When you enroll in a religion and politics course or declare a religion and politics minor, you are simultaneously granted a host of advocates who want nothing more than to see you succeed in the classroom and beyond. If you are taking a course, your principle advocate will be your instructor; if you declare a religion and politics minor, your principle advocate will be the director of Undergraduate Studies.

Faculty advisors in the Center will advise you specifically on your course of study in religion and politics and how your coursework here may complement and fulfill distribution requirements for graduation. Advisors in the Center will not replace your primary faculty advisor in your major or your four-year advisor.

If your major requires a senior thesis, faculty in the Center on Religion and Politics can be invited to advise your research, analysis, and writing. Please keep in mind the timeline required for your thesis and allow yourself plenty of time to discuss and arrange advisement with religion and politics faculty.

The Minor

A minor in religion and politics provides an opportunity for exploring in sustained ways how religion and politics have intersected in American culture, both in historical and contemporary terms. As part of the program, students may examine any number of issues, including church-state relations, religion’s role in shaping gender and sexuality debates, religion and electoral politics, public conflicts over the nexus of religion and science, and religion’s entwining with reform movements (from abolition to environmentalism).

The religion and politics minor is an interdisciplinary program that combines resources from the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics with relevant offerings from other academic programs, including Religious Studies, Political Science, History, American Culture Studies, African American Studies, English, and Women and Gender Studies. Designed to complement and contribute to students’ major fields of study, the minor also aims to augment the undergraduate education of those considering postgraduate professional programs in public policy, education, law, medicine, or social work.

You may declare your Religion and Politics minor by logging into WebSTAC and following the instructions, and then meeting with the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Center on Religion and Politics.

Requirements (Updated Spring, 2019)

  • 15 Units of coursework, including:

–  L57 RelPol 201: Religion and American Society (3 units) OR
–  L57 RelPol 210: The Good Life between Religion and Politics (3 units) OR
–  L57 RelPol 225: Religion and Politics in American History (3 Units)
This requirement should be completed prior to the second semester of the junior year.

  •  12 additional units, nine of which must be 300 or 400 level, and nine of which, at any level, must be taught by Center faculty.
  • Attendance at five events sponsored by the Center on Religion and Politics (lectures, colloquia, lunch discussions, film screenings).  You must inform the Director of Undergraduate Studies of the event you attended so this can be recorded for your record.

For more information, please contact Professor Marie Griffith at (314) 935-9345.

Travel and Research Support

Limited funding is available to Washington University undergraduate and graduate students for travel to academic conferences and research archives. For more information, please see here.