Master of Arts in Religion
The Master of Arts in Religion program is a 36-semester-hour program. It includes eighteen hours taken from a common core offered by the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy. Students select from one of three concentrations. Each concentration is comprised of twelve (12) semester hours.
- Religious Studies Concentration – Students will construct a concentration consisting of four courses in consultation with their advisor, selecting from courses offered by the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy or the School of Divinity.
- Biblical Studies/Languages Concentration – Students will take the following four courses:
- Advanced Hebrew Exegesis Seminar
- Advanced Greek Exegesis Seminar
- Old Testament Seminar
- New Testament Seminar
- Out-of-Department Concentration – Students will construct a concentration consisting of four courses in consultation with their advisor, selecting from courses outside of the Department. Possibilities include (but are not limited to) the English Department and the School of Psychology.
The 18 hour common core:
RELI 600: Research Seminar (3 hrs.)
RELI 605: Biblical Studies Seminar (3 hrs.)
RELI 640: Theological Studies Seminar (3 hrs.)
RELI 660: World Religions Seminar (3 hrs.)
RELI 680: Religion and Literature Seminar (3 hrs.)
One of the following three:
RELI 630: Historical Studies Seminar (3 hrs.)
RELI 650: Philosophy of Religion Seminar (3 hrs.)
RELI 670: Psychology of Religion Seminar (3 hrs.)
Students also select six hours from one of two tracks: the research track (a research seminar and thesis) or the teaching track (a pedagogy course and an internship in university teaching).
- The six-hour Advanced Research Track is encouraged for those individuals who are giving serious consideration to pursuing Ph.D. studies. The student is enrolled in RELI 695: Thesis for two semesters (or more if additional time is needed to complete the Thesis). The first semester is focused on research and producing a 6-10 page Thesis Prospectus. In the second semester, the students will work toward the completion of an 80-120 page Thesis.
- The six-hour Teaching Track is encouraged for those individuals who are interested in teaching, whether in a high school or college setting. The student will enroll in RELI 685: Religious Instruction Seminar, a course in pedagogical methods, and RELI 690: Graduate Internship, a course that provides an opportunity for supervised classroom instruction where the student works alongside a departmental professor in either an Old Testament Survey or New Testament Survey class.
At the conclusion of the first 30 hours of the program, students will take comprehensive exams covering their coursework. Satisfactory completion of exams is required before commencing the last six hours of the program in either the Advanced Research Track or the Teaching Track.
Application for admission to the Master of Arts in Religion Program is made through the Gardner-Webb University Office of Graduate Admissions. The following criteria will be used for consideration acceptance:
- Minimum GPA of 2.7
- GRE or MAT Scores
- Research Writing Sample
- Official Transcripts
- Three Professional References
- Admission Interview
Applicants for admission to the Master of Arts in Religion Program with a concentration in Biblical Studies/Languages will be required to demonstrate proficiency in Greek and Hebrew.
A Master of Arts in Religion will prepare you for future graduate studies and allow you the opportunity to teach at the high school and freshman and sophomore undergraduate levels.
The Master of Arts in Religion program is designed to meet the following goals:
- Graduate students will develop the research and writing skills essential for scholars in the field of religious studies.
- Graduate students will become conversant on the philosophical assumptions, classical and modern theories, and current research in the field of religious studies.
- Graduate students will demonstrate proficiency in expressing scholarly ideas through either a written thesis or a supervised teaching experience.
In order to graduate, all students in the program must pass comprehensive written examinations on their coursework. Students in the thesis track must pass a successful oral defense of their thesis. Students in the teaching track must pass a successful written or oral defense of their internship.