Religious Studies Proficiency Certificate


The Religious Studies Proficiency Certificate is primarily designed to provide supplementary training for those going into social work, education, and health care, to provide a credential for those working in faith-based social welfare or educational non-profit organizations, or for lay and assistant clerical leadership positions in religious organizations, and/or a gateway to an academic degree in Liberal Arts or related fields at the College or at a transfer institution. Students take courses that provide a background to religious and spiritual beliefs, practices and institutions from around the world and the United States. As well as taking introductory courses in comparative religion, students can choose courses that deal with more specialized issues such as death and dying, and the role of spirituality in human services. The Religious Studies Proficiency Certificate can be used in a variety of professions, such as economics, health care, social work, education, and law. Students earning the Religious Studies Proficiency Certificate may elect to continue their education at the College by completing 43 additional credits to earn the A.A. degree in Liberal Arts.

Program Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the Religious Studies proficiency certificate, students will be able to:

  • Compare a variety of religious traditions and recognize the internal diversity of religious traditions.
  • Explain how religions have shaped and are shaped by the experiences and histories of individuals, communities, nations and cultural/geographical regions.
  • Analyze religious texts (written, visual, architectural, aural) and practices, from across the world, using a variety of theoretical approaches.

Program Entry Requirements:

This certificate is open to interested students. Students are required to satisfy placement at the time of admission. Students who are identified as needing developmental course work must satisfactorily complete the appropriate English and mathematics courses as part of the certificate when applicable.

Program of Study and Graduation Requirements:

Successful completion of the program requires a "C" grade or better in each of the courses in the program.

Course Sequence:

Course Number and NamePrerequisites and CorequisitesCredits
ENGL 101 - English Composition or
ENGL 101H - English Composition I (Honors)
 3 credits
RS 101 - Introduction to Religion 3 credits
PHIL 151/RS 151 - World Religions 3 credits
RS 160 - Death and Dying  3 credits
PHIL 152/RS 152 - Philosophy of Religion or
HIST 170/RS 170 - Religion in American History* or
RS 175 - Religions of the Middle East or
RS 180 - Religions of Asia or
BHHS 131 - Faith and Spirituality in Human Services
 3 credits
ENGL 115 - Public Speaking or
ENGL 116 - Interpersonal Communication or
ENGL 118 - Intercultural Communication
ENGL 101, which may be taken concurrently3 credits


* Students in the Liberal Arts program should take RS 170.

Minimum Credits Needed to Graduate:


For More Information, Contact:

The Division of Liberal Studies, Room BR-21, 1700 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA. 19130. Telephone (215) 751-8768; or call the College Information Center (215) 751-8010.