Masters degrees in Pastoral Studies explore the role that religion plays in social settings, often focusing on how the Christian Ministry provides religious education. For example, programmes might cover the relationship between the Ministry and schools.
Related postgraduate specialisms include Chaplaincy Studies, Biblical Studies and Theological Studies. As these courses are usually aimed at fostering individuals’ professional development, they are normally offered on a part-time basis.
A Masters in Pastoral Studies equips you with the skills to make a difference in your community, developing your knowledge in areas of morality, spirituality and faith. These courses typically combine theological theory with a practical grounding in ministry practice and the fundamentals of pastoral care, enabling you to develop your reflective capabilities.
Often suitable for ordained and lay individuals alike, Pastoral Studies Masters give you the opportunity to examine the role of pastoral advice in a range of environments, from educational institutions to healthcare and community settings. You’ll also look at the ethical and spiritual implications of your pastoral position.
As these courses are usually taken with professional development in mind, Pastoral Studies postgraduates typically carry on with their work within a ministry or chaplaincy.
If you want to widen the scope of careers open to you within the discipline or go on to teach, work in the ministry, in church leadership or charitable organisations this programme may help you achieve your career aspirations. Biblical and Religious Studies has been taught at Aberdeen since its inauguration in 1495 making it one of the oldest and most established universities to study this discipline area. Teachers are highly regarded internationally and the programme is made up of wide ranging spiritual areas of study. Students come from the British Isles and overseas and follow a wide range of professions upon graduation.
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.
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*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.
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Students in Practical Theology explore the interaction between Christian faith and the wider spirituality of contemporary culture, with particular concern for the challenges and opportunities this offers in the context of the life and ministry of the church, both in Scotland and internationally. The department’s strong links to both church and clinical settings, along with the University’s extensive library holdings, make Aberdeen a dynamic and rich context in which to study theology’s capacity to contribute to the transformation of individual lives and Contemporary society.
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*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.
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One of the big strengths of our Theology MA is how well it matches the current research interests of our academic staff. That means you get the maximum benefit of our expertise whichever module options you choose. We will train you in research methodologies and skills so that you can engage with key texts and sources, we can also help you develop expertise in biblical languages as well as Latin, patristic Greek and Aramaic if you need it.
You will have the chance to take an interdisciplinary approach to Theology, which is increasing in popularity and importance with Research Councils. You might choose to exchange insights with disciplines like Philosophy, Anthropology, Sociology, Archaeology, Classics and Ancient History.
We pride ourselves on being a friendly and supportive department. We are always happy to make time to talk to you one-to-one and give you all the support you need to be a success. We hope you will join us at Exeter and become an active part of our vibrant research community.
The degree normally involves five taught modules and a dissertation.
The compulsory modules can include;
Some examples of the optional modules which may be available are;
The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
We have a very active research culture with international scholars who are publishing cutting-edge research, we encourage interdisciplinary and collaborative research which is reflected in our projects.
Our research focuses on the interaction between theology and matters of current social and political importance. Some of our specialist areas of interest include:
We also operate the Exeter Centre for Ethics and Practical Theology (EXCEPT) which provides a centre for research into contextual, practical and ministerial theology. Our Network for Religion in Public Life promotes co-operation between academics and religious communities on matters concerning the relationship between religions and public and political issues. And our Centre for Biblical Studies provides a focus for a range of research activity and research projects including seminars, public lectures and hosting academic visitors.
Primarily aimed at those who are employed or volunteer as chaplains, this part-time, work-based course will provide you with groundings in both the theological and pastoral aspects of the role and give you part qualification towards being recognised as a youth and community worker. Our primary partners are Birmingham Archdiocese Diocesan Educational Services (DES) and the Diocesan Youth Service, who run a network of chaplains in schools. Newman continues to make additional links with other networks including Muslim chaplains, prison chaplains, university chaplains, and chaplains in homeless and housing organisations.
The programme can be taken as either a graduate certificate or a postgraduate certificate and consists of three modules. You will undertake a core module on Chaplaincy where you will explore and understand pastoral care in institutional settings, ensuring that you are able to base your practice as a chaplain on a secure grasp of faith tradition, texts (e.g. introduction to biblical texts), acts of worship and pastoral care within the context of working in schools. The module will also help you develop an understanding of what contributes towards spiritual and human development from a faith perspective.
In addition, you will also undertake a fieldwork module which is an essential element of our integrated model and meets professional standards. Your organisation will have substantial involvement in this module as supervisors (and therefore assessors) with the emphasis being on experiential learning in the field, with initial taught input by Newman staff. This will be run via a tutorial group in your localities.
Find out more at the Chaplaincy with Young People web page
You will study a varied and exciting series of modules aimed to develop your theological skills and understanding and help you apply this new knowledge to your specific context and concerns.
The MA is studied part-time by following a two year taught module programme followed by a one year dissertation module. The taught modules are delivered at residential schools in August, January and May.
At the beginning of the course you will explore critically the methodological presumptions which underpin practical and public theology. This provides a grounding for your theological engagement with your context. Further core modules are a practical theology project, spirituality, and ritual and liturgy. You may then undertake advanced study in important public theology topics such as biblical studies, ethics, pluralism and diversity, and missiology.
August Residential: Practical and Public Theology (core)
January Residential: Pluralism and Diversity or The Bible and Public Theology
May Residential: Liturgy and Ritual in Contemporary Culture (core)
August Residential: Practical Theology Project (core)
January Residential: Christian Ethics in Contemporary Society or Christian Mission in Western Sociey
May Residential: Spirituality (core)
All year: Dissertation
The modules are assessed through a variety of tasks including essays, book reviews, case studies, research project reports, and presentations. The final dissertation is 15,000 words.
Teaching is delivered in blocks lasting 3 days. You may either visit the University daily or if you live further away accommodation will need to be arranged. We can help find suitable accommodation, including on campus. A separate fee is charged for the accommodation.