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Teaching and Learning

Mission & Goals of Religious Studies

When you study the world's religious traditions, you learn about the histories, literatures, practices and beliefs that have shaped human societies. You study rituals and festivals that organize perceptions of time and place, disciplines that develop modes of attention,  and ideas of holiness, justice, love, and beauty through which human beings have expressed their highest ideals. You develop tools to understand the complex ways that people across history and around the world oppose oppression, justify violence, understand their bodies, and give meaning to their lives.

Off-Campus Study in Religious Studies

Grinnell offers opportunities for students who want to continue their studies off-campus. Religious studies majors have lived in Hindu communities while studying in India, immersed themselves in the religious culture of Japan, studied with Buddhists scholars, and learned Hebrew in Jerusalem and Arabic in Cairo. Students also have arranged internships at Neighborhood Capital Budget Group and the Iowa Bureau of Refugee Services. One student held a summer internship that combined work among Hispanics in inner-city Chicago with the study of Catholic liberation theology.

Major Declaration

When the student declares a major, he or she is responsible for securing an adviser in the major department and completing a Declaration of Major form which includes a comprehensive four-year plan. Usually this planning is done with both support from the first adviser and consultation with the new adviser in the major department. As the new adviser in the major department you should feel free to ask the student to revise the plan before signing off on it. Of course, plans should be free from technical errors: the course decisions and credit counts should allow the student to graduate!

Family Weekend

On behalf of the entire College, the Division of Student Affairs invites all families to Family Weekend 2016. The dates for Family Weekend 2016 are Friday, September 16, through Sunday, September 18. Plan now to attend this fall!

Weekend Activities

Family Weekend 2016 is the perfect opportunity to spend time with your student, meet faculty members, and become better acquainted with Grinnell College. Past Family Weekend activities have included:

The John Mohan Russian Study Award 2013

Sydney Devine-Rausch ’13 and Sharon Tan ’14 received the 2012-13 John Mohan Russian Studies Award 

Devine-Rausch will be studying at Kuban State University in Krasnodar, Russia, and Tan will travel to St. Petersburg to study Russian on an SRAS program.

The John Mohan Russian Study Award provides students who have seriously pursued the study of Russian with an opportunity to develop their language skills in the Russian-speaking world.

The award enables Grinnell College students to pursue a intense language study during the summer after their second year, or a language study or a project of their own design after graduation.

Funding was raised by three devoted friends of the Russian department: Diane Fisher Perkinson ’82Sharon McKee ’82, and Emily Silliman ’81.

 Счастливого пути!

About Us

At Grinnell, all studies take place within a liberal arts framework, focusing on the study of German literature and culture through the contexts of the arts, history, social history, philosophy, and politics.