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Marylhurst Interfaith Program

At this turn of the century, when more corporations and institutions are making room for their own ethicists, counselors, and consultants, and when more businesses are bringing spirituality into the workplace, an increasing number of students are looking for ways to make spirituality real in their lives and the lives of their families and colleagues. Disciplines as diverse as psychology, quantum physics, international law, women studies, and do-mestic violence programs have showcased spiritual or religious questions. The Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy provides an academic framework for pursuing religious and philosophical insights and questions in an atmosphere of safety and understanding. A quest for meaning - what is my unique mission in life? who or what is the Sacred for me? where is life going? what does it mean? - brings students to one of the department's career paths or to professional seminars and personal enrichment offerings.

Though its heritage is Roman Catholic, and many courses uncover the history and beliefs of Christianity, Marylhurst University has welcomed students of all faiths and cultures since its founding by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM) in 1893. Since that time, the influences of religion and philosophy have been examined at this liberal arts university, both in the humanities and in the scientific disci-plines.


A student of religion and philosophy can realize these general outcomes:

1. Comprehend the cultural foundations, major literary expressions, and ethical and social teachings of religious or philosophical systems.

2. Identify one's own spirituality in relation to historical spiritual traditions.

3. Apply values and knowledge of spiritual and philosophical traditions to personal, social, political, international, economic, multicultural, or interfaith situations.


Marylhurst University offers one Bachelor of Arts degree in religious studies and philosophy, with several Concentrations. Some concentrations are designed for the person who wishes to prepare other people to give service. Other concentrations attract students who feel called to do hands-on direct service.

Certificate programs of 45 crs. each are also available. Two intensive summer programs enable the student to achieve in three summers a 45-cr. certificate in pastoral care or leadership in education. Certificates are available to undergraduate or post-baccalaureate students, and are designed for people who are looking for further study in an area of special interest or expertise.

Interdisciplinary students will be interested in the Master of Arts in interdisciplinary studies degree, with a concentration in spiritual traditions and ethics.

For those with an earned M.Div. or its equivalent, a cooperative Doctor of Ministry is available on the Marylhurst Campus through San Francisco Theological Seminary, one of the schools in the Graduate Theological union.


No degree program as advanced as the Doctor of Ministry can be judged without acknowledging the excellence of its faculty. Both SFTS and Marylhurst University offer students a team of skilled theologians, each with a doctoral degree and years of experience in ministry, education, or public service.

Cecilia Ranger
Leading the Doctor of Ministry program into the next century is Cecilia Ardelle Ranger, SNJM, Ph.D., Chairperson of the Religious Studies and Philosophy Department of Marylhurst University. A former teacher of Biblical Studies and Spirituality at Mt. Angel Seminary and at the Ecumenical Institute of St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore, Dr. Ranger is no stranger to commitment, nor to the demands of scholarship. She has lectured, taught, served as spiritual director, and facilitated retreats for individuals, parishes, and special groups of people throughout the United States and Canada.

A look at some of the course material will help you see the depth of interfaith education available: Symbolism of World Religions; Philosophy of Religion: God, Gods, Goddesses; Logic; Metaphysics; Social Ethics; Comparative Religions; Sacred Scriptures (Koran, Torah, Synoptic Gospels); pastoral care; Spiritual Wellness; Storytelling; Mentoring; and many more too numerous to mention here.

If you would like more information, contact Marylhurst University, 17600 Pacific Highway (Hwy #43), PO Box 261, Marylhurst, OR 97036-0261 or call 503-699-6268 or visit their website at or email: