Master of Arts (MA) in Divinity Program By University of Chicago |Top Universities

Master of Arts (MA) in Divinity

Master of Arts (MA) in Divinity

  • QS World University Rankings
    10
  • Study Level Masters
  • Duration 24 months
  • Start date Jan-2000

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The MA program is a two-year foundational program in the academic study of religion for students who wish to acquire the requisite skills to develop a research agenda for doctoral study, or to establish a basis for a career in such fields as education, publishing, government service, law, non-profit work, etc. Students in the program may apply by course of study petition for PhD admission in the winter quarter of their second year or in the winter quarter of the first or second year following receipt of the MA. Students are required to complete fifteen courses during the six quarters of residence to receive the degree. This number of courses is considered optimal for achieving the program?s dual goal of genuine breadth of acquaintance with the methods of religious inquiry and some depth of knowledge in a specific area of concentration. All students in master?s programs at the Divinity School are required to take this course. The academic study of religion(s) is complex not simply by virtue of its diverse subject matter, but because of the many different perspectives from which scholars investigate and define the subject. Scholars of religion throughout the academy engage in research that emphasizes historical, comparative, literary critical, philosophical, social scientific, or ethical methods and questions. The Divinity School faculty believes that the capacity to engage in this interdisciplinary conversation will enrich the student?s scholarly agenda. For that reason, the MA program requires enrollment during the first year of the program in the ?Introduction to the Study of Religion? course. Using a selected text, faculty from a variety of disciplines engages the text in dialogue with the lead instructor and students. This course accomplishes three purposes. First, it illustrates the types of questions that are pursued within the areas of study of the faculty. Second, it situates these methods and questions in the wider sweep of Western inquiries into the nature of religion. Third, it assists the MA student in defining the distinctive character of his or her PhD project, and the group of written examinations that would best enable the student to pursue that project. Because students in all master's programs at the Divinity School are required to take this course, the conversation is enriched by the diverse perspectives of scholars who plan careers across a variety of fields, from the academy to religious organizations and beyond. Requirements for each course will be determined by the instructor. This course may not be taken pass/fail. Successful completion requires receipt of a letter grade of B- or higher. Career possibilities: In today's global society, the understanding of religions as human phenomena is a core cultural competency. Private and public sector organizations alike benefit from such competency in conducting their business and fulfilling their missions in society. Companies and agencies who operate around the world seek out such well-rounded employees at all levels of their organizations. From business to journalism, from foreign service to leadership in non-profit organizations, our MA alumni often choose non-academic career paths. Learning to think critically is foundational for any professional pursuit, and the MA program offers students the opportunity to engage intellectually with students preparing for academic careers, public religious leadership, and other professions. The resources of our MA alumni, as well as the University's Office of Graduate Affairs, are engaged to provide MA students with a wide range of professional options.