Everyone has an opinion on religion, but few people can interpret this complex phenomenon accurately. This Master's programme trains you to become a specialist in the field of religion and culture.
The one-year Master's programme in Theology and Religious
Studies focuses on the relationship between religion, culture and
society. You will learn to understand and analyse their
You can choose from four specializations:
You will finish the programme by writing a thesis. All programmes are taught in English, with the exception of Spiritual Care.
The tracks comprise of several course modules (30 ECTS in total), an internship (10 ECTS) and a master's thesis (20 ECTS).
28 hours of class and self-study per week on average
In all of the English taught specializations there are compulsory modules (30 ECTS), a placement of 10 ECTS and the thesis of 20 ECTS. Check the individual websites of our tracks for specific information.
|Religion, Conflict and Globalization (track)
How are religion, conflict and peace related? How does globalization affect local religious traditions? How do religious and secular actors interact in local and global debates on migration and gender?.Within the modern world, it is clear that religion has a major role in many conflicts occurring at multiple levels and locations. Religion has also become one of the main ways in which people connect with each other around the globe. However, the role of religion in contemporary societies is not well understood in academic research, nor in the work of those responsible for policy and action. NGO’s, governments and journalists alike have misguided understandings of religion’s role in the modern world and the meaning that it holds for various peoples.The Religion, Conflict and Globalization Master’s track aims to address the pivotal place of religion within the dynamics of a globalized world, and how this relates to conflicts that shape modern societies. The course is interdisciplinary, wide-ranging, and broad; including political, social, psychological, cultural and legal dimensions.
|Religion, Health and Wellbeing (track)
What role does religion and spirituality play in our experience of health and wellbeing? How does the biomedical focus of current healthcare practice affect us?
This interdisciplinary degree programme examines what it means to be ill or healthy in diverse, individualized and highly technological societies, from psychological, cultural, ethical, and political perspectives. Not only does religious, cultural, political, physical, and technological diversity influence how we try to recover or maintain our health, it also influences what we think 'health' is in the first place.This track within the Master's Programme in Theology and Religious Studies, has two specializations: 'Spiritual Care [Geestelijke Verzorging]' and 'Ethics and Diversity'.› The specialization in Ethics and Diversity imparts the academic knowledge and skills to examine the anthropological, sociological, and ethical dimensions of health and well-being. This specialization is taught in English.› The specialization in Spiritual Care imparts the academic and practical knowledge and skills needed to examine the psychological, ethical, and spiritual dimensions of health and wellbeing, enabling you to become a registered spiritual care giver [geestelijk verzorger]. This specialization is mainly taught in Dutch.
|Religion and Pluralism, Ancient & Modern (track)
How did the Romans view religious-political differences? How did ancient Jewish, Christian, and Muslim authorities use authoritative texts? What potential for pluralism exists in modern monotheisms and secularisms?.Tension between group solidarity and productive relations with ' others' has been part of human history for as long as evidence exists. In Europe it has played out most enduringly in relations among the monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Today, in the face of mass migration from Muslim regions, questions of political identity and belonging remain bound up with religious affiliation. This one-year degree programme focuses on relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims in the antique world and how these relations have formed our modern society. We will explore concepts as religious pluralism, politics, and their many interfaces globally in particular.
|Religion and Cultural Heritage (track)
How and why do we creatively make use of the past to forge new identities in the present? How do we negotiate the tension between heritage preservation and engaged ownership? What is at stake in the "musealization" of religion?.Religion and Cultural Heritage is a unique one-year interdisciplinary MA-programme focusing on a major trend at the interface of religion, identity, politics, and material culture: heritage studies. It also addresses a gap in critical heritage studies, studying the shifting place of religion in heritage debates.Heritage and religion are in the news and on the political agenda both nationally and internationally. In the coming years 30-80% of religious buildings will lose their original function in the Netherlands. National and European budgets are dedicating millions of euros to the development of plans to address vacant religious heritage buildings.Tourism and pilgrimage to religious objects, sites, and festivals are booming, raising questions about sustainability and impact.
At the same time, heritage has become a significant subject in contemporary cultural debate. Large-scale migration and secularization are changing the religious identities of communities and the way they perceive the past. Urgent new questions are arising, like how migrant communities can maintain their religious identities while grappling with the material and intangible heritage of their new homes. And how does the new diversity affect the sense of identity and heritage of dominant cultures?The demands of preservation of at risk material and intangible heritage in the face of war, displacement, population shifts, and climate change are great. How are preservation concerns balanced with local resources?This programme challenges you to analyse, and to contribute your own voice to these debates.
|Master's Honours Programme: "Leadership: making the difference' (honours program)
Honours programme of the University (15 EC).
For students who have a Bachelor Honours degree and who have attended a University College or were actively involved in (student)organizations besides the regular master programme.
We have various exchange contracts with universities both inside and outside Europe, enabling students to follow part of their degree programme at a foreign university. Another option is to take an internship or to do part of the research work abroad. For an overview of our exchange partners, see: http://www.rug.nl/ggw/education/prosstud/exchangeprogrammes/partneruniversities
|Specific requirements||More information|
Een overzicht van behaalde resultaten in de gevolgde bacheloropleiding met een toelichting op de gevolgde vakken
Een (Engelse) taaltoets is alleen van belang indien je geen VWO-diploma hebt. Als minimumeisen gelden TOEFL 580 paper/237 computer/92 internet of IELTS: 6.5 (6.0 op elk onderdeel).
WO-bachelor Theologie, Religiewetenschappen, Letteren, Wijsbegeerte, Politicologie of Sociale Wetenschappen geeft toegang tot dit masterprogramma. Afhankelijk van de gevolgde opleiding en vakken wordt een leeslijst verstrekt ter bestudering. Deze kennis wordt voorondersteld bij de vakken. Andere bacheloropleidingen geven toegang via een premasterprogramma.
Voor Geestelijke Verzorging geldt een premasterprogramma van 30 of 60 ECTS, afhankelijk van je vooropleiding.
|Curriculum Vitae (CV)||No further information|
Een begeleidende brief aan de toelatingscommissie met toelichting van je interesse voor dit programma, alsmede je motivatie en verwachtingen (max 1 A4) met bijgevoegd een voorbeeld van een academisch paper, bij voorkeur je Bachelor- (of Master-) scriptie.
|other admission requirements||
Dutch students send all the documentation by mail to onderwijs.ggw rug.nl, even if a direct access is applicable.
Nederlandse studenten sturen na aanmelding in studielink de gevraagde documentatie per mail naar onderwijs.ggw rug.nl.
Nederlandse studenten met een buitenlands bachelordiploma, sturen hun documentatie na aanmelding in Studielink in via het Online Application System (OAS).
|Arabic Language and Culture||All Research universities||No additional requirements|
|Arts and Culture||All Research universities||No additional requirements|
|History (part-time)||All Research universities||No additional requirements|
|Godgeleerdheid||All Research universities||No additional requirements|
|Classics (part-time)||All Research universities||No additional requirements|
|Hebreeuwse en Joodse Studies||All Research universities||No additional requirements|
|Hebrew Language and Culture||All Research universities||No additional requirements|
|Islam en Arabisch||All Research universities||No additional requirements|
|Islamic Studies||All Research universities||No additional requirements|
|Latin Language and Culture||All Research universities||No additional requirements|
|Middle Eastern Studies||All Research universities||No additional requirements|
|Ancient Near Eastern Studies||All Research universities||No additional requirements|
|Ancient Cultures||All Research universities||No additional requirements|
|Religie en Levensbeschouwing||All Research universities||No additional requirements|
|Religie in Samenleving en Cultuur||All Research universities||No additional requirements|
|Religious Studies||All Research universities||No additional requirements|
|Sociology||All Research universities||No additional requirements|
|Theology (part-time)||All Research universities||No additional requirements|
|Theologie Klassiek||All Research universities||No additional requirements|
|Theologie Plus||All Research universities||No additional requirements|
|Wereldgodsdiensten||All Research universities||No additional requirements|
|Religious Studies||University of Groningen||No additional requirements|
|Theology||University of Groningen||No additional requirements|
|Liberal Arts and Sciences||University of Groningen||
Additional requirementsMore information:
Required: letter of motivation, overview of results of your bachelor program, CV, writing sample of academic paper. Depending on your former study and courses a reading package will be provided. We assume that you are aware of the concepts and theoretical discussions outlined in this literature.
|Specific requirements||More information|
TOEFL: 580 paper/237 computer/92 internet; IELTS: 6.5 (6.0 on each part) (not for native speakers)
Bachelor's degree in Theology, Religious Studies or in a related field of Arts, Philosophy or Social Sciences (e.g. Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology) Students with another bachelor's degree may be admitted via a bridging programme
A letter of motivation to the admissions committee explaining the choice for this study programme (max. 1 page) is required, just like an overview of your bachelor programme, a Curriculum Vitae and a writing sample of an academic paper in OAS (Online Application System).
|IELTS overall band||6.5|
|TOEFL paper based||580|
|TOEFL computer based||237|
|TOEFL internet based||92|
|Type of student||Deadline||Start course|
|Dutch students||01 May 2020||01 September 2020|
|01 May 2021||01 September 2021|
|EU/EEA students||01 May 2020||01 September 2020|
|01 May 2021||01 September 2021|
|non-EU/EEA students||01 April 2020||01 September 2020|
|01 April 2021||01 September 2021|
Talent Grants available for Non-EU students, check this and other funding options here: https://www.rug.nl/ggw/education/prosstud/talent-grants-and-scholarships-theors
Practical information for:
With a degree in Theology and Religious Studies, you can work as an advisor or policymaker. You can find a job in the media and in journalism, or enter the field of education. You can also pursue a research career at a university or research institution. As a spiritual caregiver you can work in care facilities.
The programme directly benefits from cutting-edge research carried out within the three departments of the faculty:
The course units are taught by internationally recognized scholars. They will provide you with an up-to-date overview of the state of the art of the subjects you are studying, often drawing on their own research.
Much of the research connects with the activities of:
These centres and research groups regularly invite speakers and organise events where students, PhD students and staff engage in lively discussions.
If you want to know more about the programme Theology & Religious Studies, please contact:
Master's students are expected to show a large degree of independence. If necessary you can make use of various forms of study supervision and study support. For example, you can contact a mentor or your study advisor. While writing your thesis, you will receive personal supervision from one of the lecturers.
Immediately after arrival, students who gained their Bachelor's degree at a different faculty or university as well as international students will be allocated a mentor who will help them get to know the Faculty. You can also go to the study advisor if you have doubts about your abilities or for whatever reason run the risk of study delay. You will receive intensive supervision while writing your thesis. The Master's programme includes a thesis seminar, where attention is paid to how to tackle writing a Master's thesis, and where the progress of the process is monitored closely. You will also receive structural supervision from the lecturer who is the specialist in the field of your thesis.