go on to graduate school. Recent placements include University of Michigan and Vanderbilt University.

Understanding Religion Better

Perhaps students are interested in making sense of a religious heritage in the face of modern scientific worldviews. Perhaps they want to understand the motives behind highly newsworthy events like 9/11, Vatican politics or the power of evangelicals in the Republican Party. Finally, many of our students are themselves religious and want to enrich their understanding of a particular religious heritage, explore a religious tradition they find fascinating, or seek to heal from damage they believe has been inflicted on them by a repressive religious upbringing. These students seek to be culturally informed citizens who can better interpret the vital roles of religion in national and international human behavior.

We welcome and support all these outcomes but are especially inclined to believe that the third category is the true service our department provides to the college. No corner of the cultural landscape is untouched by religious belief and behavior and educating an informed citizenry for public life is crucial to our mission in the liberal arts setting. We view the liberal arts as "liberating arts," and one of our core values is the Enlightenment goal of freeing minds from the tutelage of passively inherited customs so that students can make informed judgments regarding religion for the rest of their lives.