• Application Deadline
  • 12 months


Looking to build on your Bachelor's degree in Theology or Religious Studies? Or perhaps you are engaged in pastoral work and seeking to deepen your theoretical insights? Where better than at KU Leuven, where theology has been taught and practised for nearly 600 years?

The goal of the Master of Theology and Religious Studies is to expand and deepen students' initial education in theology and religious studies, whether obtained at KU Leuven or elsewhere. It prepares students to engage in independent research in the various domains of theology and religious studies and equips them to function as experts in Church and society.

The curriculum has two key focuses:

  • Firstly, you’ll be given the opportunity to specialise and write a Master's thesis in one of the Faculty's five research disciplines or majors: biblical studies, systematic theology and the study of religions, theological and comparative ethics, the history of Church and theology, and pastoral and empirical theology.
  • Secondly, the curriculum offers a general orientation towards the interdisciplinary academic investigation of the Christian faith tradition in a multi-cultural and multi-religious social context. 

This programme can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.


All of the Faculty’s programmes are taught in both Dutch and English and are open to students of every nationality. The Faculty currently has students from more than sixty countries and thus from virtually every part of the globe, which adds a valuable intercultural element to your experience. We also encourage students to participate in exchange programmes that allow them to spend a semester abroad. The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies has 89 agreements in 26 different countries.

Tradition, Research and Excellence

The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies has built a rich history and tradition for excellence ever since its founding in 1432. The Faculty focuses on training students and researchers in scientifically-based, and methodological reflection and application, where theology and religious studies mutually enrich one another. 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. 

Career perspectives

Degrees in Theology and Religious Studies prepare students for a wide variety of careers, including teaching in secondary and higher education, publishing, the media, academic research and the various domains of pastoral care. You will also develop skills that are valued by a large number of employers. These include research, analytical and presentation skills, critical thinking, organizational and time management skills, teamwork , and communication and writing skills. Many graduates use these skills while pursuing an international career as experts in the Church and society.

Graduates who wish to engage in further specialisation can continue their academic career by enrolling for one more year, for the second year Research Master: Master of Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies.

The Theology and Religious Studies programme is offered at KU Leuven.

Questions about student life in Belgium, life at KU Leuven or more information about a specific course? Chat with our students: www.kuleuven/be/chatwithourstudents.

Programme Structure

Truncus Communis

  • Contextual Hermeneutical Approaches to the Bible
  • Christianity & Contemporary Culture
  • Developments in Theological Ethics
  • Spirituality and Mysticism in the History of Western Christianity
  • Catechetics and Pastoral Care in Various Stages of Life
  • The Study of Lived Religion

Religious Studies Courses

  • Seminar Christianity and Islam
  • Hinduism
  • World Religions and Ethics
  • Seminar The Idea of Religion
  • Buddhism
  • Post-Holocaust Jewish-Christian Relations
  • Islam and Modern Muslim Thinkers


  • Electives from the Research Master
  • Electives outside the Faculty
Master's Thesis


  • knowledge of and insight into the fundamental concepts and methods of theology in relation to its distinct methodological perspectives.
  • knowledge of and insight into the fundamental concepts and methods of religious studies, inter-religious dialogue and the study of the major world religions.
  • knowledge of and insight into the fundamental concepts and methods of canon law.

Detailed Programme Facts

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®

Academic Requirements

  • This programme does not recognise GRE® scores.

    The GRE® General Test is a widely administered admissions test that measures the skills needed in today's graduate and business school programs worldwide. The GRE® General Test contains three sections - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Three scores are reported: a Verbal Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, a Quantitative Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, and an Analytical Writing score on a 0 - 6 score scale in half-point increments.

General Requirements

Admission decisions are based upon evaluation of a complete application file.

After an Abridged Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Religious Studies (120 credits):

  • Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
  • Another Bachelor's or Master's degree
  • Complete programme of formation leading to ordination as a minister of a recognised Christian faith

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, CV and written assignment.

For more informaiton on the admission requirements, please visit the homepage of the programme.

Technological Requirements

The faculty 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 of Theology and Religious Studies requires a minimum score of 79-80 for the Internet-based TOEFL test, or an IELTS score of 6.5-7.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    938 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 938 EUR per year and a duration of 12 months.
  • National

    938 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 938 EUR per year and a duration of 12 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Leuven

  • 810 - 1280 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Check the programme website for information about funding options.

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.

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