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M.A. in Theology & Religious Studies: Interreligious Studies

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
1 year
Full time
Master's degree
September 2020
Application deadline: 01 April 2020
2,143 EUR excl. VAT

Program description

M.A. in Theology & Religious Studies: Interreligious Studies

Amsterdam is the place to engage in theology and religious studies. A metropole of world fame, the city is home to a large diversity of religious traditions. In this context, VU Amsterdam's Faculty of Theology offers in-depth teaching and cutting-edge research. In its research and teaching, the faculty mirrors the society it is part of. 

Theology Masters Structure

The 1-year program in Theology & Religious Studies aims to train academic professionals who are specialized in the role of religion and theology in professional fields such as education, management and media. You may also opt to spend a year specializing in one area of theological expertise, eventually continuing your studies in the second year of the Research Master’s.

Central to this Master’s program is the professional field and the link between a specific section of contemporary society and the way in which theological reflection relates to this field. The program includes general and specialized courses, an internship and a thesis.

What you'll get

In an age of globalization, a need has arisen for inter-religious dialogue in politics, education and business. This specialization enables students to critically engage issues of religious diversity, focusing on various models of religious pluralism (from exclusivism to particularism), changing patterns of religious identity (multiple religious belonging, hybridity, fundamentalism, nones), the ethics of encounter (power imbalances, violence, hospitality), inter-religious hermeneutics, and the politics of recognition.

The theology program interweaves theory and practice via reading assignments, scriptural reasoning groups, internship, student presentations and on-site visits. Students will study in a multi-religious environment together with Jews,Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Muslims and post-Christians. We especially invite international students looking for a European experience in a multicultural and multi-religious environment. Students learn to engage cutting-edge literature and relate it to current societal challenges.

Admission requirements

  • A Bachelor's degree in Theology, Religious Studies or relevant field from an accredited research university including at least three full years of academic study amounting a minimum of 180 ECTS or equivalent.
  • Motivation, background and personality (motivation letter, CV and personal reference)
  • Proof of sufficient proficiency in English.

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Program content

Our neighborhoods, schools and universities, working places and group of friends and acquaintances are becoming increasingly diverse. It is clear that religious diversity is a fact that poses real challenges for society. To increase social cohesion between people with various religious and non-religious backgrounds, we need ‘border-crossers,’ willing to participate in various forms of interreligious learning. Most policy makers agree that education, especially, carries a huge responsibility in promoting and fostering the competencies of interreligious literacy. This programme seeks to form students who, not unlike the Greek God Hermes, have the flexibility to move between different worlds and translate their convictions in a meaningful way to those who believe differently.

The Building Interreligious Relations programme requires master students to complete 60 credits:

  • Building Interreligious Relations 1 (6ECTS)
  • Building Interreligious Relations 2 (6ECTS)
  • Hermeneutics + Scriptural Reasoning (6ECTS)
  • Research Skills (6ECTS)
  • Master Seminar (6ECTS)
  • Internship (12 ECTS)
  • Elective (6ECTS)

Tuition fees

The cost of this program for students of EU/EEA countries is €2,143.

Scholarships & funding

With our own scholarship, the VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP), we offer highly motivated students with excellent study results the unique oppurtunity to pursue a Master’s degree with financial support provided by the university. The VUFP scholarship is a tuition fee waiver. The Holland Scholarship Programme (HSP) is meant for students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who want to follow a Master’s programme in the Netherlands. VU Amsterdam embraces diversity as an enrichment to our teaching, research and our contribution to society. This scholarship is specifically intended for excellent students who contribute to the diversity at our campus. As an international student planning to study at VU Amsterdam, you can apply for a variety of grants and bursaries.


MA Theology & Religious Studies

Continuing studies

This programme seeks to prepare students effectively to become interfaith leaders in our increasingly multi-religious world. You will not only learn critically analyze different ‘theological, philosophical and ideological perspectives’ on the meeting between religions, you will also will also participate in various dialogue activities aimed at developing interreligious literacy. Thus, you will acquire the skills to become border-crossers and bridge-builders and these skills are increasingly viewed as a vital component for employees who seek work. Upon receiving your degree you will be qualified for challenging career prospects in any institution that demands interreligious competencies: schools, hospitals, governmental and non-governmental institutions as well as companies. Religious professionals and leaders will also benefit from this programme.

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About this institute

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Welcome to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (‘VU Amsterdam’) is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 170 English-taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to more than 24,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff...

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Contact info

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands, the

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