Religious Studies Student Association

Religious SymbolsFrom Paleolithic burial practices to modern world religions claiming millions of followers, religious beliefs and practices have shaped humankind's experience and understanding of the world and of themselves. The study of religion seeks to understand this phenomenon in all its expressions and facets.

The Religious Studies Student Association (RSSA) is for everyone who is committed to the study of religion, as well as all those with a more casual interest. Academic in orientation, RSSA is not a devotional group, though personal beliefs may intersect with academic interests. Our members are respectful of others' religious views and we aim to create a community grounded in academic integrity.

RSSA's mission is to support the academic study of religion among the students of the University of Illinois, and to enhance the visibility of the Department of Religion throughout the broader campus.

Through regular coffee shop gatherings, faculty luncheons, guest lectures, and by attending major scholarly conferences, we seek to promote student interest in the very broad field of Religious Studies.

One of the possible Latin words that 'religion' derives from is 'religare,' which means "to bind" or "to tie." For members of RSSA it is not a particular religion that binds us, but religion in general and the study thereof.

Please visit our calendar to find out about upcoming events.

Contact Information:
Faculty Advisor, Professor Jessica Vantine Birkenholtz jvanbirk@illinois.edu
President, Veronica Leigh vleigh2@illinois.edu