Otterbein Religion and Philosophy Combine Majors to Tackle Complex World

Posted Dec 04, 2020

Otterbein University’s Department of Religion and Philosophy strives to help students understand the world around them – and themselves. A new combination of department majors will do just that for students, but on a larger and more global scale. 

The new Philosophy and Religion major will help students thoughtfully and critically understand a complex landscape of competing worldviews. They will begin to unravel how those worldviews are lived out in practice. Students in the program will tackle big questions about how we should live, how we should organize our communities, how we should pursue justice, and how we make sense of our place in an increasingly polarized society. 

“In a globalized planet full of clashes between religious and ethical worldviews, being able to navigate challenging conversations is an essential skill — one that the new Philosophy and Religion major will develop,” said Andrew Mills, chair of the Department of Religion and Philosophy. 

The major pays close attention to historical and contemporary answers to life’s fundamental questions and helps them formulate their own answers while giving students a deeper understanding of the views of peoples from across the globe. This new combination globalizes traditional Euro-centric concentrations, allowing students to expand their worldview. 

Philosophy and Religion students will develop skills in critical argumentation and in dealing constructively with religious, racial and ethnic differences. The ability to respectfully converse across differences of worldview and understanding those differences is a crucial skill that can pay-off for graduates. 

The wide applicability of Philosophy and Religion provides a unique combination of communication, reading, analytical and empathetic skills that make graduates stronger and more responsible leaders, which potential employers highly value. According to the Educational Testing Services, philosophy majors have the fourth-highest median earnings, more than $81,000 per year, which out-ranks business and chemistry majors. 

“Financial security and doing work that fulfills you are often at odds with each other. The earnings data we see for philosophy graduates nationwide is disproving that notion. This is in turn helping potential students see that you don’t have to abandon a passion in order to be successful,” said Mills.