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.
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.
This master's programme was started in response to the growing salience of the interaction of society, law and religion in our multi-religious and yet highly secularised global world.
The Master of Society, Law and Religion provides a unique introduction to the strategic area of society, law and religion and brings you in contact with outstanding international experts in the field.
What is the 'Master of Society, Law and Religion' all about?
The programme aims at enabling students to gain a solid and critical knowledge on key issues such as the place of religion in the public sphere, the debate on secularism, the role of the State vis-à-vis religion, church and relationships, human rights and religion, European and international law and religion, and domestic and international politics of religious freedom. Taught at the Faculty of Canon Law, the programme is particularly sensitive to the autonomy of religions, religious self-government, and religious laws.
While all students receive a basic training in the law of the Roman Catholic Church, the programme embraces all religions and faith communities, and includes classes in Jewish, Islamic, Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant law. African and Asian religions and customs are also investigated, as far as their relation to law and society is concerned.
The programme can be taken as a self-standing programme or as a gateway to the Master of Canon Law. This initial master's program can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis. In order to facilitate students wishing combine education with employment or social engagement, the programme allows for distance learning and spreading of examinations. The large choice of subjects from different faculties enables students to tailor their educational experience, to their interests, needs and projects.
The Master of Society, Law and Religion suits students who are genuinely interested in the interaction of society, law and religion and who are willing to engage critically with the issues at stake. Any background in the area of law, social sciences and religious studies is fit for the purpose, provided that the student is ready to cope with the various methodologies and languages.
Thanks to extensive course offerings in the area of Roman Catholic canon law, the programme also suits those students preparing to enter the Master of Canon Law programme with the aim of achieving the canonical degree 'Iuris Canonici Licentiatus' (JCL).
Main goal of the programme is to develop the acquired basic skills in the Bachelor of Law, the Bachelor of Theology or another programme in view of a specialized exploration of the area 'Society, Law and Religion'. The student obtains a basic knowledge on the legal system of the Roman Catholic Church and the other christian churches. He gets acquainted with legal sources and obtains the required skills to interpret the rules incorporated in the Codex Iuris Canonici (CIC). The student is initiated in the complex interaction between social structures and secular law on one side, and the legal structures of the Church at the other side. Research, consultancy and communication skills as well as other social elements are stimulated. The student is able to develop a sound research strategy, and to present an accurate synthesis of existing knowledge and a well-argued personal and critical reflection. He is able to present a well-considered research question, to develop a research plan, and to select relevant sources. Those who selected optional courses in canon law are allowed to start in the programme 'Master of Canon Law'.
Religion is increasingly acknowledged as a crucial factor in areas such as politics and the economy, social and corporate management, culture, employment, education, health care, international cooperation, and conflict resolution.
Candidates for positions in these areas, in the private or public sector, as well as those already employed, will benefit from gaining a topical knowledge in the field.
Graduates can further develop their education at the Faculty of Canon Law through by moving on to the Master in Canon Law or the doctoral programme in Society, Law and Religion.