Emmanuel Introduces New Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Major in Philosophy
January 28, 2011
Emmanuel College is pleased to introduce a new Department of Theology and Religious Studies, in addition to reinstating the major in philosophy for the 2011-2012 academic year. These new offerings will further strengthen the existing programs, enabling students to explore and examine academic disciplines rooted deeply in the mission and tradition of Emmanuel as a Catholic liberal arts and sciences college.
The pre-existing religious studies department was renamed to more accurately reflect Emmanuel's offerings and breadth of faculty expertise. Over the last few years, the department undertook a careful, methodical and comprehensive review of its offerings in an effort to strategically strengthen and introduce a major in theology and religious studies. Since 2005, four new, full-time faculty members have been hired, allowing the department to cover all the areas that define the discipline.
"Religious studies is an indispensable part of the liberal arts curriculum at religious and secular institutions alike, and should be a defining part of the curriculum at a Catholic institution," said Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Department Chair Reverend Thomas Leclerc, M.S. "A major in the field is a public recognition of that reality and signals Emmanuel College's commitment to both its liberal arts mission and its Catholic identity."
The philosophy major, which existed at the College decades ago, has garnered mounting interest from current and prospective students in recent years. According to Chair of the Philosophy Department Dr. Thomas Wall, the philosophy major will not only enrich the lives and careers of Emmanuel students, but is central to them becoming critical thinkers and ethical decision-makers.
"In addition to its inherent value, philosophy has practical value that counts heavily toward career preparation," said Dr. Wall. "Because of the thinking skills they develop, successful philosophy majors are extremely well prepared for today's most interesting careers."