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Available as a concentration

By examining the historical development of Christian beliefs through contemporary times, you'll build an understanding of Christianity's place at the crossroads of religion, politics and culture.

Our program focuses on big theological questions raised by the Christian tradition. Who is God? What is the significance of Jesus? What does it mean to be a human being? What is the best kind of life to live? What do we owe the world we live in? 

Curriculum & Courses

RELG-102: Intro to Christian Theology
RELG-207: Native American Religions
RELG-220: Christian Ethics
RELG-250: New Religions in America

Professors and students sitting around a table and talking

Student Experiences

Students in front of Jericho

Linnea Kremer and Xiaoyu Lu in front of the city of Jericho wearing Arab scarves that they bought.

Students looking at maps of Israel

All of students look at their maps of Israel in the van en route to the airport. 

Student riding a camel

Hayley Moe riding a camel in Jericho.

Students shopping in the Jerusalem Bazaar

Morgan Hughes and Chelsea Shaffer enjoy shopping in the Jerusalem Bazaar.

Students swimming in the Mediterranean Sea

Benjamin Cowgill and Zachary Wright go swimming in the Mediterranean Sea.

Students visit Herod the Great's Harbor

The students visit Herod the Great's Harbor in Caesarea.

Student in front of the Sea of Galilee

Jaina Lanum posing in front of the Sea of Galilee at Tabgha where Jesus fed the 5,000.

Student in front of a 4th century synagogue

The class visits a 4th-century synagogue in Capernaum.

Students jumping into an outdoor pool

The students get a break from the heat at an outdoor pool. 

Local Arab helping a Roanoke student put on an Arab scarf

A local Arab helps a Roanoke student put on an Arab scarf in Jericho.

Students having fun in the Dead Sea

Zach Wright and Ben Cowgill have fun in the Dead Sea.

Students in front of Jerusalem

The whole class gets a group shot in front of the city of Jerusalem. 

What Makes Roanoke Different?

The College honors its Christian heritage and its partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America by nurturing dialogue between faith and reason.

Careers & Outcomes

"Going to Roanoke College has helped me get to where I am because I first discovered how much I enjoy studying theology and scripture in my Christian Studies classes. Also, the workload at Roanoke helped to prepare me for the workload at Princeton Theological Seminary."

Brittany Naumann '18



James Peterson portrait shot

Dr. James Peterson is the Charles and Helen Schumann Professor of Christian Ethics at Roanoke, and he is director of the College's Benne Center for Religion and Society. In addition, Peterson is a member of the International Society for Science & Religion. This society, founded in 2002, serves to promote education through facilitating communication between the ideas of science and religion. The society's annual meeting is held every year at its headquarters at Cambridge University, and its other gatherings are held around the globe. 

  • In his most recent book, Dr. Ned Wisnefske probes new questions brought to Christian theology from the sciences. When scientists consider the fate of the universe, the destruction of life on Earth and even of the universe itself seem to be what lies ahead. Wisnefske ponders the impact this impending darkness and destruction might have on Christian faith. As the title of book says, "Could God Fail?" or is it possible that Christians need to adjust their view of what God is doing in the world to recapture true Christian hope?

  • Dr. Ned Wisnefske has created a picture-story book that dives into the ethics of young adults. "The Ought" is written for young adults who wonder where morals originate and why they vary between individuals. Roanoke alumna Renae Dower illustrated the book. 

  • In this scholarly work, Paul Hinlicky transcends the impasse between dogmatic and systematic theology as he presents an original, comprehensive system of theology especially apropos to the post-Christendom North American context.


Roanoke students have gone on to graduate studies at institutions such as Princeton Seminary, Luther Seminary, Duke Divinity School and Vanderbilt University Divinity School.

Understanding the way Christianity interacts with the contemporary world is crucial not only for those interested in ministry, but also for those pursuing careers as diverse as public policy, foreign service, counseling, media and the law. Studies in Greek, Hebrew, Latin, German and French help you to get to the root of original Christian writings, as well as to interpret firsthand major Christian theologians.

We offer a concentration in Theology.