master of arts in religious studies

The M.A. in Religious Studies is a broad-based degree program suited for students who wish to gain extensive knowledge of the Christian tradition and its impact on society, supplemented by wide-ranging knowledge of the world’s religions. The program enables students to integrate their own faith perspective with in-depth knowledge of the broader Judeo-Christian tradition and its manifestations in contemporary social and cultural realities. This prepares them to be more effective witnesses for their faith in today’s multi-faith environment and to practice in a wide variety of ministries. It also equips them for positions in non-governmental bodies dealing with the religious issues that are often at the root of conflict. 

The program’s foundation courses are a theological curriculum that provides a broad knowledge of scripture, theology and history in the Christian tradition. The MA in Religious Studies Program has four concentrations, each with distinct purposes: The Concentration on Unificationism equips students with an in-depth understanding of its teachings, theology, scriptures and history, such as is required of aspiring leaders in the Unification movement. The Concentration in Public and Non-Profit Leadership equips students with skills needed to work effectively in civil society and non-governmental organizations. The Concentration in Interfaith Peacebuilding provides a theological and intercultural understanding in several religious traditions with focused examination on the nexus of religion and peacebuilding. The Concentration in Theological Studies is suitable for students who wish to pursue a general study of Christian theology, biblical studies and church history. Students may choose one or more of these concentrations. 

Students who do not select a concentration may use elective courses to prepare for specific vocations such as counseling, education, church leadership, or those calling for specialization in a particular religious tradition. The M.A. in Religious Studies is also a natural entrance point for further graduate studies in religion, ministerial professions and the social sciences.

The program can be completed in two years of full-time studies, however, students choosing to enroll only part-time will require an extended time frame to graduate.


Graduation Requirements

To be awarded the M.A. degree, students must fulfill the following requirements:

- 48 credit hours
- A minimum grade point average of 2.50
- Mid Program Review
- A Masters Project or Thesis, presented in the Masters Colloquium in the final term prior to graduation, or for student with the Public and Non-Profit Leadership Concentration, an Internship with a substantial theological reflection and report.

Foundation Courses:

Students are required to take these foundation courses

SCR 5131 Old Testament Foundations (Hebrew Bible)

SCR 5141 New Testament Foundations

LTR 5131 History of Christianity I or LTR 5132 History of Christianity II

LTR 5141 World Religions and the Encounter with Christianity

THE 5131 Systematic Theology

THE 5141 Ethics and Social Justice

THE 5635 Introduction to Divine Principle or THE 5631 Divine Principle in Depth

Masters Project:

Masters Thesis, Project or MIN 5190 Field Education Internship (for students with the Public and NonProfit Leadership concentration only) (3 credits)

MIN 5804A & MIN 5804B Masters Colloquium (0 credit)

Any one course cannot satisfy both a Master of Arts in Religious Studies foundation requirement and the concentration requirement.

Concentration in Unification Studies

As one of the two academic concentrations, Unification Studies guides students to a more focused and in-depth understanding of the theology, philosophy, guiding principles and history of the Unification Movement. Unification students in particular will have the opportunity to study and investigate their own faith more deeply. Students will be able to choose from a wide range of courses including the History of the Unification Movement, the Life and Thought of Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han Moon, and the Divine Principle. This concentration prepares students for various ministries in the Unification Movement, including church leadership, education, public relations, and ecumenical and interfaith ministries.

The following course requirements apply to all students taking this concentration. Courses listed are for 3 credits unless otherwise noted.

Three courses from:

LTR 5151 The Unification Movement

LTR 5503 Unification Worldview and Society

LTR 5622 Life and Thought of SMM and HJHM

EDU 5604 Unification Apologetics

MIN 5601 Unification Ritual and Traditions

THE 5601 Unification Theology

THE 5602 Towards a Theology of the Only-Begotten Daughter

THE 5611 Unification Philosophy

Three 1-credit practica in Teaching:

EDU 5601 Practicum in Teaching Divine Principle (1 credit)

EDU 5605 Practicum in Teaching VOC (1 credit)

EDU 5606 Practicum in Teaching Unification Thought (1 credit)

Concentration in Public and Non-Profit Leadership

Since the end of the Cold War, the role of civil society and nongovernmental organizations has grown dramatically. Multilateral Institutions such as the World Bank, the United Nations, and regional organizations are increasingly reliant on Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and NonGovernmental Organizations (NGOs) to provide leadership in addressing natural disasters, health crises, human trafficking, and other social problems. The UTS Public and Non-Profit Leadership concentration focuses on professional competencies in public leadership, in governance, in conflict analysis and resolution, in financial management, and in human resource development. Besides theory, students can gain a practical and experiential perspective in this concentration through an internship experience. The Concentration in Public and Non-Profit Leadership prepares students to assume leadership roles in the faith-based as well as the public non-profit sector.

The following course requirements apply to all students taking this concentration. Courses listed are for 3 credits unless otherwise noted.

Four courses, including but not limited to:

MGT 5101 Conflict Analysis and Transformation

MGT 5302 Management of Non-Profit Organizations

MGT 5303 Leadership and Organizational Planning

MGT 5304 Leadership in the Social Sector

MGT 5311 Marketing

MGT 5331 Human Resource Management

MGT 5401 Financial Management for NPOs

MGT 5501 Brand Management

MIN 5107 Leadership and Congregational Development

Field Education:

MIN 5190 Field Education Internship (counts as capstone requirement, replacing the Thesis/Project)

Concentration in Interfaith Peacebuilding

This concentration takes students through a process whereby they gain a valuable understanding of “the other” in today’s world with the goal of developing a more harmonious and peaceful world and an identity as a human family. As one a professional concentrations, students will undertake both a theoretical and experiential study of interfaith peacebuilding.

This concentration prepares students for various professional roles in religious organizations, NGOs and the public sector, including ministries of peace and justice, ecumenical and interfaith ministries, education and teaching, peacebuilding ministries, public service at the interface of religion and public policy, and consulting and other specialized roles to facilitate conflict resolution and cross-cultural understanding.

The following course requirements apply to students taking this concentration. Courses listed are for 3 credits unless otherwise noted.

One course in applied theology, ethics or social issues from the following list:

THE 5132 Theology of Peacebuilding

LTR 5503 Unification Worldview & Society

LTR 5513 World Religions & Global Conflict

PST 5131 Peace & Conflict Studies

PST 5143 Unification Approaches to Peace


One course in ecumenical or interfaith relations from the following list:

MIN 5106 Ecumenism and Interfaith

LTR 5515 Interfaith Peacebuilding and the UN

MIN5724 Interreligious Prayer in Ministry

SCR 5151 World Scriptures & World Peace


One course in conflict transformation from the following list:

MGT 5101 Conflict Analysis and Transformation

PAS 5701 Multicultural Counseling

PAS 5722 Trauma and Healing

PST 5141 Diplomacy & Faith-based Diplomacy

PST 5301 Restorative & Transitional Justice


One course in a religious tradition other than one's own, for example:

LTR 5402 Jewish-Christian Relations

LTR 5411 Islam

LTR 5412 Muslim-Christian Relations

LTR 5431 Buddhism

SCR 5701 The Qur'an

Unification Studies courses do not count for this requirement.


One course:

MIN 5190 Field Education Internship or another course from the above lists

Concentration in Theological Studies

Theological Studies is an academic concentration in which students broaden their academic background in Religious Studies by embarking on a more indepth look at the Bible, Christian Theology, Church History and Living Traditions. This concentration effectively prepares students for doctoral studies or further studies in Christianity. It also prepares students for education and teaching in the Christian church and for ecumenical and interfaith ministries.

The following course requirements apply to all students taking this concentration. Courses listed are for 3 credits unless otherwise noted.

Four courses in the area of Scripture, Theology or Church History, including but not limited to:

SCR 5302 The Prophets

SCR 5311 Genesis

SCR 5412 Life and Teachings of Jesus

SCR 5413 Life and Letters of Paul

LTR 5131 History of Christianity I or LTR 5132 History of Christianity II (if not taken as foundation course)

THE 5311 Modern Theology

One scriptural language course:

LAN 5141 New Testament Greek

or LAN 5131 Biblical Hebrew

Korean Track

The Korean Track is designed for Unificationist students who want to integrate their study at UTS with developing facility in the Korean language. Students in this track take 6 credits of Korean language at UTS and can receive up to 6 transfer credits for subsequent Korean courses taken at Sun Moon University or Sunhak UP Graduate University in Korea.

The following course requirements apply to all students taking this track. Courses listed are for 3 credits unless otherwise noted.

LAN 5161 Korean 1

LAN 5162 Korean 2

6 transfer credits for Korean language courses taught in Korea