At Hampden-Sydney, students can study religion from four major areas: biblical studies, Christian theology and ethics, American religious history, and world religions. Each year, several religion majors attend seminary after graduation, but the majority of students develop careers in business, law, education, social work, and military service.

Religion has played such a deeply significant role in human history that no one can be deemed liberally educated who has not confronted and responded to this heritage. Reflecting this goal of the liberal arts college, our academic role is to promote broad understanding and critical appreciation of the religious dimension of human experience. We see this academic engagement with our students as the primary goal of our department: to promote the process of inquiry and sympathetic understanding, critical questioning and historical study that is appropriate to each of our disciplines.

Degree Offerings

My religion professor was the perfect combination of scholar and pastor. He taught me about the beauty and complexity of the Bible and of Christianity—but all along the way, he was a caring and compassionate man, who took an interest in me personally during difficult moments of my life.

Henry H. "Chip" Edens III '92, rector


Theta Alpha Kappa Honor Society

Theta Alpha Kappa is a national honorary society founded to recognize the academic achievements of religion and theology students. The local chapter inducted its first class of Hampden-Sydney students in 1991. To be eligible, students must have a 3.5 GPA in Religious Studies and/or Theology and a 3.0 GPA overall.  Residency, class ranking, and unit requirements must also be met.

Theta Alpha Kappa National website

The Charles F. McRae Program

The McRae Program in Religion and Society was established through a generous grant from Dr. Arthur C. Houts in honor of his mentor, Dr. Charles Ferguson McRae. The program intends to foster student discovery of vocation, promote synthesis of engaged learning and moral action, and prepare students for the practice of vocation in the context of a modern, pluralistic society.

McRae Program

Brian McVey '90

Reverend Brian McVey '90, an Episcopal priest by way-of financial broker, has become a leading advocate in the fight to abolish human trafficking, working alongside his parishioners and other activists to rescue victims, support survivors, educate the public, and lobby all levels of governmental and ecclesiastical power.

Brian McVey '90

Religion Department

Dr. J. Michael Utzinger, Chair
Ewing Professor of Religion 
Maples, 023
Hampden-Sydney College | Hampden-Sydney, VA 23943

Religion Department Professors
Information icon