Contemplative Religions Concentration

This 42-credit concentration is designed for students who wish to join the academic study of comparative religions with interreligious dialog, contemplative practice, and personal investigation. Students develop literacy in the living practice traditions of a variety of World religions, with special emphasis on integrating the mystical contemplative dimension with the texts, teachings, and other aspects of the traditions. Students also learn interreligious dialog skills for communicating across religious differences in an environment of global pluralism. Students work with faculty members who are both academically and spiritually trained in the teachings and practices of their respective traditions.

Culminating Requirements

The degree program concludes with an oral comprehensive exam as well as a master’s project paper.

Degree Requirements

First year, fall (12)

  • REL645 Methods and Issues in the Study of Religion (3)
  • REL779 Interreligious Dialogue (3)
  • Religious Studies or Graduate Collective elective (3)**
  • Contemplative Practice elective (3)

First year, spring (12)

  • REL651 Contemplative Practice Intensive: Religious Studies Students (noncredit)*
  • REL655 Trends in Religious Studies (3)
  • Contemplative Practice elective (3)
  • Religious Studies or Graduate Collective elective (6)**

Second year, fall (9)

  • REL585 Spiritual Models of Social Action (3)
  • Religious Studies or Graduate Collective elective (3)**
  • Contemporary Practice electives (3)

Second year, spring (9)

  • REL672 Non-Dualism in Theory and Practice (3)
  • Contemplative Practice elective (3)
  • Religious Studies or Graduate Collective elective (3)**
  • REL880 Comprehensive Exam (noncredit)
  • REL885 MA/MDiv Final Project (noncredit)

Total Credits: 42

* It is recommended that students complete the noncredit monthlong Contemplative Practice Intensive requirement (REL651) no later than the winter break between the fall and spring semesters of their second year. This requirement can be done in two two-week sections.

** Students can take up to six of their elective credits in courses from other programs in The Graduate Collective that are designated as open to students outside their programs, with permission of the faculty member.

Related Programs

  • Contemplative Religions with Language

    This MA degree includes all the course work of the MA Religious Studies degree with the Contemplative Religions concentration, and is enriched by training in either Sanskrit or Tibetan through two years (16 credits) of course work or more.