Travis Skinner, Religious Studies Alum, 2012
Why did you choose to major in Religious Studies at Montclair State?
Well, it helped that I grew up just three miles from the university! Additionally, Montclair State offered me an academic scholarship, and I had become so familiar with the campus over the years that it already seemed like a good fit when I was looking at colleges.
I’ve always been fascinated by different religions and the way they affect and, in many cases, shape cultures and societies. Religion has played a large role – if not the largest role – in shaping civilization as we know it. You can’t delve into the study of sociology, the sciences, criminology, psychology, archaeology, philosophy, world history, and many other fields without religion factoring into the equation in some way. So, for me, pursuing Religious Studies was my way of cracking open a door to the study of everything else.
Which courses or professors did you enjoy the most?
Oh goodness. Don’t make me choose. I thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Kogan’s Old and New Testament courses. Dr. Ibrahim was an extremely kind professor. Dr. Johnson and Professor Lisa Sargese challenged me. And Dr. Rogers is just all-around wonderful.
How has your study of Religion at MSU helped you in your career path?
During my path through the study of Religion at Montclair State, I had to take a very critical look at what I believed. After long trials and many sleepless nights, I ended up coming out much stronger and knowledgeable, even about my own beliefs, than when I went in! Additionally, I gained valuable insight into relating to and working together with people of many different faiths. Thankfully, I am still on campus, working with students as a campus missions director with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship.