The biblical studies major offers courses on the content and interpretation of the Bible, biblical languages and the cultures and lands which provided its original context and informed its earliest interpretation, including a study abroad opportunity in Israel. This major is perfect for anyone preparing for ministry or the mission field, or who is contemplating a career as a biblical scholar or theologian, or for anyone who loves the Bible and recognizes its importance for their lifelong spiritual formation and their ability to live a life shaped by biblical values.
The religion major prepares students to succeed in many professions. Our graduates thrive as pastors, missionaries, professors, social workers, as well as in leadership roles in business and nonprofit organizations. In the 36 hours required for the major, students explore the Bible and Christian theology, as well as the history, sociology, and philosophy of religion. Courses examine not only the Christian tradition in which Samford is rooted, but the many different religions that shape our world as well. Our Preministerial Scholars program offers scholarship support, co-curricular discussions, and internships to help nurture students preparing for ministry. Religion majors are eligible to participate in a fast track option for the master’s degree in social work.
Biblical Studies Minors take courses on the content and interpretation of the Bible as well as on the cultures and lands which provide their original contexts and which informed their earliest interpretation. You’ll learn the various tools, methods and approaches to interpreting the Bible, and you’ll be equipped to discern its message for today’s world. You may also include eight hours of intermediate biblical Greek or Hebrew toward the twenty credit-hours required for the minor. This minor is perfect for anyone preparing for ministry or the mission field, or who is contemplating a career as a biblical scholar or theologian. Some may find it helpful to gain a deeper understanding of the Bible as part of a cross-disciplinary study of its influence on other fields, including history, literature, and political science. For many students it will serve as the perfect complement to a major in Religion or Christian Ministry, or for the personal enrichment of anyone who loves the Bible and recognizes its importance for their lifelong spiritual formation. Students in all majors may take this minor.
Ministry and Missions
This 20-hour (5-course) minor emphasizes courses in ministry, missions, and religious leadership. You’ll learn about the diversity of religions in today’s world, discern your own strengths in ministry, and gain practical skills and theological background. You can choose among courses in ministry and religious leadership to tailor the minor to your needs and interests. Students in all majors may take this minor.
Students minoring in religion have great flexibility in tailoring their course of study to their interests and career plans. Graduates have found that their religion minor helps equip them for many different careers including ministry, education, business, nursing, music, and science. In addition to Biblical Perspectives, all religion minors take Introduction to World Religions. Beyond that you are free to choose four courses from across our religion curriculum. Students in all majors may take this minor.
Theology and Ethics
The 20-hour (5-course) minor in theology and ethics provides a wonderful opportunity to reinforce your Christian foundations, whether you are seeking to establish a foundation for future ministry or seeking to live your life and pursue your goals in light of sound Christian theology and ethics. The minor provides an opportunity for you to strengthen your understanding of God, God's mission for the work to which you are called, and how Christian theology and ethics can and should inform your thinking in every area of life.
Ministry Leadership Concentration
The Concentration in Ministry Leadership within the Religion Major prepares students for many types of Christian ministry. Students take courses in areas such as preaching, pastoral care, worship, spiritual formation, pastoral theology and missions. They also have the opportunity to earn course credit for supervised internships in churches or other ministries. These courses help students to develop practical ministry skills and to gain a deeper understanding of many aspects of Christian ministry. Students also take courses in Bible, theology, Christian history, and sociology that develop their knowledge and skills in areas vital to ministry. Most students choose to participate in a semester-long internship for academic credit during their senior year that provides hands-on ministry experience, an opportunity to explore their calling, and job-preparation activities.