Although we structure learning in every course to emphasize application of knowledge and abilities in true-to-life settings, it is in Alverno’s experiential learning program that our majors refine their understanding of professional practice. Every Alverno student is required to complete at least one internship placement. For religious studies majors with an area of study in secondary education, that placement is student teaching. Our other majors are placed at sites related to one of the various roles of religious studies practitioners in the community.
Some recent internship placements have included the pastoral ministry departments of major medical centers and rehabilitation hospitals, parish offices of religious education, the Archdiocesan central office, and Lutheran social services agencies. Students work between four and eight hours per week under the direct supervision of on-site mentors. These religious studies professionals have worked with Alverno faculty to promote close integration between on-site experience and the weekly interdisciplinary experiential learning seminar on campus.
The specialist in religious studies is particularly well prepared to be adept in assessing personal value and belief systems and in understanding the values and beliefs people share in groups. The religious studies graduate can make valuable contributions in varied areas of human service and development.
A student in religious studies who integrates in her learning experiences relevant support areas increases her options for employment. For example, religious studies coupled with a management or adult education support area leads to positions such as director of religious education or program manager of parish adult education centers.
Through an ongoing process of identifying and refining religious questions and of using collaborative problem solving, you develop skills essential for theological inquiry and for responsible coping with contemporary issues.