Areas of Concentration

Interreligious Studies - Common MA

“Dear friends, let our sincere dialogue and cooperation inspire all people to ponder the deeper questions of their origin and destiny. May the followers of all religions stand together in defending and promoting life and religious freedom everywhere. By giving ourselves generously to this sacred task - through dialogue and countless small acts of love, understanding and compassion - we can be instruments of peace for the whole human family.” Benedict XVI

This area of concentration within the GTU Common MA program takes full advantage of the unique interfaith and ecumenical resources of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), the largest and most active partnership of ecumenical and interreligious graduate schools and centers in the United States.

Broadly speaking, the purpose of the MA concentration in Interreligious Studies is to foster the study of multiple religious traditions, their practitioners, and their expressions in different cultural contexts. This area is designed to be open to studies that are oriented to fields within both theological studies and religious studies. Topics of focus and methodologies might include historical and contemporary relations between religious traditions, comparative theology, comparative religion, interreligious dialogue, and interreligious pastoral practices.

Students studying for the MA in Interreligious Studies from the GTU could prepare themselves for multiple career tracks. Obviously, this program would be foundational for a PhD in a related field. Other students might use this degree to prepare for forms of interreligious ministry (this might be especially attractive for students pursuing dual MDiv/MA degrees). Others could use this degree to prepare for teaching in religious education institutions at the secondary level. Still others might use this degree for work with non-profit and non-governmental organizations.

DSPT Faculty

Marianne Farina (DSPT) - Catholic moral theology; philosophical ethics; Islamic ethics; Christian and Islamic spirituality

Other GTU Faculty willing to advise:

Thomas Cattoi (JST) - Christology and Cultures
Ibrahim Farajaje (SKSM) - Cultural and Islamic Studies 
Marion Grau (CDSP) - Constuctive theology and soteriology
Daniel Josyn-Siemiatkoski (CDSP) -Chruch History, Christian/Jewish relations
Christopher Ocker (SFTS) - Church History
Rossitca Schroeder (PSR) - Religion and the Arts

Supporting GTU Faculty:

Deena Aranoff (CJS) - Jewish Studies
Judith Berling (GTU) - Chinese, Comparative Religions
Munir Jiwa (CIS) - Islamic Studies, Religious Pluralism, Interfaith Dialogue

Heng Sure (PSR)
Naomi Seidman (CJS) - Jewish Studies, Bibclical Translation

For more information about the Interreligious Studies concentration, please visit the GTU website or contact the DSPT Admissions Office.