/ Religion Department

Special Programs and Opportunities

Whether in or out of the classroom, we offer many chances for our students to get involved in the life of the department and the college.

May Terms

Ecological Theology and Ethics (New York)

  • Study the nature and causes of current ecological degradation, the witness of Christian scripture and tradition concerning matters ecological, the responsibilities we humans have as earthkeepers and the practical implications of living in a more earth-friendly manner.
  • This course combines traditional academic study with a wilderness backpacking, canoeing and kayaking trip in which students learn wilderness camping skills, develop their leadership ability and examine issues in the area of ecological theology and ethics.
  • Instructor: Steve Bouma-Prediger

Learning and Serving among the Oglala Lakota (South Dakota)

  • Learn and serve among the Oglala Lakota membership that totals 17,775.
  • After a one week on-campus orientation course, participants will:
    • Spend two weeks on the reservation
    • Engage in an ongoing service project
    • Experience a variety of encounters with members of the reservation
    • Travel to important sites on the reservation
    • Study Lakota history and religion
    • Guide conversation to bring our own culture, faith and experience into conversation with life on the reservation
  • Instructor: Steven Hoogerwerf

Independent Study

  • Our students have the opportunity to pursue a project of their own interest beyond the course catalog offerings.
  • This intense study can be based upon readings, creative research and/or field projects, depending on your career interests and vocational calling.


  • Religion Scholarship
    2017 recipient: Eugene Ryan
  • Sloan-Stegeman Mission Prize
    2017 recipient: Emily Hozian
  • John Vanderwilt Award
    2017 recipients: Jessica Cronau and Colin Whitehead
  • Verhey Award for Excellence in Scholarship
    2017 recipients:  Garrett Sims and Andrew Bennett
  • Van Ess Scholars
    2017 scholars: Benjamin Davison, Heather DeBoer, Cassie Loomis, Shannon Maloney, Eugene Ryan, Ryan Stephenson, David Lakanen, Daniel Pelyhes

Saint Benedict Institute

  • The Saint Benedict Institute was founded by Catholic scholars at Hope College to engage the academy from an explicitly Catholic perspective and offer spiritual and intellectual formation to Catholic students.
  • Through a variety of initiatives and with the cooperation of Hope College’s Campus Ministries, the Union of Catholic Students and the Diocese of Grand Rapids, the Saint Benedict Institute provides an integral Catholic witness and seeks to strengthen Catholic identity among Catholic students as well as encourage all Christians in their faith on the Hope College campus.

Mellon Scholars Program

  • The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Scholars Program supports students’ intellectual engagement within and across the disciplines.
  • Through original research that combines traditional scholarly methods, creative production, experiential education and the digital liberal arts, students work independently or in teams, with the support of faculty mentors, to build the skills needed to plan, develop and undertake significant projects of research or artistic creation, and to carry them through to completion.
  • Mellon Scholars emerge from the program with knowledge and experience that will serve them well in postgraduate study, law school, medical school and in competition for national and international scholarship and fellowship awards at the highest levels.