Master of Theology and Religious Studies (Leuven)
Master of Arts
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.
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.
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.
- 1 March 2017 (for non-EEA citizens)
- 1 June 2017 (for EEA citizens)
KU Leuven uses an online application system. You can download and submit your application form via www.kuleuven.be/application. Students with a Flemish degree can consult www.kuleuven.be/studentenadministratie.
The tuition fee for the 2017-2018 academic year will be determined in the spring of 2017. Please consult the website for the most recent information:www.kuleuven.be/tuitionfees.
Is this the right programme for me?
Final attainment levels with respect to the Programme of Bachelor of Theology and Religious Studies as a whole are the following:
- knowledge of and insight into the fundamental concepts and methods of theology in relation to its distinct methodological perspectives.
- knowledge of and insight into the fundamental concepts and methods of religious studies, inter-religious dialogue and the study of the major world religions.
- knowledge of and insight into the fundamental concepts and methods of canon law.
- knowledge of and insight into the fundamental concepts and methods of philosophy, social sciences and psychology with specific attention to the manner in which these disciplines endeavour to clarify and explain the phenomenon of religion.
- the capacity to apply the insights acquired in the theological and non-theological disciplines to problems, questions and statements related to religion, fundamental life options, and society.
- the capacity to analyse matters related to church and religion and locate them within a broader framework.
- the capacity to enter into discussion on matters related to theology and religion in a broader social context and to adopt a reasonable and responsible standpoint in such discussions.
- the capacity to independently and adequately assimilate literature (including foreign language literature) in the field of theology and religious studies.
- the independent composition of a paper (2nd and 3rd year) under the guidance of a promoter. This implies the careful formulation of a well-defined research topic, the assimilation and analysis of the relevant literature, the provision of a coherent synthesis, articulation and evaluation of the insights contained therein and the adoption of an initial, critical perspective with respect to the acquired insights.
- the capacity to apply acquired knowledge and competences in an elementary fashion in the contexts of teaching, liturgy and pastoral work.
- the capacity to apply acquired knowledge and competences in an elementary fashion to social issues.
- able to work autonomously and to collaborate.
ObjectivesThe 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.
Final attainment levels with respect to the Programme of Master of Arts in Theology and Religious Studies as a whole:
1. a profound understanding of the contents and methods of Theology and Religious Studies.
2. thorough acquaintance with and practice of the contents and methods of one of the subdisciplines (majors).
3. the ability to identify and distinguish religious problems in their multifacetedness (sources of a particular religion, ethical questions, etc).
4. insight into the relationship between the study of problems addressed in religious sciences and the actual social context, which is marked by an ever growing globalization and a plurality with respect to religion, world-views and ethics.
5. the ability to recognize and formulate new questions relating to the meaning of human existence, theological problems and religious challenges.
6. the capacity to critically read and put to use scientific and other forms of literature pertaining to Theology and Religious Studies.
7. the aptitude to grasp and assimilate the subject matter in an independent fashion and to propose creative solutions for problems raised by theology and religious studies with respect to the plurality of approaches found in international theological and religious literature.
8. the ability to clearly explicate and interpret problems, concepts and insights in an educational or pastoral setting whilst having a sense for the social and global context within which they are situated.
9. the ability to write an academic and formally correct (i.e., according to accepted academic s tandards) article on a topic related to Theology or Religious Studies.
10. an adeptness to put to use the theoretical insights.
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.
Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies
tel. +32 16 32 38 69
fax +32 16 32 38 58
Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies
Sint-Michielsstraat 4, box 3100
Study Advice Service
Naamsestraat 80 box 5415
3000 LEUVEN, Belgium
To contact us, please complete the contact form on our website
Information sessionsKU Leuven organises a Graduate Fair each spring. In addition, faculties also organise information sessions for many of their bridging and graduate programmes.
All information sessions for (future) Master's student (Dutch)
SpotlightThe Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at KU Leuven (Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium) has its roots in a centuries-old tradition and has enjoyed international renown since it was founded by Pope Eugene IV in 1432. The faculty offers comprehensive programmes in Theology and Religious Studies, from Bachelor's to Master's, and advanced Master's to PhD. In addition to its regular civil degrees, the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies has been granted permission by the Congregatio de Institutione Catholica to confer the canonical degrees of Sacrae Theologiae Baccalaureus, Sacrae Theologiae Licentiatus, and Sacrae Theologiae Doctor.
All the faculty's programmes are taught in both Dutch and English, and are open to students of every nationality. The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies currently has students from more than eighty countries and from every corner of the globe.
- Master in de gespecialiseerde studies in de praktische theologie: academische pastoraatsopleiding (nieuw programma vanaf 2015-2016) (Leuven)