An 18-month degree program

The Master of Arts (Religion) (MAR) degree program provides a general foundation in theology, ethics, and global religions, and in-depth study in religious education and theology and ethics. This degree is appropriate for students preparing for doctoral studies in religion, those seeking a grounding in religious studies to support vocational work in religious education/faith formation, community organizing, social justice activism, or interreligious engagement, and those interested in religious studies for personal enrichment.

The MAR program offers you a chance to experience a low-residency theological school that centers a multifaith sensibility and infuses a social justice grounding into everything that we do. MAR students from all religious and spiritual backgrounds benefit from rigorous coursework that honors and draws on the many philosophical, ethical, scientific, and religious traditions concerned with love, justice, and peace, as well as being part of a vibrant learning community of faculty, peers, and mentors.

Degree Requirements

The MAR degree program requires 36 completed credits. The program can be completed in 18 months by full-time students but is flexible to accommodate students who plan to study part-time.

Six credits are granted for a thesis or project completed in consultation with a faculty advisor. Students gain a foundation in religious studies by completing four additional required courses in the areas of theology, ethics, leadership, and global religion. All students must elect a concentration in either Religious Education or Theology and Ethics. Students will complete 9 credits in their concentration of choice and another 9 credits of elective coursework. Students may transfer up to 6 credits from another institution. Such transfer credit is subject to approval in compliance with the transfer credit policy.

MAR Thesis or Project

All MAR Students are required to submit a thesis or project in support of completion of their Master of Arts (Religion) Degree. In order to begin the thesis, students must first submit a Thesis or Project Proposal. All submitted theses and project should follow the Submission Guidelines. 

  • The thesis should be approximately 30-40 pages (double-spaced, 12 pt.), with footnotes and a bibliography. The students should refer to the Chicago Manual of Style for proper methods of scholarly documentation. [Penultimate Draft of Thesis/Project Submitted by mid-March.] 
  • The Project is an option for students whose needs and purposes are not best served by a thesis. Students choosing this option might, for example, create Religious Education curricula; write, produce, or direct a theatrical production; or develop and implement a significant community service project. A brief scholarly Commentary (10-20 pp) must also be submitted by students choosing the Project. The Commentary is a brief interpretive paper that situates the Project culturally, pedagogically, and theologically. This paper should be footnoted and include a bibliography. 

Transfer Credits

Students may request transfer credit by contacting the Registrar, who will complete a transcript evaluation to be approved by the faculty. Transfer credits do not impact a student's cumulative GPA.