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New name as of September 2023: Faculty of Religion, Culture and Society

Frequently Asked Questions
24 January 2023

Why the new name?

Part of the old name, Godgeleerdheid, dates back to 1614, the year that the University of Groningen was founded. It was one of the first faculties, where students of the time were trained as clergy. Over 400 years later, the Faculty no longer trains clergy. A gap has therefore arisen between our image and what we actually do and offer.

Please note: we still offer the Bachelor's programme of Theology. And Theology Bachelor's students may still continue onto the Master’s degree programme in Theology, to become clergy, at the Protestant Theological University due to our continued collaboration with this university. More information about this can be found below.

Why did you choose this name?

Academics and students of our Faculty study religion as a societal factor and cultural phenomenon, in the past and present. With the name Religion, Culture and Society, we encompass the essence of what happens at our faculty. We are a public institution and interdisciplinary in composition: we study religion mainly from the humanities and social sciences, but also collaborate with medical and beta sciences.

What distinguishes this Faculty from the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences at the UG?

The complexity and multifaceted nature of religions in the past and present, and their embedding within culture and society, can only be fully understood if they are studied in an interdisciplinary manner. To this end, expertise from the humanities and social sciences (history, philology, philosophy, ethics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and political sciences) is necessary. However, at the Faculty of Religion, Culture and Society, we connect these disciplines around the theme of religion, that is the focus, and that is substantially different at the faculties of Arts and Behavioural and Social Sciences.

Will the collaboration with the Protestant Theological University change as a result?

No. We have been working well together with the PThU and this will certainly continue. Within the Bachelor's degree programme of Theology, students can follow the PThU track. In doing so, the students will already take a number of course units at the PThU during their programme, after which they may continue onto the Master’s degree programme in Theology, to become clergy, at the PThU if they wish. This cooperation with PThU at BA level will remain present in Groningen when PThU moves to Utrecht in 2024. In other words: RUG and PThU will continue to offer BA Theology in Groningen after 2024.

Will all of your degree programmes continue?

Certainly! We are proud of our degree programmes. In addition to our Bachelor’s degree programmes in Religious Studies and Theology, we offer a number of Master’s tracks. Take a look at our range of Master’s degree programmes if you are curious!

Last modified:02 February 2023 10.16 a.m.
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