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Theology & Religious Studi…×

Masters Degrees in Theology

We have 85 Masters Degrees in Theology

Masters degrees in Theology examine fundamental questions to do with Christian faith, revelation and grace, attempting to deepen postgraduate students’ understanding of the nature of the divine.

Related specialisms include Religious Studies, Biblical Studies and Christian Theology. Programmes award a few different kinds of Masters, including the Master of Arts (MA), Master of Theology (MTh), Master of Letters (MLitt) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil).

Why study a Masters in Theology?

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You will be taught by a team of lecturers and researchers with ongoing experience as practitioners and consultants within the ministry sector. Read more
  • You will be taught by a team of lecturers and researchers with ongoing experience as practitioners and consultants within the ministry sector.
  • The University's historical roots and links with vibrant congregations provide an excellent context for research into contemporary multicultural urban ministry and mission.
  • All Roehampton’s Ministerial Theology provisions are timetabled to fit in with busy ongoing ministry and leadership roles.

Summary

The DTh is a professional doctorate programme in practical, ministry–focused theology. This programme offers strategic leadership training to senior level ministry personnel, seeking to broaden their applied theology in pastoral and missiological areas. The programme focuses on using research to develop theological practice.

There are two entry points for this programme. Stage 1A is for those with a good undergraduate degree and professional experience, and initially take a selection of preparatory taught modules. Stage 1B is for post-Masters applicants, and is an accelerated form of the course.

Regardless of entry point this programme will help those already engaged in Christian Ministry to develop the advanced research, evaluative and reflective skills necessary to further their professional and career profile. Students will prepare for more senior level, national or international roles, as leaders, advisers or consultants in ministry-related fields. As a practitioner of Practical Theology, this course will encourage you to reflect technically and theologically on your ministerial practice, and on the application of scholarship and research to a range of ministerial contexts.

In order to develop your research skills, the programme will provide you will extensive knowledge and understanding of areas of Practical Theology and the critical methods practiced at the forefront of the discipline. Students will then be able to reflect on these research methods in looking at their own practice, and you will be capable of producing findings that satisfy peer scrutiny and are deemed to be of publishable quality, making an original contribution to knowledge.

There is a wide range of areas in which students will develop their skills on this programme. You will enhance and apply your ability to handle written sources and empirical data, using appropriate advanced critical methods and controls. A further key skill is your ability to marshal coherent and effective arguments and communicate conclusions in oral and written form. The programme will moreover enable you to demonstrate a competent grasp of a range of technical skills arising within the discipline, including a range of approaches to textual historical, hermeneutical and cultural issues. You will also look at quantitative and qualitative approaches to the investigation of individual and social experience and behaviour, and be able to respond critically to their use by others.

Content

Throughout the course, you will develop your knowledge and understanding of practical theology, alongside formal academic and practical skills.

Stage 1A: This introductory stage of the course offers a variety of taught modules on topics in contemporary ministry and religious studies taken from our Masters’ programmes in Christian Ministry and Theology and Religious Studies, respectively. Tutors will assist any student taking this phase of the course to make an appropriate selection of modules.

Stage 1B: In the first year of this stage, you will study advanced methods and approaches to practical theology, as well as undertaking a major literature review relevant to your proposed area of research. During this in–depth investigation, you will identify gaps or problems in the literature and identify one or more research questions around which you can structure your research project.

In the second year, you will conduct an in–depth study of a more focused topic, developed to the level of a publishable article, before going on to draft and present a full project proposal which must be approved before transition to the dissertation phase.

Stage 2: The final phase of the course will allow you to work closely with staff members with particular expertise in your chosen research area, developing an original and substantial investigation of potential significance both to academic inquiry and professional practice. The thesis, which will build upon your work in years one and two, will typically run to 50–60,000 words, and will be defended in a viva voce examination. Departmental research strengths include empirical, pastoral and public theology across a range of UK and global church traditions and mission contexts, including Roman Catholic, Anglican, Baptist and Pentecostal. We also have a particular strength in Black Majority Churches.

Modules

Here are some examples of modules you may take while studying this course:

Issues in Christian Ministry

Wider Religious Studies

Doctoral modules

Compulsory and Required modules

Compulsory and/or required modules may change when we review and update programmes. Above is a list of modules offered this academic year.

Optional modules

Optional modules, when offered as part of a programme, may vary from year to year and are subject to viability.

Career options

The DTh is intended to enable existing professionals working in church ministry, mission, education, development or the para-church sector to move into senior or national positions within visionary research-led organisations.



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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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Master's specialisation in Systematic Theology. Drawing on the compassionate values and insights of the Christian faith to contribute to the welfare of society. 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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Looking to build upon your Bachelor's degree in Theology or Religious Studies? Or perhaps you are engaged in pastoral work and seeking to deepen your theoretical insights? Where better than at KU Leuven, where theology has been taught and practised for nearly 600 years? KU Leuven's Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies has always acted as a think tank within the Catholic community. Read more

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

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

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

The curriculum has a twofold focus.

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

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

Structure

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

Faculty

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

Objectives

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

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

Career perspectives

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

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



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The MA draws on a variety of research centres, conferences and seminar series which include contributions from world-renowned academics, community organisers and civic leaders. Read more
  • The MA draws on a variety of research centres, conferences and seminar series which include contributions from world-renowned academics, community organisers and civic leaders.
  • It is delivered by an experienced subject team who consistently score well for excellence of teaching in the National Student Survey.
  • The course offers flexible teaching: the MA can be taken either full-time or part-time and teaching takes place in the evening, with the occasional weekend study day.

Summary

As faiths of all kinds navigate their way through a period of great social change, it is more important than ever to possess an in-depth understanding of how faiths interact with each other and society. This MA creatively balances the close study of particular traditions with a broad understanding of the subject area. It is one of the few programmes in London that offers specialised teaching in Islam as well as several different aspects of Christian theology.

On this course, you can study a variety of religious traditions in relation to key topics such as social justice, gender, text and textual interpretation, and inter-religious dialogue and conflict. You will have the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of particular religious themes, with a broad view of religious studies, and its diverse forms of interpretation and practice. This course will suit students who want to develop advanced skills in the study and analysis of a range of issues, rather than focus on one specialist subject.

A strength of the course is that it allows you to have a critical awareness of the relationship between different religions and modern secular society, with an informed and scholarly understanding of differences within as well as between religious traditions and cultures. From this,you will use advanced methods of research and critical analysis to explore the ways in which different religious perspectives contribute to contemporary debates about identity, politics and culture.

Drawing on London's rich resources for studying religions in their material, social and historical contexts, this course provides an enhanced learning environment and contributes to your wider cultural awareness and understanding. This is underpinned by a focus on advanced study and research skills, designed to equip you with a high level of proven academic competence and preparing you for careers and vocations that require this expertise. This might include educational institutions, NGOs and other organisations in which understanding of religious perspectives is an advantage.

Content

The MA in Theology and Religious Studies allows you to focus on a broad range of topics within the subject area, and study your particular interests in-depth.

On offer is specialised teaching in Hinduism and Islam as well as different aspects of Christian theology. You could study gender across these traditions, for example looking at women in Islam from feminist, reformist and traditionalist perspectives, or specifically looking at gender across religious texts and narratives. Or you could study contemporary doctrine, such as Pentecostalism in different parts of the world, or in Christian marriage and family life, also taking into account qualitative and quantitative data on marriage and family today, and the political and policy decisions that affect families.

As well as contemporary debates, you will look at historical issues, for example through the effect of Christian theology on art and culture throughout history. You will look at how depictions of nature and grace, suffering and redemption, and gender and incarnation, changed through the Reformation, and then how these new representations influenced modern art and philosophy.

The course also provides opportunity to investigate the relationship of religion and society through modules look at, for example, human rights and community engagement. You will gain an understanding of the historic and contemporary relationship between the Church and the State, as well as the nature of Christian activism in public policy and public discourse.

Finally, you will write a dissertation on a topic of your choice, which can be informed by your study on the optional modules, or from an area of interest of your own.

Modules

Compulsory modules

Optional modules

Career options

This course is especially beneficial for those hoping to: pursue a PhD or conducting specific research; work in faith-based organisations, social services or education; work in international aid, the charity sector and community organisations.



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MA in Contemporary Christian Theology. 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

MA in Contemporary Christian Theology

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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Theology students today are faced with the momentous task of contributing to modern culture. This requires a thorough and interdisciplinary academic training. Read more

Theology students today are faced with the momentous task of contributing to modern culture. This requires a thorough and interdisciplinary academic training. With this in mind, the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies insists on developing well-rounded and highly trained scholars with critical minds. The two-year Research Master equips students to function as experts in Church and society and prepares them for further research specifically oriented towards the Doctoral Programme in Theology. 

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

 The Research Master: Master of Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion offers you a broad perspective on what theology and religious studies are all about. After graduation, you will have obtained a broad yet profound theoretical foundation in the great European traditions of thought and you will be able to move with ease as a dialogue partner in diverse theological fields.

The (full-time or part-time) programme is offered by the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies which ever since its founding in 1432 has built a rich history and tradition. Guided by our world-renowned faculty members, whose individual areas of expertise span the breadth and depth of theology, you will learn to give shape to your own independence, and transform it into a project with the potential to lead into doctoral studies. And rest assured: research at Leuven is second to none. Just ask Jansenius, Erasmus, or Louis Janssens – names from Leuven’s rich and ongoing history that spring to life in the Faculty’s peerless library, containing countless priceless volumes and ancient manuscripts. At Leuven, your research is sharpened by the newest digital tools, and bolstered by subscriptions to a rich variety of international journals, ranging from the mainstream to the cutting edge of today’s theology. The Faculty also confers on qualified students the degrees of Sacrae Theologiae Baccalaureus (S.T.B.) and Licentiatus (S.T.L.) in combination with the Research Master.

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

Structure

The 120-credits programme comprises the following:

  • Courses (60 credits): you take six courses of the truncus communis (24 credits), one inter disciplinary course (4 credits), three courses from three different majors outside your specialization major (12 credits), and five electives (20 credits).
  • A research master's thesis (32 credits): you will have two years to write a thesis in which you present the results of your study of an original research topic. The thesis must provide a structured and coherent survey of the issue while including an evaluation of research already undertaken and demonstrating evidence of an awareness of problems related to the topic.
  • major (28 credits): you take seven major courses (28 credits). The major can be selected from the research areas on offer at the faculty: Biblical Studies, Systematic Theology and the Study of Religions, Theological and Comparative Ethics, History of Church and Theology, Pastoral and Empirical Theology. 

International experience

The research master’s programme attracts students from all over the world, which adds a valuable intercultural element to your experience. The Faculty currently has students from more than sixty countries and thus from virtually every part of the globe. We also encourage students to participate in exchange programmes that allow them to spend a semester abroad. The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies has 68 agreements in 23 different countries within the framework of the Erasmus+ programme. All of the Faculty’s programmes are taught in both Dutch and English. 

Faculty

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

Objectives

Final attainment levels with respect to the Programme of Research Master: Master of Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion as a whole:

The graduate has acquired

1.  a general familiarity with theology and religious studies;

2.  specialization in a particular discipline with a view to the provision of a constructive contribution to the study of theology;

3.  thorough acquaintance with the sources, problems and methods characteristic of one's own major and area of specialization;

4.  the ability to apply both the knowledge acquired as well as the methods relevant to one's particular discipline in a manner which contributes to the reflection of the faithful within the Church;

5.  insight into the relationship between the study of theological and social-religious issues and the actual social context which is characterized by religious and ethical plurality and a multiplicity of fundamental life options;

6.  the ability to conduct independent theological research, as well as to pass on the acquired attitudes, methods and knowledge;

7.  an openness to interdisciplinary inquiries and the ability to contribute and engage in interdisciplinary research from within one's own area of specialization;

8.  the ability to set up a theological or religious studies project: the formulation of a relevant research issue and the development of a method of argumentation pertaining to the formulated problematic;

9.  the ability to complete a project-oriented research thesis;

10.  the ability to comprehensively present one's research results;

11.  the ability to write a theological or religious studies article in an academically appropriate manner.

Career prospects

The research master’s programme prepares you for admission to the Doctoral Programme in Theology, but also for a variety of careers in sectors including secondary and higher educationbusinesspublishingacademia, the media, the socio-cultural sector, and the various domains of pastoral care.



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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. Read more

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.

Programme Structure

The degree normally involves five taught modules and a dissertation.

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules can include;

  • Research Skills in Theology;
  • Dissertation;
  • Research Proposal in Theology ;
  • Evaluative Bibliographical Diary
  • Philosophy of the Social Sciences.

Optional modules

Some examples of the optional modules which may be available are;

  • Reception of Christian and Jewish Traditions;
  • Intermediate Biblical Hebrew;
  • Introducing Biblical Hebrew;
  • Theology, Ethics and Public Issues;
  • Reading Early Jewish and Christian Texts;
  • Approaches to Biblical Studies

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.

Research areas

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:

  • The relationship of Christian theology with environmental concerns
  • Urban planning, criminal justice, international law, sexuality and gender, and the visual arts
  • Interfaith dialogue between the Abrahamic faiths; sacramental theology
  • Ecumenical theology, especially in Ireland
  • Christian theology and science

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.

You can find out more about our Academic Staff and their research interests from the Theology web pages.



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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. 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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This course focuses on the Catholic theological tradition, within the more general context of Christian theology. Durham has a strong interest in and engagement with contemporary Catholicism, with a . Read more

This course focuses on the Catholic theological tradition, within the more general context of Christian theology. Durham has a strong interest in and engagement with contemporary Catholicism, with a Centre for Catholic Studies and the Bede Chair in Catholic Theology.

Course Structure

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

Core Modules

  • Classic Texts in Christian Theology 
  • Dissertation.

Optional Modules

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)

Course 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.

Career Opportunities

A significant number of our graduates find employment in academic institutions (universities and seminaries) around the world. Others go into teaching, church ministry, the caring professions, and many other professional fields.



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This course involves the study of historical and systematic theology from 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 from 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

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)

Course 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.

Career Opportunities

A significant number of our graduates find employment in academic institutions (universities and seminaries) around the world. Others go into teaching, church ministry, the caring professions, and many other professional fields.



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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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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
  • 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).

Course 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.

Career Opportunities

A significant number of our graduates find employment in academic institutions (universities and seminaries) around the world.

Others go into teaching, church ministry, the caring professions, and many other professional fields.



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This course focuses on the Anglican theological tradition within the more general context of Christian theology. Read more

This course focuses on the Anglican theological tradition within the more general context of Christian theology. Durham offers unparalleled resources for the theological study of Anglicanism, a strong basis for which is provided 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

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)

Course 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.

Career Opportunities

A significant number of our graduates find employment in academic institutions (universities and seminaries) around the world. Others go into teaching, church ministry, the caring professions, and many other professional fields.



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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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