These records contain correspondence, reports, and meeting minutes pertaining to the Department of Religious Studies in
the early 1970s. The majority of these records pertain to discussions about the Catholicity of the merging USD College for
Men and College for Women and general education requirements in religion.
Until 1969 the College for Women and the College for Men had separate departments of theology with separate general education
requirements. Catholic men, and all women, were required to take a theology course each semester. As discussions of merging
the two colleges were occurring, and with personnel changes, the Department of Religious Studies became the first completely
merged department in 1969. John R. Portman served as the founding chair of the Department of Religious Studies until 1974.
The department professed to ensure the academic nature of courses in religion not character formation. Religious study was,
and is, part of the general education requirement for each student. In 1972, general education requirements in religion changed
to nine credits for all students. In 1974, Religious Studies was added to the list of majors.