Master of Theological Studies program adds new World Religions World Church focus

Author: Margaret McVeigh

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The University of Notre Dame Department of Theology has launched a new area of concentration within its Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program: World Religions World Church (WRWC). Applications for the two-year, full-time program are due Jan. 15, 2019, for admission in August 2019.

The area of WRWC offers students the opportunity to study both global religions and the global Church while receiving exposure to other areas of Christian theology. In WRWC coursework, students will have the freedom to focus on a particular non-Christian tradition or cultural context of the Church and develop skills in primary and research languages. 

Students in the MTS program complete 12 credits of coursework for four contiguous semesters (excluding summer) to complete the degree.

John Fitzgerald, professor of theology and director of Notre Dame's MTS program, said: “Giving keen attention to world religions and the world church is a theological imperative. Just as theology today requires an ecumenical context for effective research and reflection, so also it requires a global context. The new WRWC concentration in our MTS program is thus particularly felicitous and promises to have a major impact on theological education at Notre Dame.”

WRWC also has a successful doctoral program. Its faculty have conducted two international conferences (at Notre Dame and in Rome), published the book "Finding Beauty in the Other" and currently edit the journals "Hindu-Christian Studies" and "Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations."

The area of WRWC is dedicated to studying the world religions in all of their dimensions, along with the global Church and its theological expressions. It prepares students to appreciate the relationship between Christianity and non-Christian religions through rigorous study of different traditions — and also to explore the cultural and theological diversity of the Church.

Timothy Matovina, professor of theology and department chair, said: "WRWC is a timely addition to the MTS program. Across all areas of theology, the context of our work is the global world and Church, making the WRWC focus critical for the ongoing development of our MTS program.” 

With the new addition, the MTS program now includes six total areas of concentration: biblical studies, history of Christianity, liturgical studies, moral theology, systematic theology and WRWC.

Those interested in applying to the MTS at Notre Dame should visit the program and application information page.  

Those interested in learning more about the scope and vision of WRWC should visit this page

Originally published by Margaret McVeigh at on Aug. 30.