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.
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.
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.
Born at Hampden-Sydney during his father's undergraduate years, new College Chaplian Keith Leach '81 has truly come full circle. He shares his journey to faith, to ministry, and back to Hampden-Sydney.