24 months
780 USD/credit
780 USD/credit
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Graduate Theological Union Common Master of Arts in Religious Studies is an exciting opportunity for you to explore theology and religion in response to the challenges posed by contemporary cultures.

Visit the official programme website for more information


The Graduate Theological Union ’s Master of Arts program offers an exciting opportunity to explore religion and theology in an interreligious context. Offered in cooperation with the member schools and centers of the GTU consortium, the program provides ecumenical and interreligious learning opportunities, offering students access to courses throughout the schools of the consortium, as well at UC Berkeley, just blocks away. 

GTU students can choose their fields of study from among more than thirty concentrations grouped into four interdisciplinary departments: Sacred Texts and Their Interpretation, Historical and Cultural Studies of Religion, Theology and Ethics, and Religion and Practice. The program allows students opportunities for specialization in a particular religious tradition or academic field, while also providing a basic understanding of theological or religious studies as preparation for doctoral study, secondary school teaching, educational or social justice ministries, or leadership in religious institutions or the nonprofit sector or religious institutions.

Our campus is a rich, interreligious, educational meeting grounds where scholar-explorers from more than twenty nations gather, learn from one another, and mutually inspire new directions in service and scholarship. MA students can pursue interreligious work, intensive study within specific religious traditions (including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism, Judaism, Islam, and more), or interdisciplinary topics such as art and religion or theology and science. Students who complete the program will demonstrate focused knowledge within their chosen concentration as well as knowledge of several different approaches to theological and religious studies, and will be skilled in dialogue with practitioners of other religious traditions. Beginning in Fall 2020, students in the MA program can also pursue a Certificate in Interreligious Chaplaincy.


Programme Structure

Courses include: 

  •  Research Methods
  • Interreligious Studies
  • Sacred Texts & Their Interpretation
  • Historical & Cultural Studies of Religion
  • Theology & Ethics
  • 1Religion & Practice


Historical and Cultural Studies Of Religion

  • Anthropology of Religion

  • Art and Religion

  • Buddhist Studies

  • Christian Spirituality

  • Comparative Religion

  • History of Christianity

  • Hindu Studies

  • Islamic Studies

  • Jain Studies

  • Jewish Studies

  • New Religious Movements

  • Religion and Literature

  • Sociology of Religion

Religion and Practice

  • Homiletics
  • Liturgical Studies
  • Missiology
  • Practical Theology
  • Religious Education
  • Yoga Studies

Sacred Texts and Their Interpretation

  • Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
  • Hindu Sacred Texts
  • Islamic Sacred Texts
  • New Testament
  • Rabbinic Literature
  • Biblical Languages

Theology and Ethics

  • Aesthetics
  • Christian Theology
  • Comparative Ethics
  • Comparative Theology
  • Ethics
  • Hindu Theology
  • Islamic Philosophy and Theology
  • Philosophical Theology
  • Theology and Science

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 24 months

Start dates & application deadlines

More details

Applications submitted after the priority deadline are considered on a rolling basis as space allows.


IELTS or TOEFL needed


48 alternative credits

The GTU MA is a two-year degree program requiring a total of fourteen 3-unit academic courses plus six units of thesis work.


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA Your GPA, or Grade Point Average, is a number that indicates how well or how high you scored in your courses on average. Usually a GPA scales between 1.0 and 4.0, however different countries and universities can have different grading systems.
GMAT admission requirements GMAT The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a test intended to assess certain analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English for use in admission to a graduate management program, such as an MBA. GMAT contains 4 sections - Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative and Verbal. The score has a range from 200 - 800.

English requirements

IELTS admission requirements IELTS The International English Language Test System (IELTS) tests your English-language proficiency on a scale of 1 – 9. The score refers to the combined average score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading).
TOEFL admission requirements TOEFL® IBT The TOEFL iBT® is given online through the internet at desiganated testing site. The test measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The score refers to the total score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading), each subject has a range of 0 - 30.
79 (required)
PTE Academic admission requirements PTE Academic PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic) is a language test that enables students to demonstrate their writing, listening, speaking, and reading skills when applying to study in English. The score refers to a total score which ranges between 10 and 90.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Applicants to the GTU Common MA program must have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution by the time they intend to enroll in the program.
  • The Application Form
  • An Academic Statement of Purpose
  • Three academic letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate school
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and TOEFL Exam Requirements
  • Application Fee of $40

Tuition Fee

  • International

    780 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 780 USD per credit and a duration of 24 months.
  • National

    780 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 780 USD per credit and a duration of 24 months.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Our partners

Religious Studies and Theology
Graduate Theological Union