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Course content

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

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

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

The curriculum has a twofold focus.

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

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

Structure

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

Faculty

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

Objectives

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

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

Career perspectives

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

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


Visit the Theology and Religious Studies MA page on the KU Leuven website for more details!

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