The Department of Religion and Seton Hall School of Law offer a joint degree program leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Juris Doctor (J.D.). The joint degree presents a unique opportunity for students to combine legal training with a thorough understanding of ethics and theology. This joint degree also allows for the focused study of the critical intersections between religion and politics, religion and economics, and religion and global affairs. The role that Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism play in American public life and international relations is immeasurable, and this joint degree gives students the unique vantage point of understanding the importance of religious and cultural pluralism and diversity for the practice of law.
This dual degree is especially fitting for students interested in pursuing international human rights law, constitutional law, labor law, immigration law, family law, and criminal law. This dual degree is also a valuable pathway for students interested in careers in politics, diplomacy, journalism, international business, social services, non-profits, and non-governmental organizations.
(1) Students complete their undergraduate coursework in three years (freshman, sophomore, and junior years of college), receive their bachelor's degree after the first year of law school (which is equivalent to their senior year of college), and complete law school in an additional two years. Both degrees take six years to complete, compared to seven years taken separately.
(2) Initial admissions criteria to the program as Freshman are:
- High School GPA: 3.6
- 1200 on new SAT, with critical reading – min 600; or 27 ACT
- Students maintain at least a 3.50 cumulative GPA at the end of year one at SHU and a 3.50 cumulative GPA throughout the remainder of their undergraduate studies, along with Seton Hall Law School's current median LSAT score.
(3) Each student in the dual degree program is assigned a faculty advisor and mentor, who meet with students regularly.
(4) All courses that count toward the J.D. are offered through Seton Hall Law School. The following is a partial list of undergraduate religion courses students in the dual degree program can choose from:
- Contemporary Moral Issues
- Christian Ethics
- Introduction to the Bible
- Catholicism, Race, and Social Justice
- God: Reality, Concepts, and Criticisms
- Religions of the World
- Introduction to Islam
- Buddhist World of Thought and Culture
- War, Peace, and Theological Ethics
- Catholic Social Teaching
- Science and Theology in Dialogue
- Christians and Muslims on Faith and Reason
- Women, Gender, and Islam
- The Holocaust
- Islamic Spirituality and Mysticism
- Christian Theologies of Judaism
- Judaism and Other Religions
- Environmental Theology
- Catholicism and Ecumenism
- Nonviolent Peacemaking and Moral Leadership
- Christian Values and Health Issues
- Mercy and Liberation
- Gender, Power, and Biblical Interpretation
- Pluralism in Multireligious America: The Politics of Inclusion
- Race, Politics, and Theology
- Women, World Religions, and Human Rights
- Religion, Morality, and the Problem of Evil
- Theology of Death
- Medieval Christian Thought
- The Good Life: How Shall We Live?
Requirements by Major-RELS
RELS majors must complete 90 undergraduate credits:
- University Core (16 credits)
- A&S Core (38 credits)
- RELS major (30 credits)
- Free electives (6 credits—nb: since Core 3 can be fulfilled with a designated RELS 3000 level course, students can end up, effectively, with 9 credits of free electives).