BA in Religious Studies

Online Degree Completion Program at chico state

Program Faculty

Sarah PikeDr. Sarah Pike: Faculty, BA in Religious Studies Online Degree Completion

PhD Indiana University
530-898-6341 |

My training is in religion in America and my research and teaching blend ethnographic and historical methods and materials with an ongoing interest in media and popular culture. In my courses I explore the relationship between religion and ethnicity, identity and cultural expression. I am particularly interested in points of conflict and tension within and between religious communities. My teaching responsibilities include RELS 322 Religion in America and RS 482, the Capstone on topics including Cults and New Religions, Religion and Animals, Religion, Nature and Environmentalism, and Religion and Societal Institutions.

Daniel VeidlingerDr. Daniel Veidlinger: Faculty, BA in Religious Studies Online Degree Completion

PhD University of Chicago
530-898-4637 |

My training is in the texts and practices of South and Southeast Asian religions, in particular Buddhism and Hinduism. I am interested in studying and teaching these religions from historical, sociological and philosophical perspectives, with the aim of providing a rich understanding of these traditions that is ever more important in today's world. My research focuses on the roles that different communications media play in the formulation and transmission of religious texts and ideas in Asia, and I am particularly interested in how the Internet and digital media have influenced expressions of Buddhism in recent times. My teaching responsibilities include RELS 200 Religions of South Asia.

Bruce GrelleDr. Bruce Grelle: Faculty, BA in Religious Studies Online Degree Completion

PhD University of Chicago
530-898-4739 |

My teaching and research are focused on comparative ethics, religion and public education, and religion and politics. I direct the Center for the Public Understanding of Religion at Chico State, and I’m a member of the statewide steering committee for the California 3 Rs Project (Rights, Responsibilities, and Respect), a program for finding common ground on issues of religion and values in public schools. I have co-chaired the Religion in Public Schools: International Perspectives group in the American Academy of Religion and served on the AAR Task Force on Religion in the Schools. I’m a member of editorial boards or advisory committees for Religion & Education, the British Journal of Religious Education, the Religious Education Journal of Australia, and Religious Studies Review. Among the courses I teach are RELS 405 Religion, Politics, and Conflict; and RELS 480 Theories and Criticisms of Religion.

Micki LennonDr. Micki Lennon: Faculty, BA in Religious Studies Online Degree Completion

PhD ABD Indiana University
530-898-5263 |

The courses I teach focus on the role that religion plays in shaping cultural understandings of important human experiences such as sexuality, marriage, death, and dying; or in forming significant cultural categories like gender and nature. My teaching responsibilities include RELS 402 Religion, Sex, and Gender.

Jason ClowerDr. Jason Clower: Faculty, BA in Religious Studies Online Degree Completion

PhD, Harvard University
530-898-5860 |

I teach about religion, society, and literature in in Asia, especially East Asia. Most of my writings have to do with Mou Zongsan, the most influential (and in my opinion the best) modern Chinese philosopher.  I am also researching what I call the “Asian-inspired spirituality” scene in the New Age movement in California.  I teach RELS 300 Religions of East Asia.

Tom ParkerDr. Tom Parker: Faculty, BA in Religious Studies Online Degree Completion

PhD Syracuse University
ARTS 379 | 530-898-566 |

I came to the academic study of religion through the field of Anthropology and a fascination for the religious worldviews of the traditional cultures I studied, especially those of Africa. An earlier influence was my passion for poetry and the music I grew up with in the 1960's-and early 70's, especially the work of Bob Dylan. Poetry and music were not merely pleasurable pursuits; they moved me very deeply. The questions I brought to them, and the consolations I derived from them, I now see, were of a religious nature. Put most simply, poetry and music helped me struggle with questions of identity, morality, values, and the way to live my life. Consequently, the study of religion and literature has become central to my personal and intellectual life. Over the course of my teaching career, my interests in religion and the basic questions of our lives have come to inform my approach to teaching. I teach RELS 332 World Religions and Global Issues, an upper division GE class that you will likely take.  Given the importance of religion historically, and in the events and conflicts shaping the world we live in, I believe the study of religion is more urgent than ever, and it is especially important to come to this subject with the desire to understand and appreciate different religious worldviews, traditions, and beliefs.

Laura NiceDr. Laura Nice: Faculty, BA in Religious Studies Online Degree Completion

PhD University of York, England
530-898-5534 |

The courses I teach focus on the intersection between art, politics and religion in the campus’ Religions Studies, Art History, Humanities, International Studies, and Multicultural and Gender Studies programs. I teach RELS 403 Religion and Art.

Greg CootsonaDr. Greg Cootsona: Faculty, BA in Religious Studies Online Degree Completion

PhD Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley
530-898-3122 |

My training is in Science and Religion.  I wrote my dissertation comparing the thought of a scientist-philosopher and a theologian, Alfred North Whitehead and Karl Barth, respectively.  My most recent book is C. S. Lewis and the Crisis of a Christian (Westminster John Knox, 2014). My current research areas are religion and science, the New Testament, Western religions, and literature and philosophy since the Enlightenment. I am currently managing a grant on 18-30 year olds’ attitudes on faith and science, “Science for Students and Emerging, Young Adults.”  I teach RELS 404 Religion, Science, and Technology.

Jed WyrickDr. Jed Wyrick: Faculty, BA in Religious Studies Online Degree Completion

PhD Harvard University
530-898-6379 |

I come to the field of Religious Studies from the disciplines of philology and literary analysis. I received my PhD in Comparative Literature, emphasizing the intersection of classical and biblical studies. My work focuses on ancient Greek poetry and historiography, Hebrew Bible, the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, midrash (Jewish interpretation of the Bible), Hellenistic culture and scholarship, the New Testament and early Christian literature, and Yiddish language and literature. I teach RELS 306 Roots of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and RELS 308 Judaism, Christianity and Islam Since the Crusades.