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Offered: On Campus Apply

The Department of Religion is a learning community committed to the church and to the academy, dedicated to the study of Scripture, theology, mission, leadership, and spirituality for the purpose of transforming individuals, relationships and communities.


The Department of Religion houses both the biblical studies and leadership studies disciplines as part of the college, and serves both undergraduate and graduate programs within professional studies. The curriculum for the religion major is administered through concentrations in biblical studies, Christian formation and discipleship, intercultural studies, pastoral leadership studies, and youth leadership studies. In addition, an option in general Christian studies allows students to choose any religion electives for the major without having to select a particular concentration.

Bachelor of Arts in Religion: Biblical Studies Concentration

In addition to the religion core requirements, this concentration will give students a foundation in beginning Greek and Hebrew Studies.

Bachelor of Arts in Religion: Christian Formation and Discipleship Studies Concentration

In addition to the religion core requirements, this concentration will include courses such as Christian Formation of Children, an Introduction to Youth Ministry, and Adult Formation and Discipleship.

Bachelor of Arts in Religion: Intercultural Studies Concentration

The Intercultural Studies concentration will give students a foundation in intercultural communication, integrative field studies, and current issues in mission studies.

Bachelor of Arts in Religion: Pastoral Leadership Studies

The pastoral leadership studies concentration focuses on courses such as Narrative and Expository Preaching, Management in Christian Organizations, and Pastoral Care and Counseling.

Bachelor of Arts in Religion: Youth Leadership Studies

The youth leadership studies concentration focuses on courses such as Introduction to Youth Ministry, Narrative and Expository Preaching, and Management in Christian Organizations.

Bachelor of Arts in Religion: General Christian Studies

This concentration consists of a mix of religion electives along with Old Testament and New Testament electives.

Religion Minor

Students in other majors can earn a minor in religion (no emphasis) by completing a minimum of 20 units of course work that is housed within the department of religion.

Religion courses taken as part of the university core curriculum requirement may be applied to meet minor requirements. Transfer units from other institutions are not accepted toward the religion minor.

Ministerial Credentials

Assemblies of God Minsterial Credentials

Ministerial Internship Program and Practica

The Division of Theology is committed to provide field education experiences that integrate conceptual aspects of ministry with the practice of ministry in local churches, hospitals, mission opportunities, inner-city ministries, and other parachurch organizations. Goals for field education include spiritual formation, mentoring relationships, theological reflection, and specific training in ministry skills that provide the framework for such integration.

I love being a religion major. I love the classes; I love the professors; I love what I get to learn in this program.

Samantha Pena, '19
Religion major


VU Alum Runs Drive-Thru Ministry
Vanguard University

Perry Hamilton (’83 with a Bachelor’s degree in Educational Ministry), outreach pastor at Mission Hills Church in Mission Viejo and Vanguard University’s Alumni Board member, is featured a rather intriguing story in the OC Register

A Sampling of Religion Courses

Pastoral Care and Counseling

A Theology of Church Mission

Disciplines of the Spiritual Life

Meet Our Faculty & Staff

Gregory Austring, Ph.D.

Professor of Intercultural Studies, Religion and Ethics, Chair of General Education, School for Professional Studies

Tommy Casarez, Ph.D.

Associate Dean, Division of Theology, Chair, Department of Religion, Assistant Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology

Sarah Cassell

Graduate Religion Student Success Coordinator

Roli Dela Cruz, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of New Testatment

Willem Dogterom, D.Min.

Professor of Pastoral Ministries and Spiritual Formation, Chair, Professional Studies, Religion

Roger Heuser, Ph.D.

Professor of Leadership Studies

Alicia Jackson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Old Testament

Frank Macchia, D.Theol.

Professor of Theology, Editor, PNEUMA: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies

William Mendoza

Program Coordinator

Sandra Morgan

Director, Global Center for Women and Justice

Richard Park, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics

Doug Petersen, Ph.D.

Margaret S. Smith Professor of World Missions and Intercultural Studies

John Mark Robeck, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Theology, Ethics, and Culture

Gary Tyra, D.Min.

Professor of Biblical and Practical Theology

April Westbrook, Ph.D.

Professor of Old Testament

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