M.A. World Religions

Program Purpose

Trinity’s M.A. World Religions is designed to prepare students to excel in a cross-cultural context, to study the theological foundations world religions. This program is a comprehensive in-depth study of topics relevant to world religions. Developing critical thinking skills will equip students for greater effectiveness.

Program Objectives

Upon completing the M.A. World Religions program, students should be able to: Understand past key missionary movements throughout the world

  • Understand selected world religions.
  • Develop holistic spiritual formation practices for health and service.
  • Articulate a Biblical theology in comparison to other world religions.
  • Engage in meaningful intercultural conversations to communicate effectively.
  • Utilize anthropological knowledge to understand humankind in historic and socio-
  • cultural contexts.
  • Identify and critically analyze religious trends and issues in order to remain effective in
  • other religious contexts.

Program Distinctives

  • Quality education engages with its context, reflects on theology, and rethinks paradigms.
  • Rigorous courses offered through the web-based format.
  • A convenient, economical, and innovative program that accommodates people with a busy schedule.
  • Emphasis on world religions and how to effectively understand and relate to these faiths.
  • Highly qualified and experienced staff.
  • Enhanced library serves with the capability to access theological databases from anywhere.

Program Aims

  • To provide an extensive knowledge and critical understanding of this component area of Practical Theology.
  • To develop the ability to handle written sources and empirical data using appropriate critical awareness methods and controls.
  • To marshal coherent and effective arguments and communicate conclusions in oral and written forms and to integrate these skills in the production of a Master’s thesis or capstone project.
  • To enable the student to demonstrate a competent grasp of a range of technical skills arising within the subject and to develop a variety of approaches to hermeneutical and cultural matters, and both quantitative and qualitative approaches to the investigation of individual and social experience and behavior.
  • To equip the student to respond critically to their reading, research and data collection, and to develop an attitude of openness toward different theological views and applications. 

Program Outcomes

Upon the completion of the Master of Arts World Religions, students should be able to:

  1. Come to a comprehensive understanding of world religions globally and locally.
  2. Better understand peoples and cultures that are practitioners of the studied religions.
  3. The MA World Religions is a foundation to a terminal degree.

Graduate Characteristics

Following successful completion of this degree program graduates should demonstrate the following characteristics:

  • The ability to conduct independent research into a particular area of study. 
  • Gather, organize and assess data from primary and secondary sources.
  • Critically analyze and evaluate the view and arguments of others.
  • Structure and communicate ideas effectively by written and verbal means.
  • Show critical self-awareness and open mindedness towards other cultures and viewpoints.
  • Demonstrate a positive attitude toward academic study in the context of faith and spirituality.
  • Enjoy a greater confidence in sharing their faith.
  • Demonstrate the humility of an informed Christ follower with a disposition consistent with that of a lifelong learner. 

Program Structure

The M.A. World Religions is a 48-credit program composed of thirteen courses of three credits each beginning with Research Methods (and Introduction to Graduate Studies if needed), and concluding with a thesis of nine credits. The M.A. (World Religions) is an online program.

There will be readings assigned prior to each online session and a research project to be completed for each course. The program runs in a two-year cycle. Most courses are only offered once in each two-year cycle. The MA (World Religions) program includes Hindu, Islamic, Buddhist and Jewish studies.

Electives:

Students are allowed up to 12 credits of electives. If a student has transfer credits that do not fit into any of the nine (9) required fundamental areas (Practical Theology, Leadership Development, or Contextual Studies), or if a student is admitted via the Alternative Pathway (PT 501 Introduction to Graduate School), those credits could be part of the 12 elective credits.

Length of Study

The minimum time to complete the full M.A. World Religions is two years. The maximum length of study is six years.  If a student takes longer than six years to complete the degree, he or she will need to reapply. A student may request an additional six months after the final residential session to complete the thesis.

Any courses not taken when initially scheduled will not be offered again until two years later. 

Access to the Internet is required for participation in the program.