Master of Arts in Religious Studies

Why study Religious Studies?

Religions have been and remain among the most powerful forces shaping human history. Their discourses and practices inform the way we perceive ourselves, those around us, and existence at large, even when we are not actively religious. They are central to understanding both what divides us and what unites us. The academic study of religion is a trans-disciplinary endeavor to understand from an objective perspective how religious traditions shape the lives of their adherents, without seeking to promote or disprove any specific belief system. Religious Studies acquaints students with the diversity of religious cultures and introduces them to key methods and theories employed in their examination as "religion."

For those interested in working towards a Ph.D. in Religious Studies and a career in academics, or embarking on an equivalent level of training in a related profession, Religious Studies is equipped to help the individual student acquire the skills needed for advanced levels of study, whether it be specialized work in languages, methodological approaches, or area studies. The study of religion being an inherently interdisciplinary field, the Department faculty shares synergies with colleagues and programs across the campus that enable students to seek specialized training in a diversity of regions, cultures, and approaches to the study of religion. Our faculty is committed to help the individual student articulate the intellectual and professional objectives that have brought him or her to study of religion, and to acquire the training to see these goals to fruition. The Department of Religious Studies at KU is able to provide substantial financial support for students seeking the MA degree.