Overview of Curriculum
The Divinity School curriculum reflects the distinctive nature of the academic work at the School, work that encompasses the full range of the academic study of religion, religion in all times and places approached from multiple theoretical and methodological perspectives. The scholarly work of the School is organized through the work of three faculty committees, each of which is further subdivided into areas of study. Ph.D. students concentrate their work in one of the eleven areas of study. Students in the various master's programs combine study in these areas with courses specific to their programs.
For more information about any of the programs offered by the Divinity School, contact:
Teresa Hord Owens
Dean of Students
The University of Chicago Divinity School
1025 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
The Divinity School offers programs of study leading to the degrees of Master of Arts (A.M.), Master of Arts in Religious Studies (A.M.R.S.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), and Master of Divinity (M.Div.).
The Master of Arts (A.M.)
The A.M. program is a two-year foundational program in the academic study of religion for students who wish to acquire the requisite skills to develop a research agenda for doctoral study, or to establish a basis for a career in such related fields as education, publishing, government service, nonprofit work, etc.
The Master of Arts in Religious Studies (A.M.R.S.)
The A.M. in Religious Studies (A.M.R.S.) is a concentrated program in the study of religion for those in other professions (e.g., law, medicine, business, journalism, the arts) or those who seek greater knowledge of and sophistication in the study of religion. The degree may be pursued in one year, or over a period of three years, allowing students to balance study with existing professional commitments.
The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
The Ph.D. program is a rigorous program of advanced study and research that prepares students for a lifetime of field-defining scholarship, intellectual leadership and teaching in the academic study of religion.
The Master of Divinity (M.Div.)
The M.Div. program is an intensive cohort-based three-year course of study that prepares students for public religious leadership both in traditional ministerial professions and in new and emerging forms of ministry.
The Divinity School offers dual degree programs with the University's Irving B. Harris School of Public Policy Studies, Law School, and School of Social Service Administration.
In addition to its graduate degree programs, the Divinity School sponsors a number of other special courses and programs, including an Undergraduate Program in Religious Studies; a Certification in Ministerial Studies for Ph.D. Students; an M.Div./Ph.D. Program for Hyde Park Seminary Students; the Jerald Brauer Seminar for interdisciplinary research on religion; and non-degree programs for Graduate Students-at-Large (administered through the Graham School of General Studies), Visiting Students from Foreign Universities and postdoctoral Senior Research fellowships.
It also encourages students to supplement their work at the Divinity School with work in other areas of the University, when appropriate. In addition to the various departments of the graduate divisions of the University, specialized work in religion may be pursued through the Committee on Jewish Studies and the Graduate Workshops in the Humanities.
The academic year at the University of Chicago is divided into four quarters of approximately three months each, but the Divinity School offers formal courses only in the autumn, winter, and spring quarters. Students normally matriculate in the autumn quarter. Because the Divinity School is one of the academic units of the University of Chicago, its students have available to them, in addition to courses offered in the Divinity School, a wide range of courses in other divisions and schools. The Divinity School encourages all students to make use of these offerings in view of their specific research interests.
In addition to accommodating students in its degree programs, the Divinity School can make arrangements to accommodate senior research fellowships and nondegree students. Scholars holding the Ph.D. degree may apply to be in residence as senior fellowships in the Martin Marty Center. For more information, contact the Director of the Martin Marty Center. A student pursuing a doctoral degree at a foreign university may apply to be in residence as a non-degree student if that student is sponsored by a Divinity School faculty member. For more information, contact the Dean of Students.
One of the accrediting bodies for the Divinity School is the American Theological Association (ATS). Students who are concerned that the Divinity School may not be in accord with the guidelines established by the ATS are invited to contact the ATS.