The Divinity School offers three master's degrees: the A.M.R.S., the A.M., and the M.Div.
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 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 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.
Click the links to the left for detailed descriptions of the first two degree programs. Go to the section entitled M.Div. Program for information on ministry studies at the Divinity School.
All students in master’s programs at the Divinity School are required to take this course.
Requirements for each course will be determined by the instructor. This course may not be taken pass/fail. Successful completion requires receipt of a letter grade of B- or higher.
The academic study of religion(s) is complex not simply by virtue of its diverse subject matter, but because of the many different perspectives from which scholars investigate and define the subject. Scholars of religion throughout the academy engage in research that emphasizes historical, comparative, literary critical, philosophical, social scientific, or ethical methods and questions. The Divinity School faculty believes that the capacity to engage in this interdisciplinary conversation will enrich the student’s scholarly agenda. For that reason, the A.M. program requires enrollment during the first year of the program in the “Introduction to the Study of Religion” course. Using a selected text, faculty from a variety of disciplines engage the text in dialogue with the lead instructor and students. This course accomplishes three purposes. First, it illustrates the types of questions that are pursued within the ten areas of study of the faculty. Second, it situates these methods and questions in the wider sweep of Western inquiries into the nature of religion. Third, it assists the A.M. student in defining the distinctive character of his or her Ph.D. project, and the group of written examinations that would best enable the student to pursue that project.
Because students in all master's programs at the Divinity School are required to take this course, the conversation is enriched by the diverse perspectives of scholars who plan careers across a variety of fields, from the academy to religious organizations and beyond. Requirements for each course will be determined by the instructor. This course may not be taken pass/fail. Successful completion requires receipt of a letter grade of B- or higher. The following course information is specific to the 2012-2013 academic year:
DVSC 30400 Introduction to the Study of Religion, Rosengarten
This course will introduce students to the study of religion via its engagement with the themes of history, fiction, memory, and the self. The course's focusing text will be Paul Ricoeur's Time and Narrative. We will read Time and Narrative, and we will read the major texts Ricoeur engages (including Aristotle's Poetics, Augustine's Confessions, and debates on modern historiography and its consequences for "meaning"). The goal will be to achieve a nuanced appreciation of both the powers and the limits of Ricoeur's thought about religion. Having read Ricoeur, we will engage three plausible critiques of his thought: materialist analyses of religion; analytic philosophy of religion; and the relation of visual culture to the culture of writing.