Religion and Philosophy

Recent Speaker

Bishop Anba Suriel, Ph.D.

Lecture Replays:

2/7 7 pm: Copts and Muslims: From Early Islam to the Ottoman Period

2/8 3 pm: Copts and Muslims in the Early Nationalist Movement (1879-1919)

2/8 7 pm: Cooperation or Co-existence? Modern Developments in the 20th and 21st Centuries Between Copts and Muslims

The Department of Religion and Philosophy at McMurry University provides a superior theological education grounded in historic Christianity and open to the challenges of contemporary culture.  Our programs prepare students for seminary and many forms of Christian service.  Three Methodist bishops, the president of Claremont School of Theology, a Vice-President of Asbury Theological Seminary, the head librarian at Duke Divinity School, a former president of the Society of Biblical Literature, and countless pastors and youth workers got their start at McMurry. Recent graduates have pursued master’s degrees at Asbury, Boston, Brite (TCU), Duke, Emory, Harvard, Perkins (SMU), Princeton, and Yale.  In many cases, our students receive full-tuition scholarships for their seminary studies.

Professors play a vital role in preparing students for success in seminary programs.  Dr. Philip LeMasters comments that “our faculty studied at top-tier institutions, regularly publish scholarship of national and international significance, and know what it takes to prepare students for academic work at the highest level.”  McMurry’s small classes provide an ideal opportunity to help students grow intellectually and spiritually as they wrestle with challenging texts in biblical studies, theology, ethics, church history, and the development of Western thought. The faculty teaching these subjects model commitment to the church, as they themselves serve in capacities ranging from Sunday school teacher to pastor.

Our students also benefit from a week-long tour of theological seminaries sponsored by the Office of Religious Life every other year during spring break. Missions groups have gone recently to China and Haiti; several students attended the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Australia in 2009; and the department sponsors a study-abroad program in Biblical archaeology every year in Jordan.

The department offers both a major and a minor in religion, as well as minors in Greek, Christian ministry, and philosophy.  It is also possible to complete a BIS concentration in Christian ministry and a minor or BIS concentration in ethics.

The department intends for the program in religion to serve the mission of McMurry University by accomplishing the following goals:

  1. Introduce all McMurry students to the academic study of Religion through general education courses such as the Old Testament survey, New Testament survey, and Introduction to Christianity;
  2. Offer advanced courses in scripture, Christian theology and ethics, the history of Christianity, and other fields which prepare religion majors and minors for graduate school and/or seminary, and provide students majoring in other fields the opportunity to supplement their studies through advanced work in religion;
  3. Offer a limited number of courses which introduce pre-ministerial students to the theory and practice of ministry in the United Methodist Church;
  4. Provide religion students with opportunities for independent research through the religion departmental honors program;
  5. Provide opportunities for McMurry students to participate in study abroad programs in religion.

The goals of the McMurry University philosophy program are:

  1. To prepare students minoring in philosophy to levels of competence that will allow personal satisfaction and, for those choosing to do graduate work in philosophy, acceptance and success in graduate programs of their choice;
  2. To enable students taking philosophy courses to satisfy general education or elective requirements to gain adequate skills of analytical thinking and literacy in philosophical traditions, especially as related to personal and academic interests and to the reponsibilities of informed citizenship;
  3. To assist and encourage every department or program of the University to implement the overall goals of church-related higher education, especially in relation to the general education requirements and interdisciplinary programs and courses.

For more information, contact Dr. Bryan Stewart, Department Chair and Professor of Philosophy, at ; or Dr. John Miller, Professor of Religion and Pre-Ministry Advisor, at .

More Information?

To learn more, fill out the form below.



For More Information Contact
Dr. Bryan Stewart, Chair
Department of Religion and Philosophy
1 McMurry University #1028
Abilene, TX 79697

Office: Old Main 205B
Phone: 325-793-3899