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Masters Degrees (Systematic And Philosophical Theology)

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The field of systematic and philosophical theology concerns the articulation of the meaning and implications of Christian doctrina or ‘teaching’. Read more
The field of systematic and philosophical theology concerns the articulation of the meaning and implications of Christian doctrina or ‘teaching’. This doctrina includes claims relating to, for example, God, Christ, creation, salvation, the nature of the Church, human identity and ethics.

This course provides a detailed grounding in many aspects of systematic and philosophical theology. It is suitable for those who wish to prepare for a research degree, and for those who wish to undertake graduate level study in order to gain training and experience in this area.

The course director is Dr Simon Oliver, Associate Professor in Systematic and Philosophical Theology. Simon has previously taught at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford and the University of Wales, Lampeter. He is interested in the relationship between theology and philosophy, and specialises in the Christian doctrine of creation and its implications for a critical engagement with scientific and philosophical understandings of the natural.

Visit http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/theology/distance-learning for more information about the Department, programmes, and funding opportunities.

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- Description -. ‘Systematic Theology’ offers the opportunity to study Theology in depth. In times of change, the need to think through the fundamentals of Christian Theology - or how theology works - has never been more pressing. Read more

Course detail

- Description -

‘Systematic Theology’ offers the opportunity to study Theology in depth. In times of change, the need to think through the fundamentals of Christian Theology - or how theology works - has never been more pressing. We attract students from Europe and the US, and from the new and thriving contexts of world Christianity. It is an inter-confessional course which is rigorous and inclusive, and which delivers a uniquely comprehensive study of Theology. The programme includes philosophical theology, biblical theology, practical theology, historical theology, ethics and the arts, as well as doctrine. It also has a strong 'this-worldly' focus, and a concern with studying how Theology matters in different Christian contexts. Over more than twenty years, ‘Systematic Theology’ at King’s has developed a unique international brand, offering highly respected training in theological skills for those concerned at all levels in the life of the Churches and across the spectrum of Christian traditions. Compulsory module: The Foundations of Theology: Forms and Fields. Leads to research in the Department of Theology or careers in teaching, journalism or the church.

Key benefits

- King's has unparalleled resources in Theology with strength across two departments. It has one of the largest Systematic Theology research institutes in Europe, employing five full-time systematicians and numerous other full-time staff in related fields.

- A thriving graduate research environment supports a long-standing systematics seminar which draws in leading scholars from home and overseas and also offers students the opportunity to hone their skills in a supportive educational environment.

- Students of Theology at King's find themselves at the centre of one of the world's most dynamic cities, which offers all kinds of opportunities for theological engagement as well as unparalleled access to specialist libraries and other resources in central London.

- Originally an Anglican founding college of the University of London, King's has had a unique place in shaping the theology of the future for some two hundred years. It continues to provide a vibrant, inter-denominational environment for theological education and research, and enjoys extensive contacts and collaboration both with Church institutions and communities in London, as well as other theological centres.

Visit the website: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught-courses/systematic-theology-ma.aspx

- Course purpose -
For those who wish to develop their skills in Systematic Theology or to prepare for postgraduate research in the discipline. An introduction to aspects of the methods and content of Christian theology.

- Course format and assessment -
Taught core and optional modules assessed by coursework and/or examination plus a dissertation.

Career Prospects:

Research in the Department of Theology & Religious Studies; teaching; journalism; careers in the church.

How to apply: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/taught-courses.aspx

About Postgraduate Study at King’s College London:

To study for a postgraduate degree at King’s College London is to study at the city’s most central university and at one of the top 21 universities worldwide (2016/17 QS World University Rankings). Graduates will benefit from close connections with the UK’s professional, political, legal, commercial, scientific and cultural life, while the excellent reputation of our MA and MRes programmes ensures our postgraduate alumni are highly sought after by some of the world’s most prestigious employers. We provide graduates with skills that are highly valued in business, government, academia and the professions.

Scholarships & Funding:

All current PGT offer-holders and new PGT applicants are welcome to apply for the scholarships. For more information and to learn how to apply visit: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/pg/funding/sources

Free language tuition with the Modern Language Centre:

If you are studying for any postgraduate taught degree at King’s you can take a module from a choice of over 25 languages without any additional cost. Visit: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/mlc

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Newman’s MA in Contemporary Christian Theology will enable you to develop your interest in theology through an engagement with with some of the issues brought to light by our contemporary culture. Read more
Newman’s MA in Contemporary Christian Theology will enable you to develop your interest in theology through an engagement with with some of the issues brought to light by our contemporary culture. You will have the choice of focusing your MA on Christian Theology, Christian Theology and Education, or Christian Theology and Ministry. The part-time programme is ideally suited to professionals working within the field of Theology, Religious Education or Christian Ministry and for those who want to deepen their understanding of the issues facing contemporary theology. Participation in this programme can help advance a career in leading Church schools, teaching Religious Education, or development in pastoral ministry and adult education.

The programme aims to open up new insights building from historical schools of thought to contemporary Christian theologies through an exploration of current issues, such as those surrounding the new bio-technologies, the relationship between science and theology, and eco-feminism. The programme is delivered through a blend of on-line learning and taught sessions. There are four weekend schools a year and ongoing on-line support.

Modules on the programme include

• Constructing Theologies: Past and Future
• Theology and Contemporary Ethics
• Metaphysics and Postmodernity: Belief and the Future
• Method and Hermeneutics in Theology
• Theology and Education.

Pathways

All students take the same modules and attend core lectures but where appropriate, seminars and tutorials allow you to focus your studies on one of the following areas:

Christian Theology

Students pursuing their studies in Christian Theology have the opportunity to engage in considerable depth with contemporary movements in philosophical and systematic theology. The course will allow for detailed study of key texts and ideas, while addressing questions about the possibility and nature of theology.

Theology and Education

The taught modules aim to open up new insights into the study of theology through an exploration of the issues that impact on Religious Studies and the leadership of Church schools. These include theologies underpinning education, ethical issues such as designer babies and environmental ethics, and philosophies of education.

Theology and Ministry

Choosing to focus on ministry enables you to explore and extend your understanding of how current research in theology can enrich the work of Christian ministry and mission. This focus will encourage a development of the cognitive, imaginative and critical skills required to interpret texts and doctrines and will enhance the competence of clerical and lay Christians to apply the resources of faith to everyday life and ministry.

In addition to the core modules, you may choose one professionally related module from the MA in Professional Enquiry programme or choose to reflect theologically on a specific area of personal interest. An optional negotiated module provides the opportunity to address a research area of personal interest with tutor support. The writing of a dissertation, allows a further opportunity to develop personal research and completes the final stage of the MA. Students may complete two modules of study to gain a Postgraduate Certificate (typically one year of part-time study), or four modules to gain a Postgraduate Diploma.

Attendance

The group size is small enough to allow good interaction between class members and easy access to the tutors. The course is delivered through a combination of on-line materials, and face-to-face taught sessions at Newman. University College-based sessions take place over an average of 6 days per year, timed to suit the needs of part-time students. In addition, students will make use of distance learning materials and will be encouraged to interact with each other and with tutors in on-line forums.

Research Areas

Theological research is fundamental to the mission of Newman University. The subject area welcomes applications from suitably qualified students who wish to pursue postgraduate research degrees (MPhil and PhD awarded by the University of Leicester) in the areas of Philosophy of Religion, Religious Education and Biblical Studies.

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Research students currently work in most areas of systematic theology from the patristic era to the medieval era; from the Reformation to modern times; Read more

Research profile

Research students currently work in most areas of systematic theology from the patristic era to the medieval era; from the Reformation to modern times; and in philosophical theology, from the early modern period to recent continental thought; and in such specialised topics as modern Christology; theology and science; and theological ethics (representing some prominent research interests of current members of staff).

Sessions on research orientation/ methods are offered to all students. Within Systematic Theology, there is a research seminar for staff and students to which visiting speakers are invited. Informal reading groups and language classes in theological German are also offered.

The School of Divinity is home to a thriving research community. All of our academic staff are engaged in individual research and writing projects and many are also involved in collaborative projects with colleagues across the globe.

The School of Divinity has consistently scored exceptionally highly in the Research Assessment Exercise, the most recent assessment putting us among the best schools in theology, philosophical theology and religious studies in the UK.

Our researchers currently boast the highest percentage of 4* scores (world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour) of any Scottish university in theology and religious studies.

We have the largest number of divinity research-active staff in Scotland, and the third largest in the UK. Overall, the RAE ranked us third in the UK with 60 per cent of our research activity judged internationally excellent or world-leading.

Training and support

Our community comprises 450 students (undergraduate and postgraduate) and nearly 30 full-time academic staff, including internationally respected scholars in a wide range of specialisms.

We welcome students from around the world, from religious and non-religious backgrounds, taking pride in our status as a renowned research centre in a broad spectrum of subject areas.

We take a personal interest in our students and offer a welcoming and friendly setting in which to pursue the exciting and demanding study of theology and religious studies.

The large graduate school and the presence of visiting academics from around the world help ensure a diverse and stimulating research environment.

All research students are assigned a primary and secondary supervisor. You are offered a training course in research methods, and are given conscientious supervision from your first weeks through to submission of your thesis.

There are also special orientation events for international students.

Facilities

As a postgraduate researcher you can draw on the outstanding library resources of New College, the University of Edinburgh and the nearby National Library of Scotland.

New College Library has one of the largest theology collections in the UK, with more than a quarter of a million items and a large and rich manuscript collection, including the papers of Thomas Chalmers, John Baillie, JH Oldham and James S Stewart.

The strengths of the Library collections contribute greatly to the teaching and research of members of the School as well as students elsewhere in the University.

These collections are complemented by the many resources available in the University and beyond. The total holdings in all the University libraries exceed 2.25 million volumes. In addition, the National Library of Scotland holds more than five million volumes.

The New College Library boasts a magnificent reading hall, originally built as the sanctuary of the Free High Kirk.

The School provides extensive and well-equipped computing facilities for coursework and research at all levels, including dissertations. We provide all students with access to PCs, scanners and printers, across four labs.

Research opportunities

We offer two types of research-based masters degree, as well as PhD programmes.

Masters by Research (MSc by Research/MTh by Research)

These one-year masters degrees by research are designed for students with an academic training in divinity or religious studies (or other relevant subject) who wish to focus on a particular topic.

The programme may be taken as either a Master of Theology by Research or a Master of Science by Research. The difference is one of nomenclature only.

Both involve research training and orientation courses, after which you may either research and submit a dissertation of about 30,000 words, which comprises the remaining assessment for the degree, or write three supervised research essays to provide appropriate background and preparatory study for the topic of your research, and then submit a dissertation of about 15,000 words.

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This course involves the study of historical and systematic theology across a range of Christian perspectives. Durham has long-established strengths in both Greek and Latin patristics, the medieval Church and Reformation, contemporary Catholic and Anglican theology, theological ethics, and philosophical theology. Read more
This course involves the study of historical and systematic theology across a range of Christian perspectives. Durham has long-established strengths in both Greek and Latin patristics, the medieval Church and Reformation, contemporary Catholic and Anglican theology, theological ethics, and philosophical theology.

Course Structure

Classic Texts in Christian Theology core module, Three option modules, Dissertation.
Core Modules:
-Classic Texts in Christian Theology
-Dissertation

Optional Modules in previous years have included:
2-3 choices from:
-Paul and his Interpreters
-Gospels and Canon
-The Bible and Hermeneutics
-Patristic Exegesis
-Patristic Ecclesiology
-Christian Northumbria 600-750
-The Anglican Theological Vision
-Liturgy and Sacramentality
-Conceiving Change in Contemporary Catholicism
-Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology
-Christian Gender
-Principles of Theological Ethics
-Theology, Ethics and Medicine
-Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion
-Ritual, Symbolism and Belief in the Anthropology of Religion
-Literature and Religion
-Catholic Social Thought
-Ecclesiology and Ethnography
-Doctrine of Creation

Plus up to 1 choice from:
-Advanced Hebrew Texts
-Advanced Aramaic
-Middle Egyptian
-Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament
-Selected modules from the MA in Theology and Ministry programme
-Level 3 undergraduate module, or any Level 1 – 2 language module offered by the Department of Theology and Religion, taken in conjunction with the Extended Study in Theology & Religion module
-30 credits from another Board of Studies (including appropriate credit-bearing language modules offered by the University’s Centre for Foreign Language Study)

Learning and Teaching

Most MA teaching is delivered through small group seminars and tutorials. These exemplify and encourage the various skills and practices required for independent scholarly engagement with texts and issues. Teaching in the Department of Theology & Religion is ‘research led’ at both BA and MA levels, but particularly at MA level. Research led teaching is informed by staff research, but more importantly it aims to develop students as independent researchers themselves, able to pursue and explore their own research interests and questions. This is why the independently researched MA dissertation is the culmination of the MA programme. Such engagement with texts and issues is not only an excellent preparation for doctoral research, it also develops those skills of critical analysis, synthesis and presentation sought and required by employers.

Many MA classes will contain a ‘lecture’ element, conveying information and exemplifying an approach to the subject-matter that will enable students to develop a clear understanding of the subject and improve their own ability to analyse and evaluate information and arguments. Seminars enhance knowledge and understanding through preparation and interaction with other students and staff, promoting awareness of and respect for different viewpoints and approaches, and developing skills of articulacy, advocacy and interrogation. Through small group discussions and tutorials, feedback is provided on student work, with the opportunity to discuss specific issues in detail, enhancing student knowledge and writing skills.

The Dissertation module includes training in generic research skills, from the use of the Library to issues in referencing and bibliography. The subject specific core module introduces students to questions of interpretation and argument in the disciplines encompassed by theology and religion, and helps them to develop their own interests and questions that will issue in the MA dissertation. The latter is a piece of independent research, but it is fostered and guided through individual tutorials with a supervisor, with whom students meet throughout the academic year.

Other admission requirements

*The two principal exceptions to this rule are as follows: graduates of other disciplines who have studied at undergraduate or equivalent level in one or more of the areas in which they hope to work, through their first degrees, through training for the ministry of the churches, and so on; students from overseas universities who have successfully reached a point in their theological studies comparable with completion of a British BA at the standard noted above - for example, on the German model, passing the Zwischenprüfung or Kolloquium and two semesters at the Hauptseminar level. When applying, please ensure that your two chosen referees send their confidential academic references (using the reference form [Word]) to us in a timely manner. Please note that we are unable to accept ‘open’ references submitted by yourself. The referees may send the references by email directly from their institutional email addresses to provided they are signed, or by post to the address provided on the reference form.

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This flexible programme will give you a sophisticated understanding of theories and methods at the forefront of Theology and Religious Studies. Read more
This flexible programme will give you a sophisticated understanding of theories and methods at the forefront of Theology and Religious Studies. You will study diverse religious traditions in the UK and beyond, as well as their impact on the world around us.
Core modules explore the relationship between religion, theology and the public sphere in areas such as human rights, wealth and wealth creation, terrorism and social justice. You will also gain an understanding of research methods in the humanities and social sciences.
Then you will select from optional modules focusing on topics that suit your interests such as philosophy of religion, the links between religion and global development or gender, multiculturalism and more.
With the support of leading researchers, including those working in our Centre for Philosophy of Religion and Centre for Religion and Public Life, you will develop a wide range of skills while exploring a subject that is vital for understanding the world we live in.

This programme is also available to study part-time over 24 months. You can also study for a postgraduate certificate (PGCert) or diploma (PGDip) qualification, where you take fewer modules overall.

Course Content

Your first semester will equip you with the knowledge and skills to study theology and religion. You will take core modules introducing you to research methods in the subject, using approaches from across the humanities and social sciences, as well as exploring the relationship between theology and public life. You will learn about political, urban, systematic and practical theologies among many others, focusing on issues such as racism, criminal justice and social cohesion.

This foundation will enable you to gain specialist knowledge in the areas that suit your interests. You will choose two optional modules from the range we offer, allowing you to focus on topics such as Muslims and multiculturalism, or philosophical approaches to spirituality.

During the programme you will acquire skills in research and interpretation and good social and cultural awareness. You’ll demonstrate this with your dissertation – an independent study on a research topic of your choice – which you will submit by the end of the programme in August. You can even go into greater depth if you swap one optional module for an extended dissertation.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
If you study for the PGCert or PGDip qualification, you’ll take fewer modules. You will also specialise in either theology or religious studies, depending on the modules you choose.

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This flexible programme looks at the Christian past from a variety of perspectives – theological, philosophical and historical – and provides options for special study of themes from the early Church to modern times. Read more

Programme description

This flexible programme looks at the Christian past from a variety of perspectives – theological, philosophical and historical – and provides options for special study of themes from the early Church to modern times.

This programme will enable you to understand and reflect critically upon the historical contexts in which Christian thought has developed.

Our approach is interdisciplinary: instructors include historians, philosophers of religion and systematic theologians.

Our work is enriched by the School’s guest lectures and regular research seminars in theology and ethics, and the history of Christianity.

Programme structure

This programme is run over one year full-time (or two years part-time). From September to April you follow courses and are given training in research methods.

From April onwards you will work on your 15,000-word dissertation. All students have one-to-one dissertation supervision.

Compulsory courses:

The compulsory courses (Creeds, Councils and Controversies I and II) focus on the most authoritative ecclesiastical constructions of Christian thought, from the beginnings to the present day, and explore the debates and challenges that have shaped belief and practice.

Students also take Approaches to Research, which offers a practical approach to improving postgraduate-level skills of critical thinking and writing.

Option courses:

We offer a wide range of special options in early Christianity, late medieval religion, the Reformation and puritan studies, Scottish theology, German philosophy from Kant to Hegel, modern religious history, and the theology of figures such as Friedrich Schleiermacher and Karl Barth.

You may choose at least two of three options from the Theology in History offerings, but are able to take a course from elsewhere within the School or College. You may opt to take a year-long course in an ancient or modern language relevant to your dissertation.

Career opportunities

The programme can be taken as an end in itself or as preparation for a research degree and provides transferable skills which can be applied in a wide range of careers.

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