May 30, 2024  
2016-2017 Academic Catalog 
2016-2017 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Religion and Philosophy

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Walter C. Bouzard, Chair; Bonita R. Bock; Brian C. Jones; Judith A. Jones; Kathryn A. Kleinhans; Kunihiko Terasawa

Wartburg College understands itself as a community of faith and learning. Course work in religion helps students understand the Christian heritage, increase ethical sensitivity, gain understanding of and respect for other religions, and explore the relation between faith and life. The principal mission of philosophy is to foster in its practitioners a critical, reflective attitude. Thus, it provides students with tools to broaden narrow perspectives and analyze values, ideologies, and commitments.

During May Term, students may complete traditional courses on campus, participate in field experiences in a parish or church-related agency, take part in a Denver, Colo. immersion, visit Reformation lands, or participate in an archaeological dig.

The Religion and Philosophy Department offers several majors, minors, concentrations, and endorsements. Students are also encouraged to consider religion or philosophy as a second major to complement another area of academic study.

Intended Student Learning Outcomes


Students will:

  1. interpret the content of the Old and New Testament writings in relation to the social and historical contexts from which the texts emerged.
  2. explain the formative influences of the biblical traditions upon Western civilization and illustrate their significance for contemporary life.
  3. demonstrate a critical understanding of the relationships among religious beliefs, institutions and social structures, and practices in changing historical contexts.
  4. articulate the common human quest for meaning and will show respect for diverse religious and philosophical expressions of this quest.
  5. articulate and critique their own ethical values and engage in constructive public dialogue with others whose values may differ.
  6. analyze and construct a critical response to issues of societal concern using basic elements of ethical theories and moral reasoning skills.

In addition, the various church vocations concentrations will equip students to:

  • demonstrate practical skills required for ministry through a program of contextual education within the chosen concentration, including internships and/or immersion experiences.
  • be employed in their chosen area of ministry or to be admitted into graduate or professional schools.
  • develop qualities of respect, engagement, and thoughtfulness appropriate for religious leadership in a pluralistic society.


Students will:

  1. demonstrate the ability to communicate concepts effectively orally and in writing.
  2. be able to read accurately, evaluate arguments and engage in analytical writing.
  3. demonstrate the ability to think critically and demonstrate the clarity or conceptualization.
  4. be able to differentiate good from unpromising philosophical questions.
  5. have sufficient mastery of the primary texts to be able to come to a reasoned judgment with regard to the various perspectives offered in the relevant secondary literature.
  6. be able to sustain an argument of substantial scope, showing control over logical, argumentative, and evidential relations about its parts.


Christian Education

For additional information on teaching majors and endorsements, see Education  Department listings.

Church Music

See Music .

Global Service Emphasis

Students complete the intercultural studies minor  in addition to the religion major.

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