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About Religious Studies at Linfield

female student with her eyes closed as if meditating or in prayer

Studying religions means feeding your curiosity

Do you like to ask big questions? Maybe you've considered these:

  • How do our beliefs and values influence our daily actions?
  • How does belonging to a community, religious and otherwise, shape the way we think about ourselves?
  • How do stories, religious or not, help us create meaning and purpose in our lives?

Then your journey on religious exploration has already begun! We’d be thrilled to help you explore even further in the Department of Religious Studies at Linfield.

Exploring different perspectives

Religions identify various problems in the world and in ourselves, and they offer various solutions. Religions contain great plurality. In our classes, you will encounter many perspectives as we explore how different religions have asked and answered the big questions of life.

Our Department of Religious Studies will help you to articulate your own answers to your big questions. We will also encourage you to take your questions beyond the classroom – into the real world!

Beyond the classroom

Our classes will enable you to gain firsthand experiences in our local community with trips like:

  • A Friday prayer at a mosque in Portland
  • A Shabbat service at a synagogue in Salem
  • Evening devotions at a Hindu temple in Tigard
  • A meditation and ritual service at a Tibetan Buddhist temple in Portland
  • A Sunday service at a historically black church in Vancouver, WA
  • A Trappist monastery in nearby Lafayette, OR

Your studies can take you around the world

Immersing yourself in cultures and religions delivers some of the best most meaningful learning experiences you could ask for you. You could have opportunities to travel around the world to study:

  • Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in Jerusalem/Palestine
  • Buddhism in Nepal and Bhutan
  • Religion and Sports in the United Kingdom

Our expert faculty will help you create your own plan of study with courses tailored to your personal interests. Several of our courses toward a religious studies degree are cross-listed with other programs, like history, political science, gender studies, environmental studies and sport management.

For those who wish to go deeper, we also offer independent studies and specialized language courses in Biblical Hebrew, Greek and Sanskrit.

Religious studies alumni profiles

Life After Linfield

campus in the fall
Anthony Kesler '06
campus in the fall
Solving difficult problems through text analysis
"The analytic skills that I learned at Linfield in reading classical languages and analyzing texts have served me well."
sunlight through the tree tops
Quinn Riesenman
sunlight through the tree tops
Growing awe and wonder
"I encourage anyone in the fortunate position to choose their field of study to make their decision from a place of love and curiosity. Study what you're interested in."

Contact us

For more information about religious studies at Linfield, please feel free to contact our department chair. We look forward to connecting with you!

David V. Fiordalis
Department Chair and Associate Professor
900 SE Baker St, Pioneer Hall, Unit A600, McMinnville, OR 97128