Religious Studies / Center for Religious Understanding

Varner Hall, Room 217
371 Varner Drive
Rochester , MI 48309-4485
(location map)
(248) 370-2154

Media Inquiries

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OU professor leads students on memorable trip to London.  Click here to view the article in the Oakland News.  


The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) issued a statement opposing President Trump's January 2017 immigration moratorium.  Click here to view the statement.


Former Secretary of State John Kerry notes the importance of religion and religious studies in diplomatic affairs today


An annual event held each April featuring presentations of scholarly and creative work by Religious Studies students.  Participants receive reviews from panels of faculty discussants and field audience questions.


An annual activity involving interested students from any major to visit multiple houses of worship in the greater metropolitan Detroit area, interact with their leaders and members and share a meal.

Religious Studies

Learn, Change, Grow

Welcome to the Religious Studies programs at Oakland University. The university currently offers a
general concentration in Religious Studies , as well as minors in  Islamic Studies,   Judaic Studies, and Christianity Studies .  In addition, if you wish to major in Religious Studies, you may petition the college “committee on instruction” with a specialized plan of study.  To explore this option, contact the Director, Henri Gooren at

Religious Studies programs offer you the opportunity to examine the world’s religions from an academic standpoint: a poignant, deep and critical examination of their beliefs and histories as well as their cultural, historical and political roles in shaping today’s world. Choosing the independent major, concentration, one of the minors, or even taking several courses, enables you to tailor your electives and some of your general education and writing intensive courses to reflect personal interests. You will gain capacities that help bolster your interpersonal skills, give you a strong ethical framework for life, a stronger and more nuanced sense of self, and a better understanding of our increasingly global and interactive world. 

In addition, combining a minor, concentration, or independent major with other specific degrees can enhance your career marketability. For example, pairing a minor with a degree in International Relations can make you a great candidate for government service or multinational businesses. In short, taking Religious Studies courses or adopting either an independent major, concentration, or minor enables you to
learn, change and grow.

Further engagement with religion may be pursued through the associated Center for Religious Understanding.

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Summer 2023

Religious Studies Program course schedule brochure.  Click here to view brochure.

Fall 2023

Religious Studies Program course schedule brochure.  Click here to view brochure.

Winter 2024

Religious Studies Program course schedule brochure.  Click here to view brochure.