Religion was a department at IWU from 1920-2021. The following timeline contains just the highlights of changes to Religious Studies leading up to its status as an independent unit as found in course catalogs.
From 1866 till 1869, students in the scientific course of study were required to take Evidences of Christianity, listed in Ethical Sciences, and all students were required to attend a lecture called "Relation of Natural to Revealed Religion." In 1884 students were still required to take Christian Evidences, now in the Department of Ethics and Metaphysics.
From 1899 until 1907, the Philosophy and Religion Department are listed, and in 1908 they were combined under one heading with the education department, split into two parts: Philosophy and Education, and Religion. In 1909 the department separated philosophy, education, and religion into three categories under one department.
The independent Department of Religion emerged in 1920.