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The Best Schools Offering Graduate Programs in Religion

Higher Education Articles March 6, 2017

Overview of Schools offering Degree Programs in Religion

Students enrolled in graduate programs in religion learn how to think critically about concerning issues of faith. The focus of some programs is on general religious studies while others focus on theology or the philosophy of religion. Program graduates can seek careers in counseling, education, ministry, religious teaching, and doctoral study. In this article, we take a look at two schools that offer both master’s and doctoral degree programs in religion and topics that closely relate to each other. In some programs, multiple areas of concentration are available to students.

Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee

In 2009, Forbes.com ranked Vanderbilt – located within a mile’s vicinity of downtown Nashville – on its list of 100 ‘Best Colleges in America’.

Students keen on pursuing continuing education through doctoral studies, as well as those aiming for a career in secondary education, would benefit from the school’s Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Religion. Nine areas of concentration options are available to students in the program. These include Jewish studies, Hebrew Bible, criticism, history, New Testament and early Christianity, ethics and society, theology, religion, psychology and culture, and homiletics and liturgy. A cross-disciplinary master’s degree in religion may also be earned by enrolled students.

The school offers doctoral degrees in religious theory and criticism, Hebrew studies, early Christianity, homiletics, and liturgics, among other related fields.

Claremont Graduate University (CGU) in California

CGU, which belongs to a consortium of colleges, referred to as the Claremont Colleges, is located at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains, within a 35-mile vicinity of Los Angeles.

Seven master’s degree programs are available through the School of Religion. These include women’s studies in religion, religion, including theology and philosophy of religion, Christianity and religions in North America, scriptural criticism, Mormon studies, Islamic studies, and a general degree in religion. Studies of religion through cultural, political, and economic contexts are in all degree programs, along with an overview of religion throughout history.

Apart from master’s degree programs, doctoral degrees may be pursued in fields such as the history of Christianity, religion and politics, women’s studies, and religion and theology.

List of Schools offering Degree Programs in Religion

School Name Total Student Enrollment Location
George Fox University 3,786 Newberg, Oregon
Harvard University 28,791 Cambridge, Massachusetts
Princeton University 8,088 Princeton, New Jersey
Stanford University 16,963 Stanford, California
Yale University 12,336 New Haven, Connecticut
Williams College 2,126 Williamstown, Massachusetts
Columbia University 27,589 New York, New York
University of Pennsylvania 24,806 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Amherst College 1,792 Amherst, Massachusetts
Duke University 15,856 Durham, North Carolina

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  • Bachelor degree programs include English, Education, Mathematics, Theatre, Biophysical Sciences, Christian Ministry, and more.
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