Online College Courses for Credit


Online College Course

Approaches to Studying Religions

Approaches to Studying Religions

Sophia’s Approaches to Studying Religion Pathway helps you gain mastery of the basic concepts integral to the study of religion and understand how these concepts apply in real world situation. In this Pathway, you will explore key components of religions as they apply to a range of different belief systems and will explore the role of religion in modern society. Full Description

3 semester credits

  • 43 partners accept credit transfer.*
    See Partners
  • Sophia courses have been transferred for credit to over 300 institutions*. See the List
  • Recommend for credit to the ACE and DEAC college and university networks. (See below for details.)

Category: Humanities

This course is ACE Credit® recommended for transfer to many different colleges and universities.* Learn more
This course is DEAC-approved as meeting the criteria for Approved Quality Curriculum (AQC) status. Learn more


43 partners accept credit transfer.* See Partners

One Login, Everything You Need

You don't need any textbooks for our courses—we use video and text-based tutorials to teach the material.

Start Instantly

There is no need to wait for the first day of class; with Sophia you can sign up and instantly start your education.

Learning Built for Your Life and Your Schedule

Each course allows you to work at your own pace after work, on a break, or on the go. Access the course anytime, anywhere by phone, tablet, or computer.


Approaches to Studying Religions

Course Description
Sophia's Approaches to Studying Religion course helps you gain mastery of the basic concepts integral to the study of religion and understand how these concepts apply in real world situations. In this course, you will explore key components of religions as they apply to a range of different belief systems and will explore the role of religion in modern society.

Assessments & Grading
This is a pass/fail course. You must complete 12 Challenge assessments (these are like quizzes) and 4 Milestone assessments (these are like tests) with an overall score of 70% or better.

Learning Outcomes
At the end of the course, you'll be able to:

  • Investigate the major approaches to studying religion
  • Identify common elements of religions
  • Analyze religion's impact on individuals, society, and the world
  • Evaluate social, ethical, and cultural topics through the lens of religion

Sophia's Many Ways™
This course provides you access to Sophia's Many Ways™ learning model. This model provides you with various instructional styles for each learning objective. With this unique model, you can find a method that appeals to your individual learning preference.

by Adam M. on March 2, 2019
By far the quickest class. Completed in one afternoon. Total of approximately 4 hours spent. Highly recommend.
by Ginger W. on November 8, 2015
The Instructors did well explaining concepts overall. The presentation method of this class may be beneficial and helpful to others but I particularly did not care for the way the it was presented. This material is broken down into nearly 90 sections. I think it would have been more helpful to break it down into religions and all their beliefs under each religion instead of jumping around to 90 plus sections and there beliefs on environment, money, sacred objects, rituals etc. . It was not easy to go back into the tutorials especially during an exam as they were arranged separately into so many different pages. This was a time hindrance and aggravation.
by Matthew M. on October 26, 2015
Course had great information and was decent. However, the questions throughout were too specific and I felt as though they were testing my guessing ability of what you were looking for rather then concepts or my understanding of the information. Other then that it was great
by Denise M. on September 4, 2018
I completed this class along with the proctored, in approx 1 week. It is very interesting, which helps to keep your attention. There is a lot of information to review and the questions have a varying level of a knowledge base. You will definitely need to read or study the PDF files, which I found to be more beneficial than watching the videos. This is my 3rd class with Sophia, and I wish I had used that approach to studying before. This was a much nicer way of completing this class versus writing papers and discussion classes. I had debated on which class to take and ultimately I am glad I choose this religion class, so worth it! Now I get 7 weeks off until my next class! :)
by Richard T. on November 8, 2015
I enjoyed the class although some of the questions and answers were a little ambiguous and somewhat misleading. The online support is very good but needs to be available 7 days a week and later in to the evenings.
by Adam B. on November 7, 2015
Most of the test questions seemed rather ambiguous. I understand that it is difficult to ensure complete definition of every religion but "Daoism" and "Taoism" shouldn't be used back and forth throughout each test. The test and lessons should at least reconcile between each other.
by Dianne S. on December 23, 2015
The course was very interesting even for one who is religious. Learning about the other religions was interesting.
by Penny T. on April 26, 2016
Very informative. I learned a lot about religion I did not know. My first class with Sophia. I enjoyed the self paced course. Was my first one online and it was very user friendly. Trust me if I can do it...anyone can. Thank you Penny


  • Q: What does "Try it for Free" mean?

    A: The Free Trial allows you to access the course of your choice, or multiple courses. It gives you access to the first unit ("Challenge 1") in the course. This will let you meet the course instructors, sample the instructional content, and answer a set of assessment questions in the Challenge. You can also read the Student Guide and watch an Orientation Video to learn more about the course format, requirements, and resources.

    Any work you complete in the Free Trial is saved, so if you decide to register, you do not need to repeat it. Of course, we also let you reset it and start over if you wish.

  • Q: Does Sophia accept third-party payment for membership, such as financial aid or military benefits?

    A: Sophia is not a college or university and is not eligible for financial aid, military benefits, or other third-party payments. A Sophia membership is considered an out-of-pocket educational expense.

  • Q: When do the courses start and how long do I have to complete a course?

    A: You choose your own course start date and have 60 days from your chosen start date to complete each course. Sophia courses are self-paced, so many students complete a course in less than 60 days.

  • Q: Where do I get the textbooks for my course?

    A: You do not need any textbooks for Sophia courses. All material is taught by video and text-based tutorials that are in the courseroom, and are included as part of a Sophia membership.

  • Q: How am I graded in the course?

    A: Sophia courses are graded on a pass/fail basis, with 70% overall required to pass the course. Your score is based upon points earned in the formative assessments ("Challenges"), summative assessments ("Milestones"), and if applicable, the authentic assessments ("Touchstones"). Currently, our Foundations of English Composition, English Composition I, and Public Speaking courses contain Touchstones.

  • Q: How do I know which courses I should take?

    A: Consult with your academic adviser at your university to determine specifically which Sophia courses could fit into your program. You can download the course syllabus directly from our site to share with your school advisor.

  • Q: Are the tests proctored?

    A: Sophia courses utilize keyboard biometrics as an alternative to proctoring. No webcam is needed for a Sophia course.

  • Q: I'm taking a course where I have to submit Touchstones. How long does it take for my Touchstone to be graded once it's submitted?

    A: We provide our faculty graders with up to 7 business days to grade a Touchstone. The actual time may vary based on volume and grader capacity.