Master of Arts in Religion and American Politics

Transdisciplinary Program in the
Division of Politics and Economics and the School of Religion


The Division of Politics and Economics and the School of Religion offers a formal interfield M.A. degree in Religion and American Politics. The aim of the program is to combine the resources of the two schools to facilitate study in a field with growing relevance in the modern world.

Religion is a powerful force in the formation of individual, ethnic, and national identities and in the organization of communal, social and political orders globally.  Politics is increasingly taking account of religion as a determinative cultural and social phenomenon in the mobilizing and ordering of relations between societies.  Professionals from politicians and academics to journalists and leaders of humanitarian organizations confront the constant interplay of the two realms.  No area of human life is more freighted with passion, danger, and relevance and thus more in need of academic investigation.
Scholars will need training in both politics and religion to analyze the web of relations between religion, politics, and society.  Fortuitously, the traditional methodologies of political science and religious studies are beginning to merge.  Students of politics are taking into account the power of religious identity, and scholars of religion are employing the statistical methods of social scientists.
The M.A. in religion and American politics seek to train students in both approaches as well as to expose them to key areas where politics and religion intersect, particularly in America.

Students complete 48 units of credit (12 courses) over four semesters.  Specific requirements include:

Required tools

PP 481 Quantitative Research Methods
Rel 362  Theories of Religion

Advanced tools: one of the following
PP 482 Advanced Quantitative Methods
PP 484 Experimental and Qualitative Methods
PP 483 Legal Research Methods

Required Core Course

PP 363 Introduction to Religion and Politics
Research Paper
All students are to write at least one substantial course research paper dealing with religion and politics to be reviewed by the Program Committee as part of the application for graduation.

Representative Elective Courses (course offerings will differ from year to year)

PP 301 American Political Development

PP 326 American Constitutional Law I: Civil Liberties

PP 327 American Constitutional Law II: National Powers

PP 302 American Political Behavior

PP 308 Political Psychology

PP 323 Racial, Ethnic & Social Minorities in American Politics

Rel 462 History of American Religion from First Contact to the Civil War

Rel 466 History of American Religion from the Civil War to the Present

Rel 472 Race and Religion in America

Rel 320 American Scriptures

Rel 337 Feminist Theologies in North America

Rel 405 Religion, Power, and Resistance

Rel 410 Islamic Ethics

Rel 426 Theology of Globalization

Rel 452  Gender, Violence, and Religion

Rel 453  Women in the Book of Genesis   

Rel 455  Liberation Theology

Courses in CST and the  5C colleges to be added in future.



Contact Information:

For program inquiries
Annekah Hall
Assistant Director of Admissions

For application questions



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