Statement about the Task Force report
It was with great sadness and concern that we learned that the Task Force reviewing academic programs at Mizzou recommends the closure of our excellent Master's program in Religious Studies based largely on enrollment numbers. While our small graduate program has been largely underfunded, we are extremely proud of the fine scholars who have graduated from our program. Our alumni have gone on to prestigious PhD programs in religion and related fields at institutions like Harvard, the University of Chicago and Syracuse, and several of them are now successful professors and recognized experts in the field. As one of only two secular graduate programs in Religious Studies in Missouri and the only one within the University of Missouri system, we fulfill an essential function for the state, especially at this time when the new nationwide social science curriculum recommendations for K-12 schools include the study of religion, which will increase the demand for trained professionals in the field. While we are waiting to learn what the final outcome for our program will be, we are still accepting graduate students for the coming academic year, and these students and all those already in the program will be allowed to complete their degrees so that they too, like our amazing alumni, can help make the world a better, more tolerant, and more enlightened place.