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Masters Degrees in Theology

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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. Read more
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.

Specialisations:

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

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Drawing on the compassionate values and insights of the Christian faith to contribute to the welfare of society. What is the public relevance of Christian beliefs and doctrines in today’s society? Systematic theology deals in general with the meaning and implications of Christian doctrines. Read more

Master's specialisation in Systematic Theology

Drawing on the compassionate values and insights of the Christian faith to contribute to the welfare of society.

What is the public relevance of Christian beliefs and doctrines in today’s society? Systematic theology deals in general with the meaning and implications of Christian doctrines. At Radboud University, we add the unique focus of public theology. Public theology isn't about promoting the interests of 'the Church' but rather, about drawing on the compassionate values and insights of the Christian faith to contribute to the welfare of society.
Currently, the secularisation thesis is strongly under review. On the one hand, the orientation of affluent societies has become secular even though the world as a whole is no less religious than before. On the other hand, there also seems to be a post-secular movement and a revival of religion in many societies. At Radboud University we look at these, and other developments in the public domain. What new forms of spirituality are kindled in society? How are morals changing?

By engaging with readings from both classical and contemporary theologians, and active discussions in the seminars, students learn how to formulate critical theological perspectives on questions of meaning of life and a viable civil society in our contemporary situation. Graduates of the Master’s specialisation in Systematic Theology can become researchers, policy makers, educators or spiritual caregivers.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/systematictheology

Why study Systematic Theology at Radboud University?

- Radboud University offers a unique set of subjects within Systematic Theology which includes philosophy of religion, feminist theology and spirituality studies as well as the more conventional subjects fundamental theology, dogmatic theology and theological ethics.
- The central focus of this specialisation lies on public theology, a relatively new and vibrant development within theology in which issues and debates in society are studied as possible ways of thinking about God.
- This programme is not just geared towards Europe but also places developments in a global perspective.
- Thanks to 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).
- Teaching takes place in a stimulating, collegial setting with small groups, allowing for 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.

Change perspective

This programme is aimed at enhancing students’ capacity for theological reflection so they can confidently enter the public area where debates on issues as atheism, post-secularism and science come into play. Therefore graduates can participate in debates in the public arena using arguments based on the Christian faith and can convey their faith in society. As a graduate of Systematic Theology, you will change the perspective of others and give meaning to fundamental questions and ideas that feature in science, culture and faith.

Admission requirements for international students

1. A completed Bachelor's degree in Theology or related area

2. A proficiency in English
In order to take part in this programme, you need to have fluency in both written and spoken English. Non-native speakers of English* without a Dutch Bachelor's degree or VWO diploma need one of the following:
- A TOEFL score of >550 (paper based) or >213 (computer based) or >80 (internet based)
- An IELTS score of >6.0
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a mark of C or higher

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.

Job positions

The Master’s programme in Theology has a strong emphasis on career prospects by allowing students to focus on one professional path in their third year: research, education, spiritual care or religion and policy.

Our approach to this field

Systematic theology has a long-standing tradition in subjects as fundamental theology, dogmatic theology and theological ethics. At Radboud University the set of subjects of systematic theology is extended to include interesting domains such as philosophy of religion, feminist theology and spirituality studies. The central focus in all of these is on public theology, a relatively new and vibrant development in theology. It seeks to provide resources for people to make connections between their faith and the practical issues facing society.

Horizons of thinking towards God
In public theology, actual developments and debates in society are studied as possible horizons of thinking towards God. Two types of questions are investigated as they provide reference points in this search:
1. How are questions of meaning of life addressed in our societies and cultures?
2. How can a "viable civil society" be envisioned in our time?

In searching for answers to these questions, special attention is given to intercultural and cross-cultural debates.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/systematictheology

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- Description -. ‘Systematic Theology’ offers the opportunity to study Theology in depth. In times of change, the need to think through the fundamentals of Christian Theology - or how theology works - has never been more pressing. Read more

Course detail

- Description -

‘Systematic Theology’ offers the opportunity to study Theology in depth. In times of change, the need to think through the fundamentals of Christian Theology - or how theology works - has never been more pressing. We attract students from Europe and the US, and from the new and thriving contexts of world Christianity. It is an inter-confessional course which is rigorous and inclusive, and which delivers a uniquely comprehensive study of Theology. The programme includes philosophical theology, biblical theology, practical theology, historical theology, ethics and the arts, as well as doctrine. It also has a strong 'this-worldly' focus, and a concern with studying how Theology matters in different Christian contexts. Over more than twenty years, ‘Systematic Theology’ at King’s has developed a unique international brand, offering highly respected training in theological skills for those concerned at all levels in the life of the Churches and across the spectrum of Christian traditions. Compulsory module: The Foundations of Theology: Forms and Fields. Leads to research in the Department of Theology or careers in teaching, journalism or the church.

Key benefits

- King's has unparalleled resources in Theology with strength across two departments. It has one of the largest Systematic Theology research institutes in Europe, employing five full-time systematicians and numerous other full-time staff in related fields.

- A thriving graduate research environment supports a long-standing systematics seminar which draws in leading scholars from home and overseas and also offers students the opportunity to hone their skills in a supportive educational environment.

- Students of Theology at King's find themselves at the centre of one of the world's most dynamic cities, which offers all kinds of opportunities for theological engagement as well as unparalleled access to specialist libraries and other resources in central London.

- Originally an Anglican founding college of the University of London, King's has had a unique place in shaping the theology of the future for some two hundred years. It continues to provide a vibrant, inter-denominational environment for theological education and research, and enjoys extensive contacts and collaboration both with Church institutions and communities in London, as well as other theological centres.

Visit the website: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught-courses/systematic-theology-ma.aspx

- Course purpose -
For those who wish to develop their skills in Systematic Theology or to prepare for postgraduate research in the discipline. An introduction to aspects of the methods and content of Christian theology.

- Course format and assessment -
Taught core and optional modules assessed by coursework and/or examination plus a dissertation.

Career Prospects:

Research in the Department of Theology & Religious Studies; teaching; journalism; careers in the church.

How to apply: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/taught-courses.aspx

About Postgraduate Study at King’s College London:

To study for a postgraduate degree at King’s College London is to study at the city’s most central university and at one of the top 21 universities worldwide (2016/17 QS World University Rankings). Graduates will benefit from close connections with the UK’s professional, political, legal, commercial, scientific and cultural life, while the excellent reputation of our MA and MRes programmes ensures our postgraduate alumni are highly sought after by some of the world’s most prestigious employers. We provide graduates with skills that are highly valued in business, government, academia and the professions.

Scholarships & Funding:

All current PGT offer-holders and new PGT applicants are welcome to apply for the scholarships. For more information and to learn how to apply visit: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/pg/funding/sources

Free language tuition with the Modern Language Centre:

If you are studying for any postgraduate taught degree at King’s you can take a module from a choice of over 25 languages without any additional cost. Visit: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/mlc

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Newman’s MA in Contemporary Christian Theology will enable you to develop your interest in theology through an engagement with with some of the issues brought to light by our contemporary culture. Read more
Newman’s MA in Contemporary Christian Theology will enable you to develop your interest in theology through an engagement with with some of the issues brought to light by our contemporary culture. You will have the choice of focusing your MA on Christian Theology, Christian Theology and Education, or Christian Theology and Ministry. The part-time programme is ideally suited to professionals working within the field of Theology, Religious Education or Christian Ministry and for those who want to deepen their understanding of the issues facing contemporary theology. Participation in this programme can help advance a career in leading Church schools, teaching Religious Education, or development in pastoral ministry and adult education.

The programme aims to open up new insights building from historical schools of thought to contemporary Christian theologies through an exploration of current issues, such as those surrounding the new bio-technologies, the relationship between science and theology, and eco-feminism. The programme is delivered through a blend of on-line learning and taught sessions. There are four weekend schools a year and ongoing on-line support.

Modules on the programme include

• Constructing Theologies: Past and Future
• Theology and Contemporary Ethics
• Metaphysics and Postmodernity: Belief and the Future
• Method and Hermeneutics in Theology
• Theology and Education.

Pathways

All students take the same modules and attend core lectures but where appropriate, seminars and tutorials allow you to focus your studies on one of the following areas:

Christian Theology

Students pursuing their studies in Christian Theology have the opportunity to engage in considerable depth with contemporary movements in philosophical and systematic theology. The course will allow for detailed study of key texts and ideas, while addressing questions about the possibility and nature of theology.

Theology and Education

The taught modules aim to open up new insights into the study of theology through an exploration of the issues that impact on Religious Studies and the leadership of Church schools. These include theologies underpinning education, ethical issues such as designer babies and environmental ethics, and philosophies of education.

Theology and Ministry

Choosing to focus on ministry enables you to explore and extend your understanding of how current research in theology can enrich the work of Christian ministry and mission. This focus will encourage a development of the cognitive, imaginative and critical skills required to interpret texts and doctrines and will enhance the competence of clerical and lay Christians to apply the resources of faith to everyday life and ministry.

In addition to the core modules, you may choose one professionally related module from the MA in Professional Enquiry programme or choose to reflect theologically on a specific area of personal interest. An optional negotiated module provides the opportunity to address a research area of personal interest with tutor support. The writing of a dissertation, allows a further opportunity to develop personal research and completes the final stage of the MA. Students may complete two modules of study to gain a Postgraduate Certificate (typically one year of part-time study), or four modules to gain a Postgraduate Diploma.

Attendance

The group size is small enough to allow good interaction between class members and easy access to the tutors. The course is delivered through a combination of on-line materials, and face-to-face taught sessions at Newman. University College-based sessions take place over an average of 6 days per year, timed to suit the needs of part-time students. In addition, students will make use of distance learning materials and will be encouraged to interact with each other and with tutors in on-line forums.

Research Areas

Theological research is fundamental to the mission of Newman University. The subject area welcomes applications from suitably qualified students who wish to pursue postgraduate research degrees (MPhil and PhD awarded by the University of Leicester) in the areas of Philosophy of Religion, Religious Education and Biblical Studies.

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This course is about searching for traces of meaning in everyday practices, and looking beyond traditional shapes of religiosity. Read more

Master's specialisation in Practical Theology

This course is about searching for traces of meaning in everyday practices, and looking beyond traditional shapes of religiosity.
Have God and religion disappeared from modern society? According to some scholars of religion there is a global resurgence of religion, yet there is vast secularisation in most European societies continues. How can theology explain the transformation of the Christian religion in society? We need fresh expressions of theological concepts and new methods of research to understand religion beyond traditional studies of religiosity.
In the Master’s specialisation in Practical Theology, students are introduced in theological theory-building to understand the dynamics and meaning of lived religion at four different levels: the personal, inter-group relations, organisational and societal. Students learn to use empirical research methods to build new theological theory based on lived religion. Graduates of this Master’s specialisation in Practical Theology can become researchers, policy makers, educators or spiritual caregivers.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/practicaltheology

Why study Practical Theology at Radboud University?

- The new theoretical approach of Practical Theology at Radboud University manifests itself in the search for theological concepts that match the changing shape of the Christian religion in the life of individuals as well as fresh expressions of religious institutions.
- Our department has constructed new, unique methodologies that focus on a qualitative study of narratives, communication, and ritual (liturgy). We have expertise in spiritual biographical research, practice-oriented research and discourse analysis.
- We have a long-standing expertise in survey research, with a specialisation in cross-religious surveys where Christian believers are compared with believers of other religions (Islam, Hinduism).
- This programme is not just geared towards Europe, but also places developments in a global perspective.
- 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).
- Teaching takes place in a stimulating, collegial setting with small groups, allowing for 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.

Change perspective

Graduates of Practical Theology will be able to pinpoint how certain groups of people view spirituality today, how they give meaning to lives and how this, sometimes, is at odds with traditional religious conventions. You will get insight in the different forms that religion takes in contemporary society and will be able to take that on board when participating in debates in the public arena.

Admission requirements for international students

1. A completed Bachelor's degree in Theology or related area

2. A proficiency in English
In order to take part in this programme, you need to have fluency in both written and spoken English. Non-native speakers of English without a Dutch Bachelor's degree or VWO diploma need one of the following:
- An TOEFL score of >575 (paper based) or >232 (computer based) or >90 (internet based)
- A IELTS score of >6.5
- Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a mark of C or higher

Career prospects

In a globalising world, more and more institutions require skills in theological communication and hermeneutics. Practical theologians search for traces of meaning in everyday practices and look beyond traditional forms of religiosity. Our graduates have an analytical attitude and the skills to make sound judgments which will help them participate in debates in the public arena. Using arguments based on Christian faith, they can convey their faith in society. In addition, the programme teaches you how to think independently and critically about the way that Christian doctrine can give meaning to contemporary issues.

Job positions

The Master’s programme in Theology has a strong emphasis on career prospects by allowing students to focus on one professional path in their third year: research, education, spiritual care or religion and policy.

Our approach to this field

Radboud University’s Master’s specialisation in Practical Theology is all about studying lived religion and lived spirituality. How do people today connect with Christian stories? The role of practical theologians is to research new religious motives. Where and in what way do people find inspiration? How do they give meaning to their lives?

Searching for new forms of religiosity
In other words, at Radboud University, we train our practical theologians to search for new forms of religiosity in order to gain an understanding of the transformation of religion. The church is not the only place for contemplation; sometimes people turn to the beach, the woods or even a health club. Symbols are given new meanings. Metaphors get a different connotation. The challenge is to deal with the tension between religious traditions and the many contemporary forms of spirituality.

We look at the role that religion and spirituality play, not only for individual people, but also for inter-group relationships and on organisational and societal levels. We try to get a grasp on differences between religious practices, how faith schools profile their religious character in their education policy, and how municipalities give religion a place in the services they offer, among other topics.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/practicaltheology

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Supervision in Theology can be offered in areas such as Biblical studies; Patristics; Church History; History and Interpretation of Christian doctrine; Systematics/Constructive Theology; Modern Theology and Philosophy, Theology and Sexuality; Theology and Theatre/Performance Studies, Political Theology and Black Theology. Read more
Supervision in Theology can be offered in areas such as Biblical studies; Patristics; Church History; History and Interpretation of Christian doctrine; Systematics/Constructive Theology; Modern Theology and Philosophy, Theology and Sexuality; Theology and Theatre/Performance Studies, Political Theology and Black Theology.

Supervision in Religious Studies can be offered in areas such as Comparative Religious Studies; Jewish Studies; Jewish-Christian dialogue; Hindu Studies; Buddhist Studies; Tibetan Studies; Religion and Visual Culture; Religion and Literature; Philosophy of Religion; Religion and Social Theory; Religion, Gender and Sexuality; Religion and Postmodernity.

Visit the website: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/courses/postgraduate/theology-and-religious-studies-by-research.aspx

Course detail

You should discuss your initial ideas for a MA by research topic with a suitable supervisor from the programme team in the area of your study. If you are unsure, please contact Dr Maria Diemling, the Subject Lead in Theology and Religion, Philosophy and Ethics, who will be able to advise you whom to contact.

Your research topic may develop from a recent undergraduate encounter with a particular aspect of Theology or Religion, Philosophy and Ethics or you may be returning to education looking for a structured environment in which to formally pursue an established passion.

Please note that while students can build up on their BA research dissertation, they will not be allowed to submit identical material again under the current QAA policies.

Suitability

Are you fascinated by religions and their role in shaping our diverse, globalised, and multicultural world? Are you drawn to thinking about God, or relish the prospect of understanding how people of faith have instilled life with religious meaning? Are you concerned about questions of ethics, society, and justice in modern life? Do you value open-minded, independent and critical thinking? If so, you will enjoy studying the Theology and Religious Studies MA by Research.

Format

The teaching team at Canterbury Christ Church provide an excellent student experience in Theology and Religious Studies. They are passionate about their subject, and encourage students to share their enthusiasm and excitement. Drawing on academic expertise in major areas of Judaism and Christian Theology, as well as Indian and Chinese Philosophies, the team can offer supervision in an exciting and broad range of topics, including studies in world religions, the history and interpretation of religious thought, and the study of critical challenges in the contemporary world.

Assessment

Students will write a research thesis on their chosen topic. For an MA by Research students will need to demonstrate critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at the forefront of their own academic discipline.

The length of the Masters by Research thesis excluding bibliography and appendices, but including footnotes, is 25,000-30,000 words.

The MA by research will be assessed by dissertation. The examination will be done by an internal and an external examiner and might include a viva voce examination.

What can I do next?

This programme is a significant qualification in its own right but could also fast-track you, if you're successful, to MPhil and ultimately to PhD qualifications.

The research and writing skills you'll gain, together with the specialist disciplinary knowledge developed during the course, will enhance your employability and can provide an invaluable grounding for careers in teaching, media and journalism, publishing and marketing.

How to apply

For information on how to apply, please follow this link: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/how-to-apply/how-to-apply.aspx

Funding

-Masters Loans-

From 2016/17 government loans of up to £10,000 are available for postgraduate Masters study. The loans will be paid directly to students by the Student Loans Company and will be subject to both personal and course eligibility criteria.

For more information available here: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/funding-your-degree/funding-your-postgraduate-degree.aspx

-2017/18 Entry Financial Support-

Information on alternative funding sources is available here: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/study-here/funding-your-degree/2017-18-entry-financial-support.aspx

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This course involves the study of historical and systematic theology across a range of Christian perspectives. Durham has long-established strengths in both Greek and Latin patristics, the medieval Church and Reformation, contemporary Catholic and Anglican theology, theological ethics, and philosophical theology. Read more
This course involves the study of historical and systematic theology across a range of Christian perspectives. Durham has long-established strengths in both Greek and Latin patristics, the medieval Church and Reformation, contemporary Catholic and Anglican theology, theological ethics, and philosophical theology.

Course Structure

Classic Texts in Christian Theology core module, Three option modules, Dissertation.
Core Modules:
-Classic Texts in Christian Theology
-Dissertation

Optional Modules in previous years have included:
2-3 choices from:
-Paul and his Interpreters
-Gospels and Canon
-The Bible and Hermeneutics
-Patristic Exegesis
-Patristic Ecclesiology
-Christian Northumbria 600-750
-The Anglican Theological Vision
-Liturgy and Sacramentality
-Conceiving Change in Contemporary Catholicism
-Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology
-Christian Gender
-Principles of Theological Ethics
-Theology, Ethics and Medicine
-Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion
-Ritual, Symbolism and Belief in the Anthropology of Religion
-Literature and Religion
-Catholic Social Thought
-Ecclesiology and Ethnography
-Doctrine of Creation

Plus up to 1 choice from:
-Advanced Hebrew Texts
-Advanced Aramaic
-Middle Egyptian
-Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament
-Selected modules from the MA in Theology and Ministry programme
-Level 3 undergraduate module, or any Level 1 – 2 language module offered by the Department of Theology and Religion, taken in conjunction with the Extended Study in Theology & Religion module
-30 credits from another Board of Studies (including appropriate credit-bearing language modules offered by the University’s Centre for Foreign Language Study)

Learning and Teaching

Most MA teaching is delivered through small group seminars and tutorials. These exemplify and encourage the various skills and practices required for independent scholarly engagement with texts and issues. Teaching in the Department of Theology & Religion is ‘research led’ at both BA and MA levels, but particularly at MA level. Research led teaching is informed by staff research, but more importantly it aims to develop students as independent researchers themselves, able to pursue and explore their own research interests and questions. This is why the independently researched MA dissertation is the culmination of the MA programme. Such engagement with texts and issues is not only an excellent preparation for doctoral research, it also develops those skills of critical analysis, synthesis and presentation sought and required by employers.

Many MA classes will contain a ‘lecture’ element, conveying information and exemplifying an approach to the subject-matter that will enable students to develop a clear understanding of the subject and improve their own ability to analyse and evaluate information and arguments. Seminars enhance knowledge and understanding through preparation and interaction with other students and staff, promoting awareness of and respect for different viewpoints and approaches, and developing skills of articulacy, advocacy and interrogation. Through small group discussions and tutorials, feedback is provided on student work, with the opportunity to discuss specific issues in detail, enhancing student knowledge and writing skills.

The Dissertation module includes training in generic research skills, from the use of the Library to issues in referencing and bibliography. The subject specific core module introduces students to questions of interpretation and argument in the disciplines encompassed by theology and religion, and helps them to develop their own interests and questions that will issue in the MA dissertation. The latter is a piece of independent research, but it is fostered and guided through individual tutorials with a supervisor, with whom students meet throughout the academic year.

Other admission requirements

*The two principal exceptions to this rule are as follows: graduates of other disciplines who have studied at undergraduate or equivalent level in one or more of the areas in which they hope to work, through their first degrees, through training for the ministry of the churches, and so on; students from overseas universities who have successfully reached a point in their theological studies comparable with completion of a British BA at the standard noted above - for example, on the German model, passing the Zwischenprüfung or Kolloquium and two semesters at the Hauptseminar level. When applying, please ensure that your two chosen referees send their confidential academic references (using the reference form [Word]) to us in a timely manner. Please note that we are unable to accept ‘open’ references submitted by yourself. The referees may send the references by email directly from their institutional email addresses to provided they are signed, or by post to the address provided on the reference form.

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This course focuses on the Catholic theological tradition in particular, within the more general context of Christian theology. Durham is developing a strong emphasis on a renewed engagement with contemporary Catholicism, and now boasts a Centre for Catholic Studies and the Bede Chair in Catholic Theology. Read more
This course focuses on the Catholic theological tradition in particular, within the more general context of Christian theology. Durham is developing a strong emphasis on a renewed engagement with contemporary Catholicism, and now boasts a Centre for Catholic Studies and the Bede Chair in Catholic Theology. For more information, please contact Professor Paul Murray ()

Course Structure

Classic Texts in Christian Theology core module, Three option modules, Dissertation.
Core Modules:
-Classic Texts in Christian Theology
-Dissertation

Optional Modules in previous years have included:
2-3 choices from:
-Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology
-Conceiving Change in Contemporary Catholicism
-Christian Gender
-Principles of Theological Ethics
-Patristic Ecclesiology
-Patristic Exegesis
-Catholic Social Thought

Plus up to 1 choice from:
-The Anglican Theological Vision
-Liturgy and Sacramentality
-Ritual, Symbolism and Belief in the Anthropology of Religion
-Paul and his Interpreters
-Gospels and Canon
-The Bible and Hermeneutics
-Christian Northumbria 600-750
-Theology, Ethics and Medicine
-Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion
-Literature and Religion
-Advanced Hebrew Texts
-Advanced Aramaic
-Middle Egyptian
-The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament
-Ecclesiology and Ethnography
-Doctrine of Creation
-Selected modules from the MA in Theology and Ministry programme
-Level 3 undergraduate module, or any Level 1 – 2 language module offered by the Department of Theology and Religion, taken in conjunction with the Extended Study in Theology & Religion module
-30 credits from another Board of Studies (including appropriate credit-bearing language modules offered by the University’s Centre for Foreign Language Study

Learning and Teaching

Most MA teaching is delivered through small group seminars and tutorials. These exemplify and encourage the various skills and practices required for independent scholarly engagement with texts and issues. Teaching in the Department of Theology &

Most MA teaching is delivered through small group seminars and tutorials. These exemplify and encourage the various skills and practices required for independent scholarly engagement with texts and issues. Teaching in the Department of Theology & Religion is ‘research led’ at both BA and MA levels, but particularly at MA level. Research led teaching is informed by staff research, but more importantly it aims to develop students as independent researchers themselves, able to pursue and explore their own research interests and questions. This is why the independently researched MA dissertation is the culmination of the MA programme. Such engagement with texts and issues is not only an excellent preparation for doctoral research, it also develops those skills of critical analysis, synthesis and presentation sought and required by employers.

Many MA classes will contain a ‘lecture’ element, conveying information and exemplifying an approach to the subject-matter that will enable students to develop a clear understanding of the subject and improve their own ability to analyse and evaluate information and arguments. Seminars enhance knowledge and understanding through preparation and interaction with other students and staff, promoting awareness of and respect for different viewpoints and approaches, and developing skills of articulacy, advocacy and interrogation. Through small group discussions and tutorials, feedback is provided on student work, with the opportunity to discuss specific issues in detail, enhancing student knowledge and writing skills.

The Dissertation module includes training in generic research skills, from the use of the Library to issues in referencing and bibliography. The subject specific core module introduces students to questions of interpretation and argument in the disciplines encompassed by theology and religion, and helps them to develop their own interests and questions that will issue in the MA dissertation. The latter is a piece of independent research, but it is fostered and guided through individual tutorials with a supervisor, with whom students meet throughout the academic year.

Other admission details

*The two principal exceptions to this rule are as follows: graduates of other disciplines who have studied at undergraduate or equivalent level in one or more of the areas in which they hope to work, through their first degrees, through training for the ministry of the churches, and so on; students from overseas universities who have successfully reached a point in their theological studies comparable with completion of a British BA at the standard noted above - for example, on the German model, passing the Zwischenprüfung or Kolloquium and two semesters at the Hauptseminar level.

When applying, please ensure that your two chosen referees send their confidential academic references (using the reference form [Word]) to us in a timely manner. Please note that we are unable to accept ‘open’ references submitted by yourself. The referees may send the references by email directly from their institutional email addresses to provided they are signed, or by post to the address provided on the reference form.

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The MA in Theology and Religion serves both the specific needs of students focussed on progressing towards doctoral research and those of students looking to continue relatively broad-based studies in Theology and Religion to Level four, perhaps in support of a career in teaching. Read more
The MA in Theology and Religion serves both the specific needs of students focussed on progressing towards doctoral research and those of students looking to continue relatively broad-based studies in Theology and Religion to Level four, perhaps in support of a career in teaching.

Course Structure

Choice of one of the three core modules, Three option modules, Dissertation.

Core Modules

One of the following:
-The Bible and Hermeneutics
-Classic Texts in Christian Theology
-Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion
AND
-Dissertation

Optional Modules

Optional Modules in previous years have included (2-3 choices from):
-Advanced Hebrew Texts
-Advanced Aramaic
-Middle Egyptian
-The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament
-The Bible and Hermeneutics
-Paul and his Interpreters
-Gospels and Canon
-Patristic Exegesis
-Patristic Ecclesiology
-Christian Northumbria 600-750
-Classic Texts in Christian Theology
-The Anglican Theological Vision
-Liturgy and Sacramentality
-Conceiving Change in Contemporary Catholicism
-Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology
-Christian Gender
-Principles of Theological Ethics
-Theology, Ethics and Medicine
-Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion
-Ritual, Symbolism and Belief in the Anthropology of Religion
-Literature and Religion
-Catholic Social Thought
-Ecclesiology and Ethnography
-Doctrine of Creation

Plus up to 1 choice from:
-Selected modules from the MA in Theology and Ministry programme
-Level 3 undergraduate module, or any Level 1 – 2 language module offered by the Department of Theology and Religion, taken in conjunction with the Extended Study in Theology & Religion module
-30 credits from another Board of Studies (including appropriate credit-bearing language modules offered by the University’s Centre for Foreign Language Study)

Learning and Teaching

Most MA teaching is delivered through small group seminars and tutorials. These exemplify and encourage the various skills and practices required for independent scholarly engagement with texts and issues. Teaching in the Department of Theology & Religion is ‘research led’ at both BA and MA levels, but particularly at MA level. Research led teaching is informed by staff research, but more importantly it aims to develop students as independent researchers themselves, able to pursue and explore their own research interests and questions. This is why the independently researched MA dissertation is the culmination of the MA programme. Such engagement with texts and issues is not only an excellent preparation for doctoral research, it also develops those skills of critical analysis, synthesis and presentation sought and required by employers.

Many MA classes will contain a ‘lecture’ element, conveying information and exemplifying an approach to the subject-matter that will enable students to develop a clear understanding of the subject and improve their own ability to analyse and evaluate information and arguments. Seminars enhance knowledge and understanding through preparation and interaction with other students and staff, promoting awareness of and respect for different viewpoints and approaches, and developing skills of articulacy, advocacy and interrogation. Through small group discussions and tutorials, feedback is provided on student work, with the opportunity to discuss specific issues in detail, enhancing student knowledge and writing skills.

The Dissertation module includes training in generic research skills, from the use of the Library to issues in referencing and bibliography. The subject specific core module introduces students to questions of interpretation and argument in the disciplines encompassed by theology and religion, and helps them to develop their own interests and questions that will issue in the MA dissertation. The latter is a piece of independent research, but it is fostered and guided through individual tutorials with a supervisor, with whom students meet throughout the academic year.

Other admission requirements

*The two principal exceptions to this rule are as follows: graduates of other disciplines who have studied at undergraduate or equivalent level in one or more of the areas in which they hope to work, through their first degrees, through training for the ministry of the churches, and so on; students from overseas universities who have successfully reached a point in their theological studies comparable with completion of a British BA at the standard noted above - for example, on the German model, passing the Zwischenprüfung or Kolloquium and two semesters at the Hauptseminar level.

When applying, please ensure that your two chosen referees send their confidential academic references (using the reference form [Word]) to us in a timely manner. Please note that we are unable to accept ‘open’ references submitted by yourself. The referees may send the references by email directly from their institutional email addresses to provided they are signed, or by post to the address provided on the reference form.

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This course focuses on the Anglican theological tradition in particular, within the more general context of Christian theology. Read more
This course focuses on the Anglican theological tradition in particular, within the more general context of Christian theology. Durham offers unparalleled resources for the theological study of Anglicanism, a strong basis for which is given by the Department's close historical links with Durham Cathedral, the seat of numerous theologian-bishops.

Course Structure

Classic Texts in Christian Theology core module, Three option modules, Dissertation.

Core Modules:
-Classic Texts in Christian Theology
-Dissertation

Optional Modules in previous years have included:
2-3 choices from:
-The Anglican Theological Vision
-Liturgy and Sacramentality
-Ritual, Symbolism and Belief in the Anthropology of Religion
-Ecclesiology and Ethnography
-Selected modules from the MA in Theology and Ministry programme

Plus up to 1 choice from:
-Paul and his Interpreters
-Gospels and Canon
-The Bible and Hermeneutics
-Patristic Exegesis
-Patristic Ecclesiology
-Christian Northumbria 600-750
-Conceiving Change in Contemporary Catholicism
-Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology
-Christian Gender
-Principles of Theological Ethics
-Theology, Ethics and Medicine
-Social Scientific Methods in the Study of Religion
-Literature and Religion
-Advanced Hebrew Texts
-Advanced Aramaic
-Middle Egyptian
-The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and the New Testament
-Catholic Social Thought
-Doctrine of Creation
-Selected modules from the MA in Theology and Ministry programme
-Level 3 undergraduate module, or any Level 1 – 2 language module offered by the Department of Theology and Religion, taken in conjunction with the Extended Study in Theology & Religion module
-30 credits from another Board of Studies (including appropriate credit-bearing language modules offered by the University’s Centre for Foreign Language Study)

Learning and Teaching

Most MA teaching is delivered through small group seminars and tutorials. These exemplify and encourage the various skills and practices required for independent scholarly engagement with texts and issues. Teaching in the Department of Theology & Religion is ‘research led’ at both BA and MA levels, but particularly at MA level. Research led teaching is informed by staff research, but more importantly it aims to develop students as independent researchers themselves, able to pursue and explore their own research interests and questions. This is why the independently researched MA dissertation is the culmination of the MA programme. Such engagement with texts and issues is not only an excellent preparation for doctoral research, it also develops those skills of critical analysis, synthesis and presentation sought and required by employers.

Many MA classes will contain a ‘lecture’ element, conveying information and exemplifying an approach to the subject-matter that will enable students to develop a clear understanding of the subject and improve their own ability to analyse and evaluate information and arguments. Seminars enhance knowledge and understanding through preparation and interaction with other students and staff, promoting awareness of and respect for different viewpoints and approaches, and developing skills of articulacy, advocacy and interrogation. Through small group discussions and tutorials, feedback is provided on student work, with the opportunity to discuss specific issues in detail, enhancing student knowledge and writing skills.

The Dissertation module includes training in generic research skills, from the use of the Library to issues in referencing and bibliography. The subject specific core module introduces students to questions of interpretation and argument in the disciplines encompassed by theology and religion, and helps them to develop their own interests and questions that will issue in the MA dissertation. The latter is a piece of independent research, but it is fostered and guided through individual tutorials with a supervisor, with whom students meet throughout the academic year.

Other admission requirements

*The two principal exceptions to this rule are as follows: graduates of other disciplines who have studied at undergraduate or equivalent level in one or more of the areas in which they hope to work, through their first degrees, through training for the ministry of the churches, and so on; students from overseas universities who have successfully reached a point in their theological studies comparable with completion of a British BA at the standard noted above - for example, on the German model, passing the Zwischenprüfung or Kolloquium and two semesters at the Hauptseminar level.

When applying, please ensure that your two chosen referees send their confidential academic references (using the reference form [Word]) to us in a timely manner. Please note that we are unable to accept ‘open’ references submitted by yourself. The referees may send the references by email directly from their institutional email addresses to provided they are signed, or by post to the address provided on the reference form.

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Research profile. Read more

Research profile

The research interests of academic staff and graduate students in Ethics and Practical Theology encompass a range of theoretical and practical approaches to ethics, religion and theology, including environmental ethics, peace-building and reconciliation, ethical theory, and pastoral and practical theology.

You can find out more and identify a potential supervisor by looking at the School of Divinity’s * Staff Profiles, which give details of research interests and publications, and email addresses.

You are encouraged to contact a potential supervisor to discuss your research project before making a formal application. In the Ethics and Practical Theology research area, projects are often interdisciplinary. If this is the case, you may be jointly supervised with a subject specialist from another School in the University.

At the School of Divinity you will join a community of around 150 research students, drawn from around the world, and from a variety of religious and non-religious backgrounds.

You will study in a stimulating environment. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 ranked the School’s research environment at 100% world-leading / internationally excellent, second in the UK on this front in theology and religion. This outstanding result reflects the vibrancy of the School’s research culture.

Training and support

The ethos of the Graduate School is to promote excellence in postgraduate study, within a stimulating and supportive environment. We value equality and diversity in the School community, and an academic culture that is both critical and constructive.

  • At the start of the academic year, you will be invited to Welcome Week, an intensive introduction to study and life in Edinburgh. Some events are especially for international students new to Scotland and the UK, but everything is open to all.
  • In the first weeks, the School provides a general orientation to research skills and to wider opportunities for training and support.
  • From your first days as a PhD or MPhil student, you will work 1:1 with your primary research supervisor.
  • Your progress will be tracked, through regular supervisions and milestone reviews, to ensure that you get the support you need to bring your project to fruition.
  • You will be part of the research seminar in Theology and Ethics, to which visiting speakers are invited and to which postgraduates present work-in-progress.
  • You can also engage with the work of the * Centre for Theology and Public Issues.
  • You will be able to follow taught courses that contribute to your interests and research needs, and can also take advantage of opportunities to learn ancient and modern languages.
  • If you are a PhD student, after successful completion of your first year, you will be eligible to apply for tutoring opportunities, to gain teaching experience.

A University review (2015) commended the Graduate School for providing excellent support: responsive to student feedback; proactive in helping new postgraduates to adjust to their studies and to life in Scotland; enthusiastic and practical in promoting career development. The postgraduate student committee works closely with the School to make the research student experience the best it can be.

Facilities

The School of Divinity, one of the largest centres for the study of religion in the United Kingdom, is located in the historic setting of New College, close to Edinburgh Castle and overlooking Princes Street.

Resources for research are excellent. You can draw on the outstanding holdings of New College Library, the University of Edinburgh’s main library, and the nearby National Library of Scotland. New College Library has one of the largest theology collections in the UK, with more than a quarter of a million items and a large and rich manuscript collection. The University library exceeds 2.25 million volumes. The National Library of Scotland – a ‘legal deposit’ library like the British Library in London and the university libraries of Oxford and Cambridge – is just around the corner.

The School provides an extensive programme of weekly research seminars and special guest lectures. In addition, three research centres provide a special focus for activity: the Centre for the Study of Christian Origins; the Centre for Theology and Public Issues; the Centre for the Study ofWorld Christianity.

You will have access to excellent study facilities, dedicated to postgraduates. PhD and MPhil students have access 24/7, and can request an allocated desk. Masters by Research students have shared study space. All areas have printing/scanning and computer facilities. The main postgraduate study wing has a kitchen. New College has an on-site cafe that is open during term time.

Research opportunities

If you have academic training in theology or religious studies (or another relevant subject), and would like to develop your interest with a focus on a particular area, the Masters by Research may interest you. This programme can be taken either as a ‘Master of Theology by Research’ or as a ‘Master of Science by Research’ – the difference is only in the name. You can study full-time (one year) or part-time (two years). Your pattern of study can either be three supervised research essays followed by a 15,000 word dissertation, or a 30,000 word dissertation. Most students take the ‘research essays + shorter dissertation’ path. All students receive research training.



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This flexible programme will give you a sophisticated understanding of theories and methods at the forefront of Theology and Religious Studies. Read more

This flexible programme will give you a sophisticated understanding of theories and methods at the forefront of Theology and Religious Studies. You’ll study diverse religious traditions in the UK and beyond, as well as their impact on the world around us.

Core modules explore the relationship between religion, theology and the public sphere in areas such as human rights, wealth and wealth creation, terrorism and social justice. You’ll also gain an understanding of research methods in the humanities and social sciences.

Then you’ll select from optional modules focusing on topics that suit your interests such as philosophy of religion, the links between religion and global development or gender, multiculturalism and more.

With the support of leading researchers, including those working in our Centre for Philosophy of Religion and Centre for Religion and Public Life, you’ll develop a wide range of skills while exploring a subject that is vital for understanding the world we live in.

You’ll find plenty of resources at Leeds to inspire and inform your studies. The Special Collections housed in our world-class Brotherton Library include extensive collections of archive and early printed material, including hundreds of theological works from the 17th century onwards.

We also hold the library of Ripon Cathedral and the archives of the Dean and Chapter, spanning from the late Middle Ages to the 20th century, as well as extensive archives relating to Quaker history. There are even a large number of early printed books and manuscripts connected with Jewish theology and history. All the major world religions are also fully represented in our excellent library resources.

This programme is also available to study part-time over 24 months. You can also study for a postgraduate certificate (PGCert) or diploma (PGDip) qualification, where you take fewer modules overall.

Course content

Your first semester will equip you with the knowledge and skills to study theology and religion. You’ll take core modules introducing you to research methods in the subject, using approaches from across the humanities and social sciences, as well as exploring the relationship between theology and public life. You’ll learn about political, urban, systematic and practical theologies among many others, focusing on issues such as racism, criminal justice and social cohesion.

This foundation will enable you to gain specialist knowledge in the areas that suit your interests. You’ll choose two optional modules from the range we offer, allowing you to focus on topics such as Muslims and multiculturalism, or philosophical approaches to spirituality.

During the programme you’ll acquire skills in research and interpretation and good social and cultural awareness. You’ll demonstrate this with your dissertation – an independent study on a research topic of your choice – which you’ll submit by the end of the programme in August. You can even go into greater depth if you swap one optional module for an extended dissertation.

If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.

If you study for the PGCert or PGDip qualification, you’ll take fewer modules. You’ll also specialise in either theology or religious studies, depending on the modules you choose.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

There are three compulsory modules throughout the year including the Dissertation (60 credits). You’ll then choose two optional modules, or just one if you select the Extended Dissertation (90 credits).

Optional modules

  • Philosophy and Spiritual Practice 30 credits
  • Sin, Public Discourse and Public Life 30 credits
  • Religions and Global Development 30 credits
  • Contemporary Issues in Religion and Gender 30 credits
  • Muslims, Multiculturalism and the State 30 credits
  • Religion and Society: Research Process and Methods 30 credits
  • Religion, Politics and the Future: From Apocalypse to Utopia 30 credits
  • Religion, Society and Public Life 30 credits
  • Theology and Public Life 30 credits
  • Philosophy and the Spiritual Life: Contemporary Perspectives 30 credits
  • Research Project (Theology and Religious Studies) 30 credits
  • Special Options in Theology and Religious Studies 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Theology and Religious Studies MA Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Theology and Religious Studies MA Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

We use a variety of teaching and learning methods including lectures, seminars and tutorials where you can discuss the issues arising from your reading in greater depth. Independent study is also an important element of the programme, allowing you to develop your skills and pursue your own interests more closely.

Assessment

To help you gain and demonstrate a range of skills, you’ll be assessed using a range of different methods. These include essays and assignments as well as literature reviews, project reports and presentations.

Career opportunities

This programme will give you a range of in-depth subject knowledge, as well as valuable transferable skills in research, analysis, interpretation, communication and cultural awareness. All of these qualities are valuable in a wide range of careers.

Graduates pursue careers in a variety of sectors including the charity sector, NGOs, education, local government, civil service and policy work, business and legal services, the media and social work. Many also continue their studies at PhD level, and even pursue academic careers after this.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.



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The MA in Theology will allow you to pursue advanced study in cutting-edge topics in Christian theology with opportunities to engage with a wide range of disciplines, including. Read more
The MA in Theology will allow you to pursue advanced study in cutting-edge topics in Christian theology with opportunities to engage with a wide range of disciplines, including: contextual and practical theology; biblical studies; systematic theology; public theology; theology, media and communication; and theological ethics.

Why Study Theology with us?

The University of Chester’s Department of Theology and Religious Studies offers postgraduate teaching from academic specialists in a wide range of theological disciplines.

Our wide choice of modules aim to extend the knowledge and skills you gained in undergraduate studies, developing your capacities for critical judgement, independent research and clear, concise explanation and argument.

The course will attract those seeking to deepen their understanding of Christian faith and its significance for society and culture, and those seeking professional and ministerial development. It provides an excellent preparation for those considering pursuing a research degree in the field.

What will I learn?

You will create your own path of study beginning with a choice of core modules in: practical and contextual theology; key texts in the Christian theological tradition; or theology, media and communication.

Optional modules offer an exciting range of cutting-edge theological approaches and topics.

You will also have the chance to develop skills in independent research through exploring a topic of your choice in the Research Dissertation, working with an academic staff member on an individual basis.

How will I be taught?

This course is normally accessible through a combination of: faceto- face seminars (or lectures) of two hours per week in Chester; intensive two-day residentials; or entirely through online distance learning.

Full-time and part-time students should expect to devote 30 hours or 15 hours respectively per week to their studies. You will also have two to six contact hours per week.

How will I be assessed?

Assessments include long critical essays (normally 4,000 words); a shorter critical reviews; research proposal; other shorter tasks ; and a 20,000-word Research Dissertation. There are no examinations.

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'Theology is simply that part of religion that requires brains.' - G K Chesterton. Theology is primarily concerned with how we live out and understand our Christian faith. Read more
'Theology is simply that part of religion that requires brains.' - G K Chesterton

Theology is primarily concerned with how we live out and understand our Christian faith. As well as teaching the theoretical aspects of the faith, our postgraduate theology programmes have always placed a special emphasis on the application of theology to specific practical situations and the preparation and formation of people for Christian ministry in a fast moving age:

'Theology has importance for the Church in every age so that it can respond to the plan of God "who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim 2:4). In times of great spiritual and cultural change, theology is all the more important.' (Donum Veritatis, 1)

Why St Mary's?

At St Mary’s we are particularly concerned that academic theology should be in the service of the churches, the world, and wider society. For over a decade we have worked directly with numerous Roman Catholic Dioceses to deliver a comprehensive training in ministry. Consequently we now offer three specialist postgraduate theological pathways:
• Chaplaincy and Ministry
• Christian Spirituality
• Systematic Theology

It is possible to study for three postgraduate qualifications in Theology: the Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and Master's Degree. Each builds on the other so having completed the two core modules of the course you will be eligible for the Postgraduate Certificate. If you successfully complete the Optional Modules you will be eligible for the Postgraduate Diploma and if this is followed with the Dissertation you will be eligible for the Master's degree.

St Mary’s now has agreements with the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Northampton, Portsmouth, and Plymouth, and the Southern Permanent Diaconate Formation Programme. We teach the MA at Saturday classes in Ashburton (Devon), Beaconsfield (Buckinghamshire), Winchester (Hampshire) and - for those training for Catholic diaconal ministry - Wonersh (Surrey).

A Student View

Teresa (London)
"One of the great benefits of this MA Course is the opportunity the oral and written assignments have given me to reflect theologically on, and relate the issues discussed in the lectures to, my work as a School Chaplain... I also greatly appreciated the opportunity the lectures afforded to meet regularly with a group of fellow Chaplains and to share our own experiences and reflections on Chaplaincy."

Career Prospects

The study of Theology develops students intellectually in a way that fits them in particular for pastoral work. It is an excellent preparation for any profession that involves working with people in a pastoral context.

In addition to the more general employment opportunities that require graduates with a breadth of human understanding, critical and social skills, and an awareness of current affairs, there are some professional openings in which expertise in biblical, theological and pastoral skills is an integral part of professional training.

These include the various forms of pastoral work and pastoral ministry, chaplaincy in schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, armed forces, prisons, retreat work, spiritual direction and guidance, teaching, catechesis and adult formation.

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This course involves analysing historical developments of Christian traditions and discipline, in order to better understand Christian beliefs in contemporary society. Read more

Master's specialisation in History of Church and Theology

This course involves analysing historical developments of Christian traditions and discipline, in order to better understand Christian beliefs in contemporary society.
How have Christians through the ages given meaning and expression to their ideas and expectations? How have they explained the meaning of Jesus Christ’s life, both within their own community and to outsiders? Students of the Master’s specialisation in Church History are trained to investigate historical developments with a critical and analytical eye. A historical analysis is important as it can also expose the “roots” of current issues and situations. That knowledge, in turn, can help us understand the present better and even help find solutions to problems contemporary societies face today.
The Radboud University’s Master’s specialisation in History of Church and Theology is unique in that it combines the study of the history of Christianity with the study of the juridical system of the Roman Catholic Church. What happens when people do not comply with societal norms? Students are trained in systematic historical research. They will learn how to interpret historical sources from throughout the ages, by analysing them in the context of the culture and values of the era in which they were produced.
Graduates of this Master’s specialisation can become researchers, policy makers, educators or spiritual caregivers. Careers as journalists, museum curators, librarians and archivists are also possible.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/historyofchurchandtheology

Why study History of Church and Theology at Radboud University?

- Radboud University’s specialisation in History of Church and Theology distinguishes itself by combining the study of the history of Christianity with Canon Law. Thereby creating a unique outlook on the interrelatedness of the development of Canon Law and both formal and informal practices.
- This programme is not just geared towards Europe but also places developments in a global perspective.
- . Taking a few seminars from the other theology disciplines of choice (Biblical Exegesis, Practical or Systematic Theology) is mandatory to broaden students general knowledge on Theology. However, with electives, students have plenty of room to choose a direction that meets their professional and academic interests
- 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).
- Teaching takes place in a stimulating, collegial setting with small groups, allowing ample opportunities for questions and discussions.
- 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.

Change perspective

History is not a fixed entity. Re-examining long-existing sources could lead to new insights on the course of events. Students will understand that what we now consider a significant event was not always so, and students are given the tools to discover "axioms of the past" so they can better understand pivotal moments in history. Students will learn to make sound historical analyses by taking asking new questions concerning familiar sources, by analysing long forgotten sources and by re-examining sources within the relevant cultural context. Their analyses could shed new light on historical events and give us new insights on current societal and cultural issues.

Career prospects

In a globalising world, more and more institutions require skills in theological communication and hermeneutics. Church historians have in-depth knowledge of Canon Law and the history of Christian beliefs and doctrines. They can analyse historical developments and are able distinguish when people use historic events to suit their purpose and contradict them when necessary. In addition, the programme teaches students how to think independently and critically about the way Church History and Canon Law can give meaning to contemporary issues.

Job positions

The Master’s programme in Theology strongly enhances career prospects by allowing students to focus on one professional path in their third year, of the following options: research, education, spiritual care or religion and policy.

Our approach to this field

How has Christianity gained stability and continuity as a religion? How has the religion sustained itself during changing social and cultural contexts? The answers to these questions can be found in the history of Christianity – in all of its diversity. This course delves deeper than the ‘official’ developments. and lesser known interpretations of history are investigated in this Master’s specialisation. Special attention is also given to ‘suspicious’ Christians as well as how the Church authorities dealt with dissenting ideas and practices. The interplay between authority and religious practices teaches us about how we got to where we are today.

A complex conjunction of events
Students are not limited to analysing a unidirectional, causal reconstruction of events . No single factor determines the course of history, as it is often a complex conjunction of events. Thus, students are encouraged to situate historical texts and developments in their cultural context – an issue often forgotten in public debates. Methodologically, students are encouraged to connect discourse analysis and a historically sound hermeneutic source criticism. To this effect, students are trained in systematic historical research, by using both diachronic and synchronic research methods.

Master’s students are encouraged to elaborate their own ideas and proposals within our research programme. The number of possible research topics is endless. Students may look at any historical religious conflict or a political conflict and its effect on religion. Topics that have been researched in the past include the forced baptisms of Jews, Augustine and infant education, the development of the sacrament of confession and the role of women in Cathar communities, to list a few.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/historyofchurchandtheology

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