Religious Studies

Religion plays a major role in shaping and influencing various cultures, and historical and political movements across the globe. Thus, understanding religious traditions and their impact on diverse modern issues is vital preparation for building a career in our global marketplace.

Religious Studies involves examining the history of religious traditions, comparing the ideas and values of different religious systems, and understanding the place and function of religion in society. Students of religion investigate why people are religious, where religion comes from, and how it should be defined and understood. Thus, Religious studies gives students opportunities to interact with many different local, regional, and global issues.

We offer Minor,Joint Honours and Major Plans for undergraduate students, a wide range of popular elective courses and a unique and innovative one-year MA Program in Religious Studies. We welcome students in our mission to advance knowledge of the world's religions and cultures at one of Canada's leading research universities.

Top 5 Reasons to study Religion:

  1. Study Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism, Hinduism, Islam, and the Indigenous traditions of North America.
  2. Understand the impact of the world’s religious forces on culture and identity.
  3. Critically think, analyze cultures, evaluate current affairs, and make decisions in a global context.
  4. Examine how religion impacts a wide variety of cultural expressions.
  5. Acquire intercultural literacy.
“My degree in Religious Studies taught me how to think outside the box. Specifically, I learned how to approach problems from different perspectives and how to be innovative with my analysis and arguments.”
                                                                                                                                 -Robyn Agoston, BAH ‘05
Theological Hall
Room number: 
Adnan Husain
Departmental Administrator: 
Levanna Schonwandt
Graduate Chair: 
Sharday Mosurinjohn
Undergraduate Chair: 
Richard Ascough
Undergraduate Assistant: 
Allison Gowanlock
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - BAH

Major in Religious Studies
A major is an intensive course of study in one discipline, with approximately half of your courses within the discipline with room for an optional minor in any other Arts and Science discipline.

Joint Honours in Religious Studies
A dual course of study in Religious Studies and any other Arts discipline.

Minor in Religious Studies
A minor is a less intensive course of study in the discipline that must be combined with a major in another discipline.

Internship option available

For a full list of Degree Plans, see the Academic Calendar

Graduate Degree Options

Religious Studies - MA


Alumni Career Statistics

  • 7% of alumni work in  BANKING & INVESTMENT
  • 14% of alumni work in RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS
  • 51% of alumni work in EDUCATION 

Where could Religious studies students go after graduation??

  • Advertising
  • Archives
  • Business administration
  • Counselling
  • Cultural affairs
  • Education
  • Ethics
  • Faith-based leadership
  • Foreign service
  • Human resources
  • Human rights
  • Immigration services
  • Industrial relations
  • International development
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Library sciences
  • Family and labour relations
  • Museums
  • NGO field work and administration
  • Patient advocacy
  • Politics and government
  • Public and private research
  • Public policy
  • Public relations
  • Research
  • Social services
  • Teaching
  • Tourism
  • University professor

Taking time to explore career options, build experience and network can help you have a smooth transition to the world of work after graduation. Note that some of these careers may require additional training.


The School of Religion comprises eight tenured faculty who hold PhDs in religious studies or theology from top-ranked institutions. Most courses are taught by this core faculty, including introductory level courses. The School also employs adjunct faculty whose expertise supplements the core faculty. From time to time the school draws on expert faculty from other university departments for some courses. Teaching is supported by a team of well-trained and hard-working Teaching Assistants.

The School of Religion is home to innovative research and publications in a wide range of fields. Faculty members have won significant grants from provincial, federal and international granting agencies to carry out leading-edge research on aspects of religion in the modern and ancient world. Our publications have also received critical acclaim and prestigious awards. In addition to the publications of faculty members, our master's students produce research essays on a diverse range of topics, some of them published in peer-reviewed journals.

The award-winning faculty at the School of Religion undertake academic research into the religions and cultures of the world and religious issues emerging in the Canadian landscape, and have research links to universities globally.  Teaching and research range over some of the major religious traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Daoism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, and focus on key geographic regions such as China, Europe, India, the Middle East, and North America.

In the past few years, faculty research and publications have included...

  • Pain, Pride, and Politics: Social Movement Activism and the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in Canada (Amarnath Amarasingam, 2015).
  • “What God Does Not Possess: Moses Mendelssohn’s Philosophy of Imperfection” (Dustin Atlas, 2019)
  • Associations in the Greco-Roman World: A Sourcebook (Richard S. Ascough, Philip A. Harland, and John S. Kloppenborg, 2012)
  • Islam, Democracy and Religious Modernism in Iran 1953-2000: From Bazargan to Soroush(Forough Jahanbakhsh, 2001)
  • “Political subjectivation, mestizaje, and globalization: Constructing citizenship in assistance and development programs in the Peruvian Andes” (Jorge Legoas, 2014)
  • “For Boredom: A Conceptual Network of Cultural Objects” (Sharday Mosurinjohn, 2020).
  • Spirituality, Sport, and Doping: More than Just a Game ((Tracy Trothen, 2018)
  • Sacred Spaces and Transnational Networks in American  Sufism (Shobhana Xavier, 2018).

Religious Studies courses offer a variety of approaches from which to examine societal matters through courses such as Religion and Violence, Religion and Sport, Mythology of the Ancient Near East, Religion and Sex, Yoga in India and Religion and Film. At the same time, the program offers in-depth study of traditions such as Hinduism, Islam, Daoism, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, and the Indigenous Traditions in North America.

Course Spotlight
RELS 240: Magic, Witchcraft, and the Supernatural
Studies the differences between the categories of religion, magic, witchcraft, the supernatural, etc., as constructed in scholarship, popular culture, and practice. Focuses on examples such as new religious movements, depictions of magic in film and TV, moral panics over alleged occult practices, and the histories that let us make sense of them.


Students apply to Queen’s Arts (QA) through the OUAC (Ontario Universities Application Centre) website ( ENG4U, plus five additional 4U/M courses. Applicants outside of Ontario may have additional requirements. Visit for additional information regarding requirements and admission to Queen's.

Religious Studies (BAH)
OUAC Code:
QA (Kingston Campus)
QB (Concurrent Education, Kingston Campus)
QIA (The Castle)
QIB (Concurrent Education, The Castle)

See full admission requirements

After first year, in May, students will declare their area of study (major, minor, specialization, e.g.). The thresholds are competitive year to year and do change. The 2017-18 thresholds for Religious Studies are: open PENDING LIST or 1.9 Cumulative GPA for AUTOMATIC ACCEPTANCE. 

Information on plan selection