Department of Religious Studies

Program Description

Please find a list of courses offered in the programme here.

Special Focus: While the M.A. in Theology and Religious Studies will provide basic graduate education in traditional subjects in Theology and Religious Studies, it will encourage the engagement of students in research and practical training focused on the growing religious diversity within Canada and especially the Maritime region. Saint Mary's has a history of both local community and international engagement. Atlantic School of Theology is renowned for its ecumenical education bringing together students from diverse Christian backgrounds in preparation for both academic and/or ministerial careers. The rich backgrounds of both of these institutions is reflected in the M.A. in Theology and Religious Studies.

Two Streams available in the M.A.: Students may register in one of two streams within the M.A. in Theology and Religious Studies. Both of these streams may be completed either as full time or part time studies. Part-time: Part-time students will be subject to the same admission criteria and will be fulfilling all of the requirements for the M.A. in one of the thesis or course streams. Part-time students are not normally eligible for M.A. fellowships.

  1. Thesis Stream: Includes the completion of a traditional research-oriented thesis in preparation for Ph.D. studies. Students will be encouraged to do field based research with religious communities or complete library based theses. Over three semesters students will complete nine (9) credit hours of required courses, nine (9) credit hours of elective courses, and a thesis (six [6] credit hours). Thesis proposal submission and thesis writing guidelines will be designed to enable students to complete their programmes within three (3) semesters.
  2. Course Only Stream: Over three semesters students will complete nine (9) credit hours of required courses and fifteen (15) credit hours of elective courses. Students in this stream will be encouraged to include at least one practicum course (GTRS 6400, three [3] credit hours). 

Programme Duration

The programme will normally take a student three semesters (or the equivalent for part time students). For a student meeting all the entry requirements, this will allow for two semesters of course work and one semester to complete a thesis or practicum course(s). The maximum and minimum times for completion of the degree programme by full-time and part-time students is as follows:

Graduate Program Minimum number of years (semesters) Maximum number of years (semesters)
Full-time Part-time Full-time Part-time Full-time
M.A. Theology and Religious Studies (1 year) 1 (3) 2 (6) 4 (12) 6 (18)