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MA in Theology

Course Description

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.


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

Visit the MA in Theology page on the Radboud University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Samuel Ekpo

I got to know about Radboud University from Nuffic scholarship publication when I was in search of a university I could study for a master’s programme. I checked the university’s webpage to know more and that triggered my interest to apply for admission. I choose Radboud University, based on the track records; offering quality research studies.

I joined the Orientation week. It was quite relaxing to know that I can find interesting places around the campus and the city of Nijmegen. I noticed that the Dutch society has an individualistic culture. I felt bored initially but with time I got to meet new friends and interacted with them. The food was also a challenge and a new experience too.

I mostly had contacts with other international students. In my view, this is a good way to have cultural exchange. At a point, I picked up interest to learn some Dutch words. I also learnt to have coffee and chocolate cookies at break time which is an interesting habit I cultivated here too.

The programme is quite intensive and mind broadening. Studying theology in Radboud University makes you a critical thinker, having deep reflections on issues relating to societies, religions and cultures. This will develop the individual to approach inter-religious debates from a balanced point of view.

Initially I wasn’t comfortable with the course contents because it wasn’t biblical theology in focus, but I later realised that this is a new learning experience for me. So I decided to motivate myself more to engage in my studies to have a new theological reflection from public/secular domains. I understand that Radboud University has a Roman Catholic tradition, but I would appreciate if attention is given to Biblical teachings that will help individuals both professors and students to develop an intimate relationship with Christ and give room for an evangelical approach of engaging in theological debates.

My plans for the future are broad; I have a better platform to operate as an educational consultant in theological matters and my studies in Radboud University is serving as a preparatory ground for such future job.

In conclusion, my stay in Nijmegen is a success so far. I also enjoy using the university’s sport facilities to keep body and soul fit for personal well being.

(Student Profile)

Dona - India

'It enabled me to explore the richness and beauty of being intercultural.'
The Congregation of the Sisters of the Little Flower of Bethany, Mangalore, India chose me for the Master's Intercultural Theology at Radboud University, Nijmegen as I belong to this Congregation. India is a vast country consisting of many cultures, languages, and religions. Since I am engaged in religious formation in India, the knowledge of intercultural theology will enable me as a Formator to meet the needs of the present day youth for religious life.

The studies at the Radboud University have broadened my vision and gave me a new perspective of Christian faith in a religiously and culturally-diverse world. What I specifically liked about my study programme is the importance given for the scholarly study of theology, critical thinking, scientific research, the expertise and experience of the professors in their respective subjects, and the individual supervision of students are a few positive elements among many. The space and time allotted for students enabled me to be creative, responsible, and independent.

Studying and living with intercultural atmosphere taught me to appreciate diverse cultures and the experience of interconnectedness and interdependence. It enabled me to explore the richness and beauty of being intercultural.

The initial challenges with regard to study structure, getting acquainted with the students from different countries and denominations, Dutch culture, and climate were learning experiences for me. I appreciate the dedicated staff at the faculty, the administration, and the library. The gentle and kind approach in dealings, freedom to express views, punctuality, and openness inspired me very much. Having completed my Masters, I am happy to pursue my PhD at the Faculty of Theology at RU.


Fullbright-Radboud Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

The Fulbright Center, sponsored by Radboud University, is offering scholarships to excellent American students for study and research purposes at graduate and PhD levels at Radboud University Nijmegen. The Fulbright Center's mission is to promote mutual understanding between Dutch and American citizens by providing financial assistance for study, research and teaching. To qualify for a scholarship, applicants must have American nationality, have excellent academic marks, engage in extracurricular activities and be admitted to Radboud University Nijmegen.The grant will be paid in 12 monthly instalments of €1050. International travel will be reimbursed up to a maximum of €900. The cost of the residence permit (approximately €350) will be covered as well. An extra allowance of €1150 will be paid on arrival, and can be used to cover the cost of the tuition fee or the costs of settling in. Tuition fees are not waived, and differ per program.
Application for 2016-2017 opens on 1 May 2016 and closes on 13 October 2016.

Value of Scholarship(s)

12 monthly instalments of €1050 + extra allowance for travel and additional costs


For American students.
The Fulbright Centre, sponsored by Radboud University, is offering scholarships for talented American students to study at Radboud University.

Application Procedure

For more information please see the Fulbright website.

Further Information



The Holland Scholarship Programme - 12 Awards

The Holland Scholarship (HS) gives excellent students the opportunity to study at Radboud University. The HS is open to students with the following nationalities: Canadian, American, Indian and Turkish. All English-taught Master’s programmes are eligible for the HS and amount to € 5,000.-

Value of Scholarship(s)

The scholarship amounts to £ 3.700


The HS is open to students with the following nationalities: Canadian, American, Indian and Turkish. All English-taught Master’s programmes are eligible for the HS.

Application Procedure

You can apply for the Holland Scholarship at Radboud University when you apply for a Master's programme in Osiris. That means that the application for admission and the application for the scholarship are fully integrated.
The application deadline is 1 February. If not all scholarships will be given out, the second deadline is 1 May.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

1. A completed Bachelor's degree in Theology or related area. 2. An adequate command of English. This requirement is satisfied if the student can submit a testimonial of a TOEFL test, certifying a minimum score of 575 (paper test) or 232 (computer test), plus an Essay Rating of at least 4.5, or an IELTS with a minimum required overall score of 6,5 and 5,5 for Writing. 3. In order to take part in this programme, you need to have a basic knowledge Hebrew and Greek.

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