The Master of Arts in Religion & American Politics investigates religion’s role in the public sphere through rigorous interdisciplinary scholarship, offering a nuanced understanding of two important realms in American culture.

Offered jointly by CGU’s Religion Department and Division of Politics & Economics, this interdisciplinary Master of Arts program seeks to understand religion’s influence on American politics from the perspectives of both religious studies and political science. You’ll undertake scholarship in research methods, religion, and politics, collaborating across disciplines with leading faculty-scholars at CGU and The Claremont Colleges. This in-depth education track of study increases your professional marketability by providing a visionary understanding of two of the most important realms in American and global culture.

Program Highlights
  • You can take courses and interact with faculty and students in other CGU departments and across The Claremont Colleges.
  • Thanks to CGU’s Los Angeles location, you will study in one of the most religiously and culturally diverse cities in the country.
  • You will have access to the libraries of CGU and Claremont University Consortium which offer more than two million volumes – more than 250,000 in the field of religion alone.

Program at a Glance

48 units

2 years

*This estimate assumes full-time registration and pursuit of the degree. Actual completion times will vary and may be higher, depending on full- or part-time course registration, units transferred, and time to complete other degree requirements.

Fall | Spring

Religion Department
Division of Politics & Economics

MA in Religion & American Politics

Featured Courses

Bishops & Orthodoxy

Investigates the politics of theology in the formation and evolution of orthodoxy through episcopal letters, canons of church councils, ordination liturgies, and biographies of famous bishops.

REL 362
Theories of Religion

Takes an in-depth survey of the major theories of religion as they are portrayed through some of their influential interpreters in the post-Enlightenment West.

REL 462
Religion in America: 1600-1865

Surveys major themes and issues in early American religious history, from Puritanism and Native American religion to growing religious diversity in the new nation.

PP 483
Legal Research Methods

Provides insight on how to find and analyze the law through computerized methods of legal research and assignments in legal libraries.

PP 301
American Political Development

Provides a grounding in fundamental issues of American political development: citizenship, constitutionalism, party formation, state building, reform movements, and the construction of political identity.

PP 363
Introduction to Religion & Politics

Analyzes the relationship between religion, politics, and society and explores how the traditional methodologies of political science and religious studies are beginning to merge.

Areas of Concentration


Additional Program Requirements

Research Tools Requirement

Capstone Project
Your capstone project for this program, a substantial research paper dealing with religion and politics, allows you to demonstrate what you’ve learned and display your professional proficiency and readiness to step into the field.

Faculty & Research

  • Jean Reith Schroedel profile image

    Jean Reith Schroedel

    Professor Emerita of Political Science
    Former Thornton F. Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy

    Research Interests

    Native American voting rights, American political development, women and politics, religion and politics, and congressional policy-making

  • Tammi J. Schneider profile image

    Tammi J. Schneider

    Danforth Professor of Religion
    Chair, Religion Department

    Research Interests

    Ancient Near Eastern history, literature, archaeology, and religion;
    Women in the Hebrew Bible

  • Mark Blitz profile image

    Mark Blitz

    Fletcher Jones Professor of Political Philosophy
    Field Chair, Political Philosophy
    Director, Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom

    Research Interests

    Political science, Philosophy, American politics

  • Robert Klitgaard profile image

    Robert Klitgaard

    University Professor

    Research Interests

    Public Policy, Economic Strategy, Institutional Reform, Corruption

  • Jacek Kugler profile image

    Jacek Kugler

    Elisabeth Helm Rosecrans Professor of International Relations

    Research Interests

    Causes and Consequences of War, Political Performance, Power Transition

  • Heather E. Campbell profile image

    Heather E. Campbell

    Professor, Department of Politics & Government
    Director, Division of Politics & Economics
    Field Chair, Public Policy
    Thornton F. Bradshaw Chair

    Research Interests

    Public Policy, Urban Environmental Policy, Environmental Justice

  • Ruqayya Y. Khan profile image

    Ruqayya Y. Khan

    Professor of Religion
    Malas Chair of Islamic Studies

    Research Interests

    The Qur'an, Arabic literatures, progressive Islamic theologies, women in Islam, Islam and environmental ethics, Islam and the digital age, late antiquity and Islam, origins of Islam, cultures of Umayyad Damascus and Abbasid Baghdad

  • Melissa Rogers profile image

    Melissa Rogers

    Associate Professor, International Studies
    Co-Director, Inequality and Policy Research Center
    Field Chair, Comparative Politics

    Research Interests

    Comparative Politics, Political Economy, Economic Inequality

  • Nicola Denzey Lewis profile image

    Nicola Denzey Lewis

    Professor of Religion
    Margo L. Goldsmith Chair in Women’s Studies in Religion

    Research Interests

    Social and Intellectual History of the Roman Empire, Gnosticism, Women’s Studies, Religion in the Roman Empire and Late Roman Empire, Late Antiquity

  • Gawdat Gabra profile image

    Gawdat Gabra

    Clinical Professor of Coptic Studies
    Professor Emeritus

    Research Interests

    Religion, Coptic studies, Egyptian Christianity

  • Daniel Ramírez profile image

    Daniel Ramírez

    Associate Professor of Religion

    Research Interests

    American religious history; Latin American religious history; Religion, migration, and transnationalism; Religion in borderlands; Contemporary theories of religion

Where You Can Find Our Alumni

Request information about the Religion & American Politics program

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John Moore

Assistant Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-3925