The Certificate in Religious Literacy equips students pursuing degrees in law, business, healthcare, social services, education, and public policy with a working knowledge of the beliefs and practices within a variety of religious traditions.

Core competencies will include a clear understanding of and appreciation for each religion's internal diversity—intramural distinctions that arise due to intersectional forces shaping believers' interpretation of their faith and its institutions; e.g., forces of gender, race and class, colonial histories, and neocolonial/global economies.

Quick facts
  • One-year certificate
  • Full- or part-time program
  • You can enter this program directly from high school
  • You can begin this program off-campus

What you will learn

  • Basic understanding in the teachings, beliefs and practices of major religious traditions
  • Nuanced appreciation of the rich diversity within each tradition as interpretive communities respond to specific economic, political, and cultural forces they encounter
  • Interdisciplinary tools for enhanced understanding of each religions' contributions to global cultures: film, music, art, literature, digital media, holistic spiritual disciplines
  • Intercultural literacy that facilitates better listening and communication skills for our multicultural, globalized context

RLST 200.3: Religions in Canada

This course traces the origins of diverse religious and faith groups in Canada by examining the many ways in which members of these groups developed their collective imaginaries, maintain their inherited beliefs and practices, and reformulate their religious traditions in a distinctly Canadian context. Focusing on history, origin, beliefs, and practices of the world religions and Indigenous traditions that make up the religious landscape of Canada, the course does not espouse a specific understanding of “religion,” or a single theological paradigm. Rather, it engages a variety of academic perspectives to explore intersections of religion and identity in our Canadian context.

RLST 243.3: Islam in Hollywood

This course will examine the representations of Islam and Muslims as they appear or are portrayed in the Hollywood film industry. From the early twentieth century up until the present era of the global War on Terrorism, Hollywood has manufactured images of Islam that have been closely intertwined with the dynamics of political and economic interests and ideological motives to dominate Other. Through lectures, discussion, and the screening of selected movies – from the classic Lawrence of Arabia (1962) to post 9/11 films such as The Kingdom (2007) – we will closely analyze what has changed in the representations of Islam, what persists, and why. This course is not an entirely movie-based review and analysis. However, in order to present the images of Hollywood's Islam in the lectures and discussion, the screening of selected movies is inevitable. This course will be divided into three themes: classical Oriental depictions of Islam (which portrayed Muslims as exotic, sensual, and irrational); national security concerns, from the post-1979 Iranian revolution to the Gulf War, and; the global War on Terrorism after 9/11.

RLST 285.3: Religions and Ethnicity

A systematic exploration of the contribution of religion to ethnic identification and ethnic community organization.

The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.

  • Experiential and community-service learning opportunities
  • Specialised community-building events offered via the Irene and Douglas Schmeiser Centre for Faith, Reason, Peace and Justice, St. Thomas More College
  • Visits/lectures within our RLST course offerings from eminent scholars and community-based practitioners in fields related to the Religious Literacy program


With additional study, career opportunities include:

  • Law
  • Medicine and nursing
  • Education
  • Research
  • Public health
  • Public policy
  • Global governance
  • Non-governmental organisations
  • Political advocacy
  • Social work
  • Community service/outreach
  • Immigration services
  • Psychotherapy and mental health

"Religiously literate professionals help create more inclusive cultures in their local communities and organizations. They help their constituents heal from systems where people were or are being threatened, diminished, or made invisible for their religious or non-religious identities. In an age of demeaning rhetoric about others, professionals must apply their literacies to help people make meaning about the complex ways individuals and groups form and manifest their identities. In these ways, religiously literate professionals are not merely first responders to oppressive agendas—they are agenda setters in the communities in which they live and work. In doing so, they ensure that peaceful coexistence becomes not merely a slogan but a way of life."

(Nathan C. Walker, Chan & McEver, "Religious Literacy: Civic Education for the Common Good," Religion and Education (2021), 48/1: 1)

Tuition estimates

Canadian students International students
Tuition $746 per 3 credit unit class $3,611 per 3 credit unit class
Student fees $1,121 per year $1,121 per year

Tuition will vary depending on the type and number of classes you take in a year. This estimate reflects a typical amount you could expect to pay per class (2024-2025 Canadian dollar rates).
Student fees are used to fund specific student benefits, including health, vision and dental coverage, a bus pass, recreational programs and fitness centre access. This estimate reflects the price you would pay if you are a full-time student.
The cost of books and supplies varies widely depending on the courses you choose. It is recommended that you budget between $1,500-$2,500 for this program.

Program options

The Certificate in Religious Literacy is offered by the University of Saskatchewan's College of Arts and Science. You may earn the certificate on its own, concurrently with a degree program from this college or others, or after completing a degree.

If you are already enrolled at USask, consult an academic advisor regarding enrolling in this program.

The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.

Admission requirements and deadlines


Start term Application DeadlineInternational Deadline
January 2024
Dec 1, 2023
Documents due: Dec 15, 2023
Sep 1, 2023
Documents due: Oct 1, 2023
May 2024
Apr 1, 2024
Documents due: May 1, 2024
Feb 1, 2024
Documents due: Mar 1, 2024
July 2024
May 1, 2024
Documents due: Jun 1, 2024
Mar 1, 2024
Documents due: Apr 1, 2024
September 2024
Aug 15, 2024
Documents due: Aug 15, 2024
May 1, 2024
Documents due: Jun 1, 2024
January 2025
Dec 1, 2024
Documents due: Dec 15, 2024
Sep 1, 2024
Documents due: Oct 1, 2024

Ready to apply?

If you are a current USask student, consult your academic advisor regarding enrolling in this program.

To apply to this program as a new student, please apply for admission to any undergraduate program in the College of Arts and Science and after you are admitted, declare your plans to the college.

Explore related programs

If you are looking for graduate level (Master or Ph.D.) programs please consult our graduate students' website.

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