Exploring the diverse religious traditions contributing to New Zealand society


This series provides an in-depth look at the world’s main religious traditions, and goes into much greater detail than the information provided in the introductory Discovering Religious Diversity series. Over an entire Term of eight sessions focused on a single belief tradition, we’ll examine the history and development of each tradition, key figures associated with its founding or development, its sacred texts, contemporary beliefs and practices, and the major festivals and commemorations associated with each. During the final session of each Term, we’ll view a representative film for each tradition that accentuates and highlights the main points discussed during the Term.

Any Term course can be taken independently of the others and at any time and in any order. There are no prerequisites for any of the Religious Diversity courses.

All classes are taught from an objective point of view. These are classes about religion and religious behavior, taught from an anthropological point of view, and are designed for participants to get a greater understanding of the depth and scope of the diversity that exists within the world’s various faith and belief traditions.

RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIP ANNOUNCED: EarthDiverse is pleased to announce that beginning in 2022 Term 2 the Waikato Interfaith Council (WIFCO), through the generosity of its Alan Leadley Memorial Fund, is providing free tuition for any young person (below the age of 30) that currently resides in the Waikato region to enrol in any of the following Religious Diversity courses offered by EarthDiverse. Depending upon the number of applicants, the scholarship is for one person in each of the four Terms throughout the year. This can either be for one person for all four Terms (allowing the recipient to enrol in a series of courses), or for four different people to take one course each Term.  If you, or someone you know, is interested in applying for this scholarship, please send an introductory email expressing your interest for the Alan Leadley Memorial Scholarship using the Contact Form available on our Contact page accessible from the Menu Bar above. Please provide your full name, address, email address, phone number and your age at the time of submission. We will then send you an application form. The deadline for receipt of expression of interest is two weeks before the start of any given term. All applications for tuition reimbursement will be reviewed by a committee composed of members of the Waikato Interfaith Council. Recipients will be expected to meet with WIFCO members upon completion of the course(s). Open to any young person in living in the Waikato.

LOCATION: All in-person classes are held at the EarthDiverse Centre at 401 Anglesea Street, Hamilton Central, Hamilton (located just north of the Hamilton Central Bus Station) (entrance is located on the side of the building). Those looking for parking for our evening classes can park just in front of the building in any of the available car parks. Daytime parking can be found in our dedicated car parks, or free 2-hour on-street daytime parking can be found just in front on Anglesea Street.

DISTANCE-LEARNING OPTIONS AVAILABLE: In addition to our regular Hamilton in-person classes, we offer ‘Distance Learning’ options for all of our Religious Diversity courses. Distance-learning options have been added for those living outside the Waikato or for those unable to attend our in-person classes in Hamilton. If you are a Distance-Learner you have the option of joining our regular live classroom sessions via Zoom at the regularly scheduled class time, or you can watch a video-recording of the Zoom classroom session at your leisure and learn at your own pace.

For more information on each specific course and the topics covered, please click on course name above, or on the course respective tiles below.