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Masters Degrees (Systematic Theology)

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Master's specialisation in Systematic Theology. Drawing on the compassionate values and insights of the Christian faith to contribute to the welfare of society. Read more

Master's specialisation in Systematic Theology

Drawing on the compassionate values and insights of the Christian faith to contribute to the welfare of society.

What is the public relevance of Christian beliefs and doctrines in today’s society? Systematic theology deals in general with the meaning and implications of Christian doctrines. At Radboud University, we add the unique focus of public theology. Public theology isn't about promoting the interests of 'the Church' but rather, about drawing on the compassionate values and insights of the Christian faith to contribute to the welfare of society.

Currently, the secularisation thesis is strongly under review. On the one hand, the orientation of affluent societies has become secular even though the world as a whole is no less religious than before. On the other hand, there also seems to be a post-secular movement and a revival of religion in many societies. At Radboud University we look at these, and other developments in the public domain. What new forms of spirituality are kindled in society? How are morals changing?

By engaging with readings from both classical and contemporary theologians, and active discussions in the seminars, students learn how to formulate critical theological perspectives on questions of meaning of life and a viable civil society in our contemporary situation. Graduates of the Master’s specialisation in Systematic Theology can become researchers, policy makers, educators or spiritual caregivers.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/systematictheology

Why study Systematic Theology at Radboud University?

- Radboud University offers a unique set of subjects within Systematic Theology which includes philosophy of religion, feminist theology and spirituality studies as well as the more conventional subjects fundamental theology, dogmatic theology and theological ethics.

- The central focus of this specialisation lies on public theology, a relatively new and vibrant development within theology in which issues and debates in society are studied as possible ways of thinking about God.

- This programme is not just geared towards Europe but also places developments in a global perspective.

- Thanks to electives, students have plenty of room to choose a direction that meets their professional and academic interests. Taking a few seminars from the other theology disciplines of choice (Church History, Literary Theology or Practical Theology) is mandatory to broaden students general knowledge on Theology.

- The third year is aimed at training students for a specific profession. Students can choose research (English), education (Dutch), religion and policy (Dutch) or spiritual care (Dutch).

- Teaching takes place in a stimulating, collegial setting with small groups, allowing for ample opportunity for questions and discussion.

- Radboud University and its Theology department are Roman Catholic in origin, but its Master’s programme in Theology is open to all students. Our students have very diverse religious and cultural backgrounds.

Change perspective

This programme is aimed at enhancing students’ capacity for theological reflection so they can confidently enter the public area where debates on issues as atheism, post-secularism and science come into play. Therefore graduates can participate in debates in the public arena using arguments based on the Christian faith and can convey their faith in society. As a graduate of Systematic Theology, you will change the perspective of others and give meaning to fundamental questions and ideas that feature in science, culture and faith.

Admission requirements for international students

1. A completed Bachelor's degree in Theology or related area

2. A proficiency in English

In order to take part in this programme, you need to have fluency in both written and spoken English. Non-native speakers of English* without a Dutch Bachelor's degree or VWO diploma need one of the following:

- A TOEFL score of >550 (paper based) or >213 (computer based) or >80 (internet based)

- An IELTS score of >6.0

- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a mark of C or higher

Career prospects

In a globalising world, more and more institutions require skills in theological communication and hermeneutics. Theologians know how to formulate critical theological perspectives on questions of meaning of life and a viable civil society in our contemporary situation. Our graduates have an analytical attitude and the skills to make sounds judgements which will help them participate in debates in the public arena using arguments based on the Christian faith and can convey their faith in society. In addition, the programme teaches you how to think independently and critically about the way the Christian doctrine can give meaning to contemporary issues.

Job positions

The Master’s programme in Theology has a strong emphasis on career prospects by allowing students to focus on one professional path in their third year: research, education, spiritual care or religion and policy.

Our approach to this field

Systematic theology has a long-standing tradition in subjects as fundamental theology, dogmatic theology and theological ethics. At Radboud University the set of subjects of systematic theology is extended to include interesting domains such as philosophy of religion, feminist theology and spirituality studies. The central focus in all of these is on public theology, a relatively new and vibrant development in theology. It seeks to provide resources for people to make connections between their faith and the practical issues facing society.

Horizons of thinking towards God

In public theology, actual developments and debates in society are studied as possible horizons of thinking towards God. Two types of questions are investigated as they provide reference points in this search:

1. How are questions of meaning of life addressed in our societies and cultures?

2. How can a "viable civil society" be envisioned in our time?

In searching for answers to these questions, special attention is given to intercultural and cross-cultural debates.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/systematictheology



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Your programme of study. If you are interested in pursuing teaching or research the programme in Systematic Theology will give you a range of research capability to go on to PhD or enrich your teachings and discipline to enable you to participate, teach and write. Read more

Your programme of study

If you are interested in pursuing teaching or research the programme in Systematic Theology will give you a range of research capability to go on to PhD or enrich your teachings and discipline to enable you to participate, teach and write. You will join a lively and friendly group of people committed to academic rigour and spirituality.

The taught MTh. in Systematic Theology is designed to give you a first degree in Theology an opportunity for advanced study of Christian Systematic Theology and to acquire the skills and knowledge of the discipline necessary for further independent postgraduate research and teaching in the field. It also affords students and scholars whose graduate work has been in other related fields a vehicle for focused exploration of the nature and tasks of Systematic Theology in the Christian tradition.

Courses listed for the programme

Introduction

Compulsory

  • Readings in Systematic Theology
  • The Christian Doctrine of God

Optional

  • Creation of Christian Ethics
  • Special Subject
  • Great Thinkers in Theological Ethics
  • Special Subject

Compulsory

  • Dissertation

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • Theology has been taught and researched at University of Aberdeen since Kings College inauguration in 1495
  • Years of experience and research provides an internationally renowned teaching and learning experience
  • You are taught in 'Old Aberdeen' where you can experience the heritage of the 5th oldest University in the UK
  • You can experience music and services in the cathedral nearby and on campus in a multi faith city

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • 12 Months Full Time and 24 Months Part Time
  • September start

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about international fees:

  • International
  • EU and Scotland
  • Other UK

Find out more about fees on the programme page

*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page and the latest postgraduate opportunities

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

Your Accommodation

Campus Facilities

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs



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Research profile. You will join academic staff and graduate students who represent a variety of nationalities and theological perspectives. Read more

Research profile

You will join academic staff and graduate students who represent a variety of nationalities and theological perspectives. This intellectual diversity is strongly encouraged.

Recent projects have included research into Augustine, medieval theology, the history of Reformed theology, Dutch Neo-Calvinism, Edwards, Schleiermacher, Barth, Wittgenstein, Torrance, Levinas, Balthasar, Pannenberg, Adams, contextual theology, theology of religions, providence, theological anthropology, ecclesiology, pneumatology, eschatology and puritan theology. The interests of academic staff range across philosophical, historical and systematic theology.

You can find out more and identify a potential supervisor by looking at the School’s staff profiles, which give details of research interests and publications, and email addresses.

You are encouraged to contact a potential supervisor to discuss your research project before making a formal application.

At the School of Divinity you will join a community of around 150 research students, drawn from around the world, and from a variety of religious and non-religious backgrounds.

You will study in a stimulating environment. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 ranked the School’s research environment at 100% world-leading / internationally excellent, second in the UK on this front in theology and religion. This outstanding result reflects the vibrancy of the School’s research culture.

Training and support

The ethos of the Graduate School is to promote excellence in postgraduate study, within a stimulating and supportive environment. We value equality and diversity in the School community, and an academic culture that is both critical and constructive.

  • At the start of the academic year, you will be invited to Welcome Week, an intensive introduction to study and life in Edinburgh. Some events are especially for international students new to Scotland and the UK, but everything is open to all.
  • In the first weeks, the School provides a general orientation to research skills and to wider opportunities for training and support.
  • From your first days as a student, you will work one-to-one with your primary research supervisor.
  • Your progress will be tracked, through regular supervisions and milestone reviews, to ensure that you get the support you need to bring your project to fruition.
  • You will be part of the research seminar in Theology and Ethics, to which visiting speakers are invited and to which postgraduates present work-in-progress.
  • You will be able to follow taught courses that contribute to your interests and research needs, and can also take advantage of opportunities to learn ancient and modern languages.

A University review (2015) commended the Graduate School for providing excellent support: responsive to student feedback; proactive in helping new postgraduates to adjust to their studies and to life in Scotland; enthusiastic and practical in promoting career development. The postgraduate student committee works closely with the School to make the research student experience the best it can be.

Facilities

The School of Divinity, one of the largest centres for the study of religion in the United Kingdom, is located in the historic setting of New College, close to Edinburgh Castle and overlooking Princes Street.

Resources for research are excellent. You can draw on the outstanding holdings of New College Library, the University of Edinburgh’s main library, 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. The University library exceeds 2.25 million volumes. The National Library of Scotland – a ‘legal deposit’ library like the British Library in London and the university libraries of Oxford and Cambridge – is just around the corner.

The School provides an extensive programme of weekly research seminars and special guest lectures. In addition, three research centres provide a special focus for activity: the Centre for the Study of Christian Origins; the Centre for Theology and Public Issues; the Centre for the Study of World Christianity.

You will have access to excellent study facilities, dedicated to postgraduates. PhD and MPhil students have access 24/7, and can request an allocated desk. Masters by Research students have shared study space. All areas have printing/scanning and computer facilities. The main postgraduate study wing has a kitchen. New College has an on-site cafe that is open during term time.



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Providing meaning to fundamental questions and ideas that feature in science, culture and faith. The contemporary world is characterised by rapid innovations in science and technology. Read more

Providing meaning to fundamental questions and ideas that feature in science, culture and faith.

The contemporary world is characterised by rapid innovations in science and technology. These developments contribute to economic growth and prosperity, but simultaneously require positioning, and specifically people who can provide meaning and direction. Theologians are those people, as they are trained in systematic reflection of fundamental questions and ideas that feature in science, culture and faith. They can contribute to the dialogue between believing and knowing.

Radboud University aims to train such theologians. The central focus in the three-year Master's programme in Theology is on the tension between universal truth claims within belief systems and the diverse cultural contexts in which they are expressed. We are concerned with how the Christian faith addresses matters in society at large and with the public relevance of Christian beliefs and doctrines. Christian engagement requires an intellectual as well as a practical basis. We therefore seek to provide academic rigor to the conception of theology. It's about contributing to the welfare of society by drawing on the insights, resources and compassionate values of the Christian faith.

Graduates of the Master’s programme in Theology are employed in various leadership positions in dioceses, religious congregations, universities and colleges. In a globalising world more and more institutions require skills in theological communication and hermeneutics.

From broad to specialisation

Master’s students can choose to specialise in one of four disciplines of theology or to take a general theology programme in which all four disciplines are studied.

Specialisations:

History of Church and Theology

Analysing historical developments of Christian traditions and discipline, to better understand Christian belief in contemporary society. (Church History, Historical Theology, Canon Law)

Biblical Exegesis

Words, texts and meaning: Investigating the Old Testament and the New Testament in their historical contexts.

Practical Theology

Searching for traces of meaning in everyday practices, and looking beyond traditional shapes of religiosity. (Pastoral Theology, Missiology, Liturgical Studies, Intercultural Theology)

Systematic Theology

Drawing on the compassionate values and insights of the Christian faith to contribute to the welfare of society. (Fundamental Theology, Dogmatic Theology, Theological Ethics, Spirituality, Philosophy of Religion, Feminist Theology)

Graduates of the Master’s programme in Theology can specifically train to become researchers, policy makers, educators, pastoral care workers or spiritual counsellors. Other professions upon graduation include pastoral worker, journalist, curator and archivist.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/theology

Why study Theology at Radboud University?

- Students can choose a broad programme or choose to specialise in one of the four disciplines of Theology (Literary, Systematic or Practical Theology or Church History).

- With electives, students have plenty of room to choose a direction that meets their professional and academic interests. Taking a few seminars from the other theology disciplines of choice (Church History, Literary Theology or Practical Theology) is mandatory to broaden students general knowledge on Theology.

- The third year is aimed at training students for a specific profession. Students can choose research (English), education (Dutch), religion and policy (Dutch) or spiritual care (Dutch).

- Theology at Radboud University is a truly international Master's programme; many of our staff, students and alumni come from outside the Netherlands. We also cooperate with universities abroad in Kenya, Tanzania, India and Indonesia.

- The majority (88%) of our students graduate. This is because our staff knows how to motivate through excellent education and intensive supervision. As a Master's student you will have a personal tutor and you will work in an inspiring environment with excellent researchers.

- Teaching takes place in a stimulating, collegial setting with small groups, allowing ample opportunity for questions and discussion.

- Radboud University and its Theology department are Roman Catholic in origin, but its Master’s programme in Theology is open to all students. Our students have very diverse religious and cultural backgrounds.

Career prospects

In a globalising world, more and more institutions require skills in theological communication and hermeneutics. Theologians know how to formulate critical theological perspectives on questions of meaning of life and a viable civil society in our contemporary situation. Our graduates have an analytical attitude and the skills to make sounds judgements which will help them participate in debates in the public arena using arguments based on the Christian faith and can convey their faith in society. In addition, the programme teaches you how to think independently and critically about the way the Christian doctrine can give meaning to contemporary issues.

Our research in this field

Among the Theology staff there is a large variety of expertise; research is being conducted in all four disciplines of Theology. Staff members apply their latest research and those of their colleagues to their seminars.

- Church History

The research group Church History and the History of Christianity studies the history of Christians on the basis of historical methods and in critical deliberation with the other disciplines within theology and religious studies. They are primarily concerned with the historical questions of discipline and repression.

- Literary Theology

The research group Textual Sources of Judaism and Christianity focuses on the foundational texts of Judaism and Christianity: the Bible and texts that originated in the Jewish and Christian traditions of the first centuries of our calendar.

- Practical Theology

The research of the chair Empirical and Practical Religious Studies is conducted along two lines. The first is the transformation of life stories, discourse and transmission of religious and spiritual identity. The second line investigates the transformation of religion in processes of migration and conflict. Migration results in interaction between individuals with different religious identities and spiritualities.

- Systematic Theology

The research group Systematic Religious Studies also carries out research in the theological field and is concerned with issues relating to public theology. Accordingly, the research covers questions as, for example, whether the public sphere can be a locus of theology or whether theology can seriously contribute to cultural, political, or economic debates.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/theology



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The MTh programme in Christian Theology explores the meaning of Christian teaching. Traditionally, Theology has included the study of the Bible, of Christian history and of Christian thought and these areas are all included in the programme. Read more
The MTh programme in Christian Theology explores the meaning of Christian teaching. Traditionally, Theology has included the study of the Bible, of Christian history and of Christian thought and these areas are all included in the programme. Students have the opportunity either to specialise in one of these areas (through the three pathways Theology and the Bible, Theology and Church History, Systematic Theology) or modules can be selected from each discipline.

Course Overview

The MTh in Christian Theology allows the study of ancient concepts and approaches as well as contemporary movements and ideas. It is open to those who wish to explore their faith from an academic perspective, but it is also open to those who wish to know more about thoughts and movements which have had a considerable impact on the world. There is no denominational bias within the programme, and it is available to those who hold religious convictions, and to those who do not. Either way, students are expected to engage with the tradition critically and rigorously.

The programme is delivered as a full-time and part-time programme of study, and is also available as distance learning. All module content is available through the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and students will be supported throughout their studies through regular access to their module tutors, either one to one (by email, skype, phone), in groups (using media such as Skype), or via VLE module discussion forums or wikis.

Campus-based students will be supported through lectures, research seminars and public lectures. An annual residential graduate summer school is held for all students in July where students are able to experience lectures and seminars covering both issues related to generic learning and subject-specific information and to engage with a number of our research students.

Modules

-Study Skills for Theology and Religious Studies
-Theology and the Bible
-Orthodox and Church History
-Systematic Theology
-The Doctrine of the Trinity
-The Resurrection of Jesus and the Christian Hope
-Dissertation

Key Features

The programme is based upon an established pool of expertise in related concerns, and covers a range of projects undertaken over a number of years:

Staff are research active and regularly attend academic conferences.

Study cutting edge areas of academic interest

The staff expertise represents a considerable bank of knowledge and skills that will underpin this programme and will ensure student experience a high quality educational experience.

In addition Students will benefit from the:
-Opportunity to specialise in Biblical Studies, Church History or Systematic Theology
-We have a long and distinguished tradition of specialist teaching in Biblical Studies
-Vibrant research culture

Assessment

Assessment is usually based on written work in the form of long and short essays, reports, book reviews and reflective pieces.

Career Opportunities

The programme has been designed to attract students interested in developing both their generic as well as their subject-specific skills. It offers opportunities for students who have recently graduated to move on to work at level 7 in their specialist field of study and help prepare them for careers in education, ministry and research. The programme also offers excellent continuing professional development for teachers at various stages of their career, ministers currently in pastoral charge seeking further professional development and other interested parties. In addition, the programme will be attractive to students who wish to study out of personal interest or faith commitment.

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Looking to build upon your Bachelor's degree in Theology or Religious Studies? Or perhaps you are engaged in pastoral work and seeking to deepen your theoretical insights? Where better than at KU Leuven, where theology has been taught and practised for nearly 600 years? KU Leuven's Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies has always acted as a think tank within the Catholic community. Read more

Looking to build upon your Bachelor's degree in Theology or Religious Studies? Or perhaps you are engaged in pastoral work and seeking to deepen your theoretical insights? Where better than at KU Leuven, where theology has been taught and practised for nearly 600 years? KU Leuven's Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies has always acted as a think tank within the Catholic community. We offer a history of critical dialogue conversant with tradition, but situated in the present and yet ever conscious of the future - why not make this openness your own? Leuven's famed theology professors will put you in a great position to determine your own future, whether it is in pastoral work, at NGOs throughout the world, in the media, or in politics. The choices are endless. But with Leuven's MA in Theology and Religious Studies, they become meaningful.

What is the Master of Theology and Religious Studies all about?

The goal of this Master's programme is to expand and deepen students' initial education in Theology and Religious Studies, whether obtained at KU Leuven or elsewhere. It prepares students to engage in independent research in the various domains of Theology and Religious Studies and equips them to function as experts in Church and society.

The curriculum has a twofold focus.

  • On the one hand, students are given the opportunity to specialise and write a Master's thesis in one of the faculty's six research disciplines or majors: biblical studies, systematic theology, theological ethics, history of Church and theology, pastoral theology, and religious studies.
  • On the other hand, the curriculum continues to offer a general orientation towards the interdisciplinary academic investigation of the Christian faith tradition in a multi-cultural and multi-religious social context.

This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.

Structure

The Bachelor programme offered by the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies endeavours to make a contribution to the overall formation and development of the students and to prepare them to engage in independent theological and interdisciplinary reflection on the Catholic faith tradition. At the same time, the programme also intends to stimulate interest in the mutual relationships between the various Christian churches and between Christianity and the other world religions.

Faculty

The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies has built a rich history and tradition ever since its founding in 1432. The Faculty focuses on training students and researchers in scientifically-based, and methodological reflection and application, where theology and religious studies mutually enrich one another. All of the Faculty’s programmes are taught in both Dutch and English and are open to students of every nationality. The Faculty currently has students from more than sixty countries and thus from virtually every part of the globe.

Objectives

The Theology and Religious Studies curriculum is aimed at the interdisciplinary and scientific study of the Catholic faith tradition in the context of a multicultural and multi-religious society and world. The full curriculum (comprising a Bachelor, a Master and an Advanced Master programme) aims at promoting academic excellence leading up to an increasing personal academic contribution and to a growing commitment with regard to theology and religion in society. Academic formation intended to prepare men and women to judge and act maturely in matters related to theology and religious studies ought not only to pass on the broad lines of the tradition of research in these domains, but also to develop the capacity to analyse closely the context in which theology and religion are set, and to focus in depth on developments in the various fields of study that contribute thereto. It is for this reason that the teaching programmes offered by the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies endeavour to make a contribution to the overall formation and development of the students and to prepare them to engage in independent theological and interdisciplinary reflection on the Catholic faith tradition. At the same time, the programmes also intend to stimulate interest in the mutual relationships between the various Christian churches and between Christianity and the other world religions.

The Master's in Theology and Religious Studies is aimed at the further elaboration of the formation acquired in the Bachelor's Programme with a view to (a) preparing students for increasingly independent research in the domains of theology and religious studies and (b) equipping students to participate as responsible experts in both church and society. The study curriculum thus comprises of a double focus: on the one hand students are given the opportunity to specialise in one of the six research disciplines available in the faculty while on the other the curriculum continues to offer a more general, interdisciplinary academic formation whereby students are enabled to study the Catholic faith tradition as a whole in the context of a multicultural and multi-religious society. The faculty's programmes in English place additional emphasis on the international character of theological research and on the international context of religion and theology. Students are consciously encouraged to familiarise themselves with the diverse cultural backgrounds of their fellow students thus facilitating and augmenting their theological endeavours at a variety of levels. Research and engagement thereby acquire an international dimension.

Career perspectives

Degrees in Theology and Religious Studies prepare students for a variety of careers, including secondary and higher education, publishing, the media, academic research and the various domains of pastoral care.

Graduates who wish to engage in further specialisation, can continue their study career by enrolling for the Research Master: Master of Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies.



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MA in Contemporary Christian Theology. 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

MA in Contemporary Christian Theology

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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Theology students today are faced with the momentous task of contributing to modern culture. This requires a thorough and interdisciplinary academic training. Read more

Theology students today are faced with the momentous task of contributing to modern culture. This requires a thorough and interdisciplinary academic training. With this in mind, the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies insists on developing well-rounded and highly trained scholars with critical minds. The two-year Research Master equips students to function as experts in Church and society and prepares them for further research specifically oriented towards the Doctoral Programme in Theology. 

What is the Master of Advanced Studies in Theology and Religious Studies all about?

 The Research Master: Master of Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion offers you a broad perspective on what theology and religious studies are all about. After graduation, you will have obtained a broad yet profound theoretical foundation in the great European traditions of thought and you will be able to move with ease as a dialogue partner in diverse theological fields.

The (full-time or part-time) programme is offered by the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies which ever since its founding in 1432 has built a rich history and tradition. Guided by our world-renowned faculty members, whose individual areas of expertise span the breadth and depth of theology, you will learn to give shape to your own independence, and transform it into a project with the potential to lead into doctoral studies. And rest assured: research at Leuven is second to none. Just ask Jansenius, Erasmus, or Louis Janssens – names from Leuven’s rich and ongoing history that spring to life in the Faculty’s peerless library, containing countless priceless volumes and ancient manuscripts. At Leuven, your research is sharpened by the newest digital tools, and bolstered by subscriptions to a rich variety of international journals, ranging from the mainstream to the cutting edge of today’s theology. The Faculty also confers on qualified students the degrees of Sacrae Theologiae Baccalaureus (S.T.B.) and Licentiatus (S.T.L.) in combination with the Research Master.

This is an Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.

Structure

The 120-credits programme comprises the following:

  • Courses (60 credits): you take six courses of the truncus communis (24 credits), one inter disciplinary course (4 credits), three courses from three different majors outside your specialization major (12 credits), and five electives (20 credits).
  • A research master's thesis (32 credits): you will have two years to write a thesis in which you present the results of your study of an original research topic. The thesis must provide a structured and coherent survey of the issue while including an evaluation of research already undertaken and demonstrating evidence of an awareness of problems related to the topic.
  • major (28 credits): you take seven major courses (28 credits). The major can be selected from the research areas on offer at the faculty: Biblical Studies, Systematic Theology and the Study of Religions, Theological and Comparative Ethics, History of Church and Theology, Pastoral and Empirical Theology. 

International experience

The research master’s programme attracts students from all over the world, which adds a valuable intercultural element to your experience. The Faculty currently has students from more than sixty countries and thus from virtually every part of the globe. We also encourage students to participate in exchange programmes that allow them to spend a semester abroad. The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies has 68 agreements in 23 different countries within the framework of the Erasmus+ programme. All of the Faculty’s programmes are taught in both Dutch and English. 

Faculty

The programme is offered by the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, which from its founding in 1432 has built a rich history and tradition. The Faculty focuses on training students and researchers in scientifically-based, and methodological reflection and application, where theology and religious studies mutually enrich one another. All of the Faculty’s programmes are taught in both Dutch and English and are open to students of every nationality. The Faculty currently has students from more than sixty countries and thus from virtually every part of the globe.

Objectives

Final attainment levels with respect to the Programme of Research Master: Master of Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion as a whole:

The graduate has acquired

1.  a general familiarity with theology and religious studies;

2.  specialization in a particular discipline with a view to the provision of a constructive contribution to the study of theology;

3.  thorough acquaintance with the sources, problems and methods characteristic of one's own major and area of specialization;

4.  the ability to apply both the knowledge acquired as well as the methods relevant to one's particular discipline in a manner which contributes to the reflection of the faithful within the Church;

5.  insight into the relationship between the study of theological and social-religious issues and the actual social context which is characterized by religious and ethical plurality and a multiplicity of fundamental life options;

6.  the ability to conduct independent theological research, as well as to pass on the acquired attitudes, methods and knowledge;

7.  an openness to interdisciplinary inquiries and the ability to contribute and engage in interdisciplinary research from within one's own area of specialization;

8.  the ability to set up a theological or religious studies project: the formulation of a relevant research issue and the development of a method of argumentation pertaining to the formulated problematic;

9.  the ability to complete a project-oriented research thesis;

10.  the ability to comprehensively present one's research results;

11.  the ability to write a theological or religious studies article in an academically appropriate manner.

Career prospects

The research master’s programme prepares you for admission to the Doctoral Programme in Theology, but also for a variety of careers in sectors including secondary and higher educationbusinesspublishingacademia, the media, the socio-cultural sector, and the various domains of pastoral care.



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The master degree programmes are designed to accommodate students from both Norway and abroad. One semester of studies focusing on religious and cultural encounters, where the subjects of Science of Religion, Cultural Studies and Theology of Mission are presented. Read more
The master degree programmes are designed to accommodate students from both Norway and abroad. One semester of studies focusing on religious and cultural encounters, where the subjects of Science of Religion, Cultural Studies and Theology of Mission are presented. Two semesters: the Program consists of two "fields of specialisation". One of these must be one of the following four subjects: The Old Testament, The New Testament, Systematic Theology or Church History. The other field of specialisation can be chosen freely from the remaining theoretical majors of the program: The Old Testament, The New Testament, Systematic Theology, Church History, Theology of Mission or Science of Religion.During the fourth semester a thesis, 60-80 pages, must be written (30 credits) based on one of the two "fields of specialisation". Students are permitted to produce interdisciplinary assignments where the other field of specialisation or Practical Theology becomes a subsidiary subject within the assignment.

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This course involves the study of historical and systematic theology from 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 from 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

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)

Course 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.

Career Opportunities

A significant number of our graduates find employment in academic institutions (universities and seminaries) around the world. Others go into teaching, church ministry, the caring professions, and many other professional fields.



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Master's specialisation in History of Church and Theology. This course involves analysing historical developments of Christian traditions and discipline, in order to better understand Christian beliefs in contemporary society. Read more

Master's specialisation in History of Church and Theology

This course involves analysing historical developments of Christian traditions and discipline, in order to better understand Christian beliefs in contemporary society.

How have Christians through the ages given meaning and expression to their ideas and expectations? How have they explained the meaning of Jesus Christ’s life, both within their own community and to outsiders? Students of the Master’s specialisation in Church History are trained to investigate historical developments with a critical and analytical eye. A historical analysis is important as it can also expose the “roots” of current issues and situations. That knowledge, in turn, can help us understand the present better and even help find solutions to problems contemporary societies face today.

The Radboud University’s Master’s specialisation in History of Church and Theology is unique in that it combines the study of the history of Christianity with the study of the juridical system of the Roman Catholic Church. What happens when people do not comply with societal norms? Students are trained in systematic historical research. They will learn how to interpret historical sources from throughout the ages, by analysing them in the context of the culture and values of the era in which they were produced.

Graduates of this Master’s specialisation can become researchers, policy makers, educators or spiritual caregivers. Careers as journalists, museum curators, librarians and archivists are also possible.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/historyofchurchandtheology

Why study History of Church and Theology at Radboud University?

- Radboud University’s specialisation in History of Church and Theology distinguishes itself by combining the study of the history of Christianity with Canon Law. Thereby creating a unique outlook on the interrelatedness of the development of Canon Law and both formal and informal practices.

- This programme is not just geared towards Europe but also places developments in a global perspective.

- . Taking a few seminars from the other theology disciplines of choice (Biblical Exegesis, Practical or Systematic Theology) is mandatory to broaden students general knowledge on Theology. However, with electives, students have plenty of room to choose a direction that meets their professional and academic interests

- The third year is aimed at training students for a specific profession. Students can choose research (English), education (Dutch), religion and policy (Dutch) or spiritual care (Dutch).

- Teaching takes place in a stimulating, collegial setting with small groups, allowing ample opportunities for questions and discussions.

- Radboud University and its Theology department are Roman Catholic in origin, but its Master’s programme in Theology is open to all students. Our students have very diverse religious and cultural backgrounds.

Change perspective

History is not a fixed entity. Re-examining long-existing sources could lead to new insights on the course of events. Students will understand that what we now consider a significant event was not always so, and students are given the tools to discover "axioms of the past" so they can better understand pivotal moments in history. Students will learn to make sound historical analyses by taking asking new questions concerning familiar sources, by analysing long forgotten sources and by re-examining sources within the relevant cultural context. Their analyses could shed new light on historical events and give us new insights on current societal and cultural issues.

Career prospects

In a globalising world, more and more institutions require skills in theological communication and hermeneutics. Church historians have in-depth knowledge of Canon Law and the history of Christian beliefs and doctrines. They can analyse historical developments and are able distinguish when people use historic events to suit their purpose and contradict them when necessary. In addition, the programme teaches students how to think independently and critically about the way Church History and Canon Law can give meaning to contemporary issues.

Job positions

The Master’s programme in Theology strongly enhances career prospects by allowing students to focus on one professional path in their third year, of the following options: research, education, spiritual care or religion and policy.

Our approach to this field

How has Christianity gained stability and continuity as a religion? How has the religion sustained itself during changing social and cultural contexts? The answers to these questions can be found in the history of Christianity – in all of its diversity. This course delves deeper than the ‘official’ developments. and lesser known interpretations of history are investigated in this Master’s specialisation. Special attention is also given to ‘suspicious’ Christians as well as how the Church authorities dealt with dissenting ideas and practices. The interplay between authority and religious practices teaches us about how we got to where we are today.

A complex conjunction of events

Students are not limited to analysing a unidirectional, causal reconstruction of events . No single factor determines the course of history, as it is often a complex conjunction of events. Thus, students are encouraged to situate historical texts and developments in their cultural context – an issue often forgotten in public debates. Methodologically, students are encouraged to connect discourse analysis and a historically sound hermeneutic source criticism. To this effect, students are trained in systematic historical research, by using both diachronic and synchronic research methods.

Master’s students are encouraged to elaborate their own ideas and proposals within our research programme. The number of possible research topics is endless. Students may look at any historical religious conflict or a political conflict and its effect on religion. Topics that have been researched in the past include the forced baptisms of Jews, Augustine and infant education, the development of the sacrament of confession and the role of women in Cathar communities, to list a few.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/historyofchurchandtheology



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The MA in Theology will allow you to pursue advanced study in cutting-edge topics in Christian theology with opportunities to engage with a wide range of disciplines, including. Read more
The MA in Theology will allow you to pursue advanced study in cutting-edge topics in Christian theology with opportunities to engage with a wide range of disciplines, including: contextual and practical theology; biblical studies; systematic theology; public theology; theology, media and communication; and theological ethics.

Why Study Theology with us?

The University of Chester’s Department of Theology and Religious Studies offers postgraduate teaching from academic specialists in a wide range of theological disciplines.

Our wide choice of modules aim to extend the knowledge and skills you gained in undergraduate studies, developing your capacities for critical judgement, independent research and clear, concise explanation and argument.

The course will attract those seeking to deepen their understanding of Christian faith and its significance for society and culture, and those seeking professional and ministerial development. It provides an excellent preparation for those considering pursuing a research degree in the field.

What will I learn?

You will create your own path of study beginning with a choice of core modules in: practical and contextual theology; key texts in the Christian theological tradition; or theology, media and communication.

Optional modules offer an exciting range of cutting-edge theological approaches and topics.

You will also have the chance to develop skills in independent research through exploring a topic of your choice in the Research Dissertation, working with an academic staff member on an individual basis.

How will I be taught?

This course is normally accessible through a combination of: faceto- face seminars (or lectures) of two hours per week in Chester; intensive two-day residentials; or entirely through online distance learning.

Full-time and part-time students should expect to devote 30 hours or 15 hours respectively per week to their studies. You will also have two to six contact hours per week.

How will I be assessed?

Assessments include long critical essays (normally 4,000 words); a shorter critical reviews; research proposal; other shorter tasks ; and a 20,000-word Research Dissertation. There are no examinations.

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'Theology is simply that part of religion that requires brains.' - G K Chesterton. Theology is primarily concerned with how we live out and understand our Christian faith. Read more
'Theology is simply that part of religion that requires brains.' - G K Chesterton

Theology is primarily concerned with how we live out and understand our Christian faith. As well as teaching the theoretical aspects of the faith, our postgraduate theology programmes have always placed a special emphasis on the application of theology to specific practical situations and the preparation and formation of people for Christian ministry in a fast moving age:

'Theology has importance for the Church in every age so that it can respond to the plan of God "who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim 2:4). In times of great spiritual and cultural change, theology is all the more important.' (Donum Veritatis, 1)

Why St Mary's?

At St Mary’s we are particularly concerned that academic theology should be in the service of the churches, the world, and wider society. For over a decade we have worked directly with numerous Roman Catholic Dioceses to deliver a comprehensive training in ministry. Consequently we now offer three specialist postgraduate theological pathways:
• Chaplaincy and Ministry
• Christian Spirituality
• Systematic Theology

It is possible to study for three postgraduate qualifications in Theology: the Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and Master's Degree. Each builds on the other so having completed the two core modules of the course you will be eligible for the Postgraduate Certificate. If you successfully complete the Optional Modules you will be eligible for the Postgraduate Diploma and if this is followed with the Dissertation you will be eligible for the Master's degree.

St Mary’s now has agreements with the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Northampton, Portsmouth, and Plymouth, and the Southern Permanent Diaconate Formation Programme. We teach the MA at Saturday classes in Ashburton (Devon), Beaconsfield (Buckinghamshire), Winchester (Hampshire) and - for those training for Catholic diaconal ministry - Wonersh (Surrey).

A Student View

Teresa (London)
"One of the great benefits of this MA Course is the opportunity the oral and written assignments have given me to reflect theologically on, and relate the issues discussed in the lectures to, my work as a School Chaplain... I also greatly appreciated the opportunity the lectures afforded to meet regularly with a group of fellow Chaplains and to share our own experiences and reflections on Chaplaincy."

Career Prospects

The study of Theology develops students intellectually in a way that fits them in particular for pastoral work. It is an excellent preparation for any profession that involves working with people in a pastoral context.

In addition to the more general employment opportunities that require graduates with a breadth of human understanding, critical and social skills, and an awareness of current affairs, there are some professional openings in which expertise in biblical, theological and pastoral skills is an integral part of professional training.

These include the various forms of pastoral work and pastoral ministry, chaplaincy in schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, armed forces, prisons, retreat work, spiritual direction and guidance, teaching, catechesis and adult formation.

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Your programme of study. If you want to widen the scope of careers open to you within the discipline or go on to teach, work in the ministry, in church leadership or charitable organisations this programme may help you achieve your career aspirations. Read more

Your programme of study

If you want to widen the scope of careers open to you within the discipline or go on to teach, work in the ministry, in church leadership or charitable organisations this programme may help you achieve your career aspirations. Biblical and Religious Studies has been taught at Aberdeen since its inauguration in 1495 making it one of the oldest and most established universities to study this discipline area. Teachers are highly regarded internationally and the programme is made up of wide ranging spiritual areas of study. Students come from the British Isles and overseas and follow a wide range of professions upon graduation.

The programme in Biblical Studies is designed to stimulate reflection on the use of the Bible in theology by crossing the conventional disciplinary boundaries between biblical exegesis and systematic theology. Special attention will be given to the issues of canonical criticism, narrative reading, and the use of Scripture in the construction of theological arguments.

Courses listed for the programme

  • The Emergence of Christology
  • Jewish History and Culture
  • Readings in Systematic Theology
  • The Christian Doctrine of God
  • Creation in Christian Ethics
  • Great Thinkers in Theological Ethics
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Patterns and Principles of Church Leadership
  • Special Subjects x 2
  • Senior Honours Special Subject x 2
  • Reading New Testament Greek x 2
  • Hebrew Language lii and lv

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • One of the oldest universities in the UK, with one of the oldest departments founded in 1495
  • Alumni have gone on to teach, work in the ministry, church leadership, charitable organisations and doctoral studies
  • You are taught by a great range of experts with access to the library and special collections

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full Time and Part Time
  • 12 Months and 24 Months
  • September

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about fees

*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

Your Accommodation

Campus Facilities

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs



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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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