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)
Words, texts and meaning: Investigating the Old Testament and the New Testament in their historical contexts.
Searching for traces of meaning in everyday practices, and looking beyond traditional shapes of religiosity. (Pastoral Theology, Missiology, Liturgical Studies, Intercultural 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.
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