Welcome to the Department of Philosophy and Religion!

We invite you to explore our world, examine beliefs, understand a diversity of world views, and challenge the ideas and values that instruct our lives.

Whether you take one class, pursue a major in our department, or stop by for a chat, you will find that philosophical & religious dialogue is stimulating and thought provoking. Human beings have asked philosophical and religious questions throughout recorded history, and such questions lie at the heart of what it means to be human. By pursuing knowledge in this department, you will be participating in value inquiry and the search for meaning that motivates human beings and that characterizes human culture.

For a brief history of the Religious Studies program at App State, click here

Thinking of Law School?

Success in law school and in the practice of law demands rigorous analytical thinking and skill in argumentation, both of which form the core of an education in philosophy. Moreover, philosophy classes give students a deep understanding of the moral and political issues central to the law and public policy—issues related to medicine, environment, and race, for example.

Learn why you should major in Philosophy!

Meet Our Majors

Meet some of our current and recently graduated majors in philosophy and religion.

Award-Winning Faculty

Dr. Laura Ammon

Dr. Laura Ammon

Durham Outstanding Freshman Advocate Award (2023)

The award recognizes a full-time App State employee who has contributed significantly to improving the freshman experience on our campus.

Dr. Rick Elmore

Dr. Rick Elmore

SGA Outstanding Professor for the College of Arts and Sciences (2016-17)

This is a student-nominated award sponsored by the Student Government Association and awarded to one faculty member in each college of the University.

College of Arts and Sciences Academy of Outstanding Teachers Award (2020-21)

This award recognizes excellence in teaching.

Dr. Ozzie Ostwalt

Dr. Ozzie Ostwalt

Dr. Ostwalt won a 2019 Wilbur Award for his interview on "Religion in Life" with the Reverend Jesse Jackson.

Wilbur Awards honor excellence by individuals in secular media – print and online journalism, book publishing, broadcasting, and motion pictures – for communicating religious issues, values and themes.  

Dr. Sandie Gravett

Dr. Sandie Gravett

Jimmy Smith Outstanding Service Award (2022-23)

The award honors the faculty member who has demonstrated meaningful and significant service to the College, the University and/or the faculty member's profession.

Dr. Davis Hankins

Dr. Davis Hankins

William C. Strickland Outstanding Junior Faculty Award (2016-17)

The award honors a member of the faculty who has demonstrated, while at the University, the highest standards of excellence in research, scholarship and contributions to his/her academic field.