Professor teaching, Languages, Philosophy, Religion, and Cultures

Languages, Philosophy, Religion, and Cultures (LPRC)

​The Languages, Philosophy, Religion, and Cultures (LPRC) Department offers coursework that exposes students to cultural, theological, literary, and philosophical inquiry. Students will cultivate their critical thinking and analytical writing skills as they deepen their understanding of the world and its humanistic traditions. We offer courses in languages, linguistics, religious studies, philosophy, classics, culture, and literature, as well as opportunities for internships, community engagement, and study abroad.

The LPRC offers programs in Spanish (major and minor), Philosophy (minor), and Religious Studies (minor), as well as Classics courses for General Education credit. Please select the program you are interested in for more information. 


The Hispanic Studies program at Rockford University focuses on the study of literature, art, politics, performance, and language in the different Hispanic communities around the world. Our program offers a Spanish Major and a Spanish Minor and students have the opportunity to organize their courses across different lines of specializations including literature, cultural history, and linguistics/translation. We promote an inclusive and diverse learning environment deeply rooted in the Humanities. Our goal is to contribute to forming creative professionals who are critical thinkers open to understanding other cultures and values. Graduates from our program are well-prepared for graduate studies along with careers in education, international business, communication, government, social services, and other related fields.

Our program provides basic and advanced courses taught in both Spanish and English on translation, Spanish and Latin American theater and poetry, classical reception in the Hispanic world, Hispanic politics and societies, history of Latin America, advanced Spanish grammar, and history of the Spanish language, among many others. We also teach Spanish for Heritage Speakers courses and a variety of courses in Spanish for the Professions. Faculty members in Spanish collaborate with other fields within and beyond our department to stage theater plays and find different publication opportunities for our students. The Spanish Program is actively in different campus activities and in student lives. Every semester we organize cultural immersion student trips to Chicago, where we attend theater plays and visit museums and archives. We work actively to cultivate Hispanic celebrations such as the Day of the Dead celebration, together with the Spanish and Multicultural Clubs. We also welcome everyone to join us in the Spanish Language Coffee Hour conversation table every semester!

The Spanish program faculty offer short-term study abroad course programs to Spain and look forward to developing programs in Latin America. Students may also be interested in our semester abroad program at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

¡Bienvenidos al Programa de Español en Rockford University!


Philosophy, the love of wisdom, is a field of study devoted to fundamental questions concerning knowledge, truth, and experience: What is real? Does God exist? What is the self? What is morality? What is knowledge? Do I have free will? What ought I do with my life? What is justice and how should social problems/issues be addressed? These fundamental questions are posed and answered in diverse and original ways by major philosophers and traditions. Students pursuing a Philosophy degree can expect to develop knowledge, skills, and values transferable to every facet of human life. The department currently offers a minor in philosophy.

Religious Studies

Throughout human history, religion has defined the sacred and profane, wisdom and ethics, time and being. It has inspired political revolutions, music innovation, philosophical debate, psychological exploration, economic systems, scientific and medical discovery, art and architecture, and preserved literature and knowledge. Responsive and reactive to the pressures of history, religion grapples with questions of justice, evil and suffering, inequity and oppression, fate and agency within the frame of moral obligation both to a divine principle and to other people. Religion has served as a nexus of ideas about the meaning and potential of human existence shaping the cultures of the world over for millennia.

The academic study of religion straddles the boundary between objective evidence and subjective experience. Through the examination of primary sacred texts, RU students read some of the most sublime and erudite thought the peoples of the world have produced, treasured and preserved. Through the exploration of interpretive traditions and reception history students come to understand the development of tradition and practice over time as religions evolve to meet ever-changing historical exigencies. A dynamic and powerful force in culture, the careful, critical study of religion at RU vastly expands students’ capacity to understand the worldview of others, a skill of immeasurable value in our global society, and invites students to think deeply and with context about their own place and purpose in the tapestry of human existence. A minor in Religious Studies at RU distinguishes graduates in the marketplace.

The RU Religious Studies program offers a wide array of opportunities for students to meet and dialogue with religious leaders, visit houses of worship in Rockford, Chicago, and Madison, and experience a variety of religious services. The program is actively engaged on the issue of human trafficking providing students opportunities for community based learning, civic engagement, and meaningful class-directed community advocacy. The RU Religious Studies program is home to the RAMS student club (Regents Against Human Trafficking).


Classical Studies at Rockford University focuses on the legacies from Ancient Greece and Rome into our times. Some of the legacies bequeathed to us have lasting value, such as democracy, republican organization of government, the ideals of justice and freedom, society organized under the rule of law rather than of kings, as well as the very idea of a liberal arts education, grounded in the skills needed by citizens to function in and support a free society. On the other hand, the ancient Mediterranean world took for granted inequalities based on gender, the legal status of slavery, ideas of cultural superiority, societies stratified economically, and the legitimacy of empire. To understand our world today and how we became who we are, for better and worse, it is necessary to understand the ancient world and the ways its norms and values have been emulated and distorted for later purposes benign and malignant.

We offer basic and advanced courses presented in English on ancient Greek and Roman history, literature, and culture, through studies of mythology, sport, gender, drama, epic and lyric poetry, and literature in prose. When feasible the program has sponsored study abroad trips to Rome and Greece. Studies in Latin are regularly offered and Ancient Greek as requested. Faculty members in Classics collaborate with colleagues for productions of ancient plays, studies of modern Spanish and French drama, and the connections between science and history, as well as other topics, for example, philosophy and religious studies. The faculty are active scholars in their fields.

Languages, Philosophy, Religion, and Cultures

Yoandy Cabrera Ortega, Ph.D., Dept. Chair
109 Scarborough Hall
5050 E. State St.
Rockford, IL 61108