Master of Arts in Religion

Study the traditions and belief systems of the world’s major religions with the Master of Arts in Religion in the College of Liberal Arts at Temple University. Examine religions and cultures through several individual methods of study, including history, philosophy and the social sciences. Consider how religion intersects with race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and disability.

For students who intend to teach religious studies in community colleges or high schools, the Religion MA provides advanced training in methods of research and in-depth study of the world's major religious traditions. This master's program offers postgraduate training and exposure to the newest research methods and developments that can aid in the understanding of religious and cultural traditions. 

Courses draw from the following themes, each of which is rooted in the expertise of the Religion Department's faculty.

  • Critical investigation of religion and human differences
  • Historical texts and traditions
  • Religion and society

Become immersed in the basic thought, history and practices of a religious tradition by choosing an academic concentration, including one of the following.

  • African diaspora
  • African American religious traditions
  • Biblical studies
  • Buddhism
  • Gender and religion
  • Islamic studies
  • Jewish studies
  • Religion and social science

Graduates of the Master of Arts in Religion are prepared to pursue doctoral studies in religion or enter the workforce in many professional fields, such as business, government, journalism, medicine and social work.

Religion Department

Founded in 1961, Temple’s Department of Religion was one of the earliest religion departments established at a public or state-related university. The goal of the department and its programs is to provide students with a broad understanding of a wide variety of religious traditions and an awareness of how religion functions in communities around the world.

The department has strong relationships and affiliations with outside secular and religious institutions, including the 

  • Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 
  • Lutheran Theological Seminary, 
  • Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia and 
  • University of Pennsylvania Department of Religious Studies.

Our Community

The College of Liberal Arts at Temple comprises many academic disciplines and research areas. Now more than ever, an interdisciplinary liberal arts education is invaluable for your future pursuits. It offers the opportunity to further push your drive to create real change in the world, here at Temple and beyond. In this graduate program, you’ll work closely with diverse faculty members who are highly esteemed in their field and with a curious, passionate community of peers.  

Program Format & Curriculum

Students have three years to satisfy their requirements for the Religion MA program, which can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. Classes take place on Temple’s Main Campus.

The 30-credit Religion MA curriculum comprises core courses, advanced seminars, elective courses, a language examination and a culminating event.

Courses available to graduate students include the following.

  • Issues in Theology
  • Monks, Masters and Magicians: Religion in Pre-Modern Chinese Literature
  • Religion and the Arts
  • Violence in Ancient Religion: Pagan, Christian, and Jewish
  • Zombie Apocalypse

Learn more about Religion MA program requirements.

Related Graduate Degrees

Tuition & Fees

In keeping with Temple’s commitment to access and affordability, this Master of Arts offers a competitive level of tuition with multiple opportunities for financial support.

Tuition rates are set annually by the university and are affected by multiple factors, including program degree level (undergraduate or graduate), course load (full- or part-time), in-state or out-of-state residency, and more. These tuition costs apply to the 2023–2024 academic year.

Pennsylvania resident: $1,053.00 per credit
Out-of-state: $1,449.00 per credit

Learn more about our tuition and fees.


Additional Program Information