Religious literacy is essential to the liberally-educated citizen of the world. Bethany students are required to complete successfully RELS 100 (Introduction to Religion: Texts, Contexts, Practices). The course is offered by faculty members of the Department of Religious Studies and Philisophy and is preferably taken during the Freshman year. RELS 100 takes an academic approach to the study of religion: students are introduced to critical methods and definitions in religious studies and then proceed to apply one or more of those methods to a comparative study of three different world religions. The lens through which the religions are compared varies with the interest and expertise of the professor teaching the course. Students might consider, for example, religious definitions of the human condition in relation to philosophical, political, or moral definitions; the meaning and function of religious rituals; or the way religions develop, reinforce, or challenge gender roles in society.