Master of Arts Religious Studies

Master of Arts (Religious Studies) | Graduate

The Master of Arts (Religious Studies) degree program is designed for persons interested in more advanced study of religion, and who wish to pursue vocations other than that of pastoral ministry, such as denominational staff work, social justice advocacy, religious education, or lay ministry and leadership in the local church. It is particularly desirable as a foundation for persons seeking advanced theological education. It also provides an opportunity to augment one's expertise in a related field or to explore one's interest in religion and spirituality.

Program Details

  • Degree Classification: Graduate
  • Related Degrees: M.A.
  • Program Frequency: Full-Time
  • Format: In Person

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts (Religious Studies) degree program requires a minimum of 48 credits. The Program offers three areas of concentration: Biblical Studies, Islamic Studies, and Ethics and Social Justice. 

BIBLICAL STUDIES CONCENTRATION REQUIREMENTS

(A) MA(RS) Core (9 credits)

 a. Introduction to the Study of Religion3 credits

 b. Philosophy of Religion OR World Religions3 credits

 c. MA(RS) Colloquy3 credits
 

(B) Biblical Studies (12 credits)

 a. Introduction to Old Testament/Hebrew Bible I3 credits

 b. Introduction to Old Testament/Hebrew Bible II3 credits

 c. New Testament Critical Introduction3 credits

 d. Scripture and Hermeneutics3 credits

 

(C) Biblical Languages (18 credits)

 a. Old Testament/Hebrew Bible Track 

   i. Hebrew12 credits

   ii. Greek6 credits

 OR 

 b. New Testament Track 

   i. Greek12 credits

   ii. Hebrew6 credits

(D) Electives6 credits
  

(E) MA(RS) Thesis *3 credits

Master of Arts (Religious Studies)
Research and writing in the area of concentration is required of all students in the Biblical Studies concentration. It shall be an in depth study of a given subject which reflects the use of sound research methodology, good critical judgment, clarity of expression, and proper form..

ISLAMIC STUDIES CONCENTRATION REQUIREMENTS

(A) MA(RS) Core (9 credits)

 a. Introduction to the Study of Religion3 credits

 b. Philosophy of Religion OR World Religions3 credits

 c. MA(RS) Colloquy3 credits
 

(B) Quranic and Prophetic Tradition (12 credits)

 a. Introduction to the Qur'an3 credits

 b. The Qur'an in Muslim Life3 credits

 c. Ethics and the Prophetic Tradition in Islam3 credits

 d. Scripture and Hermeneutics3 credits

(C) Historical Studies (6 credits)

 a. Dialogue with Islam in Christian Society3 credits

 b. Islam in America OR Islam and African American Experience3 credits
 

(D) Legal and Social Justice6 credits


a. Women, Gender and Family in Islamic Context3 credits

 b. Islamic Jurispurdence and American Constitutional Law3 credits   

(E) Arabic Language6 credits   

(F) Electives6 credits

(G) MA(RS) Thesis *3 credits


* Master of Arts (Religious Studies) Thesis
Research and writing in the area of concentration is required of all students in the Islamic Studies concentration. It shall be an in depth study of a given subject which reflects the use of sound research methodology, good critical judgment, clarity of expression, and proper form.. 


ETHICS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE CONCENTRATION REQUIREMENTS

(A) MA(RS) Core (9 credits)

 a. Introduction to the Study of Religion3 credits

 b. Philosophy of Religion OR World Religions3 credits

 c. MA(RS) Colloquy3 credits

(B) Biblical Studies (9 credits)

 a. Introduction to Old Testament/Hebrew Bible I3 credits

 b. Introduction to Old Testament/Hebrew Bible II3 credits

 c. New Testament Critical Introduction3 credits

(C) Theological Studies (6 credits)

 a. Systematic Theology I3 credits

 b. Theology of MLK or Black Theology3 credits

(D) Historical Studies (3 credits)6 credits


a. History of the Black Church OR African American Religious History3 credits

(E) Ethics/Social Justice (9 credits) 

 a. Introduction to Christian Ethics3 credits

 b. Christian Social Ethics3 credits

 c. Prophetic Ministry3 credits

(F) Field-Based Project **3 credits

(G) Electives9 credits

** Field-Based Project
In lieu of the MA(RS) Thesis, a semester-length Field-Based Project is required of all students in the Ethics and Social Justice Concentration.   

COMPREHENSIVE CONCENTRATION REQUIREMENTS

(A) MA(RS) Core (9 credits)

 a. Theories & Methods in Religious Studies3 credits

 b. Philosophy of Religion OR World Religions3 credits

 c. MA(RS) Colloquy3 credits

 
 

(B) Biblical Studies (6 credits)

 a. Introduction to Old Testament/Hebrew Bible I3 credits

 b. New Testament Critical Introduction3 credits

 (C) Theological Studies (3 credits)

 a. Systematic Theology3 credits   

(D) Historical Studies (3 credits)   

 a. History of Christianity3 credits

(D) Ethics (3 credits)    

 Christian Ethics OR Christian Social Ethics
3 credits

(E) Electives (21 credits)21credits

(F) Thesis * 

 MA(RS) Thesis OR Integrative Paper3 credits

Caution to Prospective Students

The Board of Trustees of Howard University on September 24, 1983, adopted the following policy statement regarding applications for admission: "Applicants seeking admission to Howard University are required to submit accurate and complete credentials and accurate and complete information requested by the University. Applicants who fail to do so shall be denied admission. Enrolled students who as applicants failed to submit accurate and complete credentials or accurate and complete information on their application for admission shall be subject to dismissal when the same is made known, regardless of classification."

All credentials must be sent to:

 
Howard University School of Divinity
Office of Admissions
2900 Van Ness St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008