Religion and Philosophy
Greetings from the McMurry University Department of Religion and Philosophy. We provide a superior theological education — exploring Christianity from its roots to the challenges of contemporary culture.
As a faculty, we come from some of the most-respected institutions in the world and regularly publish work both nationally and internationally. We are here to encourage and support your intellectual and spiritual growth. We know exactly what it takes to foster academic excellence and a deep spiritual understanding of theology, ethics, the Bible, the history of the Christian church and other cornerstones of Western thought. We strive to ensure that what you learn at McMurry will be relevant to your own development and the career to which you are called.
Areas of Study
The study of religion and philosophy broadens the mind and strengthens the soul. We offer three undergraduate degrees, as well as several minor programs.
Christian MinistryStudy the nuts and bolts of ministry and prepare for a seminary education with a degree in Christian ministry. This program will also equip you for entry-level ministry positions in a wide range of schools, churches and nonprofit organizations. McMurry’s Christian ministry degree is a great way to begin a religious service career or prepare for a role in pastoral care or counseling. In addition to gaining a solid biblical and theological education, you’ll learn the practical skills of ministry, including pastoral care, the art of preaching and how to prepare a worship service. With this solid footing, you will also be prepared to enter any of the nation’s best seminaries or divinity schools or to begin your career in wide range of service-oriented vocations. At McMurry, you can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Christian ministry or a minor in Christian ministry. Christian Ministry
Pre-MinistryMcMurry’s pre-ministry program gives you the background you need to enter the seminary or pursue other graduate-level studies. You’ll gain valuable knowledge and skills by studying diverse subjects such as biblical studies, history and philosophy. McMurry’s pre-ministry program has no single major or minor. You’re encouraged to major or minor in religion and/or psychology, but you can select classes from any liberal arts topic that encourages thinking, writing and speaking about human society — especially history, psychology, English and philosophy. You’ll also complete an internship with a local church or ministry to gain real-world experience working with faith communities and people in need. Pre-Ministry
ReligionStudy the big questions in life, understand and explore religious diversity, and investigate the ways Christianity (and other religions) bears on contemporary culture. A religion degree will provide you with the skills needed to navigate today’s changing, global society. You’ll enrich your understanding of Christianity as a world religion, grow in your personal faith and explore the broad diversity of contemporary Christian thought. You’ll learn with teachers and fellow students who are fascinated by the beauty and power of the Christian faith and who seek to better understand the human experience in our diverse and global settings. You’ll work in small groups with an excellent student-teacher ratio that ensures personalized attention and encouragement. At McMurry, you can earn a Bachelor of Arts in religion or a minor in religion. Religion
Philosophy (Minor)A minor in philosophy helps you appreciate morality, truth, reason and faith more completely and reflectively. You’ll study the work of the greatest philosophers of all the ages, including Aristotle, Plato, Saint Augustine, Kierkegaard, Kant and Wittgenstein. Our excellent student-to-teacher ratio will ensure that you get the individual attention you need to gain every possible benefit from your studies. As the philosophy minor is so closely integrated with the other offerings of the department of religion and philosophy, you’ll be able to relate what you learn to your major field of study in great depth. Philosophy
Greek (Minor)A minor in Greek will provide you with insight about the culture and history of the ancient Greek world, and its role in the rise of modern civilization. Greek is essential to the study of religion, philosophy and ethics and is also relevant if you are pursuing an advanced degree in law, pharmacy, dentistry, chiropractic, nursing or medicine. A Greek minor also satisfies the core language requirement for your bachelor’s degree and enriches the study of any major that McMurry offers. Greek
Ethics (Minor)A minor in ethics helps you develop critical thinking skills from multiple theoretical and practical perspectives. You’ll gain interdisciplinary training in ethical reasoning, frameworks and methods that will allow you to make positive and informed contributions in your chosen field of work. The ethics minor is complementary to many of McMurry’s degree programs, from religion and philosophy to pre-law, business and healthcare. McMurry’s ARTICULATION AGREEMENTS with partner institutions further offer a seamless transition for students planning to continue their education in a graduate or professional program. Ethics
ScholarshipsDr. George Steinman Scholarship—given to an upper-class student majoring or minoring in our department and maintains a high GPA.
Rev. Cal C. Wright Ministerial Scholarship—given to an upper-class student majoring or minoring in our department with an interest in entering Christian ministry after graduation.
Casto and Birdie Peek Religion Scholar—given to any student (but typically freshmen) majoring or minoring in religion or Christian ministry and is an active member of a church.
A'Della S Drew Scholarship—given to Christian ministry majors interested in a career related to the church.
Iva Libby Gray Endowed Scholarship—given to any student intending to enter into ministry upon graduation.
Ada May Hedrick Scholarship—given to male students preparing to enter ministry in the Methodist tradition.
Elizabeth and Lance Webb Scholarship—given to upper-class students intending to enter a United Methodist seminary upon graduation.
Dr Timothy W Guthrie Sch Religious Ed—given to students dedicated to serving in the United Methodist Church and major in religion or Christian ministry.
Mr and Mrs Joe T Smith Scholarship—given to students interested in Ministry and who are involved in extracurricular activities and have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA.
- Student preacher at local Methodist churches
- Youth worker at local churches or at your home church
- Children’s worker at local churches or at your home church
- Camp counselor
- Other positions of ministry in church or para-church contexts
Theta Alpha KappaMcMurry is home to the Alpha Lambda Kappa chapter of Theta Alpha Kappa. TAK exists to encourage, recognize and maintain excellence in religious and/or theological studies, and it is the only national honor society serving the needs of those involved in the study of religion and/or theology at both the baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate levels of higher education. Membership is open to local chapter nominees who maintain a 3.5 GPA in religious studies and/or theology and a 3.0 GPA overall.
The Alpha Lambda Kappa chapter plans activities to promote a greater sense of community among those who share an interest in the study of religion and theology while developing lasting friendships with other religious studies students. Our chapter is also committed to local community service. Theta Alpha Kappa
Departmental Honors and AwardsEach year, the department of religion and philosophy presents one or more Cal C. Wright Scholarships to students showing outstanding potential for Christian ministry, as well as the George Steinman Award to the junior religion major with the highest academic standing. These awards carry substantial financial scholarships for the recipients.
Honors ProgramIf you like to aim high and achieve more, you may want to pursue departmental honors by completing an honors research project and writing an honors thesis. Honors Curriculum
Global Learning EndorsementThe Global Learning Endorsement provides an opportunity for students to highlight academic achievement in global/international studies on their transcript. This endorsement will provide helpful documentation of the student’s expertise for employment in an increasingly globalized world. Learn More
CareersAn undergraduate education in religion and philosophy is an excellent foundation for a broad range of careers and advanced study.
- Associate Pastor
- Children’s Director
- Community Development
- Discipleship Pastor
- Law School
- Nonprofit Organizations and Ministries
- Regional Social Work
- Research Assistant
- Seminary or Divinity School
- Senior Pastor
- Small Group Leader
- Translation and Interpretation of Ancient Texts
- Worship Leader
- Youth Pastor
Join the Ranks of Accomplished AlumniA high percentage of McMurry’s religion and philosophy graduates pursue careers or advanced degrees in religious service or the seminary. This record continues the success our graduates have achieved for decades. Recent graduates have received full tuition scholarships to Duke Divinity School, Emory University Candler School of Theology, Harvard Divinity School and Southern Methodist University Perkins School of Theology.You’ll find McMurry religion and philosophy graduates leading the way in a wide range of fields:
- Academic Research
- Advice and Counseling
- Governmental positions with the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations and others
- Religious education at the secondary and college levels
- Religious service