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Philosophy & Religious Studies Student Opportunities

  • Philosophy Religious Studies Logo

    Explore the Possibilities

    In the Philosophy and Religious Studies programs at Saint Francis University, you will have plenty of opportunities in the classroom and beyond. Below are just a few of the opportunities waiting for you as a future Saint Francis student.

  • Interdisciplinary Study & Service

    Interdisciplinary Opportunities

    Religious studies is by its very nature interdisciplinary, making use of insights from philosophy, theology, anthropology, sociology, history, and psychology just to name a few. Our faculty embodies this quality, and work alongside all of our diverse programs, from the Health Sciences to Business to Environmental Engineering to Education.

    Religion and Philosophy Major. New to our curriculum is a combined major in Religion and Philosophy, which brings together both departments and lets students explore the various ways people from different disciplines examine issues.

    Our major is a popular double-major. Because our major requires 33-credits, many students double major or minor (15 credits) in Religious Studies, complementing degrees in the Health Sciences, Business, Education, Social Work, Foreign Languages, etc.

    Courses like Compassionate Caregiving, Religion and Science, and Sports Ethics compliment some of the university’s most popular majors.

    We support global service. We have traveled Physician Assistant majors to Africa, Honduras, and Mexico, and Environmental Engineering majors to Bolivia. If you want to serve in a global context, we will prepare and help you to make this dream a reality!

    Senior Capstones. Our capstones are known for being creative and fun. Currently, one Physician Assistant student has begun a project designed to demonstrate that love impacts service, not only for giver, but the receiver; service with love protects and secures the dignity of the recipient. The student will travel to Nicaragua and create a photo journal and scrapbook for future students participating in the HUGS United service trip.

    Service opportunities

    Service is at the heart of our university’s Franciscan identity, and at the heart of this department. Majors are encouraged to make service central to their major, bringing together classroom learning and community service. We actively support the Dorothy Day Center, located on our campus, giving students the chance to become part of a “family” of people who serve local people. At the DDC, students engage with clients by offering food, clothing, heating, child-care, and all-around fun.

    Research, Internships, & Clubs

    Undergraduate Research & Presentations

    Once students become grounded in the fundamentals of the discipline, we encourage them to pursue their own research interests. We also encourage them to present their work at professional conferences and publish in undergraduate journals.


    Newly added to the curriculum, students interested in entering the workforce are encouraged to do at least one internship. Doing this helps majors gain real world experience, while broadening their professional network.

    Clubs and Organizations

    Theta Alpha Kappa Logo

    Theta Alpha Kappa (Alpha Gamma chapter), ACHS member - National Honor Society for Theology/Religious Studies

    Delta Epsilon Sigma Logo

    Delta Epsilon Sigma - National Catholic Honors Society

    SFU Philosophy Club - Opportunities to become an active member and hold an office

    Conferences & Institutes

    The North American Undergraduate Conference in Religion and Philosophy

    NAUCRP Logo

    Now in its sixth year, NAUCRP brings together the finest undergraduates in the region and nation to share their research. Our majors are encouraged to attend and present.

    The Consortium for Educational Resources on Islamic Studies

    CERIS Logo

    The Consortium for Educational Resources on Islamic Studies is a collaboration of academic, nonprofit, and religious organizations in the tri-state area serving students like you with conferences, classes, events, trips, grants, and scholarships. Saint Francis is a founding member of CERIS and all of our students are welcome to participate in CERIS activities.

    Ethics Institute

    The Saint Francis University Institute for Ethics exists to raise consciousness about ethical concerns within our local communities and to work with policy makers of various organizations who are concerned about corporate responsibility and ethics.

    Organizations play an increasingly important role in shaping the context of people's lives throughout the country and the world. Those concerned about the quality of human life must take seriously the impact of these organizations; both the contributions they make and the problems they present.

    Schools, churches, businesses, hospitals, and a wide variety of other organizations have all recognized the growing demand for moral accountability. Recognizing the Judeo-Christian culture in which we live, realizing that work in corporate ethics must operate ecumenically, and convinced of the contemporary relevance of Franciscan values, the Saint Francis University Institute for Ethics is prepared to take a leadership role in this effort.

    2013 Annual Ethics Lecture was at 7:00 p.m on Friday, March 22, 2014 in DiSepio 213. Randall Stephens presented "Evangelical Anti-intellectualism in Modern America."

    2014 Annual Ethics Lecture was held at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 in the JFK Auditorium. Ibrahim Abdul-Matin presented "The Green Path: Developing a Shared Ethic for Protecting the Planet."

    2015 Annual Ethics Lecture will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art. Rev. Thomas J. Reese, S.J., Senior Analyst for the National Catholic Reporter will present, "The Ethical Vision of Pope Francis."

    Study Abroad

    Our department offers religious studies courses in study abroad programs in France, Mexico, and Bolivia, along with the opportunity to take theology courses in Austria.

    • In France, our students study the religious architecture and pilgrimage sites surrounding Ambialet.
    • In the Yucatan Peninsula, at Playa Del Carmen Mexico, they delve into the countries’ rich, Franciscan, religious history while learning Spanish and serving at a local orphanage.
    • The Bolivia site offers students the chance to learn about environmental issues associated with mining, while actively engaging in service with the locals in La Paz and around Lake Titicaca.

    Additionally, our department has supported student-designed projects in Nicaragua, Africa, Honduras, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. If you have a project in mind, we will do everything in our power to make it happen. We are open to studying and serving with you. If you want to travel while you learn, SFU is the place to do it!