Religious Studies

Social & Religious Studies Department

The Religious Studies branch of the Humanities Department introduces students to the study of comparative religion and sacred texts from historical, social-scientific, philosophical, and literary perspectives. Students are taught methods for approaching these fields of study in an academic context while remaining sensitive to the convictions and practices of living communities. Our aim is to develop religious and biblical literacy so that students are prepared to respectfully engage their neighbors, colleagues, and others who are part of our diverse and pluralistic society.

Religious Studies Philosophy
Our Episcopal identity remains at the center of our pedagogy. Our chapel program provides a place for students to connect with and explore their spirituality through the lens of Episcopal liturgy and theology. Our classes are designed to present, as objectively as possible, the beliefs and practices of various religious communities because of the emphasis on hospitality and truth-telling that arise from Episcopal philosophies and theologies of education. These settings are mutually supportive.

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    Middle school students are offered Introduction to the Biblical Story in seventh grade. This provides them with a framework and foundation for understanding and participating in Episcopal culture and liturgy. Upper school students are offered a selection of The Hebrew Scriptures, The Christian Scriptures, Religion in Global Context, and Religion in the United States with differing, rotating electives offered depending on faculty make-up and interests. The first two of these classes are biblical studies courses, the last two are comparative religion courses.

    The mission statement of the school states that “TMI provides an exceptional education with values based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.” We interpret this to mean that our rootedness in the broader Christian tradition – and the Episcopal tradition, more specifically – is key to our approach to teaching religion, which we understand to be both academically rigorous and open to inviting students to explore their own religious identities. We ground this in the hospitality and compassion embodied in the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth.

Religious Studies

  • Introduction to the Biblical Story - Fall

    This course provides a broad overview of the basic stories, people, history, ideas, and values found in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures. It begins with an overview of the Biblical Story before Christ, including creation, the Hebrew patriarchs, the Exodus, and the history of the Jewish Kingdom and people. It continues by looking at the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, and how his message was carried forward by the early Christian Church. While this course teaches what is common to all Christian traditions, it also touches on how different Christian traditions emphasize different aspects of our Common Tradition, as well as noting the particular gifts of the Episcopal Church.  
  • Religion in the United States - Spring

    Pre-Requisite: Student must have taken World Religions before taking this course.

    Course Description:
    Religion is contextual. How a religion is practiced, and who participates, is highly dependent upon where adherent live. As a society develops, it shapes the religions that function within it. Likewise, those religions shape the culture, ethics, politics, and values of the host society. In this course we will focus upon religion, imported and domestic, as it functions in the United States. The history of religion in the United States begins with what we call Native American/Indigenous religion and European Protestantism, but continues to diversify with the immigration of Roman Catholics, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and others whose religion originated elsewhere. It is from these more established traditions that specifically American forms derive, whether that be Episcopalianism, Mormonism, or Pentecostalism. Our study will investigate a wide-array of movements while focusing upon their protection under the First Amendment, and the challenges to that protection caused by harder to define new religious movements, such as Scientology or the Branch Davidians.
MISSION: TMI provides an exceptional education with values based on the teachings of Jesus Christ that challenge motivated students to develop their full potential in service and leadership.

TMI Episcopal admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, sex, religion, and physical ability to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, sex, religion, and physical ability in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and financial aid programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.
TMI Episcopal
20955 W. Tejas Trail
San Antonio TX 78257
phone (210) 698-7171
fax (210) 698-0715