College of Public and International Affairs launches B.A. in Religion and Politics

The University of Bridgeport College of Public and International Affairs (CPIA) will offer a new Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Politics degree, starting in the fall 2014.

The program has been modified from the CPIA’s previous World Religions degree to respond to a growing need for experts who have “a deep understanding of the religious roots of various societies and those societies’ approaches to politics, commerce, and culture,” said CPIA Dean Thomas Ward.

“Students in the program will gain expertise in one of three cultural spheres: Western religion and society: Islamic religion and society or East Asian religion and society,” Ward added.

The program requires two years of foreign language study in Arabic, Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, Russian or Spanish.

Chairman Robert Riggs, who earned his Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, will lead the program. Other faculty include Associate Professor Mark Setton (D.Phil. Oxford) and Distinguished Research Professor and President Emeritus Richard L. Rubenstein (PhD. Harvard).

UB students enrolled in CPIA’s earlier World Religion program have been awarded Fulbright, US Department of State Critical Language, and William Jefferson Clinton Scholarships.

Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625,