Manhattan's approach to the academic study of religion is twofold. One dimension focuses on religious traditions, including the systematic examination of scriptures, theologies, the history of religions and the phenomenology of religion. The second dimension focuses on religion as an element of human experience in relationship to contemporary issues: death, marriage, sexuality, peace and social justice, science and society, and urban problems.
Religious studies is taught by an ecumenically-oriented faculty that assists students in developing an understanding of and appreciation for the traditions and teachings of the great religions and religious movements of the world. The introductory course is a study of the nature and experience of religion. Upon completion of this course, students may select from a wide variety of elective courses, including specialized seminars, to complete their study of religion. A Roman Catholic concentration is offered, and a Roman Catholic cluster in cooperation with other departments may be elected.