Schools see rise in interest for degree in religious studies

There has been an increase in the number of students who seek a degree in religious studies.
There has been an increase in the number of students who seek a degree in religious studies.

Loyola University has seen a rise in the number of religious studies majors, according to the Maroon. Before 2001, the school had only four students registered for the courses. In the spring of 2011, however, 14 students will graduate with a diploma in this field of study.

Timothy Cahill, chairman of the university's religious studies department, told the news outlet that global crises, such as the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, has prompted more students to pursue this degree.

The nation has seen a similar trend, according to a 2009 American Academy of Religion report. The survey shows that between 1999 and 2009, the number of students who majored in this subject increased by about 22 percent. Religious studies majors at public institutions in particular have increased by approximately 40 percent.

The academy predicts that the number of institutions that offer religious studies degree programs has also consistently increased. Currently, schools such as the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Iowa and the University of South Carolina offer courses of study in this major, according to their websites.

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