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.
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.
This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This flexible programme will give you a sophisticated understanding of theories and methods at the forefront of Theology and Religious Studies. You’ll 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’ll also gain an understanding of research methods in the humanities and social sciences.
Then you’ll 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’ll develop a wide range of skills while exploring a subject that is vital for understanding the world we live in.
You’ll find plenty of resources at Leeds to inspire and inform your studies. The Special Collections housed in our world-class Brotherton Library include extensive collections of archive and early printed material, including hundreds of theological works from the 17th century onwards.
We also hold the library of Ripon Cathedral and the archives of the Dean and Chapter, spanning from the late Middle Ages to the 20th century, as well as extensive archives relating to Quaker history. There are even a large number of early printed books and manuscripts connected with Jewish theology and history. All the major world religions are also fully represented in our excellent library resources.
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.
Your first semester will equip you with the knowledge and skills to study theology and religion. You’ll 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’ll 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’ll 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’ll 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’ll 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’ll also specialise in either theology or religious studies, depending on the modules you choose.
There are three compulsory modules throughout the year including the Dissertation (60 credits). You’ll then choose two optional modules, or just one if you select the Extended Dissertation (90 credits).
We use a variety of teaching and learning methods including lectures, seminars and tutorials where you can discuss the issues arising from your reading in greater depth. Independent study is also an important element of the programme, allowing you to develop your skills and pursue your own interests more closely.
To help you gain and demonstrate a range of skills, you’ll be assessed using a range of different methods. These include essays and assignments as well as literature reviews, project reports and presentations.
This programme will give you a range of in-depth subject knowledge, as well as valuable transferable skills in research, analysis, interpretation, communication and cultural awareness. All of these qualities are valuable in a wide range of careers.
Graduates pursue careers in a variety of sectors including the charity sector, NGOs, education, local government, civil service and policy work, business and legal services, the media and social work. Many also continue their studies at PhD level, and even pursue academic careers after this.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
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.
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.
The 120-credits programme comprises the following:
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.
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.
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.
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 education, business, publishing, academia, the media, the socio-cultural sector, and the various domains of pastoral care.
As faiths of all kinds navigate their way through a period of great social change, it is more important than ever to possess an in-depth understanding of how faiths interact with each other and society. This MA creatively balances the close study of particular traditions with a broad understanding of the subject area. It is one of the few programmes in London that offers specialised teaching in Islam as well as several different aspects of Christian theology.
On this course, you can study a variety of religious traditions in relation to key topics such as social justice, gender, text and textual interpretation, and inter-religious dialogue and conflict. You will have the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of particular religious themes, with a broad view of religious studies, and its diverse forms of interpretation and practice. This course will suit students who want to develop advanced skills in the study and analysis of a range of issues, rather than focus on one specialist subject.
A strength of the course is that it allows you to have a critical awareness of the relationship between different religions and modern secular society, with an informed and scholarly understanding of differences within as well as between religious traditions and cultures. From this,you will use advanced methods of research and critical analysis to explore the ways in which different religious perspectives contribute to contemporary debates about identity, politics and culture.
Drawing on London's rich resources for studying religions in their material, social and historical contexts, this course provides an enhanced learning environment and contributes to your wider cultural awareness and understanding. This is underpinned by a focus on advanced study and research skills, designed to equip you with a high level of proven academic competence and preparing you for careers and vocations that require this expertise. This might include educational institutions, NGOs and other organisations in which understanding of religious perspectives is an advantage.
The MA in Theology and Religious Studies allows you to focus on a broad range of topics within the subject area, and study your particular interests in-depth.
On offer is specialised teaching in Hinduism and Islam as well as different aspects of Christian theology. You could study gender across these traditions, for example looking at women in Islam from feminist, reformist and traditionalist perspectives, or specifically looking at gender across religious texts and narratives. Or you could study contemporary doctrine, such as Pentecostalism in different parts of the world, or in Christian marriage and family life, also taking into account qualitative and quantitative data on marriage and family today, and the political and policy decisions that affect families.
As well as contemporary debates, you will look at historical issues, for example through the effect of Christian theology on art and culture throughout history. You will look at how depictions of nature and grace, suffering and redemption, and gender and incarnation, changed through the Reformation, and then how these new representations influenced modern art and philosophy.
The course also provides opportunity to investigate the relationship of religion and society through modules look at, for example, human rights and community engagement. You will gain an understanding of the historic and contemporary relationship between the Church and the State, as well as the nature of Christian activism in public policy and public discourse.
Finally, you will write a dissertation on a topic of your choice, which can be informed by your study on the optional modules, or from an area of interest of your own.
This course is especially beneficial for those hoping to: pursue a PhD or conducting specific research; work in faith-based organisations, social services or education; work in international aid, the charity sector and community organisations.
The master's programme in Theology and Religious Studies at Leiden University gives you the opportunity to explore a broad spectrum of religions and their manifestations from a comparative perspective.
This one-year MA programme offers you the best of Leiden University, from outstanding teachers to world-class resources including its library's famous collections. A comparative approach is taken to the study of theories and concepts, which are applied to real-world empirical findings. Topics are explored from a wide range of disciplines from history to sociology.
The multidisciplinary programme offers an expansive curriculum through which you can explore religion as well as tailor your degree to reflect your interests. You will be able to choose between two specialisations:
Religion, Culture and Society is unique for its wide spectrum of religions and themes including modernisation and globalisation. The generalist approach towards the study of religion focuses on skills, tools, methods and theories. You will be equipped with everything needed to analyse situations and tackle problems in society at large. Our staff members are specialised in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and New Religious movements.
Christianity: the Dynamics of Diversity focuses on the changing role of Christianity and the impact of biblical criticism, modern historical scholarship, science and cultural transfers. What makes this specialisation particularly attractive is its non-confessional and comparative approach to the study of Christianity and its diverse expressions in (early) modern history and present-day society. You will study secularising developments including non-religion, agnosticism, and atheism, and underlines the importance of biblical criticism in the tradition of Erasmus and Spinoza.
At Leiden, you are treated as a valued member of a tight-knit academic community. Small classes create an informal atmosphere and provide the opportunity to interact with lecturers. You will develop advanced critical-thinking and problem-solving skills that can be applied to any societal issue.
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
- 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
This course is designed as a bridge from undergraduate to master’s study and may be used as a qualifying course for study at MA level. It offers a flexible structure where you can select modules from Theology, Religion in the Contemporary World and Religion, Philosophy & Ethics.
If you would like to study theology and religious studies at a postgraduate level, but do not have the academic background required, our course is perfect for you. It is specifically designed to ease the transition between subjects and provide you with the necessary skills and background to take your study further. You will only need to attend one or two days a week.
For applicants of graduate or equivalent status in areas of study other than Theology & Religious Studies. The Graduate Diploma may be used as a qualifying course to enable study at MA level, as it is especially designed to ease the transition to Theology & Religious Studies from another subject.