The study of religion is an academic discipline utilizing varied and sophisticated methodologies in order to understand and compare the manifold religious expression of humankind. The discipline is not to be confused with Christian theology nor with any other confession of faith. Although the study of religion requires a certain subjective sensitivity to the religious mindset, it seeks to transcend subjective empathy in the pursuit of objective analysis.
The mission of the department is, therefore, to enable students to become conversant with the various and appropriate methodologies used to understand the variety of religions. The mission is, further, to equip the students with the perspective and skills to make meaningful and critical comparisons between different religious traditions. A certain measure of "detachment" as well as "empathy" is required for this endeavor. The department seeks to foster this delicate balance.