Established in 1964 with three full-time professors — Dick Comstock, D. Mackenzie Brown, and Walter Capps —  the Religious Studies Department at UC Santa Barbara is now the largest religion department in the University of California system, and one of the most diverse religion departments in the world.

With an internationally recognized faculty of twenty-five professors, three permanent lecturers, and more than twenty affiliates and visiting scholars, the Department prides itself on both the breadth and depth of its course offerings and programs. Many of the languages necessary for the study of the religion — Arabic, Hindi, Persian, Punjabi, Sanskrit, and Tibetan — are taught within Religious Studies.

We are justifiably proud to have played an important role in advancing the academic study of religion in public universities not only in the Golden State, but across the nation.

Religious studies faculty including Professors Magda Campo, Kathie Moore, and William Elison
Spring Insight 2018
Religious Studies professor William Elison speaking to a student at Spring Insight 2018.
Spring Insight 2018












The UCSB Department of Religious Studies vigorously affirms the University of California policies regarding anti-discrimination, sexual violence and sexual harassment:

University of California Title IX Policy

The University of California, in accordance with applicable federal and state laws and University policy prohibits discrimination against or harassment of any person at the University on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship or age. These policies cover admission, employment, access, and treatment in University programs and activities.  (https://oeosh.ucsb.edu/titleix/policies/)

University of California Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment

The University of California is committed to creating and maintaining a community free of sexual violence and sexual harassment. Sexual violence and sexual harassment violate both law and University policy. Any member of the University community may report conduct that may constitute sexual violence, sexual harassment, retaliation, and other prohibited behavior (“Prohibited Conduct”). The University will respond promptly and equitably to such reports, and will take appropriate action to stop, prevent, and remedy the Prohibited Conduct, and when necessary, to discipline the respondent.

In addition to sexual harassment, discrimination based on sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sex- or gender-stereotyping, and sexual orientation violates law and other University policies. Such discrimination may also contribute to the creation of a hostile work or academic environment based on sex and thus constitute or contribute to sexual harassment. Harassment that my not be sexual, but still contributes to a hostile work or academic environment, may also violate the University’s other non-discrimination policies.  (http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000385/SVSH)