July 27, 2011
Studying all the major religions will be part of the new academic studies major, Bachelor of Arts, an integrated major in Philosophy and Religion that will be offered at Shawnee State University.
"In teaching philosophy, I notice that students have a great interest in anything that touches on religious belief," said Nick Meriwether, Ph.D., philosophy professor. "Probably in this part of the country there is a higher degree of curiosity about religion than perhaps other parts of the country."
Studying the history of religion, Christianity, Islam and Judaism will be part of the course. Although the curriculum is completed, it may not be launched officially until Fall 2012. Students can still take many courses now that will lead up to the new major. Dan Johnson, Ph.D., from Baylor University has been hired to teach some of the new courses.
"He comes highly recommended and we are very happy to have him," Meriwether said.
For the past 15 years since the PHIL 2260, the Philosophy of Religion, has been offered at SSU, the class has grown steadily. In 2005, Meriwether offered a class in Judaism, Christianity and Islam and had a first-time enrollment of 35 with several retired members of the community taking the class.
"Generally, philosophy classes do extremely well at SSU," Meriwether said. "We look for this new major as a wonderful addition to the academic studies here."