Tackle big questions about how we should live, pursue justice, and make sense of ourselves in an interdisciplinary community of activist scholars.

Department of Philosophy & Religion

The Department of Philosophy and Religion (PHRE) is home to an exciting and innovative major for free thinkers. Together, we seek to make sense of a complex landscape of competing worldviews as they are lived in practice. We tackle big听questions听about how we should live, pursue justice, and make听sense of ourselves in an interdisciplinary听community of听activist scholars.听

PHRE majors can study issues related to听Race and Ethnicity, Justice, Human Rights, Gender and Sexuality, Art and Culture,听and Environmental Sustainability.听 As a PHRE major, you can take classes in Existentialism or Death and Dying; Buddhism or听Zombies; Ethics or Aesthetics. In our Community and Careers course, you will build an intellectual community while听preparing for听your professional life after Otterbein.听You can join the editorial board of听础别驳颈蝉,听our prestigious humanities听journal; intern with a local museum; and study abroad.

In a globalized planet full of clashes between religious and ethical worldviews, being able to navigate challenging听conversations is an essential skill, and one that Philosophy and Religion majors will hone. Students will develop skills so听they can constructively navigate religious, racial, and ethnic difference: the ability to respectfully converse across听differences of worldview and life experience and understanding those differences without being doctrinaire. Paying close听attention to historical and contemporary answers to life鈥檚 fundamental questions, a major in Philosophy and Religion gives听students a deep understanding of the views of peoples from across the globe, and helps them develop their own answers听along the way.

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Are you wondering what you can do with a degree in Religion & Philosophy? Check out our video!



Ethics and Social Justice

This concentration will give students the toolsto understand what ethics and social justicerequires of them as individuals, members ofcommunities, and professionals; and to thinkacross and learn to navigate ethical difference.We cannot overestimate how important theseskills are, and the PHRE major is uniquelypositioned to deliver them, since we have faculty who are specifically trained in the field ofethics.




Philosophers seek wisdom by askingfundamental questions about what there is(metaphysics), what we can know(epistemology), what kinds of people we shouldbe (ethics), what is beauty (aesthetics), andhow we should reason (logic). A major inphilosophy will help students to develop criticalreading and thinking skills necessary to answersome ask and answer some of life鈥檚 mostdifficult questions.听

Students in a class read the No god but God book.



The academic study of religion involves lookingat religious beliefs and practices in a careful,analytic, and objective manner, studying themin their own contexts, and recognizing religion鈥檚intersections with class, gender, sexuality, race,and ethnicity, approaching our subject using thedisciplines of history, anthropology, sociology,psychology, and literature, among others.

Student, Faculty, & Alumni Spotlights


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I find taking a philosophy course to be so valuable because almost everything I learn I can apply to my life outside of school.


Alex Martin ’25

Philosophy Minor


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I鈥檝e found the interdisciplinary aspects of philosophy to be particularly helpful for my work on Aegis, and my academic work in general.鈥

Seth Stobart ’23

Philosophy & Religion鈥 Major
Seth Stobart 鈥23, is a philosophy and literary studies major with minors in creative writing and literary studies. He uses the critical thinking and writing skills developed through these departments as lead editor on Otterbein鈥檚 humanities journal, Aegis, where he reviews scholarly work from students for publication to world.


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My love for philosophy appeared during the intro class with Dr. Mills about death and grieving. I thought it was very interesting, so much so that it inspired me to go into the field of death care! I love being able to understand and help families going through some of the hardest times. I get to experience class topics every day in the real world, and I think it is the best.

Ashley Bright ’23

Philosophy & Religion鈥 Major


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Philosophy expanded my horizons on issues and topics I was never introduced to, yet the theories and arguments proved to be insightful, allowing me to critically assess any given issue, argument, or challenge.

Vince Reda ’21

Political Science major with minors in Philosophy and Pre-Law鈥

After he graduated, Vince decided to return to Otterbein and complete a second major in Philosophy & Religion.


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My philosophy training at Otterbein provided me with a strong foundation in logic, analytical thinking, and close reading that are critical in the practice of law and have served me well in my clerkship, law firm practice, and in-house work. Otterbein鈥檚 Philosophy Department also instilled in me the importance of and ability to see issues from multiple perspectives. This focus on flexibility has helped me as an attorney by forcing me to be critical of initial assumptions and better able to predict what others may argue, making me a better advisor to my clients.

Larsa Ramsini鈥 ’09

Philosophy Major


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John Posey switched his major from criminology to philosophy at the end of his sophomore year, stating that 鈥減art of the beauty of philosophy is that you can do whatever you want with it. This same concept applies to the Philosophy and Religion Department at Otterbein.鈥 John says they encouraged him to pursue new ideas and projects, and that he and Dr. Mills created an internship intertwining John鈥檚 military service with the philosophy known as Stoicism. 鈥

John Posey ’20

Philosophy Major鈥


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Study what is most important to you, regardless of what the world might want you to do.鈥 Before John Srsen got to Otterbein, he was planning on going into business and recording production. That is, until his brother encouraged him to study what he was passionate about. 鈥淎s a result, I switched my college of choice to Otterbein, and became a religion major. And the rest is history!

John Srsen ’12

Religion Major


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Religions are made. This is what the historian of religion Jonathan Z. Smith calls the genius and pretense of tradition, saying you are doing the same old thing when you are never doing the same thing; this is how human social worlds are generally made

Alex Rocklin鈥

Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor, specialist in religions of the South Asian and African diasporas.

Department Features & Student Opportunities

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Scholarships & Awards

The Department of Philosophy and Religion awards several endowed awards and book prizes to PHRE majors each year!鈥

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Design department programming. Work on your resume. Get internships. Our innovative, seminar-style Community & Careers class lets you build an intellectual community and engage in professional development.

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Cultivate intellectual life in the humanities on the editorial staff of our journal Aegis. Shape rich conversations about art, culture, history, and justice for a 21st-century public.鈥

Philosophy Religion Travel Source

Travel Opportunities

PHRE majors can travel to places like West Africa, Spain, Wales, and Italy. PHRE classes also visit local houses of worship, art museums, and even cemeteries to get a different perspective closer to home. 鈥嬧

Eboo Patel Phre

Invited Lectures

Engage with world renowned scholars and activists speaking on today’s hot button issues, like Eboo Patel, above. PHRE majors can even help to plan and organize on-campus visits for guest speakers.鈥

Phre Double Major

Double Major

Combine your passions into a meaningful whole by double majoring. The major in Philosophy and religion is very flexible and easily integrated with another major, which many of our students do.鈥

Photograph of Towers Hall at 澳门开奖现场.

National Media Recognize 澳门开奖现场 for Programs and Values

News - September 18, 2023
澳门开奖现场 has been collecting honors this fall, as it is recognized in national publications for its programs and values, including U.S. News & World Report, Colleges of Distinction, and Washington Monthly. US News & World Report 澳门开奖现场 has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report for its academic excellence, commitment to undergraduate teaching, and focus on affordability, student success outcomes, and experiential learning. In the 2024 Best Colleges rankings by U.S. News & World Report, Otterbein has鈥

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Fast Track Innovation Fund Lets Community Shape Otterbein鈥檚 Growth

News - July 31, 2023
澳门开奖现场 is using an innovative approach to grow enrollment and revenue by 鈥渃rowd sourcing鈥 ideas from its own community and investing in the best ideas with $1 million approved by the Board of Trustees. Under the Fast Track Innovation Fund initiative, seven projects proposed by Otterbein faculty and staff in May have been funded and are already being implemented on campus. 鈥淭his investment in Otterbein鈥檚 future demonstrates our trustees鈥 commitment to allowing every member of our community to be heard鈥

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How is a Philosophy and Religion Major or Minor Perfect for a Future Doctor, Lawyer, Software Engineer, and More?

News - April 6, 2023
By Erica Bush 鈥25  When considering what major to study, many students choose one with a career in mind, so they may overlook a versatile degree like philosophy and religion.   We asked Assistant Professor Alex Rocklin, Department of Philosophy and Religion, why students should consider studying philosophy and religion at Otterbein.   What specific jobs are out in the market for people with an undergraduate degree in philosophy and religion?   Career outcomes are so much more diverse than most people realize.鈥

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Programs of Study in Religion & Philosophy

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Philosophy & Religion




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Towers Hall 320
1 South Grove St
Westerville, OH 43081

Administrative Assistant

Patti Welch

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Religion & Philosophy students leave Otterbein with the skills and knowledge to pursue a plethora of careers, from law school to the Peace Corps to the military.