Mission Statement

Our mission is to educate students, university colleagues, and the broader public about the ways religion shapes and is shaped by global societies.

This mission is paired with a vision of a vibrant community of scholars and students engaged in free academic inquiry who are curious and capable of attending to detail and nuance in a complex world, taking religion as its area of exploration. This department is explicitly committed to the liberal arts tradition and to fostering both an international and pluralistic perspective. We uphold standards of excellence in close reading, critical thinking, and effective communication, all of which are embedded in our undergraduate and graduate curricula.


We, the faculty of UNC Charlotte’s Department of Religious Studies, strive to help students understand the complex histories and lived realities of religious traditions; to remember that no religious tradition is a single, monolithic reality; and to avoid making broad, sweeping judgments about any large group of people. Not only are these the best practices of the academic study of religion, but as scholars of religion, we are keenly aware of the devastating and catastrophic harm that occurs when people fail to abide by them. We share the concerns of our professional organizations, the American Academy of Religion and the Society for Biblical Literature, that failure to understand and interpret religion, religious history, and religious identity thoughtfully hinders the free exchange of ideas, distorts public understanding of religious traditions and religious difference, threatens the safety and well-being of faculty and students, and undermines the basic values of the educational mission of the modern university.

As employees of the state of North Carolina, we are prohibited from using the authority of our positions or the funds and supplies of the university to support or oppose any political candidate or issue, but as scholars of religion dedicated to providing exemplary undergraduate and graduate education and addressing the needs of the Charlotte region, we are obligated to use our classrooms and our scholarship to help our students and other audiences understand how to engage the reality of religious complexity well and the terrifying consequences of doing that poorly.