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BERKELEY, Calif., Dec. 12, 2011 – The Graduate Theological Union announced the addition of Interreligious Studies as the 16th area of concentration for its Common Master of Arts degree.
Two Church Divinity School of the Pacific professors, Marion Grau, Ph.D., and Dan Joslyn-Siemiatkoski, Ph.D., are among seven faculty for the new interreligious focus for the master’s program shared by GTU with CDSP and other partner seminaries.
The purpose of the M.A. concentration in Interreligious Studies is to foster the study of multiple religious traditions, their practitioners, and their expressions in different cultural contexts. It is designed to be open to studies that are oriented to fields within both theological studies and religious studies.
Topics of focus and methodologies might include historical and contemporary relations between religious traditions, comparative theology, comparative religion, interreligious dialogue, and interreligious pastoral practices.
“We look forward to the renewed energy that students in this area will bring to our community as we continue to explore the richness of our diverse religious traditions,” said GTU Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs Arthur Holder, who also is a professor emeritus at CDSP.
The new M.A. in Interreligious Studies offers multiple career tracks: a Ph.D. in a related field, preparation for interreligious ministry, teaching religious studies in a secondary school or work in non-profit organizations.
The GTU has been engaged in interreligious studies since its inception in 1962. The new M.A. area offers the opportunity to focus courses and research in an emerging field that is growing in importance worldwide.