Faculty of Arts

History of the Department of Religious Studies

The Department of Religious Studies was founded in 1983, as a unit in the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy. Students had the option of having single honours degree in either of the two units or combined honours. The first coordinator of the Department was Rev. Gabriel Oyedele Abe (now Professor). In 1986, the two units in the Department (Religious Studies and Philosophy) gained independent status with Rev. G.O. Abe and Mr. M.A. Kissi put in charge to head the Departments respectively.

Department of Religious Studies began by offering an undergraduate degree programme in Religious Studies alone. Later, four other programmes namely Religious Studies, Christian Religious Studies, Arabic and Islamic Studies and African Traditional Religion were introduced. At present, there are three distinct programmes in the Department, including Arabic, Islamic Studies and Christian Religious Studies at the undergraduate first-degree level. The Department also offers postgraduate programmes and it publishes an annual peer-reviewed Journal called, Ado Journal of Religions.

Past Heads of Department include:





Rev. G.O. Abe (Coordinator with Philosophy)



Dr. G.O. Abe

1983 – 1988


Prof. E. Dada Adelowo

1988 – 1990


Dr. G.O. Abe

1990 – 1994


Dr. T.F. Jemiriye

1994 – 1997


Prof. E. Dada Adelowo

1997 – 1999


Dr. T.F. Jemiriye

1999 – 2000


Dr. M.A. Abdu-Raheem                    

2000 – 2002


Dr. T.F. Jemiriye

2002 – 2007


Prof. M.A. Abdu-Raheem                             

2007 – 2012


Dr. S.O. Eniola

2012 – 2014


Dr. O.N. Olawoyin

2014 – 2016


Prof. M.Y. Ojo

2016 – 2020


Dr. G.G. Jegede

2020 to date

Philosophy of the Department

The Department of Religious Studies is mindful of the role of religion in Nigeria and in the affairs of man and woman. Religion in Nigeria, in particular, has been a major factor shaping the lives of individuals and affecting the stability of the country. The Department is committed to critically engaging with different religions and traditions. It aims at educating, side-by-side, people of different religions and even people of no religion in Nigeria. The objective is to promote peaceful co-existence even as Nigeria is a multi-religious country and the world at large.

The Department aims at preparing its students adequately for employment as administrators, teachers, religious leaders, law-enforcement agents, self-employed business men and women and in the financial sector of the national life.

The Objectives of the Department

The Department aims at the following objectives:

  1. to unearth positive commonalities among all religions in Nigeria while respecting their distinctiveness.;
  2. to offer world-class non-sectarian religious learning and training;
  3. to educate citizens for leadership and service in line with the motto of the University-Knowledge, Honour and Service;
  4. to be in the service of building a Nigeria where all citizens can live and work together across religious and ethnic divide;
  5. to pursue with intellectual rigour and openness the study of major religions in Nigeria;
  6. to prepare the students as high-level workers in the various sectors of public administration, education and the economy.