Academic Building HC 132
5151 Park Avenue
Fairfield, CT 06825
Note: Classes are taught evenings, during the summer as well as regular semester sessions.
What will I study?
Sacred Heart University's Master of Arts in Religious Studies (also known as “MARS”) program invites you to investigate a broad range of religious expressions representative of the human attempt to come to terms with questions of ultimate significance. Through this reflection it is hoped that the student will be able to engage in a critical dialogue with his/her own religious tradition and self-understanding.
Coursework in the MARS program will give the student:
- a theoretical foundation for understanding religious phenomena in many traditions,
- skills for doing research and for critically assessing religion,
- knowledge of both Christian and non-Christian traditions,
- Knowledge of historical and contemporary Catholic theology, and
- the ability to develop specialized areas of study that will support the student’s academic and professional goals.
The department offers a variety of courses in five main areas. Students may choose to concentrate in one of these areas, or to pursue a broader program by sampling from various areas.
The five main areas include:
- Biblical Studies
- Modern Religious Thought
- Religion and Society
- The History of Religions
You will learn concepts from anthropology, sociology and psychology as well as theology, philosophy, history and literary criticism. Specific courses in the Religious Studies program examine the various symbols and myths, rituals and creeds, events, institutions, and great existential questions that illuminate the religious imagination and understanding. In addition, you are encouraged to investigate the cultural interaction between religion and both the natural sciences and the arts. Methodologically and topically diverse, the Master of Arts in Religious Studies program is unified by its commitment to the task of exploring the basic religious beliefs and insights that render human life and experience meaningful.
Why choose Religious Studies at SHU?
The program is designed to suit the needs and interests of a wide variety of students. Whether one wishes to prepare for doctoral work in religion or theology, to pursue a career in lay ministry or religious education, or to learn more about religion in order to enrich one's personal and/or professional life and activities, the program supplies a broad range of valuable resources.
Interesting classes you might take:
- Research in the Study of Religion
- Introduction to the Gospels
- Women in Christianity
- Constructing the Concept of God
- Religion, War and Peace
Are there special admission requirements?
Admission to the Master of Arts in Religious Studies is offered on a rolling admission basis. Applicants should have a Bachelor’s degree in the Humanities or Social Sciences from an accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Other undergraduate majors may be considered for probationary admission.
What are my career opportunities with a Religious Studies degree?
Here are some of the careers you may pursue with this degree:
- Graduate studies in: Theology; Religious Studies; History; Literature; Anthropology; Ethics; Sociology; Art History
- Careers in Business, esp. Human Resources/ Personnel/ Public Relations
- Government careers in diplomacy, consulate work
- Museum careers: curatorship; research; acquisition
- NGOs (non-profits)/ community and social justice agencies/ philanthropies
- Library work (grad degree in Library Science)
- Chaplaincy/ Pastoral Counseling
- Performing Arts
- DRE/ Religious education
Want to hear about more opportunities?