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Philosophy and Religious Studies

A Connected World Shows the Importance of Understanding All Religions

Learn about the diversity and history of the world's religions.

As a Religious Studies major at St. Francis College, you have the opportunity to become an expert in the fascinating, diverse history of the world’s religions and gain insightful new perspectives on local and world events.

The College is steeped in the Franciscan Tradition of kindness, generosity, tolerance, and respect. This underscores the importance of understanding religions other than your own and learning about their diversity and history.

Religious studies is an excellent preparation not only for graduate work in religious studies, theology or religious ministry, but also for graduate studies and professional work in psychology, history, literature, philosophy, art and social science as well as political science, international affairs, and law.

About the Department


At St. Francis College, Religious Studies aims to enable students to understand and appreciate the religious beliefs and practices of all peoples in historical and cultural perspectives and to offer to each student the means to a disciplined reflection on the life of religious faith. This is done through the core curriculum course required of all students, electives open to all students, and the major and minor in Religious Studies.

In keeping with the Catholic and Franciscan heritage of the College, Religious Studies at St. Francis includes both descriptive study of religious history, literature and practice and constructive inquiry into religious ideas and meaning through the study of religious thought and of ethics with an emphasis on contemporary issues.

Goals & Objectives

  • To provide students with a substantive knowledge of religious traditions and a critical understanding of the enterprise of the study of religion.
  • To develop in students the ability to deal comparatively with the basic themes of religion and to look at issues of religion in the light of evidence and reasonable reflection. Each student majoring in Religious Studies will achieve competence in his or her area of concentration in an overall program of study designed in consultation with the faculty.
  • To foster among students a spirit of positive engagement with religions other than their own through class work, research and site visits.
  • To serve not only the professional aspirations and academic needs but also the personal concerns of all students who enter the program, whatever their religious background or affiliation.
Philosophy and Religious Studies Faculty
Department Chairperson / Associate Professor

J. Christopher Edwards

[email protected]
Office: 718.489.5235 

Jim Freeman

[email protected]
Office: 718.489.5235 
Adjunct Professor

Alexandria Egler

[email protected]
Office: 718.489.5245 
Assistant Professor

Jenny Labendz

[email protected]
Office: 718.489.3486 
Professor Emerita

K. Priscilla Pedersen

[email protected]
Office: 718.489.5235 
Professor Emeritus

Alan Udoff

[email protected]
Office: 718-489-5452 
Student Stories


Our graduates come from all walks of life, with one thing in common: the desire and drive to serve their communities.

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