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"Bridging religious and cultural divides"

master of arts in religious studiesThe M.A. in Religious Studies is a broad-based degree program for students who seek to integrate their faith with knowledge of religions and their impact on society, and who seek to equip themselves for a variety of ministries and career options, especially for the task of building peace among religions and cultures. The program prepares students for a wide variety of positions and jobs. These include church lay leadership; peace-building and social service ministries in churches, faith communities and non-profits; work in interfaith ministries; as more effective witnesses for their faith in today’s multi-faith environment; management positions in churches and non-profit organizations; teaching religion in an academic setting and for those who wish to pursue further graduate work in religion.  The MA in Religious Studies is also the base degree for interfaith chaplaincy.

The program’s foundation courses provide a theological and intercultural understanding in several religious traditions with focused examination on the nexus of religion and peacebuilding. They are supported by a co-curriculum promoting personal spiritual formation in the context of religious diversity.

The program’s four concentrations include two professional concentrations: (1) Interfaith Peacebuilding and (2) Non-profit Leadership that provide practical skills and experiential learning for ministry, and two academic concentrations: (3) Unification Studies and (4) Theological Studies that provide for focused study in a field of theological inquiry.

Graduation Requirements

To be awarded the M.A. degree, students must fulfill the following requirements:

- 48 credit hours
- A minimum grade point average of 2.50
- Mid Program Review
- A Masters Project or Thesis

Foundation Courses:

SCR 5151 World Scriptures and World Peace

THE 5132 Theology of Peacebuilding

THE 5141 Ethics and Social Justice in the Age of Globalization

LTR 5513 World Religions and Global Conflict

One elective course in the student’s own tradition, and one elective course each in two different religious traditions other than the student’s own, e.g.:

SCR 5131 Hebrew Bible

SCR 5141 New Testament Foundations

THE 5131 Systematic Theology

LTR 5131 Church History I

LTR 5402 Jewish-Christian Relations

LTR 5411 Islam

LTR 5421 Confucianism

LTR 5431 Buddhism

LTR 5441 Hinduism

LTR 5151 Unification Movement

THE 5631 Divine Principle

 

Masters Project:

Masters Thesis or Project (3 credits)

MIN 5804A & MIN 5804B Masters Colloquium (0 credit)


Concentration in Interfaith Peacebuilding:

Similar to the Interfaith Peacebuilding concentration in the MRE degree program, this concentration takes students through a process whereby they gain a valuable understanding of “the other” in today’s world with the goal of developing a more harmonious and peaceful world and an identity as a human family. As one of the two professional concentrations, students in this program will undertake both a theoretical and experiential study of interfaith peacebuilding.

The curriculum challenges students to:  (1) learn universal principles of peacebuilding; (2) examine how religions can either exacerbate or ameliorate conflict; (3) understand the religious “other”; and (4) gain practical skills and experience for peacebuilding and educating for peace.

The following course requirements apply to students taking this concentration. Courses listed are for 3 credits unless otherwise noted. 

One course in Theological Communications or Teachings from the following list:

MIN 5104 Homiletics

EDU 5111, EDU 5112 or EDU 5113 Models of Teaching

One course in Pastoral Skills for Reconciliation from the following list:

MIN 5722 Cultural Diversity and Conflict Transformation

PAS 5101 Pastoral Care and Counseling

PAS 5501 Marriage and Family Counseling

PAS 5555 The Healing Journey: Trauma and Restorative Justice

One course in Dialogical Skills from the following list:

MIN 5106 Ecumenism and Interfaith

THE 5321 Theologies and Interfaith Dialogue

One course in Management/Leadership from the following list:

MGT 5302 Management of Non-Profit Organizations

MGT 5303 Leadership and Organizational Planning

MGT 5402 Fundraising and Grant-writing for NPO’s

MGT 5331 Human Resource Management

MIN 5105 Congregational Development

MIN 5190 Field Education Internship

Concentration in Non-Profit Leadership

The contribution and impact of non-profit organizations in today’s world has increased tremendously. If these non-profits are to continue to grow and contribute effectively to the eradication of the problems they seek to address, they will need a trained and educated leadership. As the second professional concentration in the MA program, students in this concentration will focus on such vital areas as financial management, human resource development and essential leadership skills for the non-profit sector from both the theoretical and experiential perspective. In addition, students will be able to integrate these practical studies with a strong understanding and appreciation of living and working in an intercultural, interreligious society.

The following course requirements apply to all students taking this concentration. Courses listed are for 3 credits unless otherwise noted.

Four courses, including but not limited to:

MGT 5302 Management of Non-Profit Organizations

MGT 5303 Leadership and Organizational Planning

MGT 5311 Marketing

MGT 5312 Entrepreneurship

MGT 5331 Human Resource Management

MGT 5401 Financial Management for NPOs

MGT 5501 Brand Management

MIN 5105 Congregational Development

MIN 5190 Field Education Internship (must be in the management field)

Concentration in Unification Studies:

As one of two academic concentrations, Unification Studies guides students to a more focused and in depth understanding of the theology, philosophy, guiding principles and history of the Unification Movement. It particularly allows Unification students to obtain a deeper knowledge of and appreciation for their own faith community. Students will be able to choose from a wide range of courses including History of the Unification Movement, Life and Thought of Sun Myung Moon, and Divine Principle.

The following course requirements apply to all students taking this concentration. Courses listed are for 3 credits unless otherwise noted.

THE 5631 Divine Principle

THE 5601 Unification Theology

LTR 5151 Unification Movement

THE 5611 Unification Philosophy

Concentration in Theological Studies

This is the second academic concentration in the MA program and is the most basic concentration in the degree program. Students will be guided to undertake a more in depth look at Scripture, Theology, Church History and Living Traditions with an eye toward broadening their academic background in Religious Studies. This concentration will prepare students for doctoral studies or further studies in specific world religions.

The following course requirements apply to all students taking this concentration. Courses listed are for 3 credits unless otherwise noted.

Four courses in the area of Scripture, Theology or Church History, including but not limited to:

SCR 5131 Hebrew Bible

SCR 5141 New Testament Foundations,

SCR 5412 Life and Teachings of Jesus

SCR 5413 Life and Letters of Paul

THE 5131 Systematic Theology

LTR 5131 Church History I

LTR 5132 Church History II

One scriptural language course:

LAN 5141 New Testament Greek or LAN 5131 Biblical Hebrew

"Bridging religious and cultural divides"

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