REL3700EN - Psychology of Religion

Course description

Introduction to the existential experiences of religion and to the impact that religion and spiritual makes upon the individual’s world view and meaning to life. The student will be introduced to the commonality of myths as an evangelistic tool.

How this course benefits students

The mission field is no longer somewhere “out there.” Dick Essaum notes that we are the first generation of North American immigrants to be hostile to the gospel. The day of confrontational evangelism is over. Today we count conversation and not conversions. The student needs to be equipped to be able to witness in a society that is analogous to the First Century.

Why this course is important

Proverbs 23:7 notes, “As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” Paul writes in Philippians, “Let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,” and in Romans 12:2, Paul notes, “Be not conformed to this world, to be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” We tend to think of Christianity as a heart religion, but it is really a “head” religion. The Christian worker should be equipped to understand his/her own faith development, but in a world of fluid people and moving religious centers, we would be amiss if Christian disciples did not have an understanding of the psychological development of other religions and the impact upon the end product. People moving in and people moving out goes back to Genesis. This will continue to happen, particularly if there are a number of people, some in the thousands and some in the millions. Populations will continue to move oftentimes looking for a positive life. One can join God where He is working and with the hope and freedom that can be found in Him. We have the opportunity to join Him in His mission.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Religion Studies
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

This course is based upon 1 Peter 3:15, “Always be ready to give a reason for the hope that lies within you.” 14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:” Christians in the postmodern world need to understand the differences and the commonalities that Christianity has with other faiths. The Christian will need to be equipped to build bridges on the commonality and share the gospel.

Missionally driven

Whether the student lives in the “Bible Belt” of the United States or somewhere else, s/he finds the mission field right outside the door. Graduates need to know how to handle the truth and not be ashamed.

Contextually informed

We are living in the postmodern and post-Christian world. Christianity is the minority value system in the world and in our nation.

Interculturally focused

This course is designed to equip students to relate to other cultures without being absorbed by them.

Practically minded

This course will give students the practical tools and insights that they need to create and make a difference in their respective communities.

Experientially transformed

This course will not only focus on the ideas and concepts that are taught, but will give them the opportunity to engage people of other faith groups. Students will take what they have learned and apply that learning to their specific environment.