The Research Master: Master of Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion offers a broad yet profound theoretical foundation in the major Christian traditions of thought. This thorough and interdisciplinary academic training results in well-rounded scholars ready to contribute to modern culture and move with ease as dialogue partners in diverse theological fields.
What is the Master of Advanced Studies in Theology and Religious Studies all about?
The program is offered by the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies which ever since its founding in 1432 has built a rich history and tradition. It focuses on both theology and religious studies, two disciplines that enrich and complement each other. Guided by our world-renowned faculty members, whose individual areas of expertise span the breadth and depth of theology, you will learn to give shape to your own independence, and transform it into a project with the potential to lead into doctoral studies. You will be trained to think critically and to approach theological questions from a multitude of angles. And rest assured: research at Leuven is second to none. Just ask Jansenius, Erasmus, or Louis Janssens – names from Leuven’s rich and ongoing history that spring to life in the Faculty’s peerless library, containing countless priceless volumes and ancient manuscripts. Your research is sharpened by the newest digital tools, and bolstered by subscriptions to a rich variety of journals, from the mainstream to the cutting edge of today's theology. The Faculty's research news website (Theology Research News or TRN for short) imparts the Faculty's unique and distinguishing profile, with its multicultural, international, and (inter)disciplinary character to a worldwide audience. The Faculty also confers on qualified students the degrees of Sacrae Theologiae Baccalaureus (S.T.B.) and Licentiatus (S.T.L.) in combination with the Research Master.
The 120-credits program comprises the following:
Courses (44 credits): you take the six courses of the truncus communis (24 credits), andfiveelectives(20credits).
A research master's thesis (40 credits): you will have to write a thesis in two years' time inwhichyoupresenttheresultsofyourstudyofanoriginalresearchtopic
A major (36 credits): you take the six courses within your major. The major can be selected from the research areas on offer at the faculty: Biblical Studies, Systematic Theology and the Study of Religions, Theological and Comparative Ethics, History of Church and Theology, Pastoral and Empirical Theology.
The research master’s program attracts students from all over the world, which adds a valuable intercultural element to your experience. The Faculty currently has students from more than sixty countries and thus from virtually every part of the globe. We also encourage students to participate in exchange programs that allow them to spend a semester abroad. The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies has 82 agreements in 25 different countries within the framework of the Erasmus+ program. All of the Faculty’s programs are taught in both Dutch and English.
1 March (for non-EEA citizens) for an academic year that starts the last week of September
1 June (for EEA citizens) for an academic year that starts the last week of September
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.
In addition to the application form, you will need to upload a number of required documents before you can submit your application. More information at: theo.kuleuven.be/en/prospective_students/admissions
The tuition fee can be consulted at: www.kuleuven.be/tuitionfees
Is this the right program for me?
To be eligible for the research master’s program, you must have obtained an academic bachelor’s degree in theology and religious studies from KU Leuven.
Admission decisions for students who do not possess this degree are based on a detailed evaluation of the applicant’s previous studies by the Faculty's Admissions Committee. All prospective students (regardless of their background) are allowed to submit an application file without including a TOEFL/IELTS test. However, prospective students must submit an English motivation letter, a c.v., and a sample of best written work in English. The Faculty's Admissions Committee will assess the application file without TOEFL/IELTS test and decide whether the student will be admitted based on the submitted file or whether the student has to present a TOEFL/IELTS certificate after all. The Faculty requires a minimum score of 79-80 for the internet-based TOEFL test, 550 for the paper version of the TOEFL test, 213 for the computer version of the TOEFL test or an IELTS score of 6.5-7.
The research master's programme prepares you not only for admission to the Doctoral Programme in Theology, but also for a variety of careers in sectors including academia, secondary and higher education, business, publishing, the media, the socio-cultural sector, and various domains of pastoral care.
Final attainment levels with respect to the Programme of Research Master: Master of Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion as a whole:
The graduate has acquired
a general familiarity with theology and religious studies;
specialization in a particular discipline with a view to the provision of a constructive contribution to the study of theology;
a thorough acquaintance with the sources, problems, and methods characteristic of one's own major and area of specialization;
the ability to apply both the knowledge acquired as well as the methods relevant to one's particular discipline in a manner which contributes to the reflection of the faithful within the Church;
insight into the relationship between the study of theological and social-religious issues and the actual social context which is characterized by religious and ethical plurality and a multiplicity of fundamental life options;
the ability to conduct independent theological research, as well as to pass on the acquired attitudes, methods and knowledge;
an openness to interdisciplinary inquiries and the ability to contribute and engage in interdisciplinary research from within one's own area of specialization;
the ability to set up a theological or religious study project: the formulation of a relevant research issue and the development of a method of argumentation pertaining to the formulated problematic;
the ability to complete a project-oriented research thesis;
the ability to comprehensively present one's research results;
the ability to write a theological or religious studies article in an academically appropriate manner.