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Learn about Sikhism with online courses and programs

Are you interested in expanding your knowledge of the world’s different religions? Learn Sikhism with online courses delivered through edX.

What is Sikhism?

Sikhism is a monotheistic religion (the belief in only one God), that was founded in the late 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia, India. It is centered on the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first of ten Sikh gurus to have lived through time. At its core, Sikhism emphasizes devotion to one God in the pursuit of a righteous and purposeful life.Footnote 1

Guru Nanak Dev Ji's teachings were succeeded by nine other gurus, leading to the culmination of the faith in 1708 when the title passed into the holy Sikh scriptures known as Guru Granth Sahib—the living Guru. These scriptures provide guidance on leading a virtuous and compassionate life, promoting principles such as selfless service (Seva), honest living, and devotion through prayer and meditation.Footnote 2

Sikhs are best known for advocating social equality and their commitment to community-based service. Through their values and practices, Sikhs strive for spiritual growth by connecting with the divine and making positive contributions to society. Sikhism, with its focus on unity, devotion, and service, continues to impact lives and promote harmony. (Britannica & McLeod, 2023)

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Sikhism course curriculum

A course on Sikhism can cover a number of different aspects to provide learners with a comprehensive understanding of the religion, its history, beliefs, and practices. Topics that could be covered in an online course include:

  • Introduction to Sikhism: Gain a deeper understanding of Sikhism, its origins, historical context, and the life of founder Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

  • Sikh beliefs: Explore the core beliefs of Sikhism, including the concept of one God, equality, and the importance of selfless service.

  • Sikh scriptures: Delve into the Sikh scriptures, particularly the Guru Granth Sahib, and learn its significance in religious practices.

  • Sikh practices in the modern world: Examine how Sikhs practice their faith in contemporary society and the challenges they face.

  • Historical development: Trace the historical development of Sikhism, including the role of the ten Gurus and major events in history.

Learning Sikhism can provide learners with a deep and respectful understanding of the Sikh religion, culture, and history, while fostering intercultural awareness and appreciation. 

edX offers a variety of online courses in different formats that cover topics related to religion, and much more. Sign up for an accelerated boot camp or enroll in a full degree program and start working toward a bachelor’s degree or for more advanced learners, a master’s degree in a relevant subject. You can also explore executive education programs specifically designed for busy professionals.

Professional benefits of studying Sikhism

While Sikhism itself may not have a direct career path like some other fields, individuals with knowledge and understanding of Sikhism can pursue various career opportunities where their expertise can be beneficial. Here are some potential jobs or career paths:

  • Nonprofit or NGO work: Works for nonprofit organizations that focus on human rights, social equality, and community development.

  • Community organizer: Organizes events, seminars, and cultural festivals that promote community upliftment.

  • Social worker: Assists individuals and communities to gain access to social services and support.

  • Journalist or writer: Contributes to newspapers, magazines, and online publications, covering stories related to the Sikh community or religion.

While these careers may not require studying Sikhism directly, the knowledge and cultural awareness gained from such studies can be a valuable asset in various professions that involve diverse communities and intercultural interactions. Start your learning journey today with edX.