Religious Studies MA
Meditaion

Religious Studies
Master of Arts

Explore spirituality in human experience as expressed in the religions of the world through in-depth study, contemplative practices, and personal investigation.

Naropa University’s Religious Studies master’s degree program is one of personal and intellectual transformation. As a Religious Studies graduate student, you will cultivate insights, knowledge, and meditative methods (such as mindfulness, yoga, and compassion practices) that will empower you to serve the inner and outer needs of the world, whether in the classroom, your community, through inter-religious dialog, or the larger society.

At Naropa, you can remain broadly focused in your studies by choosing a Contemplative Religions concentration, or you can specialize through the in-depth study of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism or Contemplative Judaism. We also offer a Master of Arts with Language, which allows you to add two years of Sanskrit and/or Tibetan language to your degree program.

Whatever path you choose, you will study the great masters and their works, ancient and modern, that are important to each tradition, while also delving into their profundities through contemplative methods.

Alumni from Naropa’s Master of Arts in Religious Studies program have been accepted to doctoral programs around the world, including Harvard University, Oxford University, University of Chicago, University of California—Santa Barbara, University of Virginia, Rice University, University of the West, and the California Institute of Integral Studies.

Our Religious Studies graduates have also created compelling careers for themselves as professors, translators, teachers, social service professionals, ministers, experts in humanities computing, librarians, lawyers, and activists. 

Master of Arts in Religious Studies with Language option

Enhance your MA in Religious Studies degree with an optional two-year study of Sanskrit or Tibetan language, in order to become a translator, in preparation for a doctoral program, and/or to enrich your personal understanding of the related traditions. 

Contemplative Intensive

Complete a 28-day group practice retreat in the religious tradition(s) of your choice, all at one time or in two to four shorter retreats, for an in-depth contemplative experience, living in a community context.

2–3 Years

The Master of Arts program in Religious Studies (45 credit hours) and the Master of Arts program in Religious Studies with Language (61 credit hours) offer both academic and contemplative experiences that encompass the beautiful plurality of global religious expression. This program will prepare you for doctoral-level graduate study, research, translation services, or other careers that require strong analytic and writing skills.

Roger Morales

Alumni Highlight

“I have the job I have today because of Naropa. Although I have a separate degree in Library and Information Science, the main reason I am working at ATLA today is because I have intimate knowledge of Buddhism and Hinduism. I specialize in these fields in my current job and use my education daily. My knowledge of Sanskrit has come into play, as well as by having the ability to read and understand Buddhist terms in Sanskrit.”

— Roger Morales, MA 2013
Theological Librarian for the American Theological Library Association

Featured Religious Studies Courses

  • Methods and Issues in the Study of Religion
  • Interreligious Dialogue
  • Non-Dualism in Theory and Practice
  • Contemplative Hinduism
  • Classical Jewish Mysticism
  • The First Turning of the Wheel: Nature of Mind and Emotions
Rocks Arapahaoe Campus

Faculty Highlight

“Our students share a common aspiration to be personally transformed by their education at Naropa, however they aspire to apply their training after they graduate, be that to acquire language skills and a breadth of knowledge of the Buddhist tradition, or a grounding in a range of religious traditions, or develop chaplaincy skills to serve others.”

— Phil Stanley, PhD
Associate Professor & Core Faculty

All Religious Studies Faculty