Course Summary
Credit Type:
ACE Course Number:
Organization Course Number:
This is a self-paced course. Students have up to 60 days to complete
Dates Offered:
Credit Recommendation & Competencies
Level Credits (SH) Subject
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 Humanities or Religion


The course objective is to gain mastery of the basic concepts integral to the study of religion and will demonstrate how these concepts apply in real world situations; explore key components of religions as they apply to a range of different belief systems; and explore the role of religion in modern society.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify common elements of religions
  • Analyze religion's impact on individuals, society, and the world
  • And evaluate social, ethical, and cultural topics through the lens of religion
  • Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to investigate the major approaches to studying religion

General Course Topics:

  • Purposes for studying religions
  • Reasons for studying religion
  • Role of religion in modern life
  • The religious impulse
  • Religion and the individual
  • Religion and origins
  • Religion and the family
  • Religion and society
  • Defining religion
  • Origins of religion
  • Religion as myth
  • Religion as culture and social convention
  • The sacred and the profane
  • A definition of religion
  • An overview of religions
  • Categorizing religions
  • Primal religions
  • Judaism
  • Christianity
  • Islam
  • Hinduism
  • Confucianism
  • Buddhism
  • Other Eastern religions
  • Approaches and methods of studying world religions
  • Phenomenology
  • Theology
  • Historical approaches
  • Comparative religion
  • Philosophy of religion
  • Sociology of religion
  • Common elements of religions
  • Sacred and transcendent
  • Summum Bonum
  • Judaism and Yahweh
  • Christianity and the Trinity
  • Islam and Allah
  • Hinduism, Brahman, and Atman
  • Taoism and the Tao
  • The transcendent in primal religions
  • The problem
  • Suffering
  • Sin
  • Death
  • Evil
  • The solution
  • Mysticism
  • Sacramentalism
  • Silence
  • Action
  • Religious narratives
  • Transmission of the teaching
  • The nature of religious narratives
  • Early creation stories
  • Parable, myth, and allegory
  • Revelations
  • Philosophy and doctrine of world religions
  • Animism and related beliefs
  • Monotheism
  • Theism vs. deism
  • Polytheism and henotheism
  • Atheism
  • Non-theism
  • Religion's impact on individuals, society and the world
  • Fear and wonder
  • Death and eternity
  • Social convention
  • Humanism, atheism, and nihilism
  • Gender
  • Economics
  • Law
  • Family structure
  • Societal structure
  • Morality and ethics
  • Marriage, family, and sexuality
  • War and peace
  • Duties and law
  • The environment
  • Overview of ritual and material culture
  • Holy places
  • Architecture
  • Festivals
  • Pilgrimages
  • Life cycle events
  • Sacred objects
  • Religion in government
  • Religious states
  • Separation of church and state
  • National religions
  • Religious and political issues
  • Atheistic states
  • Religion in global affairs
  • Many 'worlds' in one
  • Religious wars and violence
  • Liberation theology, economic inequality, and social justice
  • Religious inclusion and exclusion
Instruction & Assessment

Instructional Strategies:

  • Audio Visual Materials
  • Case Studies
  • Computer Based Training
  • Lectures
  • Practical Exercises

Methods of Assessment:

  • Case Studies
  • Examinations
  • Quizzes

Minimum Passing Score:

Supplemental Materials

Other offerings from SOPHIA Learning, LLC