Index of Psychology of Religion Syllabi
There is a great variety of ways that psychologists teach this course.
I've established this syllabus exchange in order to illustrate the diversity
of courses that are available. If you are a college student, this collection
will help you to learn what you may expect in a psychology of religion
course. If you are an instructor, you may also get some ideas for your
own course. You also will learn a great deal from the reading lists that
are part of each syllabus. I only wish that I had the time to sit in on
each of these courses! I want to thank each of the people who have shared
their expertise. If you teach a similar course and would like to have
your syllabus listed here, please send me a copy of your syllabus. I'll
take it as a computer file ("rich text format", Word, or ascii text), or as a
Michael E. Nielsen, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
Georgia Southern University
Statesboro, GA 30460-8041
Formatting these documents for the www has changed them from the original, and in cases where I've retyped them from a hard copy, there may be unintentional typographical errors. In some instances, it is easier to read the document if you print it rather than view it on your computer monitor.
First, here is a link to my class page, where my students can find syllabi and some other materials for my classes that deal with psychology and religion. At this point in time, I have syllabi from two kinds of classes. In my psychology of religion classes, I currently am using the book by Hood, Spilka, Hunsberger and Gorsuch, during the Fall 1999 semester. I have taught the class using books by James and Paloutzian; an example of this is found in my syllabus from the Spring, 1997 Psychology of Religion Course.
I also periodically focus my Experimental Social Psychology course on an aspects of religion. This syllabus from the Spring, 1997 course is an example.
The syllabi are listed in order of the instructor's last name. The institution,
course number and other identifying information are also listed. As you
may see, the list is growing. If you teach a course
related to psychology and religion, please send me a copy of your syllabus. Contact
me for more information!
- Dr. Ricardo Blanco Beledo's Philosophical & JudeoChristian Anthropology course
Offered at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
This marks the first Spanish course listed here! The reading list for Dr. Beledo's course will be especially useful if you are interested in Spanish sources on religion, philosophy, anthropology, and their intersection with psychoanalysis.
- Dr. Kevin Byrd's Advanced Seminar: Psychology of Religion
Offered at the University of Nebraska at Kearney
Dr. Byrd's course blends more traditional empirical work with transpersonal psychology and Eastern religion for a very interesting overview of the field.
- Dr. Trey Buchanan's History and Systems
of Psychology and Integration
Psyc 711, Fall 1996
Offered at Wheaton College, Wheaton Illinois
This course is intended to help clinical psychology graduate students better
integrate psychology and Christianity.
- Dr. Chris Burris's Psychology of Religious Experience
Psych 231, Winter 2001
Offered at St. Jerome's University, Ontario, Canada
Dr. Burris offers a very rigorous course, emphasizing current research.
For an earlier version of his course, you may wish to view his Psychology of Religion
Psyc 485 / RS 490, Spring 1997
Offered at Christian Brothers University, Memphis Tennessee
Dr. Burris teaches a solid seminar from a social-psychological perspective.
- Dr. Adam Cohen's Psychology and Religion
Psychology 180G / Religion 241G
Offered at Dickinson College, Fall 2001
A course that emphasizes classic and contemporary readings in topics of mutual interest to psychology and religion. This course builds on one he taught at the University of Pennsylvania during the summer 2001 semester.
- Dr. Shannon Hodges' Psychology and Spirituality
LS 5100, Winter 1999
Offered at the University of Minnesota at Morris
A seminar course that draws from the works of James, Jung, and others.
- Dr. Harry Hui's Psychology and Religion
Second Semester 1998/1999
Offered at the University of Hong Kong
This course features active student discussion of issues.
- Dr. Rhonda Jacobsen's Behavioral Science
Offered at Messiah College, Grantham Pennsylvania
Jacobsen's course emphasizes the dialogue between psychology and religion.
- The University of Kent's MA in the Study of Mysticism & Religious Experience
Seminar leaders: Peter Moore & Leon Schlamm
University of Kent
This document describes the core course leading to a master's degree in mysticism and religious experience. It is a very impressive program of study, and would be ideal for someone with a serious interested in the subject.
- Dr. Donald McCormick's Psychology and Religion Course
Religion 260.01, Fall 2000
Offered at The University of Redlands
Dr. McCormick's course builds on the course designed by Wilbert McKeachie
- Dr. Susan H. McFadden's Psychology of Religion
86-304, Fall 1996, OR Winter 1998
Offered at The University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh.
For a strong developmental psychology perspective, see McFadden's 1996 course; in 1998 she modified the course to emphasize how religion relates to coping.
- Dr. Wilbert McKeachie's Psychology and Religion
Psych. 313, Winter 1994
Offered at the University of Michigan
McKeachie's places a stronger emphasis on Eastern religious traditions
than do most courses.
- Dr. Gregory Moffat's Psychology of Religion Course
Psy 497, Spring 1999
Offered at Atlanta Christian College
This course emphasizes active student discussion of scientific and Christian ideals.
- Dr. Jim Nelson's Psychology of Religion Courses
Taught at Valparaiso University, Dr. Nelson's courses rely on his Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality
- Dr. Michael Nielsen's Psychology of Religion Courses
I have tried teaching the course in several different ways. Here is a sample:
- Dr. Elizabeth Weiss-Ozorak's Psychology &
Psychology/Religion 475, Fall 1996, or Spring 1999
Offered at Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania.
Here you'll find a strong effort to consider not only what psychology says
about religion, but also what religion might tell us about psychology. For the Spring 1999 course, Dr. Russell, a colleague in religious studies, joined Dr. Weiss-Ozorak in teaching the course.
- Dr. Sharon Packer's Psychology of Religion: New Insights from Social Science and Neuroscience course
Offered at The New School of Social Research, New York, NY
Also available electronically, via the internet, to anyone with a computer connection
This course emphasizes an historical perspective on the field.
- Dr. Ray Paloutzian's Psychology of Religion Course
Fall 1996, or Fall 1999
Offered at Westmont College
This class nicely draws together theory and research. His 1999 class includes a good component of the science-religion dialogue.
- Alvaro González Riesle's 2007 Psychology of Religion Course
Offered at Lima University in Peru
This course uses Spilka et al's text and focuses on current research.
- Dr. Chris Rock's Psychology of Religion Course
First offered Spring 2000 at Concord College, West Virginia
This course syllabus is temporarily unavailable
- David Smith's Psychology of Religion Course
Offered at St. Xavier University, Chicago, Illinois.
This class has a good mix of classic and contemporary perspectives.
- Dr. John Suler's Psychology of Religion Course
Rel 370, Fall 1997
Offered at Rider University, Lawrenceville, New Jersey, USA
Syler's course emphasizes original sources and an examination of eastern religious traditions.
- Dr. Jeremy Zwelling's Psychology and Religion
Reli 293, Fall 1996
Offered at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut
This will give you an interesting perspective of psychology and religion
from a course taught in a Department of Religion.
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