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About Us

The Religious Studies Department is comprised of diverse faculty members who are scholars of the world and its great religious traditions. Every student at the College, regardless of major, is introduced to the department through The Nature and Experience of Religion (RELS 110, 152 or 161), a course that examines religion as a human phenomenon and ties it into contemporary culture, touching on issues of death, marriage, sexuality, peace and social justice, science and society, and urban problems.

After completing this course, the sky's the limit. You can choose from a wide breadth of special topic electives, seminars or classes that incorporate a travel or off-site component. New York City’s religious diversity is a wonderful resource for all religious studies majors, and the department encourages this scholarship by bringing guest lecturers and religious experts to campus. As a religious studies major, you will receive a well-rounded liberal arts education and be prepared for the working world with excellent writing and critical thinking skills.

To learn more about our faculty, students and campus events, read our newsletter.

Meet a Religious Studies Major: Derek Smith

Taught by one of his favorite religious studies professors, Derek Smith's class on Mysticism involved traveling to the Bahamas over spring break to visit a Hindu ashram and practice yoga on the beach.

Our Programs

Rooted in Manhattan College’s Lasallian Catholic identity, the Religious Studies Department provides a person-centered education that examines the ways that religion and religious traditions shape our culture, values, relationships and social structures. The department offers both major and minor programs. Additionally, the Religious Studies Department offers a Roman Catholic concentration.



  • Meet our Faculty

    Our faculty are leaders in their fields. Find the complete list of faculty currently teaching in the Religious Studies department.
  • Faculty Emeriti in this Department

    The below is a complete list of living faculty members who retired from Religious Studies department and hold emeritus status

    • Dr. Donald Gray, Professor Emeritus
    • Dr. Stephen Kaplan, Professor Emeritus
    • Dr. John Keber, Associate Professor Emeritus
    • Dr. Thomas McGowan, Professor Emeritus
    • Dr. Judith Plaskow, Professor Emeritus
    • Dr. John Barry Ryan, Professor Emeritus
    • Dr. John Wilcox, Professor Emeritus