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Masters Degrees (Systematic Theology)

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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. 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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- 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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The taught MTh. in Systematic Theology is designed to give students with 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. Read more
The taught MTh. in Systematic Theology is designed to give students with 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
Semester 1

Compulsory
Dissertation

Optional
Creation in Christian Ethics
Special Subject
Great Thinkers in Theological Ethics
Special Subject

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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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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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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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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 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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The MA in Theology and Ministry is a flexible programme with an emphasis on contemporary expressions of religion and practical theology. Read more
The MA in Theology and Ministry is a flexible programme with an emphasis on contemporary expressions of religion and practical theology. This is an ideal programme for a wide range of students whether in Christian ministry or not.

Course detail

This is a flexible programme that allows you to study a range of subjects related to Christian theology and ministry. Although historical aspects of the Christian faith are not excluded as objects of study, the emphasis of the programme is on contemporary expressions of Christian religion and practical, rather than systematic, theology. You can study this programme if your interests are purely theoretical, but there are many opportunities to link theological study with the practice of faith and Christian ministry in particular.

The Theology & Ministry award is aimed at a wide range of students who may or may not be in Christian ministry. Modules are taught in ten evening sessions or in blocks on three Saturdays. You can complete the programme in 12 to 18 months of full-time study, though most students are part time and take two to four years.

You have a lot of flexibility to shape the content and length of study on this programme. If you are able, you can study up to two modules outside the programme from our MA Contemporary Religion, where modules are taught during the day. In addition, if you want to do an independent study or dissertation on a subject that does not fall under discipline of Theology and Ministry, you can do so and receive the award of an MA Theology & Religious Studies.

Format

All students who complete the MA must complete four 30-credit taught modules and 60-credit dissertation of 12k words. Students may study up to two modules from the MA Contemporary Religion, and those that wish to complete a dissertation that is not related to Christian theology or ministry may do so and receive the award of MA Theology & Religious Studies.

The programme runs on a two-year cycle, with taught modules being delivered during three terms. One module is offered in each term, with delivery in evening sessions (6.30pm - 8.30pm) in Terms 1 & 2 and on three Saturdays (9.30am - 4.00pm) in Term 3.

Students may exit the programme with a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits from two taught modules) or a Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits from four taught modules).

Assessment

The assessment on this programme is deliberately less varied than on the MA Contemporary Religion, which is primarily designed to teach skills. The aim of this programme is not necessarily to develop practical skills in ministry, but to develop critical and reflective skills that can be used to assess and develop ministry.

The distinction between learning and assessment is less clear at Masters Level because so much of the learning that takes place is in the process of producing assignments. This programme will deliberately use assessment not simply to see if you know something, but also as a means of enabling you to learn.

Methods of assessment will include:
1. Written assignments for taught modules and independent studies.
2. Dissertations.
3. Proposals

How to apply

For information on how to apply, please see the following link:
https://www.yorksj.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/how-to-apply/

Other sources of funding

Information on alternative sources of funding can be found here:
https://www.yorksj.ac.uk/student-services/money/funding-my-course/postgraduate-/postgraduate-funding-/

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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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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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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. Read more
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

Dissertation Colloquium
Creation in Christian Ethics
Great Thinkers in Theological Ethics
Preaching to Change the World: Exploring the Theology and Practice of Christian Witness
Interpreting Myth
The Life of Muhammad: Religion, History, Literature
The Emergence of Christology
Jewish History and Culture
Special Subject
Senior Honours Special Subject
Ancient Greek for Postgraduates

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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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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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