Master of Arts in
From examining the terminology used by different religions to experiencing faith communities other than your own, our students are immersed in a collective – rather than comparative – application of theological education.
The MA in Interreligious Studies program is an interdisciplinary study of contemporary religious communities in a multifaith classroom. You will graduate with confidence in your knowledge of the foundational concepts of Abrahamic religions and the role of faith in local, social, and political contexts, as well as advanced-level research experience that enables you to articulate this understanding.
Our students see that learning about the religious foundations and insights that distinguish us makes for better, more empathetic religious leaders who care for all faith communities – and in doing so, strengthen their devotion to their own.
The MA in Interreligious Studies (MAIRS) is a 36-credit-hour academic graduate degree curriculum built around the engagement of students from different religious traditions who study the various topics and disciplines of religion, and develop skills in religious performance. Students complete core interreligious coursework, choose a specialization, and complete a final capstone project or thesis.
Students choose one of three specializations:
- Interreligious Studies
- Islamic Studies
- Ministerial Studies
Language Proficiency in reading scriptural texts, such as Hebrew, New Testament Greek, or Qur’anic Arabic is highly recommended for students in the Ministerial Studies specialization or the Islamic Studies specialization.
Where Your Journey May Lead
MA in Interreligious Studies Career Paths
Social Service Ministry
Start a Non-Profit or NGO
Teaching Religion in Private Schools
Pathway into Chaplaincy
Preparation for a PhD
Meet Our Program Director
David D. Grafton, PhD
Academic Dean, Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations
I’ve been an educator in Muslim-Christian relations since 1985 and bring years of practical experience in the contemporary interfaith and multifaith world as an ordained Protestant pastor and through living and teaching in Egypt. My courses at Hartford familiarize students with the history, scriptures, and perspectives of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, and require that they engage in conversations over those traditions and explore perspectives other than their own. My goal is for students to be comfortable leading their own faith communities into relationships with one another. If there’s one thing that I teach all of my students it’s that people of other religious traditions are human beings who have their own hopes, dreams, and experiences of life and belief based on their own cultural, communal, and familial histories. They speak for themselves and do not speak for a monolithic religion, of which there is no such thing.
Are you ready to make a difference?
Take the next step.
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