Religious Studies Featured Students

Tatiana BelanichTatiana Belanich ’19
Religious Studies and Journalism Double Major

"The study of religion is an inspiring venture into the depths of the human experience. It’s an awakening of the human soul, an honest striving toward beauty and an exploration of universal longings and desires of the human heart. There is no other pursuit more exciting, nor any study more satisfying — it goes beyond the classroom and seeps into the fabric of our lives. Studying religion not only helped me grow in my own faith, but fostered hope, connection, relationship, understanding, open-mindedness and the recognition and appreciation of our common bonds. I am so grateful to have been part of a major that is not only ever-relevant, but captivating and ever-new.”

Melissa MiglionicoMelissa Miglionico ’17 
Religious Studies and Speech Pathology Double Major

"When I applied to St. Joseph's College for my undergraduate program, I never thought I would become a double major in speech pathology and religious studies. The classes I took on other religions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism, were my favorite because I really got to open my mind and understand the world through a different lens. I know the religious studies classes I took will benefit me in my spiritual and professional life moving forward.”

Meinka HoraMeinka Hora '17
Religious Studies and Psychology Double Major

"I have come across amazing mentors in the religious studies department. I have learned that religion isn’t something that we should fear. The word jihad doesn’t mean what the news tells you it means. There is an infinite list for the names of God. I have learned there is holiness in friendship. The most important lesson I have ever received from my professors in the religious studies department is to never hide. Never let your authentic self disappear. I have realized that religion is the language for spirituality, and spirituality is the relationship with the divine. I discovered a part of myself here and I thank the people who made this experience one of the best I have had in my life. These people are Dr. Petriano, Sister Franck, Professor Leonard and Professor Amideo."

Dana RundbergDana Rundberg '17 
History and Religious Studies Major

"The classes I took in religious studies have been tremendously important in my everyday life. They play a role in not only helping me better understand the history I will teach, since religion has played a role in most world events, but also the diverse students who will make up my classroom. Having knowledge of all major religions will enable me as a teacher to better meet my student’s individual needs and understand their backgrounds... These courses will not only change the way you view the world, but also how you view yourself."

Jillian SternJillian Stern '16
Religious Studies Minor

"Choosing to have a minor in religious studies was probably the best decision I made in college. These classes helped me learn more about myself — they opened my eyes to things I never knew."

Mehdad IslamMehdad Islam '17 
Religious Studies and Computer Technology Major

"Religious studies was a part of my life since I was a young boy becoming a Hafidh. Religious studies has taught me acceptance, tolerance and understanding of all religions in the world. The extensive courses that I have taken here at St. Joseph's College has taught me that there are there are many similarities between religions. Religious studies has intrinsic value to me which I enjoy everyday of my life being a religious person. Knowledge leads to tolerance while ignorance leads to fear; is the essence of my education in this major."

Sarah MayottSarah Mayott '16
Religious Studies Minor

"Religious studies changed my life; both my academic life at St. Joseph’s College and my future career goals. Taking a course on Islam is what made me decide to become a religious studies major and ultimately changed my life. This course had sparked a deep interest in Islam, and made me realize that not only was I extremely interested in other religions and cultures, I also had a passion for protecting a human being’s dignity when there was so much hatred in the world."

Hannah HansenHannah Hansen '16
Religious Studies Minor

"I love my major, but my religious studies courses were something I was fascinated by, and truly enjoyed taking. They opened my eyes to so many wonderful things, helping me see other points of view, new cultures, interesting discussions and truly passionate professors who were not there simply to teach you, but rather to help you to understand complex concepts and more importantly to succeed as a student. These classes were so much more to me than a few credits, and I am so grateful for the experience!"

Megan LaveryMegan Lavery '16
Human Relations and Religious Studies Major

"I would have never expected myself to declare Religious Studies as my second major. Religious Studies courses allow the student to dive into a whole new world of thinking; one in which they question the deep questions of life. I have learned how to connect and respect people on a deeper level. Some people ask me why I chose this major and what I will do with it. Honestly I feel this major chose me. The knowledge I have gained is practical in everyday life and connects people in a time that humanity needs connection the most."

Emily FoxEmily Fox '16
Religious Studies and Philosophy Major

"By taking courses in Religious Studies my perspective has widen and my empathy has deepened. These classes have helped me understand others and myself. I've become more aware of the interconnectedness of everything, and in turn, I've found a connection and similarity between myself and all persons."

Allison WakaAllison Waka '12
Religious Studies and English Major 

"For me, religious studies has broadened my ability to connect with people and the world around me. I am educated on the religions of the world as well as their beautiful diversity and the commonalities shared within their cores. In particular, Religious Studies at St. Josephs College opened me to a world of study I didn’t know existed. It is a study that drives the heart and soul of an individual, often leading you to the most unlikely of places and yet the most striking."