MA in Contemporary Faith and Belief

Programme Leader

Dr Christoph Schneider

Deputy Programme Leader

Dr Razvan Porumb

If you a finger touching waterhave an enquiring and philosophical mind this MA will enable you to join a timely debate about the role of faith and belief in the contemporary world. Students delve into some of the philosophical complexities that theological engagement with the contemporary world present.

Students will:

  • Acquire theological skills to interpret the world from a theological perspective
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of some areas of theological and philosophical discourse in the contemporary academy, church and society
  • Develop a critical understanding of the human condition as it contributes to major questions of contemporary philosophical theology
  • Undertake a detailed exploration of some issues of theological significance in the contemporary context

Outline of the MA

Four taught modules (1 compulsory, 3 optional) and a dissertation (15,000).

Compulsory Modules

Secularisation in the Christian World

This module aims to introduce students to one of the most pervasive paradigms about religion in modern society: the process of secularisation. The question at the core of this module is ‘what happens to religion under conditions of modernity and/or accelerated social change?’

The module will entertain both the tenets of the secularisation paradigm (rationalisation, pluralisation, structural differentiation, the contraction in the scope and role of religion in contemporary society) and perspectives which draw attention to related but different processes (religious change, Western European exceptionalism, different models of state-church relations, alternate modernities etc.).

In mapping the various responses and trends triggered by the contextual encounter between conditions of modernity and religion, this module will consider both European and world contexts.

Students will be encouraged to reflect on the ways in which their context, religiosity and, in some cases, ministry are shaped by (post) modernity and the prevailing secularisation of the societal order. Equally, students will be encouraged to explore the ways in which an awareness of current socio-religious realities can produce a fresh understanding of these issues.

This module is compulsory for students taking MA in Contemporary Faith and Belief.

The assessment will comprise 1 assignment totalling 6,000 words.

Optional Modules

  • Theology & Philosophy 30 (Faith & Belief)
  • Theology & Practice of Mission 30 (World Christianity)
  • Christianity & Ecology 30 (Faith & Belief)
  • Ecumenism in Theory & Practice 30 (Faith & Belief)
  • Mystery of Love 30 (Faith & Belief)
  • Development of World Christianity 30 (World Christianity)
  • Interfaith Relations from Theory to Encounter 30 (World Christianity)

+PG Major Project: Dissertation 60

Co-validated Modules

  • Moral Development, Reasoning and Decision Making 30

Co-validated modules are optional modules available to students taking a particular programme but are run by one of the other ARU MA programmes: Christian Spirituality East and West, Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care, Contemporary Faith and Belief in the Global Context. https://www.theofed.cam.ac.uk/postgraduate/ma-aru/ma-aru-modules/

(Nb. not all modules run every year)

Apply for the course starting in September 2022

For more information please email Dr Louise Nelstrop: ln348@cam.ac.uk

Frequently Asked Questions – MA Courses

About our MAs
All our MAs are ecumenical. They are run jointly by tutors from across the Cambridge Theological Federation from a variety of theological backgrounds (Catholic, Orthodox, Methodist, Anglican, Jewish etc.).

We have four MA pathways: Spirituality, Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy, Contemporary Ethics, and Contemporary Faith and Belief.

What kind of students take our MAs?
Students come from a diverse range of backgrounds and include: returning learners, career change, professionals seeking development.

What will you learn on our MAs?
You will become a subject specialist but you will also learn about different methodological approaches that underpin each of our theology MAs, meaning that you will be equipped to take options outside of your specific field if you want.

How are the MAs course taught?
The MAs are delivered flexibly, and students can choose between a mixture of classroom and online/directed study (blended learning), and taking the MA through distance learning.

Some modules are delivered weekly, others are taught in intensive blocks.

** COVID-19 update: all our courses will be online until at least Jan 2022.

How are the MAs structured?
Each MA consists of four taught modules (2 compulsory, 2 optional) and a dissertation (15,000). It is normally taken over two years part-time.

What are the entry requirements?
Students normally require a good first degree (minimum 2:1) or equivalent experience. If you are unsure, contact us to find out if you are eligible.

Can I try out one of the modules to see if the MA is for me?
Most of our modules are also available for paying ‘guests’ to audit (numbers limited).
One module can also be taken as an affiliate student – which means the credit can be integrated into the MA when you enrol.

Who validates the MAs and how do I apply?
The course is validated by Anglia Ruskin University and students apply to study with us directly through the Anglia Ruskin website (see links below under each MA).

How much does it cost?
Full details can be found on the Cambridge Theological Federation website: https://www.theofed.cam.ac.uk/fees/

Who should I contact if I want to talk about this more before I apply?
For more information or to apply for this course please email Dr Louise Nelstrop:
ln348@cam.ac.uk