Religious Diversity in North America

Drawing on the combined resources of the Department of Religion and Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University and the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Waterloo, the joint Laurier-Waterloo PhD in Religious Studies offers a concentration in religious diversity of North America.

Our faculty have varied research interests and also contribute to other university departments and programs, including: Sociology, Anthropology, Jewish Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Social Development Studies, Gender and Social Justice, Fine ArtsandGraduate Theological Studies.

Remote video URL

Why study religion?

A PhD in Religious Studies will prepare you to work in Canada’s multicultural society and participate meaningfully in the global economy. Knowledge of diverse religious traditions and their historical roots, and an increased awareness of different cultural values provides a solid foundation for a variety of careers and community engagement.  

Religion is in the headlines

Turn on any news program, and you will hear debates about a wide variety of topics related to religion, politics, and ethics. Religion sets the stage for today’s world events, from war to peace movements, ethnic cleansing to human rights. It is crucial that we learn about this force that has great potential for both promoting peace and worsening conflict. Discussing and studying religion forms educated, thoughtful individuals. 

Set yourself up for a successful career

Employers want people who can think for themselves and communicate effectively. In Religious Studies, you will learn strong reasoning, writing, and critical thinking skills. You will hone your critical analysis skills while also learning to understand different worldviews. Religious Studies develops key skills that employers look for across disciplines. 

Graduates of our Religious Studies program have gone on to careers in journalism, law, social work, medicine, international development, business, publishing, teaching, counseling, government, and chaplaincy.

Draw connections across time and borders

Studying religion can build tolerance and the ability to understand others. Take a look at this article by Harvard professor William A. Graham: "Why Study Religion in the Twenty-First Century: Greater religious literacy leads to more work for the common good."