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Philosophy and Religious Studies

Philosophy and Religious Studies at Washburn

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"In unphilosophical minds any rare or unexpected thing excites wonder, while in philosophical minds the familiar excites wonder also." -George Santayana

The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies offers courses that help you develop your skills in logic, critical thought, and intercultural competency, which means the knowledge, skills and behaviors needed to effectively communicate with those from other cultures.

  • Our philosophy graduates have become lawyers, bankers, ministers, priests, college teachers, optometrists and physicians. Some own and manage businesses.
  • Many of our religious studies graduates have continued on to graduate schools of religion and in seminaries of various denominations.
  • Philosophy and religious studies provide an excellent foundation for success in a variety of academic and professional fields and also help students come to a better understanding of themselves and of their world.
  •  On the 2013-2016 GRE exams, philosophy majors had the highest average scores out of all surveyed majors in the Verbal Reasoning and Analytical
    Writing categories. Religion and theology majors had the second highest average scores in both of these categories.

Majoring in Philosophy

There is no question that the study of philosophy pays off, and it does so in numerous ways.  Some of the benefits come right away.  You might think of these as personal benefits.  Taking philosophy classes – in particular, majoring or minoring in philosophy – can be one of the most intellectually rewarding and stimulating things you can do while you are a student at Washburn.

Click here to see the degree plan for a philosophy major

Our approach to philosophy

Philosophy focuses on fundamental questions concerning the nature of reality, knowledge and values. Philosophers seek to understand the true nature of reality and of humankind.  Philosophers also help develop ethical standards – the basic moral norms which govern our choices and actions.

Click here to learn more about our approach to studying philosophy

Majoring in Religious Studies

The major in religious studies is designed to take full advantage of Washburn University’s unique resources as a public municipal institution in a state capital city. Courses will focus on religious traditions and communities from around the world as they are found in the modern United States of America.

Click here to see the degree plan for a religious studies major

What is it like to pursue Religous Studies?

Religious Studies is not just the study of religion. It begins with serious reflection on what we mean by "religion" and whether we all mean the same thing when we say it. Is religion a universal human phenomenon?  Is it, in fact, the very thing that makes us human?

Click here to learn more about our approach to religious studies

Amy Jill Levine at Thomas King Lecture

Thomas L. King Lecture in Religious Studies

The Thomas L. King Lecture in Religious Studies was established in 1982 by a gift from the First Congregational Church in Topeka from funds donated in memory of Thomas L. King, an alumnus and benefactor of Washburn.  The series enriches the Religious Studies program at Washburn by providing a forum for students, faculty, and persons from the greater Topeka community to become familiar with the work of leading scholars in the field.

GET IN TOUCH WITH Philosophy and Religious Studies Department

Philosophy and Religious Studies Department
Morgan Hall, Room 206
1700 SW College Ave.
Topeka, KS 66621

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Washburn University prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, veteran status, or marital or parental status. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Dr. Pamela Foster, Equal Opportunity Director/Title IX Coordinator, Washburn University, 1700 SW College Ave, Topeka, Kansas 66621, 785.670.1509,

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