“All religion teaches the virtues of love, altruism, and patience, while showing us how to discipline and transform ourselves to achieve inner peace and a kind heart. Therefore, they are [all] worthy of our respect.” 

~The Dalai Lama


“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”


Addressing Big Questions  

“Studying religion is important to me because it’s a chance to learn how people from all different backgrounds–faith, geographic, etc.–try to tackle life’s big questions. I added a Religious Studies major in addition to an already existing History major and find it so fulfilling. So much of history is driven by religion, and much of how people practice their religion is driven by history. By taking a religious studies class, you’ll have a chance to think deeply and critically, improve your writing abilities, and learn with thoughtful people.”

~Noa Gutow-Ellis, History and Religious Studies Double Major


“When I came to Colby, I was planning on being a Philosophy major. I have always been interested in the metaphysical – questions about the nature of reality, being, and existence. However, after taking Cultural Anthropology with Professor Besteman and A Passage to India with Professor Singh my freshman year, I realized that what really impassioned me was studying how cultures and civilizations answered these questions themselves and came up with their own complex, unique, and history-laden narratives. In studying religion, I feel as though I am studying the history of humanity at its most vulnerable. Understanding a people’s set of beliefs is crucial to grasping why they make the decisions that they do and how that belief system informs their lives. Religious Studies at Colby is multidisciplinary and reaches far beyond the solely religious sphere.”

~Brooke Gentry ’18, Religious Studies Major


“My experience with religious studies courses has been extremely beneficial to my education at Colby. As a history major and religious studies minor, I often find the two disciplines overlapping and interacting. Further, in terms of analyzing current political situations or understanding diverse cultures, I find that religion becomes a pillar of humanity and religious studies, along with history, often works as a tool to understand the world we have today.”

~Danielle Palmer ’18, History Major


Wonderful Staff 

“I have taken RE141 and am currently taking RE212. Both professors were really nice and approachable. Whether it is on Christianity or Buddhism, none of the professors would push the students to firmly believe in the faith yet simply presenting the ideologies behind them. We are seeing the religions as part of our global culture and heritage instead and we are studying them with an analytical point of view. Much recommended to take religious studies classes!”

~Di Hu ’19, Education Major


“….I also became a Religious Studies major because I love studying religion and love taking classes with the professors in the department. Besides providing the basic foundations of religions such as Old Testament or New Testament course, the professors design interesting courses that cover the globe and connect the foundations to the modern day. I often find myself being able to relate something I learned in a religion course to my Econ course or art course or science course. It is a very small department with professors who are very enthusiastic about teaching religion. I have gotten to know each professor in and outside of class, which has enriched my experience at Colby immensely. I always encourage fellow classmates to take religion courses. I have met several seniors or graduates, who took a religion course their senior year and regret not being able to take more. It is a department truth worthwhile to at least take a class or two in if not major or minor in.”

~Kelseyann Poole ’17, Religious Studies Major


Worthwhile Regardless of Other Academic Interests

“I think it is really important for students to engage in religious studies courses regardless of major or personal beliefs. By expanding our understanding of others, we not only learn how people are different, but also how people are similar. Hence, through religious studies, we are able to better understand ourselves and the diverse world in which we live.”

~Cat Ledue ’19, Anthropology Major


“I have always known I wanted to pursue a career in finance, but I wanted to be more well-rounded than just being part of the Econ department would provide me. I see studying religion as my bridge into international business. Religion is every where and a part of every culture. Much of what I have learned through my religion courses will be very valuable throughout my career…”

~Kelseyann Poole ’17, Religious Studies Major