The joint Waterloo-Laurier PhD program in Religious Studies offers three innovative facets:
North American Focus
The program concentrates on the diverse nature of, and interactions among, the religious traditions and movements of Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean. The emphasis is largely, although not exclusively, contemporary, in order to understand the religious complexity of the North American continent, essential textual and historical background is provided.
Multidisciplinary Theories and Methods
The program is multidisciplinary in two ways: in its admission of students from a variety of related disciplines and in the faculty, courses, and research that students encounter. Faculty have expertise not only in religious studies but also in related disciplines such as anthropology, history, philosophy, psychology, and sociology. In addition, the program utilizes adjunct faculty from related departments at both universities. The program, designed for students with either religious studies or other, closely related backgrounds, employ both fieldwork and textually oriented methods.
The PhD is designed to meet the needs of individuals who have various professional or vocational objectives. In addition to training those who intend to be scholars in religious studies or related disciplines, the program is designed to attract administrators, artists and media professionals, counselors, journalists, religious officials, social workers, and teachers. Therefore, the program stresses the need for public intelligibility in communicating religious studies scholarship. In addition to emphasizing writing skills, the program cultivated and evaluates speaking as well as other public performance skills. The program fosters in students both a focus and a flexibility that will serve them well in a job market that requires adaptability, creativity, and the ability to be articulate in public situations.